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Windows 7: Transparency Project

14 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 8 Pro 64-bit
System Transparency

(Due to real-life issues, I will no longer continue development on any of these programs. Sorry. But if anyone wants to continue development, the source code is linked below.)

System Transparency

All files can be downloaded from here -

I've added a nice bit of updates that some might like. Check em out!

"Non-Aero" is shown by features that probably won't work too well with Aero enabled...I cannot test this, so if anyone can, please post your results. :)

In Action:

Main Interface updated with new GUI
Transparency Project-systransguimain.png

At work using the hotkey.
Transparency Project-any-window.png

Transparency Project-systransbefore.png

After (non-Aero):
Transparency Project-systransafter.png

Right Click Menu:
Transparency Project-systransrightclick.png

Right Click Menu on taskbar:
Transparency Project-systransrightclick2.png

Tray Notification:
Transparency Project-systranstraytip.png

Tool Tip Transparency:
Transparency Project-systranstooltips.png
Note: I am aware that tray tips are also made transparent with this, and that they look ugly as hell with the fade feature. I can't help this, as far as I know. Sorry.

More task bar items have been added to transparency.
Transparency Project-systransnetwork.png
Note: This includes: Network info, Volume, Clock & Calendar, Battery, Action Center, and the small popup window that appears when you click the arrow in the tray notifications.

Every Explorer window will be transparent in around 2 clicks. No hotkey needed.
Transparency Project-systransallwindows.png
Note: This does not include any third-party programs. In theory, this should, and so far has, act{ed} on any window that is opened with Explorer. For example, Control Panel, Computer, Documents, Music...etc.

Browser support (non-Aero):
Transparency Project-systransbrowsers.png
Note: Opera currently not supported...don't know why, I think it's something to do with the browser's mine is functioning for the other browsers...

Sticky Notes:
Transparency Project-systransnotes.png
For those who use the Sticky Notes feature, I bring you the option to make those transparent, too.

Thumbnail Support (non-Aero):
Transparency Project-systransthumbnails.png
Transparency for thumbnails on systems that don't support Aero effects. Note that a small graphical glitch may occur when using this feature, when right clicking an item on the taskbar.

Windows Media Player (non-Aero)
Transparency Project-systranswmp.png
For the rest of us without can make the Media Player transparent. :) Best for use with a light wmploc.dll background if you have edited yours. You can see the drawbacks of a darker one here... iTunes support will be added on in a few days.

Desktop Icon Transparency
Transparency Project-systransicontrans.png
I don't believe I've seen this on any major program...
This setting makes your desktop icons transparent, not just the labels, the entire icon is made transparent to whatever setting you want. Nifty, but EXTREMELY slow on desktops with a lot of icons. You have been warned.....


Crappy GUI version: System Transparency.exe (not going to update anymore)

New GUI version:
I have become aware that some antivirus programs pick this file up as malware. Current users can probably tell you that there have been no problems with it. It's probably due to the language it uses... sorry if it's an inconvenience.
Virustotal scan results: Results

Note about the GUI: If you go look for the images, please don't edit them... It would hurt my feelings. (except the Win7.png file, you can change that to whatever you want, so long as it stays the same file name and resolution.)

Source Code:
Before you scream at me for how inefficient it is, how poorly commented it is, or how I haven't used proper coding conventions, please remember that I was 14 when I started this and had no previous coding experience.

So with that out of the way..
Source Code.txt

Added option to make tooltips transparent, added 2 lines to reset taskbar and start menu to full opacity when the program is closed, added saving transparency level to an .ini file. Also added transparency to the "more notifications" box that pops up when you click the arrow by your notifications. :P
Made all windows running on Explorer.exe become transparent, added some more items to become transparent on the taskbar (Volume, Networks, Battery, Action Center), cleaned up some useless code.
Merged with Transparency, added browser support, added WMP support, added thumbnail transparency, added an "add to startup" feature, moved the .ini file save location due to a conflict with the save feature, cleaned up some more code to compromise for the new additions, fixed a few other bugs.
Program now saves all of its settings to the .ini file, reads them off at program startup, and automatically minimizes. Added ability to make desktop icons transparent. Oh yea, threw some credits in the info section. :)
You can now remove the User picture from the start menu.
If you need to, you can now restart the explorer process. This is for emergency situations, it's not "clean"... it kills the task and restarts it.
Added a button to run a second copy (or more) of the program, so you can set different levels of transparency.
You can show a working system clock (Currently in 24Hour format) by the mouse.
You can show the desktop as a taskbar button. This can be helpful for... I dunno. I just did it. :)
Also set the ability to send the ALT+TAB keys when you move your mouse to the left side of the screen. This activates whatever program runs when you hold alt and tab.
And finally, allowed for the tray icon to be hidden and unhidden.


Gadget Minimizer Bug has been fixed.
Shortly after finishing Transparency, a person (floralelephants) posted an idea to minimize and maximize Desktop Gadgets. I got on it, and, pretty quickly, came up with this.


Main window. Just a bit of reading, pretty simple.
Transparency Project-main.png

Tray tips for information...
Transparency Project-traytip.png

It doing what it does.
Transparency Project-work.png
You can see there is still a bit of the window there, but it can't be helped. Sorry.

And here's the download link.
Attachment 54408 (sorry again X64 users, only X86, but you can emulate it I think..trying to get X64 support.)
To run, just double click, follow directions. Have fun. :)


I thought people who have a lot of windows open at once might find this helpful. It's pretty simple, but effective. It has two features currently, just some things I pieced together and found that they worked together really well.



Always On Top: Sets any window to the top, and sticks it there. It can also affect windows that are normally always on top, so that they act like regular windows (not always on top...)

Minimize to Title Bar: Resizes the window so that it looks like only the title bar is showing.
Note: A small bit of credits for this feature go to Rajat on the forums for making a script similar to this. :)

Also note that I know there is a program out called "AlwaysOnTop" that does this feature. This isn't affiliated with that, I don't intend to infringe any copyrights or whatever may be on it. I just used this as a simple name.
Afterthoughts: Brink, if I'm exceeding my thread size limit tell me so I can save these back to my hard drive and delete them off here...maybe repost them somewhere else. :P

Attached Images
Transparency Project-systransmain.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview 64-bit

Interesting! But would not it be difficult to work in a full transparent environment?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2010   #3

Windows 7-Home Premium

Very interesting. I'm wondering something: I've been looking for a program or fix that would allow my gadgets to act the way that they would on a Mac: where I could press a button and they would either appear or disappear from my desktop. Windows+G allows you to bring up the gadgets, but they are always seen on the desktop. I'm wondering if you would be interested in writing a program to have that work?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Feb 2010   #4

Windows 8 Pro 64-bit

@ Arc: Yea (as I experienced in that bottom picture), though I made this more for eye candy. It could become helpful if you somehow got too lazy to minimize a window to see what's below it, and just hit the scroll-wheel on it.

@ floralelephants: I might be able to do that...I'll save that and see if I can later today or tomorrow. Thanks for the idea!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2010   #5

Windows 8 Pro 64-bit

Added in the new program. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2010   #6
Greg S

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit (6.1, Build 7600)

Where are the settings for the transparency kept? Your screeny shows dialogs as being transparent, are there any(dialogs) that you know of that this wouldn't work on?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2010   #7

Windows 8 Pro 64-bit

Transparency settings are not kept after the program closes. The window there is transparent by default, to a value of 220 out of 255. The script it set to make any window under the mosue transparent, so I believe it makes every window transparent. I just tested it on a tray tip and it made that transparent, so I believe any visible window can be made transparent.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2010   #8

Win 7 Ultimate SP1 x64

Looking good, prisoner. Interesting programs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2010   #9
Greg S

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit (6.1, Build 7600)

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Prisoner View Post
Transparency settings are not kept after the program closes. The window there is transparent by default, to a value of 220 out of 255. The script it set to make any window under the mosue transparent, so I believe it makes every window transparent. I just tested it on a tray tip and it made that transparent, so I believe any visible window can be made transparent.
TaskManager transparency seems to not work for me
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2010   #10

Windows 8 Pro 64-bit

Seems to work for me...
Transparency Project-taskman.png

Might be an isolated event.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Transparency Project

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