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I'd like to swap out the wingpanel at the top of the elementary screen with the XFCE motif. Can someone direct me on how to do this? Thanks.

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    Just wanted to let you know that the panel is not the Gnome panel. It's called Wingpanel and it's made by the elementary's team. – r3bl Aug 18 '15 at 10:52
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What you are asking, can be achieved using a custom desktop session. Pantheon, xfce, lxde, unity are all window managers which run inside xorg sessions.

So, in-order to use xfce motif top panel, you need to replace wingpanel(elementary) to xfce4-panel in a custom desktop session.

To know in details about Xorg : Xorg Debian Wiki

Details on window managers: Display Managers

This blog might help you find what you need: Custom Desktop Session

If you just want an icon theme to make your elementary look like xfce: elementary-xfce

Or if you want to retain the default pantheon-wingpanel but want to customize the style: Customize elementary wing-panel

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