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  1. #1
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    How do I change the color of selected or highlighted items in the display?

    Hi, All,

    I've come down with a mild case of brain death and need my memory jogged. I want to change the default color of highlighted or selected items - such as text highlighted for copying, or a file selected in Windows Explorer - in W7 Home Premium and cannot remember how to do it. I did it in my W7 Pro 64 machine, and I could do it in my sleep on XP machines, but for the life of me I cannot recall where to access those settings so I can set up a W7 Home Premium machine. I've hunted through Control Panel and searched in what I thought was every likely spot, but to no avail.

    Any and all help will be appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Al
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  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    See if this MS article helps you Al.
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Article says it only applies to Windows 7 starter, Didn't work when I tried it in Windows 7 ultiamte.

    Jerry

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I guess it's still important to read the fine print.
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  5. #5
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    Hi, Ted,

    Thanks for the link, but unfortunately that didn't solve my problem, as I don't have Windows 7 Starter. When I search Control Panel for "color scheme," I get no results. "Themes" yes, "schemes" no. However, by sheer accident, I came across my answer while working with the link you sent.

    The answer is found in "Control Panel > Personalization > Change Windows colors and metrics" (although I know I looked in Personalization before posting!). Here's what the screen looks like:

    Windows Color and Appearance.png

    As the note below the picture in the uploaded photo makes clear, if you're using a Windows Aero theme, no changes made through this part of the Control Panel will be applied, as the Aero theme will determine the colors used. Apparently, all the color changes I made in my W7 Pro machine were within individual programs, as I'm using a Windows Aero theme on that machine too.

    It would be great if someone could come up with a way that I could change the highlight color within the Aero theme and save it as "My Theme" (or whatever), but apparently that's not possible.

    Thanks again for your post.

    Cheers,
    Al
    Last edited by HealingHands33; 2013-02-28 at 20:12.
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  6. #6
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    You are correct, yet another thing removed from later iterations, it all stays mind-numbingly in various shades of blue now; unless, and perhaps this is what you did previously, exit stage left from Aero or Basic and go with Classic theme. Then you can modify the highlight color much as you would in XP.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by F.U.N. downtown View Post
    You are correct, yet another thing removed from later iterations, it all stays mind-numbingly in various shades of blue now; unless, and perhaps this is what you did previously, exit stage left from Aero or Basic and go with Classic theme. Then you can modify the highlight color much as you would in XP.
    You're dead on. I couldn't stand that XP "blue bubble" look, so I always set XP to the "Classic" theme, then adjusted the colors to suit myself, with a bright red for highlighted items to make them really stand out on the screen. I find it amazing that Windows 7 won't let users modify colors in certain Aero themes, just as we could in XP "Classic."

    Thanks for your post.

    Cheers,
    Al
    Windows 7 Pro, 64-Bit, SP1 on desktop
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  8. #8
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    Yes, I prefer a light-ish orange, not intense like a traffic cone but enough to stand out very well without dominating too much, and leaving the text highlighted very legible.

  9. #9
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    We're on the same page. I just wish M$oft would allow us to customize the Aero themes, but apparently we're not allowed to do that. It's not a huge issue that I want to spend a lot of valuable time on, just another minor annoyance from M$oft.
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  10. #10
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    I happen to like blue. I once had a '67 Mustang Fastback about the same color blue as the highlight blue in Explorer. I also use Aero, but my own themes.

    However, going through Personalize > Window Color > Advanced appearance settings > Item: Selected Items and changing that color, it changes the color right here in this Reply box to my edited color when I left-click and mouse over a line of text, as in selecting for copying/cutting. Yellow gives me a yellow bar with white letters.

    It doesn't change the Selected Item color in Windows Explorer, or in Word (it has its own customizations), but it does in Notepad and WordPad. Yellow is a bit glary, though. I'll have to experiment.

    It also changes the background color for file names in the "Save as" drop down, and other drop down menus; also the background color for the items in the Menu Bar in Explorer folders.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2013-02-28 at 21:19. Reason: additional info
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

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  12. #11
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    High contrast probably jumbles the color order too but no matter what color I choose for Selected items, the normal Aero theme selection color remains steadfastly blue, though I do see what you mean in very select areas; ones not under the Aero "umbrella" presumably. Unfortunately, also not where the vast majority of time is spent.

    This and context menus are what I'd like to change most, though I do see an outline of the selection color as I'm making a selection, so its there but repressed it seems.
    Image11.jpg
    Last edited by F.U.N. downtown; 2013-02-28 at 23:10.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post

    However, going through Personalize > Window Color > Advanced appearance settings > Item: Selected Items and changing that color, it changes the color right here in this Reply box to my edited color when I left-click and mouse over a line of text, as in selecting for copying/cutting. Yellow gives me a yellow bar with white letters.
    Hi, bbearren,

    Thanks for that tip. I hadn't found the "Personalize > Window Color > Advanced appearance settings" pathway to "Selected Items," but that seems to be the closest I'll get to being able to change the highlight color for selected items in the greatest number of cases. The Aero themes are apparently stubborn little beasts and insist on having things their own way, but at least I can change the highlight color for many, if not most, of my applications.

    Thanks again for your very helpful post.

    Cheers,
    Al
    Windows 7 Pro, 64-Bit, SP1 on desktop
    Windows 7 Pro, 64-Bit, SP1 on HP ProBook
    Windows 7 Home Premium, 32-bit, SP1 on HP Mini 5103
    Windows XP/Media Edition, SP3 on OLD Dell laptop
    Samsung Galaxy S5 running Lollipop 5.0

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