Contents of the SYSCOLS.DOC file
ver 2.0 July, 1992
Presentation Manager System Color Configuration Program
This program offers configuration of OS/2 Presentation Manager's system
colors. It was originally written to provide several advantages over OS/2
1.x's Control Panel. Version 2.0 is the update for OS/2 2.0.
* 41 system colors can be changed (the Color Template "Different",
although some may think it ugly, serves to demonstrate each system
item as a different color)
* Most color changes are visible immediately.
* Sample Color Templates are available. Additional Templates can be
created, or existing ones can be modified.
* Colors can be set temporarily or permanently (saved to OS/2's INI file).
* A color template can be loaded from the command line (ideal for use in
Required files: SYSCOLS.EXE, SYSCOLS.HLP, SYSCOLS.INI
Ideally, these three files should be placed in the same directory. For
online help and color template choices the .HLP and .INI files need to be
in the default directory.
SYSCOLS provides hypertext, context-sensitive help from either the help
menu or by pressing F1. Further details concerning the running of this program
can be found in the online help. For online help to be available, the
SYSCOLS.HLP file is needed. To load color templates, the SYSCOLS.INI file is
needed. SYSCOLS looks in current directory for the .HLP help and .INI
initialization files. If either file is not found when the program is invoked, a
message box is displayed. If you add a program entry icon for SYSCOLS, set the
working directory to the directory where SYSCOLS.EXE, SYSCOLS.HLP, and
SYSCOLS.INI, are located.
LOADING TEMPLATES FROM COMMAND lINE
A color template name can be specified on the command line using the syntax:
SYSCOLS ["]validtemplatename["] [/L]
where validtemplatename is space-sensitive but not case-sensitive, and /L
indicates to load the main System Colors Configuration Presentation Manager
screen after changing the colors.
Specifying color templates on the command line without loading the main screen
is useful for .CMD files, especially if you run a program that conflicts
with your default color choices. Simply put the lines
SYSCOLS "default or oldtemplatename"
in a .CMD file to set colors compatible with the program, run the program, and
then set the colors back to your favorite selection.
No action is taken if the color template name given on the command line is not
found in this program's .INI file. Note that the color template name is not
case sensitive, but if the color template name consists of two or more words,
the template name must be enclosed in quotes, as in "templatename" .
SYSCOLS "Penn State" is valid SYSCOLS penn state is not valid
SYSCOLS "penn state" is valid SYSCOLS pennstate is not valid
SYSCOLS "pEnN sTaTe" is valid SYSCOLS PennState is not valid
If a paramater is given on the command line, the program simply searches for
the color template name in the .INI file, and if it is found, the system
colors are changed. If the template name is not found, the colors do not
change. In either case, the Presentation Manager interactive screen is not
invoked unless /l or /L is given as the second parameter.
SYSCOLS "penn state" /l Would change the colors and load the program.
SYSCOLS "invalid template" /l Would not change the colors, however the
main System Colors Configuration Presentation
Manager screen would be loaded.
For example, to change colors each day at system startup based on the day
of the week, put the line START C:\CMD\SETCOLRS in STARTUP.CMD where
SETCOLRS is a REXX command file is similar to:
/* SETCOLRS.CMD Sample REXX command file to demonstrate loading color
templates based on the day of the week.
- D:, SOURCE, D:\SOURCE\SYSCOLS should be replaced as per your
- To load a template name containing more than one word, use '" name "'
commandline = "D:\SOURCE\SYSCOLS "
if Date('W') = 'Monday' then
commandline = commandline || '"Default with a Twist"'
if Date('W') = 'Tuesday' then
commandline = commandline || "bordeaux"
if Date('W') = 'Wednesday' then
commandline = commandline || '"Penn State"'
if Date('W') = 'Thursday' then
commandline = commandline || "southwest"
if Date('W') = 'Friday' then
commandline = commandline || "southwest"
SHARING COLOR TEMPLATES
If a friend has colors that you would like to add to your Color Templates,
simply have him/her save their colors to a data file by selecting the Write
action, then use Read to load the colors on your system, and optionally
save them to a Color Template. The color codes written to the data file
are those of the colors currently in effect.
INI FILES FROM SYSCOLS VERSION 1.0
Since OS/2 2.0 provides more color items than previous versions, the SYSCOLS.INI
file format is different between SYSCOLS versions 1.0 and 2.0. When running
SYSCOLS version 2.0 I do not recommend trying to use an INI file from version
1.0. If you have color templates from the previous version that you want to
keep using, there is an easy way to bring them from SYSCOLS 1.0 to 2.0. Run
SYSCOLS 1.0 and activate the desired color template (by selecting the color
template in the listbox and press the Set pushbutton), then in another OS/2 2.0
session, run SYSCOLS version 2.0 and save the template (by pressing the Save
pushbutton, giving the name you wish to save it to, and pressing the Ok
pushbutton). The new color template will be added using OS/2 2.0's default
values for the colors which are new to OS/2 2.0. SYSCOLS version 1.0 runs fine
under OS/2 2.0, however it does not know about OS/2 2.0's new color items
(ShadowHiLiteBgnd, ShadowHiLiteFgnd, ShadowText, EntryField, MenuDisabledText,
MenuHiLiteText, MenuHiLite, PageBackground, and FieldBackground). Note that
SYSCOLS expects SYSCOLS.INI to be in the same directory, so when running the two
versions at the same time, it is important to either run the programs from
different directories (do not just rename of the the executables), or rename all
the files (EXE, INI, and HLP) associated with one version.
The following is a brief description of the available actions for this program.
Further details can be found in the on-line help (F1).
Reset to colors which were active when the program was invoked
Read data file containing color codes to set
Keep current screen colors for future sessions (Save to OS/2's .INI file)
Write current color codes to data file
Set colors to those defined in the color template selected in the
Color Templates list box
Default sets individual item (i.e. Icon Text, Window Text, Background) to
OS/2 2.0's default color
Delete color template
Set system colors object (i.e. Icon Text, Window Text, Background) to
the color displayed in the sample color region
Save the currently selected system colors object and the color
selected in the sample area to an existing or new Color Template
* ver 2.0 July, 1992
Support for additional colors defined by OS/2 version 2.0.
Default action added to set an individual item to OS/2 2.0's
Additional color templates available in the default SYSCOLS.INI file.
* ver 1.0 June, 1991
Originally, SYSCOLS development and testing began under OS/2 1.2 and
continued under version 1.3.
I would be most greatful for any comments, suggestions, and/or bug
reports. SYSCOLS is distributed as-is, with no warranties involved.
You may give individual copies of the unregistered version SYSCOLS to
friends, associates, collegues, etc. for evaluation purposes, however,
please include the files SYSCOLS.EXE, SYSCOLS.HLP, SYSCOLS.INI, and
SYSCOLS.DOC without any modification.
If you use SYSCOLS, please send a small donation of $15.00 so that I
can prove to my husband that all the long hours I spend with my PC
instead of with him are really worth something. Thank you.
508 Natalie Lane
Norristown, PA 19401