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Clearscreen Sharp for Vista by K-Johnson Clearscreen Sharp for Vista by K-Johnson

Hey all,

I've been working on these themes since last year. I redid 99% of the images in the .msstyles, support all the DPI's, and some optional extra's (navigation/shutdown buttons, userpicture, welcome center). Windows 7 is going to be released soon, and I have preordered it (Oct. 22) but will start working on it before the storewide release date.


Clearscreen Sharp is the sharper and lighter version of Clearscreen Round.

This is the second of three themes.

* You can download all the versions in one easy link: *Uploading

* Or download the currently viewed theme by clicking "Download" to your top left.


Installation: Check out this great guide at WinMatrix -> [link]

You can also apply the themes without messing with any of your files by downloading StyleSelector (32-bit OS only), AveStyler (Shareware), Tuneup Utilities 2009 (Shareware), or UXStyle (Free & Shareware).



  • Resource Monitor shares with the titlebar text color (white) -- becomes difficult to read on the gray gradient it sits on. This will have to be fixed outside the theme by hacking the Resource Monitor (maybe hexing the gradient or replacing the image)... wouldn't know where to look, though :(.


    Thanks to: ~thepanda-x, Ave, ~ZEUSosX, =Satukoro, ~sweatyfish, ~GrzegorzJZD, ~invaderjohn, and everyone who commented and reported bugs!

    /etc: I used Photoshop CS3 and Vista Style Builder to create these themes.


    V4 (FINAL):

    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Added 24px Taskbar option, Max Transparency option, and Userpicture option
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Support for 120 / 144 / 192 dpi (completed the high dpi graphics set)
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Re-enabled context menu seperators to prevent Tablet PC Input Panel menu's from breaking ([link])
    [Sharp] Fixed shadow to appear under titlebar on maximized windows (for Max Transparency version)
    [Sharp] Fixed restore glyph clipping ([link])
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Fixed clock to display fully in heightened taskbar mode
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Fixed tray icon tooltips and menus from overlaying taskbar
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Fixed alignment issues in Group menu
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Fixed tooltip to appear correctly (You may have seen the double-shadow bug while hovering over a button in Firefox)
    [Round] Fixed styling of disabled menu entries to 'normal' instead of bold
    [Round] Fixed the taskbar stretching margins
    [Shellstyle.dll] Redirected dtb() method of the Control Panel Folderband BG image to pull image from CommandBar instead of the rebar BG as it was probably intended. Read about the goof-up here: [link]
    [Shellstyle.dll] Changed Folderband font styling to match other areas
    [Shellstyle.dll] Fixed text alignment of hotlink "Show more details..." in the details pane when more than 15 files are highlighted
    [explorer.exe] Added custom shutdown buttons and userpicture option
    [shell32.dll] Removed overlaying design on Control Panel navigation
    [browseui.dll] Added custom navigation buttons
    [oobefldr.dll] Modified Welcome Center to fit the theme


    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Swapped solid bordering on buttons with transparent ones
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Fixed text clipping in menu's for longer/wide-character languages (like Chinese)
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Fixed text clipping in Windows Security Center
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Fixed text clipping with Toolbar button text
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Fixed CommandLink button to retain fidelity on its bottom edge when stretched vertically
    [Round/Basic] Fixed gradient banding on the gloss of the Start menu & Taskbar on clsRound and clsBasic, much thanks to ~sweatyfish
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Fixed unreadable Help window and Alternate Toolbar area ([link]) to match the other toolbars for a consistent look
    [Round/Basic] Aligned group menu icons with the icon on the grouped taskbar button
    [Sharp/Basic] Added matching vertical progressbars
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Fixed x64 graphical glitches (seperator, indeterminate progress bar, explorer navigation pane, disabled button, commandlink)!

    Hopefully these are the last of the major bugs. Perfection and compatability with everything is an impossible task with custom msstyles on Vista, but I want to get as close to it as possible! :) The reason why it is impossible: Some programs use their own code along with code pulled from the msstyles -- that can spawn problems as the programmer created the program to work with the default Vista Aero theme. Also, because Vista msstyles does a lot of sharing with global properties. I had to implement many properties in many different parts and states for custom styling! xD So let's hope this version goes smoothly so we can get some variations going for V4!


    [Sharp] Fixed Breadcrumb bar vertical seperators to match Round (how it was originally supposed to be)
    [Sharp] Changed TreeItem hot state to match the sharp corners of others
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Redid Scrollbars for better contrast, redid slider trackbars for a sharper look.
    [Sharp] Changed Padded Border Width to 1 from 0 to prevent dialog window frames from breaking.
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Placeslist images reworked (truesize value now set to stretched to fit other languages with more/wider characters)
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Fixed taskbar 1px bottom row of inactivity
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Fixed start menu program name clipping
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Made Folderband/Communications/Media/Toolbar buttons transparent -- Help menu now visible
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Recolored indeterminate progress bar to match normal progressbar and saved as 32-bit PNG
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Centered Scrollbar Gripper on bottom scrollbar
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Darkened disabled checkboxes and radio buttons a bit
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Made flashing taskbar window button's orange glow more vibrant
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Made transparent tab area solid -- no more black gaps in some apps in the filter sort
    [Sharp/Round/Basic] Changed contentmargins to fit the icons within the addressbar and searchbar (seen in FireFox default skin), thanks to Sweatyfish


    - No more third party theme changer needed (hopefully)!
    - Packed in "No Folderband Autohide" shellstyle

    Clearscreen Sharp (currently viewing)
    Clearscreen Round
    Clearscreen Basic
    Add a Comment:
    Lyzenmachine Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
    Thx for that. Works Perfect C:
    Now im Happy <3
    farukdgn Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011
    :O I loved it and where can I get the background wallpaper :O This makes theme cleaner
    illage2 Featured By Owner May 7, 2011
    Nice VS. Added it to favorites. How do you get the back and forward buttons on the Windows explorer?
    illage2 Featured By Owner May 7, 2011
    Ah never mind about the explorer buttons. None the less it is a nice and clean VS. Are you thinking about making icons and dock themes to compliment this VS?
    ZapperNodle Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2011
    There is a slight problem. Nothing major, but it can really deduct form the theme. If you're on a full-screen window (like Google Chrome), it changes the theme and makes it less transparent. The toolbar almost seems to become solid black.

    Still, truly awesome :excited:
    ZapperNodle Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2011
    Amazing. Love this theme :D.
    Knightrider-of-doom Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2011
    Ya know, I've been on Win7 since it came out and I've been using your Clearscreen theme for 7 since you released it, but sometimes I feel like reinstalling Vista just because this version of the skin feels much more polished for some reason.
    poopman767 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2011   Digital Artist
    u have to have vista home premium or ultimate. now if its not transparent, right clic on ur desktop > personalize>Windows color and apearance. There will be a list of things choose "vista aero" for transparency. u will also notice that there are no names for the themes and that they are all called the same thing.
    n1nj4-Katak-chan Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2011
    absofreakinlutley amazing
    itsmikkey Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2011
    This is VERY nice. You did an amazing job. :D
    peanutbutter126 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2010
    Just wanted to say that this is a very good theme. It's sleek simple and customisable with all the variations you have provided. Thanks for all the work you've put into this :)
    xZacharias Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2010
    very nice theme :D
    but... maybe you can set the header color changeable? :S
    but great theme
    sweetwaterpink Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2010
    Very nice!
    ravni75 Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010
    Hi it's very great !
    Can you modify it a little bit and make the progress bar blue plz?

    Thx !
    andrethaiss Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010
    Okay, now i read the whole read-me, but im not going to do it as i cant risk losing all my data, but your theme is the best and will stay in my computer until windows 8 comes out : D
    andrethaiss Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010
    Great job, although i have a small problem, the theme works and its beautiful, but my shutdown and back/forward buttons are still the same, where am i supposed to put the files in the theme to work?
    musicislife1995 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010
    featured on my Tumblog [link]

    intae88888888 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2010
    How do i make it transparent?
    uncholowapo Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2010  Student Digital Artist
    Hey where can I get the backgrounds? They look freaking amazing just like your theme :)
    psunnyp Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2010  Hobbyist
    i just love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    this is the best theme.
    good luck.
    keep giving better results.
    abhashthapa Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2010  Professional Interface Designer
    I really loved your Round Version. It was awesome. I think this is awesome too. More comment after download. ;-)
    MattLoafv2 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2010
    Windows 7 available yet?
    plebraly Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2010
    I use this theme for now more than 6 months, but... I've got a big issue with it : the taskbar is noway as transparent as windows edges. When using a plain, sharp color background, this is fine, but could we have a version with the top half of the taskbar totaly transparent and the low part as transparent as the top part is actually?
    That would be lovely, and hopefully usefull for you too :) .
    Thanks a lot for your great work!
    lostsmurf1 Featured By Owner May 31, 2010
    Absolutly love it! Looking for something like this for a while, a big improvement from using Aero. The instructions were also great for hopeless people like me :P
    CarlMinez Featured By Owner May 28, 2010
    I need help!

    I tried step 3! And I did something wrong! I cant get my start menu or explorer to work? Can you please help me restore my computer as it was before the theme?
    CarlMinez Featured By Owner May 26, 2010
    Hi there mate!

    Your theme looks absolutely awesome! On the preview.. I cant get it to work on my PC though.

    I followed the readme. I copied the "clsSharp_TU30" folder into Windows/Resources/Themes. I then I copied and pasted the "Shell_AutoHide" folder into the "clsSharp_TU30" folder which i assume was the "clearscreen theme folder" you referred to in the readme. (and renamed it to only "shell") I also copied the files
    browseui.dll, explorer.exe, oobefldr.dll and shell32.dll

    And now what? I tried to start the theme by launching the windows visual style file. Nothing happened. What am I doing wrong here?
    kaijin-kun Featured By Owner May 23, 2010
    This is a great theme though I can't quite customize the color.
    How did you get it to be green?
    asiqueirabr Featured By Owner May 6, 2010  Hobbyist Interface Designer
    LOVE IT! :+fav:
    I'm using now :D
    masahual Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2010
    I have installed this long time ago, i have it yet...
    Thanks hehe ^^
    MerlinTheRed Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
    This theme looks absolutely stunning. The consistency and love for detail is overwhelming. Thank you for this wonderful piece of art!

    Talking about consistency there is one or two things that could make it even better (in my humble opinion).
    When you hover over the title bar buttons, a highlight appears that makes it look like a button from the basic theme. When the mouse doesn't hover over the buttons, you think these vertical lines separate the buttons. That makes it a little weird when a "button within the button" appears when hovering. I would find it better if the symbol you hover over would just start to glow around its edges.

    Another thing is the buttons in the basic theme (which also show in non-Aero styled windows in the other themes). The title bar buttons sure look beautiful. But in comparison to the flat design of the Aero windows they somehow don't fit. I assume the non-Aero engine doesn't allow separators to be placed in between the buttons. Would it do any harm to just make the title bar buttons flat like in the Aero style and leave the separators out? The highlighting could be done with glow-effects, too. This would add even more consistency.

    Much text about little things. Don't forget that this is just my humble opinion and that I find your theme absolutely beautiful. I just want to help you to possibly make it even better.

    Kind regards

    Jack-Real-Black Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2010
    Awesome theme, but don't like some moments.
    Changed and edited some. Can see and test here:
    therealjonathan Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
    I <3 this theme. . . However, how do you change the color of the borders?
    13aik-23 Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
    THE best of the fu$%?* best
    Skillet98 Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2010  Hobbyist Interface Designer
    Love what you did with the taskbar.
    TheInganno Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2010  Student Photographer
    Wonderful!! Very nice theme, i'm using it now :D
    ayummypie Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2010
    THE best theme I used in my life. Very clean, simple design!
    soul41 Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2010
    I would like this so much better if it didn't change all the highlighting colors to such and ugly gray.
    plebraly Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2009
    I agree with pyrofyr, it would be great with a transparent bar. Also, installing the theme actually turns aero off on my computer, do you have any idea why?
    pyrofyr Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2009
    Hey is there any way to make the bottom bars more transparent (like the windows are)? Looking for a theme that's perfectly transparent (or as close as possible without looking like crap). I love the look of yours butt he bottom bar and the start menu are a little too dark for me. :x
    P0DRID0 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2009
    Hi man, very nice work (sorry for my bad english, im a mexican xD)
    I want to know if it's possible crash down my system by replacing the files: browseui.dll and the others .dll files whit yours.
    Well, that's all, im using your skin but withouth the toolbar modified u.u i love it XD
    robi19 Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2009
    Really Nice, Do you have in plain transport this theme for WindowBlinds for XP / Vista version ?
    K-Johnson Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2009
    I don't use or have Windowsblind, sorry.
    Sanctus1991 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2009
    Perfect! <3
    CocoWe Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2009
    i love it !! (:
    deelerdave Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2009
    Amazing work!
    Just featured this at [link]

    LordMayorem Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
    I love it! Aero made finally perfect:) Unfortunately i'm running Win7, are you planning to make one for win7? That would be really nice^^
    AlexandrePh Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2009
    Hey ! I haven't seen it until now... very good theme !
    I have to say that I don't like a lot the squared angles (too bad for a pixel lover ^^) but the style is really great :)
    SwapnnilR Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2009
    Desperately waiting for SP2 update :P
    kd35 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2009
    what was the release date of version 4?
    ve1n Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2009
    Great VS, it's probably the best you can get for Vista ;)

    There are some things that could be improved imho, though:

    • Optional smaller font size (about 1pt or even 2pt smaller)
    • The small 'close' and 'minimize' buttons (you can see them on Photoshop CS2 Palettes) could be a lot more pleasing if you reduced the size of the symbols.
    • There seems to be some kind of bug with the font weight of the VS. There are some cases where text lines aren't bold, although they should be.

    However, thanks a lot for this great Visual Style!
    Add a Comment:


    Submitted on
    June 19, 2009
    File Size
    20.5 MB


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