Visual Styles

Purpose

Windows XP and later operating systems support a feature called visual styles that enables the appearance of common controls to change based on the theme chosen by the user. Prior to Windows 8, you must specifically configure your application to use visual styles; otherwise, the application's common controls are always rendered in the style associated with the Windows Classic theme, regardless of the currently selected theme. In Windows 8, visual styles can't be turned off, Windows Classic mode no longer exists, and high contrast mode has been modified to work with visual styles.

This section provides an overview of visual styles and explains how to configure your application to use them.

Developer audience

Visual styles are designed for use by C/C++ developers and UI designers. In general, developers need a moderate level of understanding about UI programming concepts, Windows API programming, and Unicode.

Run-time requirements

Windows XP and later operating systems.

Note  Visual Styles are not supported in 256-color mode.

In this section

Related topics

Theme File Format
Windows Controls

 

 

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