While talking about the hack to make your Windows 7 a Windows 8 look alike we gave you a glimpse of Rainmeter and how it can widgetize your desktop. Personally speaking, whenever someone asks me the question, “ Ashish, how can I make by Windows desktop beautiful?”, my usual reply is “use Rainmeter.”
I am a fan of Rainmeter because of two reasons. First of all, each and everything is customizable, and thus you can decorate your desktop in every way you like. Secondly, the Skins. There are many designers who create marvelous Rainmeter skins, which are simply breathtaking. So let’s see how you can use Rainmeter on your computer to make it more appealing visually.
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Installing Rainmeter is very simple, just remember to select your correct system architecture (32 or 64 bit). After you run the program, you will see some default widgets on your desktop, but that’s just the start. Let’s see how you can install new themes to Rainmeter.
You can either download Rainmeter themes from their website or from different sources like deviantArt and Customize.org. All the details are mentioned on Rainmeter Discover page. Normally, a Rainmeter theme may come packed as a Rainmeter Skin Installer (.rmskin) and just double clicking on it will install it on your system. After you install the theme, Rainmeter will restart and load with your latest installed theme.
At times, creators just pack the theme files as ZIP, RAR or 7Z archive files, and you will have to extract the folder to the Rainmeter skin folder.
Windows 7/Vista: C:\Users\[Username]\Documents\Rainmeter\Skins
Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\[Username]\My Documents\Rainmeter\Skins
After installing a couple of themes, looks like we are ready to play with them.
The best thing about Rainmeter is that, you can easily customize any theme element very easily. Click on the Rainmeter icon on your system tray to open the Rainmeter settings page. You can see a list of all your installed themes on the left-hand side in a tree-like structure.
Basically, all the elements also called as widgets you see on your desktop are nothing but compiled information file. To add an element, expand a theme and select an INI file you want to load.
Once you select an INI file, you will see the buttons Load and Active get functional. To load a theme simply press the Load button (unload for the reverse). You can now change the settings of the widget like position, transparency, etc. here itself. Alternatively, you can also right-click the onscreen widget and change the settings.
That’s not all, you can also mix and match skins and apply them.
Mix and Match Skins
It’s not necessary that you have to select the onscreen widgets from a single theme. You can mix and match elements from different themes and apply them. The possibilities of refurbishing the desktop are unlimited.
You can also save your custom design as a theme file. Once you have decorated your desktop after mix and match of widgets from different skin files, open the Theme tab on Rainmeter. Here you can save the current settings as a theme and apply them later with all the settings intact.
That was pretty much everything you need to know to start working on Rainmeter. Since I already mentioned that the possibilities are endless, take your time, explore skins and try to make your desktop really admirable.