Themes on demand

The boss is coming! Quick, replace that Austin Powers desktop theme with something more grimly appropriate! You could select Start-Settings-Control Panel, double-click Desktop Theme, pick a theme, and click OK. But by the time you did all that, your job could be, as Austin would say, "Curtains, baby!" To switch to a specific theme on demand, you have to prepare ahead of time.

Open a folder within the Start folder or make some room on the desktop for a new shortcut. Right-click inside the folder or on the desktop and select New-Shortcut. In the Command line, type the full path to the Themes program, using quotation marks if the path has any spaces. Then add a space and /s to make Windows apply the theme of your choice. Finally, add another space and the path and name of this new theme; for some reason, this path doesn't require quotation marks. When you're done, your command line should look like this: "c:\program files\plus!\themes.exe" /s c:\program files\plus!\themes\business.theme. Click Next, type a name for the shortcut, and click Finish. To run this shortcut, double-click it on the desktop or choose it from the appropriate menu. For even faster access, make a keyboard shortcut to this theme: Right-click the shortcut and select Properties. With the Shortcut tab in front, click inside the Shortcut key box and press the keys of your choice (you're forced to use at least two modifier keys like , or ). Click OK to finish. Now whenever you need instant respectability, just hit your shortcut keys. Your alternate theme will display - as long as the shortcut icon is on the desktop or within the Start Menu folder hierarchy.

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Scott Dunn

PC World
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