Theme (computing)

In computing, a theme is a preset package containing graphical appearance details. A theme usually comprises a set of shapes and colors for the graphical control elements, the window decoration and the window. Themes are used to customize the look and feel of a piece of computer software or of an operating system.
Microsoft Windows supported themes since Windows 98. This operating system and its successor, Windows ME, came with themes that customized desktop backgrounds, icons, user interface colors, Windows sounds and mouse cursors. A separate application package called Plus! for Windows 95 added the same features to Windows 95. Windows XP expanded Windows theme support by adding Windows XP visual styles and allowing each theme to specify one. This feature was carried over to Windows Vista, which added Windows Aero, but was removed again with Windows 8. Third-party apps such as WindowBlinds, TuneUp Utilities and Desktop Architect enhance theme capabilities. Support for custom themes can also be added by patching system files, which Microsoft does not endorse.
Firefox and Google Chrome either support or supported a form of theme. Firefox (and its sibling Thunderbird) supports themes either through lightweight themes (formerly Personas) or complete themes. While lightweight themes are simply background images for toolbar Firefox toolbars, complete themes have more power to modify Firefox's appearance. Google Chrome version 3.0 or later allows themes to alter the appearance of the browser. Internet Explorer 5 and its immediate successor allowed the background picture of their toolbars to be customized.