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The Desktop Customization category contains software that is used to enhance or change the look and feel of your desktop environment. Programs in this category include custom skins, theme, docks, and launchers.
ObjectDock is designed to add style, organization, and function to your Windows experience. Place your favorite web links, program shortcuts, and information widgets on this fun, animated, and easy-to-use dock. Additional docklets provide quick access to weather, time, and other useful information. A new UI allows users to choose from a number of styles and special effects for a custom experience.
Classic Shell is a collection of features that were available in older versions of Windows but are removed from Vista and Windows 7. It has a classic start menu for Windows 7. It adds a toolbar for Windows Explorer. Classic Shell adds some missing features to Windows 7 and Vista like a classic start menu, toolbar for Explorer and others.
Classic Shell re-introduces the Start menu to Windows 8 and offers tweaks to Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer.
Major features of this desktop customization tool:
Easy install: For its magnitude and impact on the Windows operating system, we found Classic Shell to be quite easy to install and configure. We quickly changed our Windows theme without any errors in formatting or usability.
Loaded with options: From the general Windows theme to the Start menu icon, Classic Shell gives you the ability to modify and tweak your user interface. The variety of tools available can easily be changed and saved at any time, which is great if your computer is shared with others.
Exceptional support: Classic Shell comes with one of the most detailed ReadMe files that we've encountered with a free application. It also provides quick links to even more informative FAQs and forums, which you'll find active and helpful.
Classic Shell is a great application for Windows users that want to experience removed features, especially the Start button that was removed from Windows 8. Your user interface can be fully modified to suit all of your needs. We think Classic Shell should offer an easier way of customizing your PC, preferably in a manner similar to Start8. Download Classic Shell and access your favorite parts of Windows.
RocketDock is a smoothly animated, alpha blended application launcher. It provides a nice clean interface to drop shortcuts on for easy access and organization. Now with added Taskbar support your minimized windows can appear as icons on the dock. This allows for better productivity and accessibility.
Features: Minimize windows to the dock. Real-time window previews in Vista. Running application indicators. Simple drag-n-drop interface. Multi-monitor support. Supports alpha-blended PNG and ICO icons. Icons zoom and transition smoothly. Auto-hide and Popup on mouseover. Positioning and layering options. Fully customizable. Completely Portable. ObjectDock Docklet support. Compatible with MobyDock, ObjectDock, RK Launcher, and Y'z Dock skins. Runs great on slower computers. Unicode compliant.
Where most other docks fail, RocketDock soars. The Mac-style program dock and launcher for Windows 2000, XP, and Vista has it all, from a smooth installation to flawless icon transitions and an unobtrusive footprint.
The app is loaded with options. The dock can live on any of the four edges of your monitor, you can set it to always be on top, on bottom, autohide, or be ever-present. It comes with more than 20 skins; fonts and colors are fully customizable, as is the icon order; and you can choose which icons are displayed, independent of the program's actual icon. RocketDock's publisher is also growing a community around the program, and the app's Web site has areas where you can download more icons, widgets, and skins to enhance and further customize your experience.
One drawback of the program is that the main settings menu is not where you go to add in and configure these extras. Instead, they're accessible from a secondary settings menu available only by right-clicking on the dock itself. It's frustrating, but not a major problem, and hopefully can be addressed in future updates.
Fences helps you organize your PC by automatically placing your shortcuts and icons into resizable shaded areas on your desktop called fences. Its many customization features are what make Fences the world's most popular Windows desktop enhancement.
Eliminate clutter from your desktop - but keep your Fences where it's easy to find them - with our roll up feature. Double-clicking on a Fence's title-bar will cause the rest of the Fence to "roll up" into it, saving you valuable space. To reveal your fence, you can move your mouse over the title-bar or double-click it again to view the title and all of its icons as normal.
Fences is an app that allows you to organize your desktop icons into categories to un-clutter your workspace. The latest version, Fences 2.0, adds new features to help you get and stay organized even faster.
The interface of the newer version is much like before. The fences look the same - they're clean and blend well, and you can adjust the transparency and color to suit your needs. You'll also still be able to easily sort your files and program icons into multiple fences on your desktop. One of our favorite features, Auto-Organizer, also lets you choose which files will automatically go into the fence you specify--this is handy if you frequently add new files to your computer.
Fences 2.0 also comes with a couple new features, Folder Portals and Desktop Pages. Folder Portals lets you create a fence from any folder and organize the contents on your desktop for quick access. Desktop Pages lets you set up multiple screens, each with their own set of fences, and navigate between them just by clicking and dragging. While we found it fairly easy to set up and use the fences, we liked the user guidance and tutorials so you can make sure you're using Fences to its fullest potential.
Users who are overwhelmed by desktop clutter will like the flexibility of Fences 2.0. The installation is easy and quick and you can try the product free for 30 days to see if it's right for you.
Welcome to Power Wallpaper Changer V3.2 (formerly PrettyWall). There are a lot of nice pictures, screensavers, and desktop themes available on the Internet. If you have ever felt it is too hard to manage them, then try Power Wallpaper Changer, a powerful wallpaper-management tool. It uses a mutli-level category to manage the wallpaper; you can put different kinds of wallpapers in the corresponding category. It uses any BMP, JPEG, GIF, ICO, CUR, TIF, TIFF, WMF, EMF, DIB, RLE, PCX, PNG, TGA, ICB, and PIX file as wallpaper. It has six wallpaper styles (centered, tiled, stretched, fit to screen, special effects, and rules) and can apply many effects, such as Invert, emboss, gradient, fish eye, twirl, zoom, and rotate. It can change your wallpaper on start-up, after a period of time, or at your specific time automatically. Power Wallpaper Changer V3.2 differs from other programs in that it has some individual features, such as the ability to share pictures with your friend via e-mail.
This program helps you manage and automatically change wallpaper with several customization and categorization options, some of which seem superfluous. Power Wallpaper Changer has a relatively easy-to-understand interface, with icons abundant. Browse to select your images (you're not limited to certain extensions), put them into various preset categories or add your own, set the time for your screenshots to rotate, and you'll have a fresh desktop look in no time. There are several setting options, and you can add captions to each image. The application can store screensavers and desktop themes. However, the category designation seems a bit unnecessary as the images do not just rotate in one category. Also you have to deselect the display of file path, which serves only as a distraction. Performance-wise, the application crashed once during our tests and slowed the system on subsequent tests. The 15-use trial is a bit stingy, but users who really want to spice up their desktop with multiple images should give Power Wallpaper Change a try.
From the people who brought you Start8, Start10 adds the familiar Windows 7 Start menu experience to Windows 10. Quickly access your most used items, search your PC more effectively and personalize the look and behavior of your Start menu.
Features include: the search menu back in the Start menu, quick links to core system functionality restored, "All Programs" folder metaphor is maintained, and texture can be applied to Start10 background and taskbar.
If you've upgraded to Windows 10 and still want the Windows 7 menu, or if you want more menu and taskbar appearance options than Windows 10 gives you, Start10 is worth a look. Owners of Start8 get a discount.
Major features of this desktop management tool:
Adapts to many scenarios: While Start10 is mainly positioned as a replacement for the Windows 10 menu, it can simulate the official menu and provide more cosmetic options and functionality. If you don't care for any of Microsoft's Start menus, Start10 has an optional custom look that blends elements of the old and new. If you are using Windows 10 and you like its Start menu but want more configuration, Start10 can keep the Windows 10 look while adding options like disabling menu transparency, enabling taskbar transparency or textures, and removing the Start button on secondary displays.
Easy fallbacks: If you want to use the official Windows 10 menu for certain tasks but a different Start menu for other tasks, you can control that according to how the menu is opened. Meaning, you can tell Start10 to open the official menu when you tap the Windows key on your keyboard, but have it open the Start10 menu if you click the button in the lower left-hand corner of the screen. Or you can have it open the Windows 10 menu when you hold down the Ctrl key and left-click the menu button. Also, if you want to link an action to the Windows key that's to the right of your keyboard's spacebar, but this particular keyboard doesn't have that key, you can tell Start10 to use Ctrl-Windows, Shift-Windows, or a half-second press of the left-hand Windows key.
An abundance of optional details: If you got used to Windows 8's lack of a standard Start menu and you liked how the taskbar looked without it, you can remove it with Windows 10 and still get your menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard. If you like transparent taskbars but don't want them to blur the wallpaper behind them, you can toggle that off. And you can customize the look of the menu button, using a selection of presets or an image that you've created.
Start8 users get a discount: You'll be prompted to enter the email address associated with your Start8 purchase, and you'll get $1 off Start10. It's not a lot, but Start10 is only $5 to begin with, so that's 20 percent off, at least.
Some advantages over Classic Shell: Classic Shell, the other major Windows element replacer, is free, but Start10's options menus are easier to navigate and figure out. There's a panel on the left with intuitive category descriptions in a large font, and the options that open up on the right are explained in plain English. While Classic Shell has even more things that you can change, the design of its tools isn't as accessible. Start10 also uninstalls more cleanly. When we uninstalled Classic Shell, it made the Start menu and taskbar disappear; we had to restart the computer to get those back.
Since Windows 10 brought the conventional Start menu back, there isn't as great a need for Start10 as there was for Start8. But it adds a number of visual and behavioral options that would still be unavailable otherwise, and its configuration menus are easier to navigate and understand than Classic Shell.
Emerge Desktop is a replacement windows shell. In order to replace Windows Explorer as a shell, Emerge Desktop will offer a system tray (the area that collects the icons collected at the lower right corner in Explorer), called emergeTray. Emerge Desktop will also provide access to the users programs (normally accessed with the windows start button) via a right-click on the desktop, via emergeCore. Emerge Desktop has an open API, which allows for applets to be coded with compilers other than MinGW if someone wishes to do so.
The Windows Explorer shell is responsible for some of the most basic aspects of the way Windows looks. The Start menu, system tray, and other aspects of the taskbar are all part of the shell. Emerge Desktop replaces the Windows Explorer with a different, more customizable shell. On the whole we didn't find it to be a huge improvement over the Windows default, but if you like to tweak your desktop's appearance, it might be worth checking out.
The program's interface isn't the most intuitive thing we've ever seen, and we had to consult the built-in Help file to figure out how to get started. Fortunately, the Help file is quite thorough, and Emerge Desktop isn't difficult to use once you've learned its basics. The program consists of multiple modules that are referred to as applets, and these can be rearranged on the desktop however the user sees fit. Applets can contain the Start menu, quick launch icons, system tray icons, the clock, and more, and each one is individually configurable. Users can adjust the position, color, opacity, and other characteristics, and we liked that the configuration menu for each applet was easy to access with a right click of the mouse. Users can also access the Start menu by right-clicking anywhere on the desktop, which is a nice touch. Overall, Emerge Desktop didn't totally blow our minds, but users who prefer more flexibility than the Windows Explorer shell provides might find that this program is exactly what they need.
Organize your desktop using screen tabs to access the Web, browse your hard drive or network, take notes and monitor RSS feeds. With the Windows app for desktop management app, you can do all these things with easy-to-use but out-of-the-way tabs that dock to the sides of your screen. You can also browse a simple calendar and the QuickLaunch feature automatically searches your drive for applications that can then be found quickly just by typing a few letters of the app's name.
Taking a cue from real-world Post-it notes, Stick provides an equivalent product for your computer desktop. A few differences make the program a valuable asset for any PC. The most noticeable is that notes, when closed, turn into tabs you can then append to the sides of your screen. This makes keeping your desktop tidy a snap. In addition to basic text notes, you also can create Explorer notes, which are actual Windows Explorer windows. You can navigate the file system from within these or even use them for Web browsing.
Each note features a variety of customization options such as window color, transparency, autohiding, and font choices. Though it does lack a few features of the more advanced sticky-note apps, we recommend Stick for its ease of use and excellent implementation of tabs.
Virtual desktops are supplemental work spaces for windows and icons in Windows. You can switch virtual desktops at a keystroke or with your mouse. What's the use of virtual desktops? Overcome desktop clutter; Facilitate working with many applications; Organize applications into work areas. Why choose Dexpot? Easy to use for beginners; Highly customizable for experts; Packed with features; Small memory footprint; Individual support by the developers; Free for private use.
Start Menu 8 is a desktop customized tool for Windows users, designed especially to bring back the start button and start menu for Windows 8/8.1. By offering more flexible operations on the start menu, Start Menu 8 enables to customizing new group at the start menu list, users could group any items together to get a quick start, also with a stronger searching engine, a whole disk search would be finished in seconds. It's a suitable Start Menu for Windows 8/8.1 and also a multifunctional menu replacement for Windows 7/Vista/XP.
Start Menu 8 is a Windows utility that bypasses Windows 8's tile-based Start screen interface, re-introducing the familiar desktop UI and Start menu from previous versions of Windows.
A familiar interface: The Start button and menu has been a mainstay of Windows since Windows '95. In Windows 8, Microsoft decided to do something new, but the truth is that it is hard to adjust to something new after so long. Start Menu 8 resurrects that old interface to make navigation familiar again.
Stylistic options: Start Menu 8 lets you completely customize your new Start button. First, you can choose what you want the button itself to look like. You can either select a button that looks like the classic Windows 7 button, or opt for something more modern that looks like it fits in with the Windows 8 style.
Customized menu: When you walk through the setup process with Windows 8, you can select exactly what you want to have included in the menu. This lets you keep it basic and only include your most commonly used items, or comprehensive so you can navigate through your entire system from the menu. A great addition is the ability to incorporate a menu for your Windows 8 Metro apps.