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Classic AE 2.5 Final by Saarineames Classic AE 2.5 Final by Saarineames
Classic AE 2.5/2.5.1 (Gray) for Windows 7

A Classic visual style with Aero enhancements.

Version 2.5 (User picture frame on the start menu)
Version 2.5.1 (No user picture frame)

Four substyles for each version number included are standard, flat menus (FM), alternate menus (AM) and alternate flat menus (AFM).

Added two new substyles with alternate menus (AM), and alternate flat menus (AFM).
Alternate menus have vertical separators, a "gutter" section and different spacing than the Classic AE menus. See the enclosed images for reference.
Ideal for Firefox users as it fixes some minor alignment issues with the browser's drop-down menus, or just for a different menu experience altogether.

*Blue version 2.5.3 now available: [link]


Update (12/20/2013) [Visual styles]

Adjusted taskband buttons transparency for smoother hover. [All styles]
Adjusted and improved menus (gutter) for AM and AFM substyles.

Update (11/27/2013) [Visual styles] [Upgrade]

New workaround for taskband flash which greatly improves visiblity. [Important]
See Taskband Flash Revision note for more details.

Adjusted Taskband Thumbnail ListItem states to a more classic style guideline.
Adjusted default AltTab states to a more classic style guideline.

Update (10/28/2013)

Adjusted progress bar/taskband color green, all styles.
Adjusted start menu places list for 2.5.1 styles.
Adjusted bitmap included with ExplorerFrame mod resources.

Update (05/29/2013)

Adjusted folderband buttons keyfocused state (focus rectangle) for keyboard navigation. [Visual styles]
Added keyfocused states (focus rectangle) for keyboard navigation. [ExplorerFrame Mod]

- Full updates list in enclosed notes.

Enjoy!

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Previous notes of importance:
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This version is compatible with standard explorer start orb, or custom classic start buttons.
Complete button set for explorer.exe to support all DPI settings included. Use bitmaps, or single .res file to update.

Note: For IE9/IE10 users, make sure to enable "Show tabs on a separate row" option for consistency.

Supports all DPI settings.

Added shell32.dll UIFILE mod for 'classic style' Navigation/Category Panel (optional).
Added Alt+Tab Classic Style Icons .reg to the package. Thanks to Sevenforums.

------

Please respect my work with no rips/alterations. Personal mods are ok.

2010-13 by Saarineames (SAAR).

Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
Add a Comment:
 
:icontdre:
Tdre Featured By Owner May 2, 2014
Awesome work. Question: can this be made to have solid window borders line for example: www.stardock.com/spencer//news… (the blue borders arround the windows)? I know people who would pay for that.
Reply
:iconnickmeece:
nickmeece Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2013
Can anyone remember the name of the VS that was released a little before this one?  I remember it having an odd name, but it was basically the Classic theme with a tweaks/hacks that used less resources.  Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!
Reply
:iconcr7network:
Cr7NeTwOrK Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013
PLEASE I beg you, port this to Windows 8, I miss it :((
Reply
:iconsaarineames:
Saarineames Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013
I will let you know if a Win8 version is happening. Cheers.
Reply
:iconcr7network:
Cr7NeTwOrK Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013
Please do :) Thank you!
Reply
:iconingenfrid:
Ingenfrid Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
is it happening yet?
Reply
:iconcr7network:
Cr7NeTwOrK Featured By Owner May 31, 2014
yes look here for a similar classic theme

xxinightxx.deviantart.com/art/…
Reply
:iconernstmulder:
ernstmulder Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012
Best. Theme. Ever.
Reply
:iconsaarineames:
Saarineames Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012
Thanks! Much appreciated. I just updated the visual style a few minutes ago.
Reply
:iconernstmulder:
ernstmulder Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2012
Great. This is how the Windows UI should be :-)

One strange thing however. For some reason I can not get the theme working on the Dutch version of Windows 7. Windows just switches to its own Classic view (no acceleration, no Aero features). No idea why. On my own US systems it works fine. Would like to get it to work on Dutch systems as well. Many people I know still love the clean Classic look.
Reply
:iconsaarineames:
Saarineames Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2012
Dutch install has the files patched to use custom visual styles?
Reply
:iconernstmulder:
ernstmulder Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2012
I've tried manually patching the three dll's and I've tried UxStyle.
Reply
:iconsaarineames:
Saarineames Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012
Try Universal Theme Patcher v1.5 [link]

This also gives you confirmation of successfully patched files.
Reply
:icondemonslyr1:
demonslyr1 Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
thanks! btw is there any way to make the start button look like a windows 98/95/me/nt ?
Reply
:iconsaarineames:
Saarineames Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012
Sure, just edit the start button images, replacing the logos.
Reply
:icondemonslyr1:
demonslyr1 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
can you explain to me how to do it though,im dumb when it comes to things like that...lol
Reply
:iconsaarineames:
Saarineames Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012
No problem, I sent a note about it.
Reply
:icondipsal:
dipsal Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012
Dear ~Saarineames,

Thank you for making my night! Wouldn't have thought I ever needed such as skin but now that I know it exists it is absolutely perfect.

You must have put a lot of hours into this and I fully appreciate it.

Have a great day mate. Regards from Australia.
Reply
:iconsaarineames:
Saarineames Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012
Thank you for the kind words. Glad to hear you are enjoying it.
Reply
:icontritonbee:
tritonbee Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
it is lovely. i need it.
:D
Reply
:iconsaarineames:
Saarineames Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2012
Thanks!
Reply
:icon8666:
8666 Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2012
Is it possible to make the start button and system tray flat style not raised and sunken? I still use windows classic on 7 as I love it. It is the best design from practical reasons. All others are just shine, eye entertaining, *skins*
Reply
:iconsaarineames:
Saarineames Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2012
Yes, it's possible, but minor cosmetic changes would be in the "personal mod" territory. Send me a note if you need help.
Reply
:iconondrem:
OndreM Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012
Thank you - looks like what I'm looking for since MS crippled Classic in Vista/7. However it doesn't work for me - if I copy *.theme and subdir to C:\Windows\Resources and select the theme, I get it, howeverit's like selecting Classic - no HW acceleration, no desktop composition, updated labels flickering, no taskbar previews etc. What am I doing wrong?
Reply
:iconsaarineames:
Saarineames Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012
Ok, correct path should be C:\Windows\Resources\Themes.

Also, do you have the necessary files patched to use custom visual styles?
Reply
:iconondrem:
OndreM Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012
Thank you very much - had no idea about the patching. Actual Multiple Monitor's 2nd monitor taskbar and buttons are little bit disarranged, but I guess it's a problem of the software, not the theme. Now I just need to get used to the grey active title bars...
Reply
:iconsaarineames:
Saarineames Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012
Hopefully the gray settles in. I love it, but I might be a bit biased. The traditional blue didn't end up working out while building, so I had to use an alternative scheme. Cheers.
Reply
:iconondrem:
OndreM Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2012
I think I'll like the grey too, looks pure. Would it be possible to distinguish active vs. inactive bars even more? Or would it cause problems elsewhere? One of the main reasons I can't use the Aero theme is that I can't see what's focused - and that's problem for a mainly keyboard power user.

I've looked through the files and they look "too binary" for me to hex-edit them or something.
Reply
:iconsaarineames:
Saarineames Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2012
Well, the only way to make active/inactive more distinguishable in this style and keeping it true to classic would be to darken the active title bars. Unfortunately, in dialogs like Aero Wizard where the title text is black and unthemeable from within the visual style, would cause some readability problems. That can only be changed by editing deep system files, which I've tried to avoid if possible. Finding a balance is somewhat of a double-edged sword.
Reply
:icondaemonhannibal669:
DaemonHannibal669 Featured By Owner May 26, 2012
id do it but i suck at making styles in 7 was easier in xp
Reply
:icondaemonhannibal669:
DaemonHannibal669 Featured By Owner May 26, 2012
i really like it but wish i could change the color, i normally use the classic theme with black and blue everything, folder backgrounds with blue text etc. wish i could change this to look like that, but never the less nice style
Reply
:iconsaarineames:
Saarineames Featured By Owner May 27, 2012
Thanks, glad you like it.

Understandable. It would be great to be more configurable via end user like classic, but it's an entirely different monster here.
Reply
:icondaemonhannibal669:
DaemonHannibal669 Featured By Owner May 28, 2012
ya alot of things are different in windows 7, i could hack the crap out of xp and make it do whatever i wanted, im only beginning to scratch the surface with 7. funny i got a magazine in 2k10 said you wouldnt be able to even use the classic look in 7, glad they were wrong, but i like detailed visual styles too. windows 8, well that is gonna be a pain unless they make that metro thing optional, cuz who wants a phone operating system on their desktop.
Reply
:iconrivenroth740:
RivenRoth740 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012  Student General Artist
wanting the impossible...
Reply
:iconsaarineames:
Saarineames Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012
Well, it will be here if you upgrade to Win7 in the future.
Reply
:iconrivenroth740:
RivenRoth740 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012  Student General Artist
im not going to use win7 never.
Reply
:iconhappytrooper:
happytrooper Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012
This is amazing!

Only one thing, I can't seem to get it working - what am I supposed to do? My Perzonalizations window says I'm using Classic AE 2.5 - but it's still just a normal Aero theme. I just double clicked the "Classic AE 2.5.theme" file. What am I doing wrong?

Again, amazing work - can't wait until I get it working :)
Reply
:iconhappytrooper:
happytrooper Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012
eh. Nevermind! (google was my friend :P)
Reply
:iconsaarineames:
Saarineames Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012
Glad you got it working. Enjoy!
Reply
:iconhappytrooper:
happytrooper Featured By Owner May 15, 2012
Loving it!

One little detail, is it possible to change the color of active windows? I have a really hard time seeing whether a window is active or not, with both being gray and as I work a lot with just using the keyboard it's kind of work-flow-breaking!

Cheers again :)
Reply
:iconsaarineames:
Saarineames Featured By Owner May 26, 2012
Thanks again, and apologies for the late response.

It's been updated today with some slight adjustments, including slightly darkened active windows. Check it out!
Reply
:iconpostdante:
postdante Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2012
This theme is awesome, this is something I was looking for a long time (great for work).

One more thing:
Could you please add variant with flat menus? Then it would be perfect!
(changing "UserPreferencesMask"=hex:90,32,07,80 doesn't work as it is aero theme)
Reply
:iconsaarineames:
Saarineames Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012
Thanks very much!

New versions added to the package with flat menus. Enjoy.
Reply
:iconpostdante:
postdante Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2012
thx!
Reply
:iconluke345b:
Luke345b Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2012
I love the theme, I just have one question/request. I keep my taskbar on the right side of my screen, and use this hack to make it slim like was available in XP and before:
[link]

Unfortunately, that hack only works with aero-themes. It does NOT work with Classic AE however. I believe (although I'm not sure) that this is because of the size/dimensions of the start button in Classic AE. Would it be possible to make a version that had a square start-button eithout the word "start" that would in turn be more usable with the taskbar on the side of the screen?
Reply
:iconsaarineames:
Saarineames Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012
Thanks! I sent you a note about that.
Reply
:icondeathride69:
deathride69 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2012
yes!!!!!!! very cool.
Reply
:iconsaarineames:
Saarineames Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2012
Thank you. Enjoy!
Reply
:iconsonic4000:
SoNiC4000 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Hobbyist Interface Designer
Amazing <3
Reply
:iconsaarineames:
Saarineames Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2012
Thanks! :D
Reply
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August 3, 2011
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Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a
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