New Rainmeter users look forward to enjoying the many themes and skins available on sites such as mine. One of the issues that come up for these users is how to install themes and skins which are two different items. Instead of a long drawn out explanation from me, jsmorley one of the developers over at rainmeter.net explains it best. The picture above is one of his desktops.
Rainmeter stores “Skins” in folders in
Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\YourName\My Documents\Rainmeter\Skins
Windows Vista & Win7: C:\Users\YourName\My Documents\Rainmeter\Skins
So if you have a “Skin” called MyWeatherSkin, it will be in \Skins\MyWeatherSkin and consists of one or more files. The most important of these files will be one or more .ini files (let’s say one for now to keep it simple) probably called MyWeatherSkin.ini. This is the meat and potatoes of a Rainmeter skin. It has all the measures and meters that Rainmeters uses to collect and display information.
Now there is another important file in the Rainmeter world. It is “Rainmeter.ini” and is normally located in:
Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\YourName\Application Data\Rainmeter
Windows Vista & Win7: C:\Users\YourName\Appdata\Roaming\Rainmeter
This files keeps track of WHICH of those “Skins” you currently have loaded in Rainmeter, and other info about them like where they are positioned on the screen, what level of transparency, etc.
So you start Rainmeter, and you use the context menu (or RainBrowser) to load the skins you want on your desktop. You position them as you like, you change other settings so they are positioned above or below other windows, are somewhat transparent, respond to mouse clicks, and all that. Rainmeter.ini keeps track of all this. Why? So that the next you reboot or restart Rainmeter you get the setup as you left it.
Now RainThemes. This is used to “save” your setup (the same way it is saved in Rainmeter.ini – in fact it IS a copy of Rainmeter.ini) so that not only can you get back to your desired setup if you reboot or restart Rainmeter, but can save different setups so you can use different ones depending on … Whatever you want. Your mood, your screen resolution if you often change between a laptop’s internal and an external monitor, your work setup vs. your play setup, whatever… All RainThemes does is make a copy of your CURRENT Rainmeter.ini and save it in:
Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\YourName\Application Data\Rainmeter\Themes
Windows Vista & Win7: C:\Users\YourName\Appdata\Roaming\Rainmeter\Themes
So my point is that if you want to share a “setup” between yourself and someone else. The MOST important thing is that they have those “Skin” files. Remember, that is the meat and potatoes… The “Theme” is nice. It can make it easy for someone else who HAS those skins to get the same layout you have. Same skins loaded. Same screen positions. However, It does no good to send a theme to someone if they don’t have the SAME skin folders with the same files).
I hope this helps.