Classic Shell

Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin
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Author:  fonpaolo [ Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Hi, it's been a long time since my last visit here... and I'm glad this forum is still alive. :D
Many problems have kept me away from my normal activity, my computer and forums included, and they're still here.
(I went from an average of 10 hours a day of computer use, every day, to a couple in a week or two, if not in a month!) :(

Now, since my beloved Windows 7 is going to end badly, thanks Microsoft! :twisted:
...I'm trying to find some time to set up Windows 10, until now I've used it for a couple of weeks in two years.
I didn't like it from the beginning and now that I'm trying to customize it as I want, I like it less and less, never "hacked" windows registry so much in any previous version!
I'll have to live with it, the only alternative is Linux, I tried it, wow, but it'll be very difficult to reach the same experience of almost thirty years that I have with Windows.

Good news is that ClassicShell is still working with the last "update" of Windows 10, only my taskbar skin is reduced to a grey rectangle. :twisted:

Ok, let's go back in topic, thanks to this migration from Win 7 to Win 10, I finished my first Start Menu skin, which started almost two years ago... to match my Rainmeter suite.
I have to admit that at the beginning I was a little scared to try to build a skin, since it's very different compared to Rainmeter, but once I understood how to do it, it's a lot simpler.

Keep in mind that it's my first skin, so, don't expect big things, I hope I haven't forgotten anything, I couldn't test it much, let me know if something isn't working as it should.
Only constructive criticism, maybe some :roll: , more appreciations, thanks! :lol:

Installing this skin you have a Classic 1 or 2 columns skin, in three color variants, orange red and blue, all options are in the skin options.

If anyone is interested in the full se, here there are the links for:
S.H.I.E.L.D. taskbar skin

S.H.I.E.L.D. start button

Update - new version 2.1, revised and corrected, I added some other options.

Now you can change almost anything as you wish*:
- colors of start menu, submenu, arrows and text;
- change text size, separately for menu and submenu, username and caption;
- change font;
- choose from S.H.I.E.L.D. custom pin or default Windows pin;
- add your custom logo;

* Options may vary depending the menu style, Classic or Classic two columns.

Thanks to juniper7 for the big help in fixing the file for me.

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Author:  juniper7 [ Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Hi fonpaolo
I remember when you were asking if it's possible to add little images on corners and such, so they will not distort or something like that. I also thought you gave up shortly after that.
Very glad you went back to it to get amazing results. It looks like many months of work.

Wow! Fantastic look. Even the selector buttons have extra dodads.
Good to see you got the hang of using all those emblems too.
You have gone to a lot of trouble to make all the different languages.
Very few people have added a user picture like yours in a classic 1/2 column start menu skin.
The glass opacity looks good at 0 and default 50

There are only two things that I notice.
Some users might want to use the jumplist feature that's in classic 1/2, which uses a "Submenu_split_selection" button.
Just need to add it. Now I see in your screenshot you are using the jumplist view, so maybe you designed it like that. :)

The other one is black bits on the bottom of letters of the USER_NAME (see picture).
A few skinners have had this problem before,
where the pixel height amount in the user name box is not enough for the user name letters to fit inside.
Adding glow feature uses up more of those needed pixels (glow is not available on Win8/10).
You know at first glance, I thought the black bits were some type of intended shadow you managed to put in. :)

I wish I knew how to extend the username box in width,
for a lot of skins I made have the problem with black bits at the beginning and end of letters.

User name.png
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Author:  fonpaolo [ Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Hi juniper7, glad to see you. :D
Thanks for your kind words, I'm glad that my experiment isn't so bad, after all.
I must admit, as I said before, I was very doubtful about being able to do something perhaps passable with Classic Shell, at the beginning.
Then, trying to make it more like my Rainmeter skins, I liked it so much, that I tried to add almost everything that came to mind. :lol:
...I always tend to add as many customizations as possible, because everyone can have something different. ;)

For the glass opacity, I had a lot of problems trying to find a good compromise between Win 7 and Win 10, the latter for me is a disaster...
I tend to believe that Microsoft developers are too young to know what were the basics which made Windows so popular in the past, with each new update they break something and then they add little or nothing of really useful. :twisted:

Going back to your suggestions, I'll take a look at Submenu_split_selection, but in the skins that I... dissected, to understand all the secrets (or at least most of them) I didn't find them.
For the user name, in Windows 10 the problem does not even arise, as you said, given the short life of Windows 7, I doubt I'll find a solution, I disabled the glow effect in Win 7.

Sorry for the derailment, I read that you too had the problem with taskbar skins, but all I tried didn't solve the problem, suggestions?
I know, Open Shell, but reading about the development, seems that there may be more problems trying to solve one...

Author:  juniper7 [ Sat Nov 23, 2019 12:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Hi fonpaolo.
It would be a good idea to add a link to your start button and taskbar skin. :)

Because my regular taskbar is filled with icons, I had to modify your taskbar to fill in the invisible notch to unify it for my system. I don't have any problem with the taskbar on Windows 10 (Win 8.1 is messed up) using Classic shell 4.3.1
As long as I set to Transparent, Taskbar opacity 100.
I will upload a simple mod to your taskbar image in a bit, so you know what I mean.

Of course, if set to Glass, the glass color shows vividly and there is blur.
The more transparent the taskbar image is, the more glass color shows.
There was a Windows 10 update about a year ago that killed the glass color entirely on the Classic Shell start menu.
It still showed the blur. Then a small update fixed it back to normal.
I wish there was some key text word to include in a skin file to enable/disable glass color but leave the blur. :)

I'm on Win10 1909 version now and Classic Shell menu is still working ok,
except of course the 7 style scroll bar can't be skinned, but that went away with the first creator's update eons ago.

I don't believe Microsoft would leave Windows 7 users high and dry.

I still would not switch from Win 7 to Win 10 if you are a beloved Win 7 power user.

I still go back to my XP to play old games. For years after Microsoft said there won't be any updates,
I still got security updates automatically downloaded until about a year ago. I checked about a month ago using the normal update shortcut, but it kept going to old internet explorer and got blocked. I then went to Microsoft Update Catalog site
and found a newer security update dated 2019, and manually downloaded, installed it.

So Microsoft is still going to issue very important security updates even for home users.
A few months ago I noticed my big bank is still using Windows 7 desktop computers, though they will hopefully pay for business security updates as well. Even noticed when a government lottery ticket dispenser had to be rebooted,
it was using an old Windows operating system. Hell, I even noticed a few years back that the photo kiosk in the grocery store is using Windows 2000 os!

I'm still a Classic Shell fan. I switched to Open-Shell briefly but found nothing new for me.
Open-Shell did add some new Italian translations.

Yes, this site is still up, though no new users can get on the forum.
This site is more like an archive now.

Author:  fonpaolo [ Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Thanks juniper7 for the suggestion, added links in the first post. :D

...and for the taskbar, if in the end, I can't fix it, I'll use yours. ;)

I also use the 1909 version, certainly I won't abandon my windows 7 and sometimes I still use XP for some programs. :lol:

I also think that would be better to post an image, to better understand what's in the download (and if it's worth it).
Since a link to the image is needed I need to upload it somewhere, can you suggest me where I can upload that image?

Author:  juniper7 [ Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Sorry, I don't understand your last comments.
If it's about the modded taskbar, it's just a personal preference, because when there are icons all across the taskbar the empty notch portion looks odd.
I just filled it in a little bit for use when the "Transparent" look is used.
If using "Glass taskbar" look at say opacity 50, Windows draws the notch with blurred glass color.
I should have really added more pixel space for the time/date area before uploading.
Also, there is a known Windows 10 defect where whatever is behind the taskbar does not always update in real-time.
Open-Shell knows about it.

Transparent look taskbar.png
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Author:  fonpaolo [ Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Nevermind, I'm still trying to solve my taskbar problem but I'm still on the high seas.
I was thinking of using your taskbar skin instead of mine, just because it has no transparent parts, however, every attempt to solve my problem always ends with a grey rectangle... :(

I think I found a skin that uses "Submenu_split_selection", but to test it, the only problem is that I don't know what to do to activate it in the Classic Start Menu settings, since I've never used it.
I also solved the other problem with user name, giving it a little more space. :)

Sorry for the late reply.

Author:  juniper7 [ Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Hmmm...The taskbar mods I made are still your taskbar, which is still mostly transparent.
I really don't know what the problem is with the taskbar being just a grey rectangle. Screenshot?
Try anything and everything. :)

Windows update problem?
CSM version 4.3.1 ?
Ensure the "Taskbar texture" location is pointing to your taskbar image.
Double-check that Horizontal stretching border sizes are correct, along with the comma in between.
My mods have different numbers.
Does it look the same if changing to an Opaque/transparent/glass taskbar look?
If you go to Windows 10 Personalize/colors/transparency effects, does turning transparency effects on or off make a difference?

That's about all I can help with with the taskbar issue.

I whipped up a split submenu button for you, made from a mixture of your submenu and the main button. I put in the zip.

I don't think there is any room for any customization unless you want to add more padding area. :)
Take your pick which one is better for you, and add to skin file as Bitmap 30
Add this text in the submenu section:


When it is saved and installed again in the Skin folder it should work.
No activation keys or options required as long as CSM is not a very old version. :)

You may see in other skin files there are all kinds of extra text for the split submenu.
That's only to fine-tune override text/icon padding/text colors that Ivo has put under the hood already. :)

That's good you figured out the user name thing.
It still might be good to have the user glow turn off in your "[NO_GLOW]" section

To fix the dark bits on user name when on Win10
add "User_glow_size=0" to your no glow text like this:


Then cut all that no glow text section and paste further on down at bottom of file after all the user name sections.
Then it will override all the user glow values from above.


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Author:  fonpaolo [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

AaAaaRrrGgghHhhHh! :shock:

Now I've found the problem with my taskbar!!!
I had to perform a system restore after 1903 update, so the version was 4.3.0! :twisted:

Ok, problem solved, finally. :D

Now that I see what "Submenu_split_selection" is used for, I'm sure it works properly, almost all the programs I use, don't have that option... only ResourceHacker.

Now I can pack all together and upload the updated version, when I find the time.

Author:  juniper7 [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin


Thankfully 1909 was no problem.

Yes, a bit of a headache for me when upgrading to 1903.
Made a couple of programs not work after the update. I had to go back and forth to retrieve data.
Around that time I installed Open-Shell for a while until a
Windows update fixed the glass color back on Classic Shell.

I had started to skin a little using Open-Shell.
Kept making small then big adjustments to a skin file and could not figure out why the changes did not show.
After more than half an hour, I figured out I had kept putting the skin file in the Classic Shell skins folder,
not Open-Shell's! My brain went on autopilot pasting skin in the old location as it was burnt into my brain cells. :lol:

Author:  fonpaolo [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Well... given how things are going lately, my brain is always on autopilot... :(

There's only one last question (I hope...) that little pin in the "Submenu_split_selection" is provided by Windows, there's no possibility to replace it with a custom bitmap, am I wrong?

Author:  juniper7 [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Going from memory, the pin bitmap is auto provided by whatever Windows system has to offer.
It changes size depending on display size 100/125/150 percent.

Skin can be overwritten to use your own bitmaps, (example "Pin_bitmap=123") and include bitmap in the skin file.
If one makes a skin to be used at 150%/144 dpi display size, then include a bigger pin bitmap along with this header title:


Anything under that HIGH_DPI heading turns on automatically at 144 dpi whatever bitmaps/settings you put in.

For me, I always like the windows 7 blue and silver pin bitmaps, but may not match your skin. The flat grey type looks better.
Some people have made their own design pin bitmaps, one was even the letter P.
I included pin bitmap templates to change to something different.
They are png type. If you don't know how to put png images in skin file, let me know, or just convert back to 32bit alpha bitmaps.
The skinning tutorial mentions about pin bitmaps.

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Author:  juniper7 [ Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Here are a couple of pin icons from maybe win8 system in the zip.
Once extracted from Zip, open with your Pixelformer program to get the correct image size.

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Author:  fonpaolo [ Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Thanks juniper7 for the informations. :D

Reading the documentation, there are some areas far from complete and exhaustive, I hope to not offend his creator...
For example, the "Pin_bitmap" should be available only for Windows 7 style main menu... :?

Another problem, the arrows, if I use those offered by Windows, I can use an "arrow_color", but if I use a custom one, the color doesn't change... :(

Author:  juniper7 [ Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

A note about the win7 type pin bitmaps above. I actually increased the size a little so they weren't as fuzzy looking. I think 100% size has 20 pixels instead of 16 pixels.

Yes fonpaolo, there are a number of bits of information left out of the tutorial. It got updated a number of times.
Possibly when the first versions of CSM came out, jumplists/pin were not even available.

I am still grateful for Ivo adding lots of info about using color masks, emblems, patterns, and tints.
Tints were way over my head, and Ivo explained it simply on one of the forum pages of someone's personal skin.
So there is more info spread across the forum if you have a month to read it all. :)
Ivo has put lots of extra info in his default skin files.

Emblems/patterns have helped me greatly on many skins, even the adni18 skin, where I used a trick of using an emblem & mask to seamlessly show the white angled line on the top bar so it does not stretch /distort horizontally on jumplist view.
As I don't have a skinning license, :) I don't know a lot of things that Ivo knows from programming in Windows and games.
I'm sure there are a number of things we all don't know, but Ivo does about his skinning engine.

I tend to find out new things when I make mistakes or renaming .skin7 to .skin. Some items carry over to classic, and some don't.

"Search_arrow" (bitmap) can work in classic styles good for 125% size but does not have all the functions.

"Search_padding" works on a classic, but not "Search_background_padding" because of no external "Search_background" bitmap in classic.

I bet there is a text setting for the search box "WindowFrame", but I never figured it out.

Ok back to your issue.
About the arrows. Ivo only has arrow bitmaps in his program for 100% and 150% size.
I could be totally wrong here but this is the way I think(logically illogical)it works:

The below text will force the internal bitmap mask in CSM to use the hex RGB colors


If you replace with a real bitmap in the skin file the new bitmap overrides (notice the "color" part is removed which stumped me a few times :) )


but if Main_arrow_color is put after/below a real bitmap, the real Main_arrow bitmap still is the override King



You would need to initialize or set back to default condition by making it 0 or none. Then the hex arrow color will work. The King has been dethroned.




Also if you use a custom shaped arrow bitmap, you can make a color mask bitmap for the arrow to make it change to a different color/colors with tint colors or glass color.
Can even skip the arrow bitmap and use just the arrow mask to get up to 4 different colors on the arrow.

Edit: More discombobulation
Looking at Ivo's Metro skin, one can see he uses the alpha part of bitmaps to an advantage.
The visible part of the bitmap gets saturated with red mask color which is normally system glass color,
but he assigns that red mask to use a tint color, but instead of a hex color, it uses a specific Windows system color instead.



Virtually anything can have a mask to control where either a color area is blocked or shows through.
Personally, I find masks are good when using multiple menu variations by just using one bitmap mask along with
multiple text variations, instead of using multiple bitmaps to do the same end results.

For a simple menu, it may not be worth using masks everywhere, for using them can make one's head spin, alcohol not required. :lol:

Adding mask to arrow bitmap.png
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Author:  fonpaolo [ Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Thanks juniper7 for the tips. :D I understand why it didn't work, correct procedure but wrong mask application. :?

If you don't mind, I've at least a couple of other questions....
First of all, I don't think it's possible, but... is there a possibility to add a simple line of text in the skin menu options? (without any checkbox to be clear)
...and maybe some text in the start menu?

Thanks in advance for any advice. :)

Author:  juniper7 [ Fri Dec 13, 2019 5:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Can you say it in a different way or make a mock-up picture?

Do you mean if a skin is reset or used for the first time that all checkboxes in the skin options start out as all checked?

Looking at the tutorial:

OPTION SMALL_ICONS="Small Icons",1 will show as on

OPTION SMALL_ICONS="Small Icons",0 will show as off

A past skinner noticed that using OPTION USER_IMAGE=#7014,0 refuses to turn off.
The only workaround was to use another word example "BEETLEJUICE_IMAGE" in place of USER_IMAGE
Another word that does not behave is "NO_ICONS"

Or do you mean there is no visible checkbox, but an option that can be turned on or off in the skin file that has a header?
The only one I know of is [SEARCHBOX] or [NOT SEARCHBOX]
I use that sometimes on menus that have a big bottom border with the search box on top of it.
If the user does not like the search box on the menu, and they turn it off in general CSM settings,
I can put in correction padding, and say add an emblem of something to take up space where the search box was.


That's another place to gather tidbits of info. When there was a new release, Gaurav would add a new features/changes post along with a new release:


Or do you mean some visible line of text unrelated to any option just to describe something about something?
Sometimes I wanted to add extra info, but I don't know if it's possible.
The only possibility is to make a do nothing checkbox option with the words you want to say, but it will look confusing though.
Users will keep clicking the box for something to happen.
Maybe some programmer knows and can respond.

If it's real text drawn by Classic Shell inside the menu text area (not an emblem), I don't know either.

Author:  fonpaolo [ Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

The right version is the last one.
After experimenting, I come to your precise conviction, there's no possibility.
Mine was just a confirmation request.

At the moment I don't recall any other question, but if you don't mind... :roll: ...I'm sure more will come to mind. :lol:

Thanks again for your help.

Author:  fonpaolo [ Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Ok, I've already found another question.
It's possible in one or two columns add (or change) the color near the search box on right side?

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Author:  juniper7 [ Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

I don't think so.

If it was a 7 style skin the magnifier image is inside the box and some extra visuals can be done. Your next project? :)
It can get quite complicated though to get all three main/jump/search menu views to work correctly,
along with different font/display sizes.

If there was some way to lock the main menu size from stretching/shrinking on a classic 1/2 style menu,
then an emblem could be used as background for that magnifier area.

There is not much one can do with the Classic search box. The search box is always opaque in both classic and 7 style.
About all that can be done is Search_frame can be turned on/off, that frame color can be controlled with a registry hack in Windows but affects everything else in Windows.
Or the white inside color can use a simple (no bitmap) mask to have glass color or any Hex color.

See search box picture of Midnight 7style skin renamed to classic (without the 7)
I added this text to turn the search box frame on and test if the frame can have a working mask-nope to the mask:


I've noticed very, very occasionally Ivo gives a reply to a question from a poster.
Only Ivo knows all the answers to your questions.

All we can do is throw spaghetti at the wall and see if any sticks. So far we have very messy floors. :)

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Author:  fonpaolo [ Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Thanks juniper7, sorry if I just ask questions to confirm my suspicions...
As for the text above, I tried everything before to ask.

All of the above are only small aesthetic improvements, I can perfectly live without them. :)

...and yes, if I can find the time, I'll try to make a 7 style of my skin, even if I use Classic Shell to avoid the Win 7 start menu... :lol:

Author:  juniper7 [ Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

I had to try one last time using the search bitmap instead, making magnifier background opaque.
It can only use exactly 16 by 16-pixel size for 100% Windows display size. Each area of the image is set in stone for proper alignment.

A pin bitmap works differently where whatever the image size is, it is divided evenly into 4 sections.
Oh well.

Can only get 16 x16 pixels at 100 percent display size.png
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Author:  fonpaolo [ Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

That's exactly what I tried, but had to give up...

In the meantime, since you're a high dpi expert, how do you think I can make my skin usable if I can't test it on a high dpi monitor?
I doubt I can put exactly every little thing in the right place (hard coding it or in percentual to dpi settings). :?

Given the design of my background image, I think I need to create a different image for each different resolution... :shock:

Author:  juniper7 [ Sun Dec 15, 2019 1:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Ok fonpaolo, get ready for lots of reading.

High dpi expert? Not me.
My monitor is a standard 100%/96 dpi old-school 1920x1080 display. It's Gaurav and others that have high definition displays, possibly even 4k size.
Most of the time when porting/making my own menu for 125%/120 dpi or 150%/144 dpi displays, I use two methods.
Using Display settings in Windows set to 125 or 150 percent size. That shows the real taskbar, start menu sizes, so one can check if start button,
skinned scrollbar (Only works on Win7&8), well, if everything looks correct proportions.
I have to stand back from monitor to imitate what a Hidpi monitor would look like. :lol:

What usually happens is with all versions of Windows, if there are too many entries in the second column,
Windows chops them out of the menu when the menu hits the ceiling.
XP was good in that it always displayed a warning message for the user to reduce entries.
Anyway, it's a hassle working and adjusting graphics and text at those high dot display settings, and some programs will be fuzzy-looking as they weren't designed for scaling.

So my compromise is to use "Override system DPI" setting in Classic Shell "Menu Look" tab along with regular Windows 100% display settings.
It enlarges the start menu correctly except for the scrollbars. To stop entries from being cut out, I either set menu option to small icons,
or remove some entries in "Customize Start Menu" tab. That's the easy part.

The hard part is making more images bigger to fit say at the minimum 150% size, and sometimes the in-between 125% size.
It would be extremely time-consuming to make 175%, and 200% sizes.

The biggest headache for me when porting a start menu over is the artist designed it for 96/72 dpi. I have to use tricky ways to enlarge original images to still look sharp
at higher resolutions. That brings up another issue. Sometimes up to three times as many bitmap images can increase the menu file size a lot, especially if the menu has big thick borders with lots of texture that proportionately needs to be enlarged to look correct. The answer is to use .png compressed bitmaps.

Yes, your highly transparent customization images might look too small and need to be bigger to match menu size, or just use original size but recentered.

Simpler start menus are relatively easy to make compatible with Hidpi. Start menus with all the bells and whistles can take a considerable even exponential amount of time.
It's up to you if the plunge into the unknown is worth it. :)

For me, I'm thinking to just port over maybe one more XP skin in the next couple of months, as a salute to the theme skinning soldiers of yesteryear.
I like the challenge of seeing if I can do it. Lots of chin and head-scratching is good for the brain and soul.

Author:  fonpaolo [ Wed Dec 18, 2019 3:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Thanks, once again you confirm my thoughts.
...and btw I'm also using an "old" 1920x1080 24'' display. :lol:

I'm certainly not a genius, so probably being used to Rainmeter helped me a lot to understand the logic behind CSM.

I've already tried to override system dpi in CSM, however the result varies from the standard 100% - 96 dpi, more or less every skin has a different proportion, wider and less high. :?

Then, I should include at least about twenty images, just to reach 150%. :o
I did a little research, it seems that Hi dpi displays are still a minority (for now), so I've to think about it... it's a lot of work.

Author:  juniper7 [ Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

As far as I know, only the scrollbar does not enlarge in override.
Maybe some displays are different.

My Win7 style skin example:
If I set Classic Shell override to 144dpi
and exit CSM, restart CSM and take a screenshot.
The menu has dimensions 635H x 867V
I then reset override back to 0 default, exit, restart CSM.

Then change Windows 10 display size to 150% (144dpi)
and then restart computer. Csm is at default already.
Took a screenshot and measured again 635H x 867V the same.

I don't trust Windows to set everything perfectly until a restart.
I noticed if I don't restart, the width is correct, but the height is short because the sizes of the icons are still small sizes.
Exiting CSM, restarting did not set correctly for it thinks it is still at default 96 dpi.

[Then, I should include at least about twenty images, just to reach 150%]

Yes, add a few options, and then everything multiplies fast.
I've been there and had to stop at some point because for all the different types of transparency/opaque, big borders/skinny borders, times three different main, jump, search images, times 100,125,150% sizes, turns into a major workload.

We will never know about Hi dpi because no new users on the forum can tell us.
If I go to Deviant Art, I can see comments from skinners that they are redoing their work to include Hidpi images,
and it will take time.

If I use WindowBlinds themes at 150% display size, the WB program auto enlarges the menu, but it's all fuzzy looking. :(

Your menu still looks ok at 150%. If you are going to make it truly compatible, you will need to add that ",100%"
on a number of paddings to auto-scale. The fonts enlarge automatically without the ",100%" except the user name.

Author:  juniper7 [ Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Web site erosion

Hey, you know what? About a week ago the Classic Shell site went down for a while. I could not connect, just a white web page.

When I checked the next day it was working again, but I notice that small pictures on this post disappeared and can't be retrieved.
The company that hosts this site must have had some maintenance issues?
I do know if an uploaded picture is way too big in file size, it won't show but a user can download to see it.

Now very small picture file sizes get deleted now?

Edit: I took images from the recycling bin and uploaded them again.

Author:  fonpaolo [ Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

I finally found some time to update my start menu skin.
I used my latest version as starting point, so I left all the options I added in the meantime.
I hope you can find something useful.

For the moment it's only for standard 100% 96 dpi, I don't know if and when I can find the time to create all the tens of images needed for Hi dpi.... :(

Author:  juniper7 [ Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Hello fonpaolo
I see you have upgraded your skin.
I downloaded and put it in the skins folder.
No luck. It only shows default white skin. :cry:
Unfortunately, the skin got corrupted at some point.
Any bitmap or custom icon above #30 has vanished.
Hopefully, you have a slightly older working backup skin file somewhere?
I'm not saying you did or not, but whatever you do, don't edit a skin in the skins folder even if under Administrator.
Past skinners have gotten corrupt skins doing that. I think I did at one stage as well.
Just looking at all the text inside the skin file, Wow, stuff I've never seen before with custom text. Fonpaolo the Master Wizard.
Looking forward to trying it out when fixed. :)

For some reason, your display picture does not work anymore.
Either your display picture link expired from a picture site,
or more restrictions have been made on this Classic Shell site.
I know there is a maximum now for a skin download of 5 meg.
Gone are the days with unlimited sizes of display pictures and skins.
I'm sure it is to reduce the bandwidth to ease up the cost of the running site.
From now on, it looks as though a new display picture, even when small size,
will not automatically show itself. The viewer now needs to click on its text to see it.
If it's more than a 5 meg picture like one of Jcee's Zerg pictures, it won't show at all.

If you ever do have time to upgrade your skin for Hdpi, I would suggest using all .png images in the skin to reduce size.
Ivo included some info on how to put png and jpeg in Resource Hacker in How To Skin a Start Menu.
Here is an old link about it too:


Author:  fonpaolo [ Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Thanks for reporting the problem, every now and then I have problems saving files with Resource Hacker… I can think of this as one of those. :(

I have some problems using this forum with Chrome, so now I try with Edge… even if I don't like it…
However, now I'm able to upload an image, so, at least you can download it.

Thanks for the tips for Hi dpi, I doubt I'll be able to do it soon, the count of images I need to add scared me...

Author:  juniper7 [ Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Please double-check bitmap 33 size for 2 column bitmap mask. I think is a size miss-match.
There seems to be some interaction between big user picture, user name (position higher)
and custom background color for menu(mask does no show color).
No time to check for more issues. Maybe mask for classic 1 a problem as well.

I will get back to you sometime later today or tom.

Author:  juniper7 [ Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Looks like you need to make 2 more bitmap masks(classic 1 and classic 2) that have the additional invisible 10 pixels at the top to match for big user picture.

It's a shame another bitmap mask has to be used for the custom menu color.
Years ago I may have come across a way to turn off the green color mask when not needed,
but I don't remember now.

There is, of course, a different way by instead of using green in mask(which reverts to background color),
use blue(tint3)instead. As long as blue was not used earlier in skin text,
it won't be assigned to anything. So get to use the same mask for regular and custom color.
You might be able to swap the mask color channel from rgb to rbg in an
image editor like IrfanView. I see in the green mask area there is a little blue mixed in there.
That blue level would need to be reduced to 0 before swapping colors though.
Then you only need one mask instead of two.

For the user name that's 10 pixels too high when using big user picture,
have lower position numbers for all options where big user picture is used example;


I woke up in the middle of the night to write this. :)
Now I can sleep.

Author:  juniper7 [ Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Hi fonpaolo
I sent a private message to you.

Author:  fonpaolo [ Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Thanks, but I feel guilty for keeping you awake...

Author:  juniper7 [ Sat Apr 04, 2020 12:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

My brain said wake up, you need to help someone.

The brain never sleeps. From what I've read, the brain dreams, processes data from the daytime,
analyzes, distorts, deletes, saves to long term memory,
and occasionally wakes the person up with a solution to something however bizarre it may be. :lol:

Author:  fonpaolo [ Sat Apr 04, 2020 1:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

I took a look at your modded skin, I knew I was going to forget something... :lol:

I can think the problems with masks is related to Hi dpi, using it at 100% everything is like in mine, except for username and big picture.

Author:  juniper7 [ Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

In case there are language translation errors between us, or we are using different CSM/Window versions,
I sent Mr. Froggy comparison pictures in PM. :mrgreen:

Author:  fonpaolo [ Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Oh, I see… :?

I don't know why, but I don't have all these problems.
I'm using Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit 1909 with all the latest patches and updates.

When I can find some time, I'll have to investigate...

Author:  fonpaolo [ Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

I really can't understand why I don't have the problems you have...
Could it be the version of Resource Hacker?

I'm using 5.1.7 buld 343.

Author:  juniper7 [ Wed Apr 15, 2020 4:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Hello fonpaolo

I'm still using 3.6.092 and sometimes 5.1.7 RH

I'm not a computer expert, but I doubt RH versions can change the dimensions of an image and the image itself to still match.
It just decompiles/recompiles machine language. It has bugs, just not smart manipulative bugs. :)

Believe me, this has happened to a number of us, as we upload not the final upgrade of our skin file,
but a renamed earlier version. #$%& happens :)

You could download your uploaded skin. Rename as "", put in skins folder,
and pick that exact name to check that it is the most updated skin of yours.

I see Jcee still responds to this site.
Maybe you can ask Jcee for a second opinion to check your skin along with the frog pictures I sent you,
or just upload the moddyskin as a second alternative for users that may have problems?

Author:  fonpaolo [ Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

I've to say that I don't remember having so much problems with other versions of Resource Hacker.
I had to start from scratch many times due to a small change on the file and therefore I can no longer save the file.

I think the best solution is to upload your modded version.

Thanks for your help.

Author:  juniper7 [ Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

Yes, RH has different types of bugs with each version.
One version did not work for finding text in the file, which is very important to me.
A number of versions got stuck on trying to replace bitmaps that have a certain amount of transparency like user picture bitmaps.
The only way to replace it was to delete the old one first then add a new resource bitmap into the same number ID.
I still like 3.6 version as it seems simpler to use. I save the file to a work in progress folder on the desktop.
About half the time I exit the CSmenu
before replacing it in the skins folder just to be sure it is not in use so I don't get corruption that way.

Author:  fonpaolo [ Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

I think I found the reason why I had no problems… I copied the wrong image! :shock: :oops:
Hope you don't mind if I use your file, juniper7.

I don't have time to do it all over again.

Author:  juniper7 [ Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

We are here to help one another. :)

Author:  mykou [ Sun May 10, 2020 12:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. start menu skin

juniper7 wrote:
We are here to help one another. :)

Hi Juniper !

Talking about that I sent you mp ..

Regards , hope you well

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