Version 2

Executive Summary

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:

bulletTrue, alpha blended shadows under windows
bulletA set of minimize and maximize transition effects
bulletA set of window opening and closing effects
bulletAbility to have large icons on the desktop while having normal sized icons everywhere else
bulletAbility to apply light sources to different coordinates on the desktop that colorize titlebar/borders of windows*
bulletWide range of semi-transparency options such as making windows, the star bar, menus, and more semi-transparent
bulletVarious special effects for Windows desktop icons and their labels
bulletA set of special effects for menus when opened and closed
bulletUser defined size for windows to maximize to.
bulletAble to add more transition special effects and shadows created by users
bulletand more!

WindowFX is part of Stardock's Object Desktop desktop enhancement suite ( It is also available on its own for $19.95. A shareware version is also available at

How good is your video card on Windows XP? Take the test at

A guided tour


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.

Performance Tip: Depending on your system, you may want to adjust how large a window transitions will affect. We've also found that they run better under 32bit color. There are two supported video systems on the transition page, try both to find the one that performs best for you.



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.

Performance Tip: For best results, be wary of combining too many special effects at once. Unless your video card has excellent support for the new XP visual APIs, having shadows and transitions enabled can cause noticeable performance degredation.


Large icons on the desktop

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.

Light sources

If you use WindowBlinds ( 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.


Menu animations

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, Inc.

WindowFX, Stardock, and Object Desktop are trademarks of Stardock Corporation.

Stardock's home page is

WindowFX home page is