If you’ve recently installed or upgraded to Windows 8 and have started customizing programs onto its new Start Menu UI, you’ll notice that the program icons are the same old icons placed in an oversized box.
You’ll see the program name under it and will be in awe at how out of place the newly added icons are with the rest of the Windows 8 theme.
We’ve found a handy program to spruce things up by creating awesome-looking tiles that match the look of Windows 8 apps on the Start Menu, something like what you see below. And you can get that look using OblyTile.
First thing’s first, the icons you see above are works from users of deviantART. OblyTile only sets up your tiles; you have to provide the icons or images for the tile. But not to worry, we’ll provide you with a few links which we’ve found to recreate the look and feel of the screenshot you see above.
Recommended Reading: Getting Around (And About) The New Windows 8 UI
Download Your Resources
The first thing to do is to download the latest version of OblyTile; during the time of this writing, the version used is OblyTile v0.8.6.
We also used icon packs from these two users of deviantART: soulrider95 and lrv94. Their packs include a variety of icons of the latest popular programs and games in ICO and PNG formats.
Getting Started With OblyTile
Run OblyTile (no installation required) and you’ll see a simple user interface. Here’s where you setup your own tiles with just a few simple steps. All you have to do is specify the program name (Tile Name), locate the program path, and add 2 images for the tile.
Start by entering a Tile Name, it can be unique and entirely up to you. Having a unique Tile Name would make searching easier on the Windows 8 Start Menu. If you don’t like seeing the tile names, you can choose to Hide Tile Name by ticking the box.
When you choose to hide it, the Tile Name which is usually under the image icon will not show.
The next step is ‘Program Path’. Here, you can choose to pin a program (.exe file) or a folder to the Windows 8 Start Menu. With this set up, clicking on your custom tile would open the program or folder which you have selected.
You can ignore the text box next to ‘Program Arguments’, leave it blank.
The final step is to set the Tile Image and Tile Small Image. Pick the corresponding image icons from your downloaded resources. Upload the same tile images to both ‘Tile Image’ and ‘Tile Small Image’. You need not resize them.
Do note that only PNG images are supported. You can use a program like Paint to convert ICO files found in the downloaded resources to PNG images.
If the PNG image is transparent, you can customize it with a Tile Background Color.
You can also set the ‘Tile Settings’ to start your program to ‘Run as adminstrator’ or in a ‘Single Instance’. If you don’t want to set this, just click on Save Tiles and your new custom tiles have been set up.
Managing Created Tiles
You can also manage the tiles that you have created with OblyTile by clicking on the Tile Manager button located at the top. This will open a list of custom tiles you’ve setup.
When you click on a program from that list, you can change the tile name and image, or update the program path of the tiles you have made.
You can ignore the other 3 buttons located on the left of the Tile Manager button as it is not needed to create your custom tile.
Once you’ve created tiles for all your favourite and frequently used programs or folders, your Windows 8 Start Menu will look a lot nicer.
Now that you know your way around OblyTile, go ahead and create your first custom tile!