About this document
This tutorial should explain to newbies some aspects of creating
Aston Shell Themes.
Note, that this document is written for people, who already have some
experience in skinning and work with graphical applications, so if
you're a complete newbie, you'll probably have to look for some
graphics tutorials first.
You can surely start making decent Themes without even reading the
tutorial (as Aston GUI lets you do this quite easily) but this won't be
wiser than driving a car without even being aware of highway code. So, at
least give this document a try...
The tutorial was originally started by Taras Brizitsky aka SacRat, a
member of A.R.T. group. Some additional information was added with the help
of Nikita Eugenov aka Smanic/A.R.T. and later slightly reformatted by
Nerio. The original SkinWiki version has been started by
Rich Kulesus aka mrbiotech.
The current version of the tutorial is mostly written/maintained by
Although all the rights to the original version of this document belong
to SacRat and early contributors, the updated tutorial you're reading
now is distributed under the terms of FDL/CC BY-NC-SA and is meant to
replace SacRat's original work and become the official skinning tutorial
for Aston. If you're unfamiliar
with these licenses you can find links to them at the very beginning of
the document. The licenses are very unrestrictive and give you a lot
of freedom to modify and redistribute this work. If you feel
experienced enough you can easily update this tutorial on
Note: this tutorial completely reflects the process
of Aston 1.9.2 skinning.
And, finally... Don't think this tutorial to be your theming Bible: it
only contains general information and during your work you'll need
other sources as well. We've removed all the redundant information in
order to make it easier to read.
If you need any Photoshop tutorials to help
you to improve your graphics creation skills, here's the "first
Some of these sites can be useful even if you're an experienced
Note: Basically you can start making Aston Themes using
whatever graphics editor you're familiar with, even MS Paint.
The simplest Aston Theme consists of the following elements:
Wallpaper (background picture)
Taskbar, Tray and state skins
Start button/Main Menu skins
Note: this is the absolute minimum of what you
should make in order to have a very basic Theme for
If you want to make a complete Theme, you should also include the following