[actualtools.com] New Version 8.5: Windows 10 Compatibility, Logon Screen Background Changer, Default Audio Device Switcher

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Actual Tools

Hello, John Smith.

I'm glad to inform you that we have released the new version 8.5 of our main line of products and the new version 1.5.1 of Actual File Folders.


Important Note! Before updating, please read carefully the Upgrade Policy Reminder.


Issue contents:


Upgrade Policy Reminder

I'd like to remind you that since the version 8.0 release on August 16, 2013 we have changed our Upgrade Policy (in short, from version-based to subscription-based; visit the link for details).

Here are some key points highlighted to prevent possible questions or misunderstanding:

  • The new Upgrade Policy does not force you to pay each year. When the subscription expires, the program remains registered and fully functional, so that if you don't need the latest updates then you can continue using the program as it is. And only when you see in the changelog something that worths paying then you can prolong your subscription; in other words, you can choose the moment of upgrade on your own.

  • Purchasing an upgrade does not come at full price. For Actual Window Manager, it costs about 30 USD for now (and we don't plan to change this price in the future). Other products come at 10-15 USD, as they have the lower initial license prices.

    Important Note! To get a discounted upgrade price, you must use our Upgrade Center by following the steps described below.

  • We do not force our customers to upgrade necessarily. If you don't like/need the features of new versions then you can simply stay with the version you currently have.

To view your upgrade options and actual upgrade cost, please visit our Upgrade Center by clicking the Upgrade button. Also, below are the details on the entire upgrade process.

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New Features

  1. Logon Screen Background Changer

    The long-awaited ability to customize the Logon/Lock Screen background image is added. On multi-monitor systems, it also allows to run picture slideshow on secondary monitors (see the new "Logon Screen" section in the Quick Setup wizard and the main Configuration window).

    This feature is available since Windows Vista.

    Logon Screen - Primary monitor panel


    Logon Screen - Secondary monitors panel

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  2. Default Audio Device Switcher

    It lets you quickly switch the audio device used in the system by default for sound output, if you have more than one audio hardware device installed in your PC (for example, most modern video cards have embedded audio hardware to support such combined video/audio output standards as HDMI or DisplayPort).

    You can toggle it via special hotkey combination (<Win+Ctrl+A> by default, can be changed on the Hotkeys - Actions panel in the Tools group).

    Default Audio Device Switcher context menu
    showing the list of available devices

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  3. Windows 10 Basic Compatibility

    In this version we have fixed the most crucial issues appeared in the final build of Windows 10 - see below for details:

    • Numerous fixes for Actual Taskbar

      • Wrong colors were used for text displayed in task buttons and clock and for taskbar background ("black taskbar" issue)

      • Start menu did not go to secondary monitors

      • Clock/Calendar window did not appear when clicking the clock

      • It was impossible to pin a button to Actual Taskbar using drag-n-drop (using the "Pin" command in the right-click menu works as expected)

      • Actual Taskbar displayed the pinned buttons of running applications different than the system taskbar

      • Running Metro apps did not have corresponding task buttons

      • Task buttons were wider than in the system taskbar

      • Preview thumbnails looked different than in the system taskbar

      • Notification area button was smaller than in the system taskbar

      • Progress was not indicated in task buttons


    • Numerous fixes for extra title buttons

      • Size was calculated incorrectly

      • Used button glyphes were of improper color

      • Compact View window looked wrong

      • Detecting free place for extra buttons worked wrong


    • Important! Windows 10 known issues (subject to fix in the next updates)

      • Clock/Calendar window do not go to secondary monitors when being invoked from Actual Taskbar

      • Clock/Calendar window does not close on second click on Actual Taskbar clock

      • Extra title buttons do not work in Microsoft Edge web browser

      • Extra title buttons look wrong in applications with non-standard title color (like Photos, Windows Mail)

      • Hotkeys do not work in Metro apps

      • Extra menu commands do not appear in Metro apps

      • Gradual Compact View does not work in Metro apps

      • Logon Screen slideshow runs behind the Logon background window

      • Classic Snap does not snap windows accurately (a small gap remains)

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  4. New Features Comparison Chart

    Below is the comparison chart of new features implemented in each software. This chart shows only the most noticeable features; to view the full list of changes made in each product, click the product's icon.

    Feature Available in
    Logon Screen Background changer + +
    Default Audio Device switcher + +
    Windows 10 basic compatibility + + + + + + + + + +
    Download Now!

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Minor Fixes and Improvements

  1. Improvements

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  3. Fixes

    • Windows 7+: Graphical resources leaked when using Jump Lists in Actual Taskbar.

    • Windows 7+: Jump Lists were displayed incorrectly after pinning an item in them.

    • Windows 8+: Middle click on Windows Explorer button in Actual Taskbar did not open a new Explorer window.

    • On some systems, Actual Taskbar settings on different monitors might be mistaked one for another.

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How to Upgrade

  1. Proceed with updating to a new version, either manually or automatically with the help of the Check for Updates window.
    How to Upgrade - Click the Update Now button in the Check for Updates window.

  2. Restart the program or wait until it restarts automatically.

  3. Close the popped up Evaluation Version dialog.

  4. Follow the instructions in our Upgrade Center web page that will open automatically in your default web browser. (Note: If the Upgrade Center page did not open then skip to the next step.)

  5. Open the Configuration window.
    How to Upgrade - Open the Configuration window.

  6. Go to the Tools - License panel and click the Upgrade button, then follow the instructions of our Upgrade Center. (Note: If there is no Upgrade button or it is greyed out then please refer to the upgrade table.)
    How to Upgrade - Go to the Tools-License and click the Upgrade button.

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Join Us on Facebook! Follow Us on Twitter!

I'd like to remind you that you can join our Multiple Monitors Facebook group, like Actual Multiple Monitors Facebook product page or become our follower on Twitter. There you can find the recent news about our software, useful articles and links related to a multi-monitor productivity, and share your experience with other multi-monitor users. Welcome!
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Yours sincerely,

Alex Fadeyev
Actual Tools

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