How to Customize Windows Vista Sidebar

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One of the best Vista users’ hobbies is, without any doubt, looking for new ways to personalize Vista look and feel. Today I want to talk about a nice freeware software that lets you customize your Vista sidebar in a breeze without owning specific knowledge or spending lot of bucks. Its name is Windows Sidebar Styler. This small application allows users to tweak the Sidebar’s User Interface and its widgets to fit them to the general look  (for example  it is able to make the sidebar smaller or customize it in a lot of ways) of Windows Vista themes such as the Aero Glass colorization or third party themes.

Reading from the application’s home page: “Windows Sidebar Styler takes advantage of the new technologies introduced in Windows Vista™ in order to provide extensions to the existing functionality of Windows® Sidebar.Custom styles allow for resizing and customizing the appearance of Windows Sidebar so that it fits other UI elements, such as the Aero Glass colorization or an actual third party theme. Designers could save their visual styles so that other Windows users could apply them. Designers would not necessarily create these files on Windows Vista – Windows Sidebar Styler is backward-compatible with legacy operating systems as well.

Gadgets are mini applications managed by Windows Sidebar. They can now take full advantage of Windows Presentation Foundation – the powerful managed code-oriented framework for presenting rich visual compositions such as vector graphics, 3D drawing, animations and more. In addition to that, it could be used in conjunction with Windows Communication Foundation in order for the Gadgets to connect to services and provide frequently updated information.

Using compiled class libraries also helps developers protect their intellectual property because the actual source code is not distributed.

The tight integration with the core of Windows Sidebar allows for extending the current set of features in Windows Sidebar by allowing users to customize its appearance and by providing a more powerful framework for building Gadgets and visualizing information.

Windows Sidebar Styler is available in a number of languages. Yours is not supported? Make sure to get in touch with me and it can be–in the very next version.”

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