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This tab gives you the ability to change the level of transparency & blur of a skin.  Even if the skin you like does not include these features, you can add them through this tab.  Not all skins support all of these features, so your tab may look different, depending on what skin you have selected. Skins that support transparency, may not allow all areas to be changed. If Blur is not supported, you will see a "Reset" button under each area to reset to the default transparency setting).

Transparency can be applied to the: taskbar, menus, start menu and window frames.  Transparency is how see-thru something is, the less transparent the more opaque (solid in color). Vista-ize™ Me makes your desktop look like the default Windows Vista desktop by enabling blur on all parts and sets transparency to 5%. Clicking "Reset all" will return all settings back to the defaults.

Transparency tab.

When blur is added to a transparent area, it makes objects (i.e. text, icons, wallpaper) behind it look blurry/fuzzy.  Without blur, the objects appear sharp in detail and text is readable.  The preview area will reflect any changes made on this screen.  Here are some examples of transparency and blur from the preview to give you a better idea of what this looks like. Since the real start menu will have text, it would be opaque and legible.

Normal skin."Aero Executive" (Windows 7) - with default level of transparency (middle of scale), no blur added.

Vista-ize MeWith Vista-ize Me applied.

Lot of transparency & no blur. A lot of transparency, no blur. You can see detail of window frames through the start menu.

A lot of transparency & blur.A lot of transparency, with blur. Now you can see the windows looks blurry through the start menu.

Transparency & Blur

To change how transparent an area is, drag the slider Slider under the area (i.e. Start Menu) you want to change or click along the horizontal line and watch the preview to get the desired effect.

Transparency slider bar under the Start Menu area.

The further you move the Slider to the left, the more transparent (i.e. see-thru) the skin becomes.  Moving Slider to the far right makes it less transparent (i.e. less see-thru, more opaque, solid in color).  Click on the picture of the area (i.e. start menu) to return the Slider to the default setting for the skin.

To enable blur, check the "Force blur effect" box under the area you want to apply it to. You can adjust the transparency Slider & turn blur on (checked) or off (unchecked) to obtain the desired results in the preview.

Force blur effect

To restore all transparency & blur settings back to the defaults for the selected skin, click "Reset all" (below Vista-ize™ me).

Vista-ize™ Me

The "Vista-ize™ me" feature is the last option to the right.  It overrides the skin with 5% transparency and enables blur on all areas (if your version of Windows supports it) to these areas: start menu, taskbar, window frames and menus.  If you are running Vista and the skin you selected is not using these features you can add them.  If you are running Windows XP or Windows 7, you can make your desktop look like Vista.

Vista-ize Me

To restore all transparency & blur settings changed by Vista-ize™ me, click "Reset all" (below Vista-ize™ me).

After making any changes, click "Apply changes" to change your desktop. Clicking X (far right, under preview) will close the "Transparency" tab and return to the "Visual Styles" tab.