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How to Create an Extended Theme - Spb Pocket Plus - Pocket PC Products - Spb Software House

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Current version: 4.0.2

Extended Themes

About Extended Themes


Frequently Asked Questions
How to Create an Extended Theme
Download Extended Themes

How to Create an Extended Theme


Being a Pocket PC theme, an extended theme changes what a standard theme should change (background,
system colors, etc). However, it additionally changes the design of Pocket Plus indicators, taskbar battery
indicator, and Close button task manager. Moreover, extended themes include native support for landscape
mode.
Spb Extended Theme Generator is the only tool so far that allows creating Pocket PC themes compatible with
WM2003SE (landscape and VGA support)

Table of Contents
Installing the Extended Theme Generator
Creating a New Theme
Uploading Your Extended Theme to the Web
Today and Start Menu Images
Today Indicators
Taskbar Battery Indicator
Support/Contact Us

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30 days money-back.
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No risk, full price refund.

How to Create an Extended Theme - Spb Pocket Plus - Pocket PC Products - Spb Software House

Development
Spb Benchmark
Spb Clone
EzSetup
Extended Theme Generator
Spb Kiosk

Installing the Extended Theme Generator


1. Download Microsoft Theme Generator
2. Install Microsoft Theme Generator
3. Download Spb Extended Theme Generator add-on
4. Install Spb Extended Theme Generator

Creating a New Theme


1. Create Today and Start Menu images (read Today and Start Menu Images to learn more about how to
do this)
2. Create Today indicator skin files [optional, you can use one of the predefined skins] (read Today
Indicators to learn more)
3. Create Taskbar battery indicator skin files [optional, you can use one of the predefined skins] (read
Taskbar Battery Indicator to learn more)
4. Create a new folder and put all these files in one folder. Please note that each file should have unique
name.

These files should be named as follows:

tdywater.gif

stwater.gif

pls_backlight.gif

pls_backlight_auto.gif

pls_backupbattery.gif

pls_battery.gif

pls_battery_charging.gif

pls_battery_empty.gif

pls_storage.gif

pls_storagecard.gif

pls_storagecard2.gif
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More screenshots...

How to Create an Extended Theme - Spb Pocket Plus - Pocket PC Products - Spb Software House

pls_storagecard3.gif
plbwater2.gif
plbwater3.gif

5. Run Microsoft Theme Generator (Start->Programs->Theme Generator).


6. Choose "Create a new theme".

7. Select your Today screen image (tdywater.gif) from the folder you created. Press Next.
8. Select your Start menu image (stwater.gif) from the folder you created. Press Next.
9. Choose the colors for your theme. Press Next.
10. Enter a name for your theme. Make sure it ends with "Ext" to indicate that it is an extended theme.
VGA themes should end with "Ext VGA".

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11. Select the option that indicates you want to create an extended theme.

12. If you are creating VGA theme, check the "VGA compatible" checkbox.
13. Select the folder where you saved all your Today and Start Menu pictures. You must choose this folder
location again even if you entered the path to these pictures on the previous steps (this is because the
Microsoft Theme Generator crops your pictures to 240x294)

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14. Select the folder where you put Today indicator skins or choose one of predefined skin sets

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15. Select the folder where you put Taskbar battery indicator skins or choose one of predefined skin sets

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16. Press "Generate".


Your extended theme is ready!

Uploading Your Extended Theme to the Web


After you have created an extended theme you may want to upload it to the Web so that other Pocket PC
users can download and use it.
The following websites have special section for Extended Pocket PC Themes:
Pocket PC Themes
Pocket Themes
PDA Gold
The following websites have special section for Extended VGA Themes:
PDA Gold

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Today and Start Menu Images


Normal (Non-VGA) Themes
The Today image should be 320x294 in size and have "tdywater.gif" as the file name. It can be a JPEG file but
it must have ".gif" extension. The following diagram shows the today screen picture layout:

The Start menu image should be 240x320 in size and have "stwater.gif" as the file name. It can be a JPEG file
but it must have ".gif" extension. Usually the Start menu background picture is created from the Today screen
background image using brightness or contrast effects.

VGA Themes
The Today image should be 640x588 in size and have "tdywater.gif" as the file name. It can be a JPEG file but
it must have ".gif" extension. The following diagram shows the today screen picture layout for VGA themes:

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The Start menu image should be 480x640 in size and have "stwater.gif" as the file name. It can be a JPEG file
but it must have ".gif" extension. Usually the Start menu background picture is done from the Today screen
background picture using brightness or contrast effects.

Today Indicators
Spb Pocket Plus 2 has a Today Plug-in that contains shortcuts to programs, actions and indicators. Each
extended theme should contain skins for these indicators. There should be 10 skin image files. These files
should have the following names:

pls_backlight.gif
pls_backlight_auto.gif
pls_backupbattery.gif
pls_battery.gif
pls_battery_charging.gif
pls_battery_empty.gif
pls_storage.gif
pls_storagecard.gif

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pls_storagecard2.gif
pls_storagecard3.gif

Samples
You can use one of 20 predefined skin sets. We also recommend that you look at the predefined skin files as
samples that show how to create Today indicator skin files. You can find these samples in:
Program Files\Theme Generator\predefined\Today

Today Layout and Indicator Size


First of all your should choose the size of your indicators. The following picture will explain how Spb Pocket
Plus Today plug-in renders indicators and how to choose right size:

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Indicator Skin File Format


Each of the 10 skin image files have the following format (except pls_backlight.gif and pls_backlight_auto.gif
that have 3 states instead of 2):

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Mask Colors
(R, G, H) - description
(255, 0, 0) - horizontal panel
(128, 0, 0) - horizontal panel with slider (for backlight)
(0, 255, 0) - vertical panel
(0, 128, 0) - vertical panel with slider (for backlight)
(0, 0, 255) - text
(255, 0, 255) - clickable part
Alpha Channel
Alpha channel is used in the skin to implement transparency and semitransparency. All colors in the alpha
channel should be grayscale (R, G and B components should be the same). The black color corresponds to a
completely transparent point. The white color corresponds to a point that will be shown as is. Other gray
colors correspond to more or less transparent points.

Backlight
File name - pls_backlight.gif.
The backlight panel shows the current backlight level and allows the user to change it. Your Pocket PC
contains a backlight applet in Start -> Settings -> System -> Backlight that displays the same information.
Here is its icon:

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The Today backlight panel shows a slider that allows user to set the backlight level. Here is the standard
backlight panel that comes with Spb Pocket Plus by default:

Backlight (With Auto Backlight)


File name - pls_backlight_auto.gif .
Some Pocket PC devices (like iPAQ) have an "Auto Backlight" feature. These Pocket PC devices have a
photoelectric detectors. If a user chooses "auto backlight" then the backlight level is set automatically
according to current illumination.
The last 20% of the backlight panel area should correspond to the "auto backlight" state. Look at this sample:

The backlight panel with auto backlight support is used on Pocket PC devices that have an "auto backlight"
feature.

Memory
File name - pls_storage.gif.
This panel is used to indicate the amount of free memory. It should:

Demonstrate that it is a memory panel


Visually show which part of memory is free
Show with text the amount of free memory (up to 5 characters). Examples: "48%", "100%", "4.34m",
"65.3m"

The Pocket PC has a memory applet in Start -> Settings -> System -> Memory that displays the same
information as the Memory panel on the Today screen. It is recommended that the memory icon on the today
memory panel looks similar to the memory icon under Pocket PC control panel. This is how the memory icon in
Pocket PC control panel looks like:

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Storage Card #1
File name - pls_storagecard.gif.
This panel indicates free or used space on the SD card. It should:

Demonstrate that it is an SD card indicator


Visually show the amount of used SD card space
Show with thext the amount of free space on the storage card (up to 6 characters). Examples:
"16.5m", "78%", "287m", "n/c"

Here are some photos of different SD cards:

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Storage Card #2
File name - pls_storagecard2.gif.
This panel shows free or used space on the CF card. It should:

Demonstrate that it is an CF card indicator


Visually show the amount of used CF card space
Show with thext the amount of free space on the storage card (up to 6 characters). Examples:
"16.5m", "78%", "287m", "n/c"

Here are some photos of different CF cards:

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Storage card #3
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File name - pls_storagecard3.gif.


This panel shows free or used space on the built-in flash storage. It should:

Demonstrate that it is a built-in storage indicator


Visually show the amount of used storage space
Show with thext the amount of free space in the built-in storage (up to 6 characters). Examples:
"16.5m", "78%", "287m", "n/c"

Here are some photos that give good visual perception of built-in storage:

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Battery. "Normal" State


File name - pls_battery.gif.
This panel is used to show the battery charge level. It should:

Demonstrate that it is a battery indicator


Visually show the battery charge level
Show with text the battery charging state (up to 5 characters). Examples: "48%", "100%", "charg",
"8:32"

Battery. "Charging" State


File name - pls_battery_charging.gif.
This panel is used to show the battery charge level when the battery is charging. It should:

Demonstrate that the battery is being charged at the moment


Visually show the battery charge level
Show with text the battery charging state (up to 5 characters). Examples: "48%", "100%", "charg",
"8:32"

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Battery. "Empty" State


File name - pls_battery_empty.gif.
This panel is used to show the battery charge level when it is critically low. It should:

Demonstrate that it is a battery indicator and that charge level is critically low
Visually show the battery charge level
Show with text the battery charging state (up to 5 characters). Samples: "48%", "100%", "charg",
"8:32"

Backup Battery
File name - pls_backupbattery.gif.
Some Pocket PC devices have an additional backup battery. It can be either replacable or built-in without
possibility to change it.
The backup battery panel should show the current level of the backup battery. It should:

Demonstrate that it is a backup battery level indicator


Visually show the backup battery charge level
Show with text the battery charging percentage. Examples: "3%", "80%", "100%"

Here are some photos of the Pocket PC backup batteries:

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Taskbar Battery Indicator


Spb Pocket Plus can show a battery level indicator in the Taskbar. Here is a screenshot that shows how this
battery indicator looks like by default:

This battery indicator is skinnable. Here are some examples of other designs:

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All these samples have 2 pixels height. The taskbar battery indicator can be 2 or 3 pixels high and the user
can select one of the 2 sizes in Spb Pocket Plus options dialog:

So each taskbar battery indicator skin should have 2 pictures. One (plbwater2.gif) will be used when the user
chooses "Small indicator" and another (plbwater3.gif) when the user chooses "Large indicator".
The plbwater2.gif picture should have 640 pixels width and 9 pixels height. Here is a diagram that explains
how to make plbwater2.gif skin picture:
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The plbwater3.gif picture should be 640 pixels wide and 13 pixels high. It has the same structure as plbwater2.
gif picture but height of each stripe is 3 pixels instead of 2.

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Support/Contact Us
If you have any questions about creating extended themes do not hesitate to contact us:
Spb Extended Theme Generator Support
Spb Software House

Pocket PC | Smartphone | Downloads | Enterprise | Support About | Contact Us | Press

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