I love using light-text-on-dark-background color schemes for as many programs as I can.

However, I don't use a light-on-dark theme for Windows XP itself, because many Windows programs do not play well with that, and become anything between ugly and unusable under such a theme.

However, I have now started using a new program, namely SmartGit, that takes its colors from the active Windows theme. I would like to make SmartGit look light-on-dark, but the only way to do that would be to change the Windows theme, which is something I don't want to do, because it'll affect all my other programs.

So the question is: Is it possible to "fool" SmartGit into thinking that the Windows theme is set to be light-on-dark, even though it's not? Kind of like running it in a sandbox?

If it helps, SmartGit is written in Java and its GUI is based on SWT.

  • 3
    many Windows programs do not play well with that <-- this has always ticked me off to no end. mass ability to alter colors, as long as it is still MSblue :-) With resource hacker and simple programs you can hack the RGB schemes up to "fix" that. with a Java program some smart programmer could skin it or change it, and it would be similar. One of the crasy thing i see when hacking to black, they Locked some colors, then used "system" for others, makes little sence. Certannly ask the makers for a Non glowing version :-)
    – Psycogeek
    Dec 21, 2011 at 9:29
  • Very hard to intercept those calls. It would require having a wrapper program, though you don't want a full sandbox.
    – soandos
    Dec 22, 2011 at 8:50

1 Answer 1


I don't think there is a generic way to do this for all programs, but you might be able to do this specifically for SmartGit in one of a couple ways:

  1. Contact the developers and request this feature. It seems like they update this pretty frequently, so you probably could get the feature in a version in the not too distant future.

  2. Determine what SmartGit is actually calling in order to determine the skin. Is it using registry values? You might be able to run it in something like Sandboxie with those registry values tweaked appropriately.

  3. Lastly, and this is far and away the most complicated, is to decompile SmartGit, and change the code yourself.

Hopefully that helps.

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