[actualtools.com] New version 5.3 - desktop profiles, enhanced multi-monitor taskbar, new automation abilities and much more!

Good day, John Smith!

At last, I'd like to announce that our line of products is updated to version 5.3 (this is a minor update which is free for all registered users).

This update mainly concerns Actual Window Manager. Here is the list of most important upgrades and improvements made in this product (the full list of changes is available here):

  • Desktop Profiles manager

    This component develops further the support of multiple display configurations (but also can be of service for single monitor users). Using it, you can create as many desktop profiles as you need. Desktop profile is a named group of various Windows Desktop settings applied at once when the profile is activated. Each profile includes the relative monitors layout, characteristics of each display (resolution, color depth, refresh rate, primary/not primary, attached to Windows desktop or not). Also, there are additional abilities for multi-monitor users to control desktop background and screen saver: now you can either stretch a single large picture over all available displays or assign an individual background to each monitor (and the same is true for screen savers).

    You can get more information about this feature here.

  • Improved Multi-monitor Taskbar

    Introduced in version 5.2 as a part of Multiple Monitors Extensions, the Multi-monitor Taskbar extension has been upgraded in this version: now it supports the Lock and Auto-hide modes in the same way as the regular Windows Taskbar does (and you can customize these options individually on each monitor). In addition, this extension now allows the manual re-ordering of buttons both on secondary taskbars and on the primary one using the simple mouse drag-n-drop technique.
    Note. Re-ordering buttons on the primary taskbar has some limitations: it works only on Windows XP or later and it won't work if the "Group similar taskbar buttons" option is turned on.

    You can get more information about this feature here.

  • Some minor bugfixes

    - now the Multi-monitor Taskbar extension correctly restores after unlocking the workstation;
    - the crash of Multi-monitor Task Switcher extension under Windows Vista x64, when using the <Alt+Tab> key combination, is fixed.

Also, here is the list of most important upgrades and improvements available in other Actual Tools products as well:

  • Start Program feature

    This long-awaited ability allows starting any executable file or opening any document at the particular moment: at specific window's startup, clicking special title button or selecting the special item in window's system menu. This feature works in the manner similar to Windows shortcuts: you specify the fully qualified file name, the path to the work folder, the initial window presentation (normal, minimized, maximized, hidden, etc.) and the string of command line parameters which will be passed to the program being launched. Actual Tools products allow including the special pre-defined macros (such as %hwnd%, %caption%, %filename%, etc.) into the command line which are substituted by actual values retrieved from the subject window.

    Thus, using the Start Program feature you can run the required helper program either automatically or manually. In addition, you can specify the "extended window context" if the helper program can handle it. This opens the wide area of different applications for this feature - from simple starting of tools at hand (such as Calculator or Notepad) to creating the sophisticated chains of sequential automatic launches of different command line utilities.

    You can get more information about this feature here.

  • Quick window alignment/stretching

    As you possibly know, in Actual Tools programs there are several ways to quickly align/stretch a particular window:

    • you can click the right mouse button anywhere on window's sizeable border (any edge or corner) to stretch it towards corresponding edge/corner of desktop;

    • you can use the <Win+Num1>..<Win+Num9> numpad hotkeys to align a window to 9 pre-defined positions as the natural layout of numpad keys implies (i.e. Num7 means the "top-left" position, Num8 means the "top-center" position, Num9 means the "top-right" position, etc.);

    • you can use the <Win+Ctrl+Num1>..<Win+Ctrl+Num9> numpad hotkeys (except the Num5 key) to stretch a window in 8 pre-defined directions as the natural layout of numpad keys implies (i.e. Num7 means the "top-left" direction, Num8 means the "top" direction, Num9 means the "top-right" direction, etc.).

    This version introduces the new way of quick alignment: you can click the right mouse button anywhere on window's sizeable border with the <Ctrl> key pressed to snap the clicked edge/corner to corresponding desktop's edge/corner. Also, now it's possible to customize the key combinations for above-mentioned alignment/stretching hotkeys.

  • Office 2007 style for additional title buttons

    Most popular applications of the Microsoft Office 2007 suite, such as Word and Excel, expose the title bar with the style totally different than regular windows, so that Actual Tools additional title buttons look inappropriate in such title bar. The Office 2007 window style is becoming more and more popular - many developers worldwide are trying to imitate this style in their applications. Unfortunately, there is no reliable way to detect automatically whether given window has Office 2007-styled title bar or not.

    That's why in this version we introduce the special option which allows you make additional title buttons Office 2007-like for a particular window. If you are using Office 2007 Word or Excel, or have some application that imitates the Office 2007 window style, and you don't like how Actual Tools buttons look in those windows - we recommend you create Specific settings for such windows, open the Title Buttons propery sheet and enable the Office 2007 style check box in the Options group.

  • Some minor improvements

    - now virtual desktops support the extra multi-monitor settings for their wallpapers;
    - the amount of consumed Windows graphics resources is decreased significantly - this prevents the resource exhaustion when too many (about several tens or hundreds) windows stay open;
    - now in the General panel of the Options window you can switch on/off different ways of invoking the Quick Settings dialog;
    - now Configuration windows remember their "maximized" state between sessions.

  • Some minor bugfixes

    - now the additional title buttons and system window menu items work as expected in Windows Live Mail;
    - the incorrect behavior of Virtual Desktops facility (activating hidden windows, such as Sound Volume Control, unintentionally activated the first virtual desktop), is fixed;
    - the incorrect behavior of Virtual Desktops facility under Windows Vista, when using the <Alt+Tab> key combination (the appearance of the Task Switcher window unintentionally activated the first virtual desktop), is fixed;
    - now virtual desktops with custom wallpaper correctly consider the Desktop Background settings of the Remote Desktop Client;
    - the Restrict Placement function now correctly handles the maximized windows;
    - the crash of Windows Vista Snipping Tool, when closing it, is fixed.

I don't get tired to remind the basic principles of our Upgrade Policy: if you are a registered user of any version earlier than 5.0 then the upgrade to version 5.3 is paid but you are entitled for the significant upgrade discount. To get advantage of this discount, please visit our Upgrade Center and enter there your original 3.x/4.x registration code.

Hope the new version will be of great use for you! We are always glad to receive any feedback from our customers so that if you have any questions, thoughts, ideas or suggestions regarding our products - please share them with us: either send an e-mail, visit our forums or use the feedback form.


Alex Fadeyev,
Actual Tools
Tools for professionals! Make your day-to-day Windows activities easier and more productive!