From WinCustomize Wiki
DesktopX is an application which allows users to use and create mini-applications (gadgets & widgets) for the Windows desktop. DesktopX is available in a client version which lets you load and use DesktopX theme, and objects/widgets. The standard version which is also included with an Object Desktop subscription will add the ability to create and export themes and objects. The Pro version adds the ability to create gadgets, which are stand-alone programs.
There are thousands of DesktopX themes, objects, and widgets available at WinCustomize.com.
What DesktopX Does
Depending on which version you have you will be able to use, create, and export themes and objects/widgets for use on the Windows desktop.
There are a few basic creations that can be made with DesktopX when you save or export your work.
- A desktop theme (.desktop) is a collection of unpackaged objects designed to enhance or replace your entire desktop. It is common for a theme to include a custom made taskbar, start menu, system tray, media player, clock, weather, calendar, and much more. DesktopX must be installed and running in order to use a desktop theme.
- An object (.dxpack), commonly referred to as a "super icon", is a packaged object or objects. Objects are often, but not limited to, simple creations such as animated icons/shortcuts, e-mail notifiers, and various desktop decorations. DesktopX must be installed and running in order to use an object.
- A widget (.exe) is an executable mini-application. They are usually more complex than objects. DesktopX must be installed but it does not have to be running to use a widget.
- A gadget (.exe) is a stand-alone executable and can only be made with DesktopX Pro version or higher. DesktopX does not need to be installed in order to use it.
DesktopX runs in two modes; client mode and builder mode. When a user runs an object or a theme, by default, DesktopX will be in client mode. Some basic modifications can be made in client mode depending on the objects available, such as removing objects from the desktop or setting the target for a shortcut object. You can also load more objects from client mode, import widgets, or load a different desktop theme.
Much more can be done in builder mode. This is where the user can create & export their own objects, widgets, and themes from scratch. It is also possible for the user to import pre-existing widgets or objects into builder mode and make changes to numerous properties including size, images, coding and more.
Whether you want eye-candy, power tools, or both, DesktopX is a great program for transforming the look and functionality of your desktop. It’s also a powerful platform to use for skinners and coders alike.
How to Use DesktopX
After purchasing, downloading and installing DesktopX, it's relatively easy to start using. DesktopX already comes with several objects, widgets, and themes for you to use. They can be found by right-clicking on the DesktopX icon in the system tray, selecting Configure DesktopX, and choosing either Import Objects or Load a Desktop. You will be presented with a list of objects, widgets and themes to choose from, or you can browse for one not listed. (For more information on loading objects, see the tutorial listing at the bottom of this article.)
If you want more objects, widgets, and themes you can download them from the galleries at WinCustomize. Usually, downloaded themes and widgets come in zip files. You can either run them straight from the zip file or extract them to the desired location. The zip sometimes comes with extra files such as a readme with instructions, special fonts, plug-ins (.dll), or permission texts. If a theme or widget comes with a font file you will need to extract it to the "C:\WINDOWS\Fonts" folder. Plug-ins are extracted to the "C:\Program Files\Stardock\Object Desktop\DesktopX\SDPlugins" folder.
Customizing Objects, Themes, & Widgets
Customizing objects or themes in client mode is mostly done by right-clicking on an object and selecting an option. This may be removing the object or setting the target for a shortcut. Different objects and themes are built with different options, so customization options will vary (the author will usually include instructions in the readme). With some themes, your original Windows taskbar and icons are automatically hidden. By right-clicking anywhere on the desktop you will get a pop-up menu that gives you access to your DesktopX settings menu, control panel, programs, documents, favorites, recent documents, windows shutdown etc.
Since widgets do not automatically run within the DesktopX environment they come with their own options. As with objects and themes, customization options for widgets will vary. The standard options can be found by right-clicking on the widget or its icon in the system tray and choosing properties. These options include z-order, opacity, shadow, hue, auto-run, hotkeys (to show, hide, or move the widget to the top or bottom of the z-order), and accessibility. In z-order, always on top will keep the widget on top of all windows at all times, desktop level will keep it behind windows, and normal level will allow it to adjust based on user interaction. For instance, if you click on the widget it will be brought to the top and if you click on something else it will move down in the z-order like normal windows.
- Clear the DX cache:
Why? Sometimes you may encounter a problem with an object, theme, widget or gadget made with DesktopX. Clearing the cache will remove saved settings that may be giving you problems and allow your object/theme/widget/gadget to basically run for the first time again.
How? For widgets and gadgets simply delete the folder with the same name as the item in question. For themes and objects, delete the "current theme" folder
Where? (note that those folder are hidden by default on Windows so you need to enable show the hidden folders in your explorer options)
On Windows XP
For a Theme or Object:
C:\Documents and Settings\%Username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Stardock\DesktopX\CurrentTheme
For a Widget:
C:\Documents and Settings\%Username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Stardock\DesktopX\WidgetCache
For a Gadget:
C:\Documents and Settings\%Username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Stardock\DesktopX\GadgetCache
On Windows Vista
Note: The entire DesktopX directory at the above location may be removed to clear ALL settings.
- Reinstall Windows Script (XP/2000):
How? Run the setup file and the installer will take care of all the work. Be prepared to restart your computer.
3.49 (3.5 for release), 6/18/2007
- Shareware version
- DesktopX Objects WC Gallery
- DesktopX Themes WC Gallery
- DesktopX Widgets WC Gallery
- DesktopX Gadgets Desktopgadgets.com Gallery
Documentation & Help
- WinCustomize Wiki Tutorials (scroll down for the list of tutorials)
- Step-by-step Tutorials by RomanDA
- Loading Objects
- Loading Themes
- Loading Widgets
Notes & References
- VBScript Tutorials - Herong's Tutorial Notes
- Tek-Tips VBScript FAQ Index