WindowFX is a revolutionary new program that utilizes many of the new visual effect APIs in Windows XP. It allows users to add all manners of special effects and transitions to their windows. Features include:
|True, alpha blended shadows under windows|
|A set of minimize and maximize transition effects|
|A set of window opening and closing effects|
|Ability to have large icons on the desktop while having normal sized icons everywhere else|
|Ability to apply light sources to different coordinates on the desktop that colorize titlebar/borders of windows*|
|Wide range of semi-transparency options such as making windows, the star bar, menus, and more semi-transparent|
|Various special effects for Windows desktop icons and their labels|
|A set of special effects for menus when opened and closed|
|User defined size for windows to maximize to.|
|Able to add more transition special effects and shadows created by users|
WindowFX is part of Stardock's Object Desktop desktop enhancement suite (www.objectdesktop.com). It is also available on its own for $19.95. A shareware version is also available at http://www.stardock.com/products/windowfx.
How good is your video card on Windows XP? Take the test at www.xpbench.com
WindowFX allows users to choose between a wide range of transition effects. When a window is minimized or maximized, it can morph into view. Stardock has gone to extensive lengths to make this more than eye candy, on a reasonably good modern video card, there should be no performance hit whatsoever when a window is maximized or minimized (ATI Radeon, Matrox G series, nVidia Geforce series with latest drivers). When a user clicks on minimize, a fluid effect takes place that on such systems will not interrupt the flow of work.
If version 2 of WindowFX is the first version you've heard of, it's probably because it is so massively expanded over WindowFX 1. WindowFX 1 was the first program on the PC to allow the use of alpha blended shadows and heavy use of transparent windows. That was essentially all WindowFX 1 did. WindowFX 2 goes far beyond this by allowing users to use user created shadow designs and pick between them. WindowFX shadows also boast superior performance by making heavy use of video card acceleration. Users can change the color, size, and shape of their shadows.
Windows XP supports very nice, alpha blended icons. As a result, many icon authors have begun making 48x48 sized icons which look more detailed and nicer. The problem with 48x48 sized icons is that their size is a detriment to screen real-estate. WindowFX is the first and only program that allows users to have 48x48 icons just on the desktop while keeping the standard 32x32 sized icons everywhere else.
If you use WindowBlinds (www.windowblinds.net). Its visual styles are capable of handling desktop light sources. Load up your favorite WB visual style and use WindowFX to place light sources at various coordinates on your desktop. The effect will then illuminate different parts of the title bar and border depending on the direction and distance from the light source.
WindowFX allows users to choose between a set of animations for menus when they are activate. Have menus slide down, or fade in or zoom in and out.
Users can define different windows to be different levels of transparency. One nice effect is to make the Start bar transparent. There are various options to allow windows to become solidified when the mouse pointer is over them. WindowFX can even have windows ignore mouse clicks.
WindowFX has been designed to be a great way to spice up your system while still adding some productivity benefits (such as maximizing windows to a specific size). Unlike many programs that fall into the "eye candy" category, WindowFX strives to not get in the way of doing real work on the computer.
(c) 2002 Stardock.net, Inc.
WindowFX, Stardock, and Object Desktop are trademarks of Stardock Corporation.
Stardock's home page is http://www.stardock.com
WindowFX home page is http://www.stardock.com/products/windowfx