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Windows, up to Windows XP, had Color Schemes, e.g.:

  • Windows Standard
  • Windows Standard (large)
  • Windows Standard (extra large)
  • High Contrast #1
  • High Contrast #1 (large)
  • High Contrast #1 (extra large)
  • High Contrast #2
  • High Contrast #1 (large)
  • High Contrast #1 (extra large)
  • High Contrast Black
  • High Contrast Black (large)
  • High Contrast Black (extra large)
  • High Contrast White
  • High Contrast White (large)
  • High Contrast White (extra large)

among others (e.g. Desert, Eggplant).

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Windows Vista removed those additional schemes:

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How can i add (i.e. import) additional Color Schemes to Windows Vista/Windows Server 2008/Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2?

What i am really after is "extra large" color scheme to be added to Windows 7/Windows Server 2008/Windows Server 2008 R2 (since those are the operating system's i use).

Someone might suggest trying to use high-dpi mode to change the font size. Not only would that not be answering the question, it also doesn't work:

enter image description here

(in addition to some software reacting very badly to high-dpi; which is why i use "large fonts" rather than "high-dpi").


i tried exporting the appropriate Color Scheme registry entries from Windows 2000:

HKCU\Control Panel\Appearance\Schemes\
   "Brick"=hex:...
   "Desert"=hex:...
   "Windows Standard (extra large)"=hex:...

and import into Windows Server 2008 R2:

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But it doesn't add any additional Color Schemes:

enter image description here

How can i add additional Color Schemes to Windows?

Note: You can stop reading past the title. Everything after the title is just fluff, so that it looks like i tried to resolve the problem of my own. Some people are mean-spirited, and close questions unless they pay the "shows research effort" tax.


Note: In (Windows 7 at least) you can still change a color scheme; you just cannot define new ones:

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But it starts to get difficult when you have to remember the Icon Spacing (Horizontal) and Icon Spacing (Vertical) so that things still work right.

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See superuser.com/questions/294002/… for how to enable the ability to change DPI settings from a Remote Desktop session. –  trlkly Oct 12 '13 at 10:50

2 Answers 2

Excellent research effort. I don't think you can use color schemes to affect the size of screen elements or fonts in Windows 7, etc. There are high contrast schemes for Windows 7, etc., but they are meant to be used in conjunction with the increased DPI setting.

You can use the magnifier (winkey+) which has some configuration options that may help.

Or you could reduce the screen resolution which will also have the effect of making things look bigger.

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You can use color schemes to modify UI sizes. You just have to customize the active scheme; you cannot save schemes. –  Ian Boyd Nov 15 '12 at 21:22

You need to import the Schemes subkey and then delete the New Schemes subkey to see the schemes in the dialog.

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