Tweaking the Appearence of your Desktop Page: 1
In this guide I will explain briefly how to easily install yourself a pretty funky looking desktop and windows theme along with a nice objectdock

First of all here are a few things you need to download.

I have created a few icons (apart from the Quake IV and BF-2 ones) that you might want to use for the dock. They look a bit like below...though they look much sharper on the dock.

Dock Icons

Get the Lot Here

You will need a version of CrystalXP. I use Vista Inspirat. Get that Here

The latest version of ObjectDock is Here

There are some nice wallpapers Here

Other custom icon packs Here

Some nice Visual Styles that you can install after installing CrystalXP are Here

Finally Powertoys for Windows XP. I use the Tweak UI Powertoy which lets you remove all icons from your Desktop, including the Recycle Bin. Get it from Microsoft Here

Tweaking the Appearence of your Desktop Page: 2
Download and run Vista Inspirat. I only install the options of the actual shell and download the Stardock Objectdock as its a newer version with more options.

When you've done this you'll have to reboot.

Install ObjectDock. You might need to reboot again.

Download any icon packs that you want to install and put them all in one place so its easy to get to:

Crystal XP Icons


Now to start configuring your Object Dock...

Tweaking the Appearence of your Desktop Page: 2
Download and run Vista Inspirat. I only install the options of the actual shell and download the Stardock Objectdock as its a newer version with more options.

When you've done this you'll have to reboot.

Install ObjectDock. You might need to reboot again.

Download any icon packs that you want to install and put them all in one place so its easy to get to:

Crystal XP Icons


Now to start configuring your Object Dock...

Tweaking the Appearence of your Desktop Page: 3
Now you can configure your dock. ObjectDock has so many options that its mostly your own choice but I'll go through what I choose.

right click in a space on the dock and choose "Dock Settings"

ObjectDock Options


Then you can configure the main appearence options. I like the dock on the top of the screen in the centre with a brushed metal effect and not too big. Also a bit of transparency is nice:

Settings 1


Also its worth taking a look at the options on performance. I find that "Smooth and Quick works well for me, as well as "re-show smoothly". also if you so wish, tick the "Load ObjectDock at startup" option.

I also like to add seperators to make my clickable icons into groups for ease of use:

Adding seperaters


Now the docks ready for some icons and adding your own style to your dock...

Tweaking the Appearence of your Desktop Page: 4
Firsly you will want to check your desktop to see what you will want to get rid of from there. This is simple a "delete" process, but the recycle bin is where the Tweak UI Powertool comes into action.

Install Tweak UI and load it up. Go to "Desktop" and unlick the "Recycle Bin" and all others that you will no longer need:

Tweak UI


Now thats done we can add some programs. simply select them from the start menu, or (as I tend to do) find them on your HDD. Drag and Drop them onto the dock and they should appear on the ObjectDock:

Adding Icon


I've added Call of Duty 2. Now right click on it and choose "Dock entry Properties". Here You Can edit the name, lcation and also the picture used. The pictures have to be .png's - these look good and are sharp when in focus/magnified. I usually use around 150 x 150 pixels. Now is the time to locate your Icon file and choose the right icons for the programs. Click on "Change Image" to pick you image

Adding CoD 2


You can really go to town with the icons. I tend to change them all. Icons can be dragged around the dock and the separators. You can also drag them off the Dock too. They make an satisfying "puff" animation as they disappear.

Next: Adding a Visual Style...

Tweaking the Appearence of your Desktop Page: 5
Visual Styles are easy to add and change. Simply visit the page on Crystal XP.net, unzip them into the right directory, and click on the Windows Visiual Style Icon.

Then once this is installed go to your desktop: right-click>properties>appearence>Colour schemes. They have some nice thin styles which is what I prefer.

Visual Style


Extra's - Konfabulator

Koinfabulator is a program that gives you lots of little widgets to put on your desktop. Its now been taken over by Yahoo and is called Yahoo widgets, but its good software (if a little memory heavy).

You can have all sorts of things on there like clocks, disk managers and processor usage bars.

Download it from Here

Pick your widgets from Here

There are some shots of the Konfabulator in action (along with ObjectDock) on the Screenshot page. Its easy to install and use so I won't go into it in detail.

Widgets I like:

Dual Processor Monitor
Time Serialiser
Disk manager
Widget control Centre
BBC Radio Widget

Next Page: Screenshots...

Tweaking the Appearence of your Desktop Page: 6
Here's some screenshits of ObjectDock in action:

Screenshot 1

Screenshot 3

Screenshot 4

Screenshot 5

Screenshot 7

Screenshot 6

Open boxes

Discuss this in our Forums