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Topic: «Taskbar button color does not show which window is active , Taskbar button color always shows exactly ONE window as active » on forum: Feature Requests   Views: 10143
 
Alexander Mihalkin
Administrator

 
Posts: 502
Joined: 21.04.2014
Posted: 24.07.2014 21:38:12
 
 
David, thank you for the replies.

We've once again tried to picture the situation and haven't managed to make out the actual need for the feature we're talking about. The question is - why would someone need to distinguish the last active window's taskbar entry to close/minimize/maximize that window, while these actions could be done directly to a window using native Windows title buttons? Even if this topmost window doesn't overlap the others and for this reason looks like them, it is still fully visible and one can tell it is the right one by looking at its caption and content.

As for the examples with browser windows and OS settings windows - it is worthy of note that Windows still highlights one taskbar entry, which is related to a window, that is really active at that moment. Therefore these examples do not clarify the situation at all.

I believe you might have to either revise and optimize your customary workflow, maybe look toward using Windows title buttons in addition to taskbar controls, or give some real and applicatory examples out of your actual workflow to illustrate the need in that feature. I am also sure that you can do it without giving us any details of your workflow which could let anybody identify your line of business, in case you are concerned about that.

Best regards.

support@actualtools.com
 
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David P
Advanced user
 
Posts: 77
Joined: 16.04.2012
Posted: 24.07.2014 22:03:41
 
 
Thank you Alexander.

Quote
As for the examples with browser windows and OS settings windows - it is worthy of note that Windows still highlights one taskbar entry, which is related to a window, that is really active at that moment.
True, but (as I explained further up) this highlighting is a) too subtle, and b) (absurdly) changes on mouseover, such that the active and inactive taskbar buttons become indistinguishable when you hold the mouse over an inactive taskbar button:
User added an image
Screenshot #A: Windows taskbar buttons highlighting: Now which IS the active window? Totally unclear.

Quote
Therefore [the browser windows and OS settings windows] examples do not clarify the situation at all.
Not true.

Below analogy shows the (useless) way that exactly two of my three monitor taskbars look all the time (the ones where there is not the active window:
User added an image
Screenshot #1 (analogy): No topmost window highlighting on 2 of 3 monitors -- this is useless, makes you get lost.

Quote
Windows still highlights one taskbar entry, which is related to a window, that is really active at that moment
What you say here is related to below OS settings analogy:
User added an image
Screenshot #2 (analogy): This how it should be, you instantly recognize where you are.

But this is only true for ONE of all three monitors at every given time. On the other two monitors, the Screenshot #1 ("useless") is the matching analogy.

Therefore, in order to be of use, on every monitor the situation according screenshot #2 should be present all the time.
 
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David P
Advanced user
 
Posts: 77
Joined: 16.04.2012
Posted: 29.07.2014 18:37:23
 
 
One more very simple example.

I usually work on my central monitor (monitor #2 of three monitors), and have my reference documents (to look up things etc.) on the other two monitors.

Now suppose I have only two word documents on monitor #3 (righmost monitor, however it doesn't matter which monitor of #1 and #3 it is).

Now I want to look up something in Word document #4 on the right monitor, however suppose that Word document #3 currently is topmost on the right monitor.

Now the Taskbar on the right monitor looks like this:
User added an image
Image 1: identical taskbar button appearance when topmost window is on another monitor

The two taskbar buttons are absolutely identical. Therefore, I have no idea which of the two taskbar buttons represents the currently topmost Word document #3 on the right monitor (until I literally start and READ the topmost document's title and compare it to the taskbar captions). Thus, I can absolutely not see with a glance which taskbar button I have to click in order to quickly get Word document #4 on top (where I quickly want to look up something). It doesn't get better if i move the mouse over to monitor #3, since the taskbar buttons still will look absolutely identical.

Only after I actually click somewhere on monitor #3, the taskbar buttons obtain a different appearance, however only very little:
User added an image
Image 2: taskbar button appearance when topmost window is on present monitor.
Note that the button that looks more foggy is the... ummm which window? Active or inactive?


Now, the active window's taskbar button becomes more foggy-looking (as if it were in the background instead of in the foreground, where it actually is), not less foggy. How misleading is that? -- Thanks very much to the Windows designers.

What's more, when you now hover the mouse over the less foggy button (which absurdly stands for the inactive window), the following happens:

User added an image
Image 3: taskbar button appearance when topmost window is on present monitor,
and you hover the mouse over the active windows' taskbar button. Identical taskbar button appearance, again!


Now BOTH of those taskbar buttons, even on the active monitor, are looking practically identical again (both foggy, as if both windows were competing to be in the background).

Now HOW PATHETIC IS THAT? Again, I have no way to see at a glance which of the two documents is in the topmost window, and whether I am clicking on the correct or on the wrong taskbar button, in order to finally get Word document #4 to the top.

Sorry for the rant, I know that this is completely a Windows design fault and not yours -- however this is what I feel makes it your job to improve this native (useless) Windows and taskbar behavior -- since this is what AWM is all about. :|

You see my point now?
 
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Alexander Mihalkin
Administrator

 
Posts: 502
Joined: 21.04.2014
Posted: 30.07.2014 13:24:35
 
 
Thank you for your replies, David!

As I can see from your example, the easiest way for you to solve your problem is to get used to doing just one additional action - you have to activate the topmost window on your secondary monitor by clicking on its title, border or content (before trying to find its taskbar entry). After that you will be able to distinguish its taskbar entry.

As for the poor active window taskbar entry highlight, please note that in Windows there are high-contrast themes available, and you might find one of them more convenient.

We will still consider your request, but I have to inform you that the decision to implement any given feature is made according to the number of users requesting it. Until some other users request that feature we will uphold the Microsoft policy regarding active windows, which seems to constitute that there can be only one active window at any given moment.

Best regards.

support@actualtools.com
 
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