XP Look

© 2006-2012 by Denis Sureau

Give to old programs the look of Windows XP
For Windows XP


See also: Vista Look


This program is a graphical user interface to create Microsoft's manifest files.
Once the "Give XP Look" command is given, if your progam name is "program.exe", a "program.exe.manifest" file is created and it sits belong your program.
Just run your program to view the newly rounded and shaded controls.

Requirements and cautions

XP Look runs only with Windows XP. Changes in your program (or any third-party program installed on your computer) work only with Windows XP.
Distributing program modified by XP Look should not be a problem. User of older versions of Windows will view only the old look, the manifest file is just ignored.

The XP Look program and program modified by it, require commctl32 version 6.0, that is assumed to be provided with all version of Windows XP.
XP Look should work with 32 bits and 64 bits versions of Windows. It should work with the future Vista version.

Do not modify the content of the manifest file. When the file is recognized, a bad content will prevent the associated program to run. But you can delete it with no problem. If ever the program refuses to run, just delete the manifest file.


The program is free and distributed under the Mozilla 1.1 license.
You can use it and distribute it freely. If you change the source, you must maintain the copyright header and all copyright notice with author's name displayed by the program.
You can include XP Look along with you own programss, to allow your users beautify themselves your programs if they want, providing the license and copyright infos are unchanged. Practically, including the manifest file should be sufficient and without problem.

The XP Look screen

Each button and field on the screen has a popup window that describes its purpose, when the mouse stay up on it, and so understanding and using the interface is rather easy.

Input field

The text input field allows to enter the name of the program you want to change the look. You can click on the "browse" button at right to select the file on the disk


Give XP Look: Create a manifest file for selected program.
Restore Old Look: Delete the manifest file.
Run The Program: View the result!

How it works?

Programs that are built by older versions of tools as Visual Studio or C Builder, have no information for Windows to use new components included in the last XP edition. But, you can give this information to Windows by providing a companion manifest file. This is just what XP Look does.

Controls that are relooked

According to Microsoft, these controls are changed:



For any problem post on the forum.