Rainmeter Is The Easiest Way To Play With Your Windows Visual Style

R ainmeter is an application which will allow you to place what are called "Skins" on your desktop . These skins can measure and d...

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Rainmeter is an application which will allow you to place what are called "Skins" on your desktop. These skins can measure and display a wide variety of information. Rainmeter comes with a few simple starter skins that provide a good place to start learning how to use and modify Rainmeter. On this page, we offer some recommended full-blown skin suites for Rainmeter. These skins have been designed, tested and are used by the Rainmeter community and we suggest that you install one or more of them to see what Rainmeter can really do. Choose the suite you are interested in to get more details and a link where you can directly install the packages into your Rainmeter. Install as many of these as you like, you can always switch between them. With Rainmeter, you can add and drag around sidebar gadgets to your liking with a large range of available options. These gadgets can also be made transparent to avoid any obstruction in viewing the desktop.

Although some people are completely satisfied with the default Windows desktop interface, for others, customization is a must. Rainmeter (32-bit) is an attractive way to view system performance and a variety of other useful information--e-mail, weather, RSS feeds, and much more--right on the desktop. Casual users should beware, however; although it's not difficult to get started with Rainmeter, learning to fully utilize its features will take some time and geekery.

Some examples of things you can display are:

  • System Information - CPU, RAM, Network, Drive Space, you name it...
  • Launchers and Docks - Be creative and create your own dock or launcher
  • Music and more - Interfaces for WinAmp, iTunes, and more
  • Web-based content - Weather, GMail inbox, RSS feeds. Just about anything you can parse from the web

Installation

Download the latest release or beta version from Rainmeter.net. The installer for Rainmeter has options for both normal (installation folder and uninstall information added to the Registry, and Start Menu items created) or portable (self contained in one folder, and no changes made to Windows) installs. The installer will allow you to choose either the 32bit or 64bit version of Rainmeter.

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Rainmeter Basic Overview

  • Suite
    A set of configs, normally in a single folder and many subfolders under \Skins, which have a single author and a common theme or style.
  • Config
    A folder, which may or may not have subfolders, under \Skins which contains one or more skins. The only real difference between a "suite" and a "config" is that normally a suite is by one author, has a common style, and may include shared variables or even a tool to help user set attributes common to all the skins in the suite. A config is a folder of skins. It's how Rainmeter organizes things on the context menu.
  • Skin
    The contents of a single folder, which has one or more .ini "skin" files. For all practical purposes, when you say "skin" you generally mean "a .ini file".
  • Variant
    As only one .ini file per folder can be loaded by Rainmeter at a time, a folder containing two or more .ini files is considered one "skin", with some number of "variants". An example is a clock config folder with "Clock12Hr.ini" and "Clock24hr.ini" where loading one unloads the other automatically.

Using Basic Rainmeter

While using Rainmeter, you will want to load and unload skins, change certain settings of skins like transparency, position and other behaviors, refresh and exit Rainmeter. Interacting with Rainmeter can be done two ways. The first is through the "Context Menu" for Rainmeter found in the Windows Notification Area / System Tray, and the second is with the RainBrowser addon application. They both do similar things, and it is up to you which you use.

Using the Rainmeter Context Menu


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  • About - Shows the version of Rainmeter and current values for all "measures"
  • Downloads - Connects in your browser to the Rainmeter "Recommended Downloads" site where you can download and install additional skins and addons.
  • Help - Launches the Rainmeter Help system
  • Configs - Shows all "skins" available for loading:
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  • Themes - Shows all available RainThemes "Theme" files
  • Edit Settings - Edits Rainmeter.ini in your default text editor
  • Refresh All - Refreshes all running skins
  • Logging - Starts, stops and displays the Rainmeter log file
  • Running Skins - List of all configs currently loaded. Hover over a running config to access settings for that skin.
  • Exit - Exit Rainmeter

You can also right click any skin on your screen, and access its own context menu to control many setting for the skin.

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Using RainBrowser

With RainBrowser you can load and unload skins, refresh and change many of the settings of skins, as well as access global Rainmeter settings and functions.

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Active View - Shows a list of currently running skins. You can click on a skin and edit, unload, refresh or manage setting for the skin.

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Browse View - Shows a list of all your installed skins. From here you can load and use skins.

Control the Rainmeter program with Global Actions
Load, unload and edit skins with Skin Actions
Change a running skin's behavior with Skin Settings


Rainmeter is a comprehensive desktop customization and management application that provides various methods to not just display important information on your desktop, but also makes it unobtrusive. It works with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Download Rainmeter

That’s all for now. We will share some cool Rainmeter skins soon. Till then, try this out.

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