Desktop themes FAQ
It's a small and unpretentious FAQ but I hope it will prove to be helpful. And don't hesitate to contact me if your question hasn't been covered!
Q: What is a desktop theme?

A: A desktop theme is a set including, as a minimum, wallpaper(s), icons, cursors, often sounds, web views, startup/wait/shutdown logos and a .THEME file storing the theme settings. It's NOT a program thus it CANNOT harm your computer in any way. The worst thing that's likely to happen in case some theme components are damaged is that they won't be applied at all and will be reset to the defaults.
Q: I run the downloaded file but it didn't install the theme! How do I install it?

A: There is nothing to install. The file you downloaded is a self-extractor that merely puts all the theme components into the proper folders. After running the downloaded file you have to apply the theme to use it on your computer. Your theme manager should automatically be launched when the theme installation is complete. If it doesn't, launch it manually, select the freshly installed theme and apply it.
Q: I don't want to apply the whole theme, I only need wallpaper and icons, I don't like cursors (sounds, logos etc). How to exclude these unwanted elements from the theme?

A: Open Desktop Architect and click the Settings tab. Now just uncheck the theme elements you don't want to use. Then apply the theme as usual.
Q: How do I uninstall a theme?

A: Select the theme in your theme manager (e.g. Desktop Architect) and click Uninstall. All the theme components will be moved to the Recycle Bin.

If you're about to uninstall a theme that uses any external compponents, e.g. Wait cursor from another theme, this cursor will also be moved to the Recycle Bin! Of course you can go and restore it but you'd better remove such themes manually. It's quite easy, just delete the .THEME file and the folder with the same name from your themes directory, usually /Program Files/Plus!/Themes/. This way nothing will be lost. :)

Most themes by Blue Cat's Graphics are packaged with a professional installer and can safely be uninstalled through Control Panel - Add/Remove Programs.
Q: My screen resolution is 640x480 (1280x1024). I need matching wallpapers, those coming with your themes are too large (small)!

A: If you need smaller wallpaper, it's as simple as a cat's tail. Backup the original wallpaper, just for the case something goes wrong (! Tip: The easiest way to do it is to hold down CTRL and drag the wallpaper file a little - you'll get a new file called "copy of wallpaper_name"). Open the wallpaper in your favorite graphic viewer/editor (if you don't have one, I suggest getting free Irfan View) and resize it, e.g. to 640x480. Then overwrite the original wallaper and reapply the theme.

If you need larger wallpaper, it's more sophisticated. By default, my themes are set to stretch wallpaper to fit the screen resolution but the results may be unpredictable and it's possible that you'll hate how the stretched wallpaper looks. In that case your best bet is to visit the site of a person who created the wallpaper in question. You can always find the corresponding link on the theme download page. It's possible that you'll get hi-rez wallpapers there. If not, as a last resort you may try to email the person to kindly ask him/her for a custom sized wallpaper. Who knows, maybe you'll get it after all :)

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Featured desktop themes
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The Hello Pretty Little Kitty theme - meet a little calico cutie and enjoy the warm ochre color of the background, static red white kitties - icons and running red white kitties - animated cursors. The theme comes with two different color schemes, light and dark.
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The Burnt Papyrus theme will imbue the ambience of antiquity to your desktop. A dainty wallpaper the color and texture of ancient papyrus browned with time and burnt with flame, odd sketchy icons, even odder Wait and Busy cursors with a flaming effect and soft music.
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Desktop themes by Blue Cat's Graphics are compatible with Win 98/ME/NT/2000/XP.
Windows XP users should switch to the Classic Desktop to use the themes.

A typical desktop theme by Blue Cat's Graphics is composed of:
  • wallpaper(s)
  • color scheme(s)
  • icons, including icons for opened and closed folders
  • sounds in MPEG Layer 3 format
  • startup/wait/shutdown logos - only for for Win98/Me
  • web views
Currently, the desktop themes do not include screensavers. They are hopefully to be added in the near future.
A desktop management software (e.g. Microsoft Plus) is required to use any of these desktop themes. You are highly recommended to get free Desktop Architect - the best desktop manager available.
Turning off a theme sound
Is one of the theme sounds driving you nuts? You loathe it, you can't stand it, you're about to disintegrate - uh, I mean uninstall - the poor theme... Suppress the urge to click the Uninstall button, turning off a theme sound is a piece of cake!
  • open Desktop Architect
  • click the Sounds tab
  • highlight the irritating sound and select None from the dropdown list below
  • click Apply or Save if you're just testing the theme and it's not applied yet
If you don't have Desktop Architect, go to Control Panel - Sounds and Multimedia, and turn off the sound from there.
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