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Topic: «Actual Window Manager 5.4 beta 2 is available! , Virtual Desktops Switcher, Window Thumbnails, Multi-monitor Wallpaper » on forum: Beta Testing   Views: 12107
Alexey Fadeyev

Posts: 1428
Joined: 09/30/2005
Posted: 06/08/2009 12:30:47
Hello, everyone!

Hope you liked the features of our last beta so that I may presume you will like the features of the newly released Actual Window Manager 5.4 beta 2 as well!

This beta further develops the usability of already implemented tools. First, we have added the special Virtual Desktops Switcher window. It's similar to regular Taskbar but for virtual desktops. Virtual Desktops Switcher contains as many toolbars as virtual desktops you have (one toolbar per desktop). Each toolbar displays the icons of applications running on its corresponding virtual desktop - so that you can quickly overview, which desktop the certain application is on. With the Switcher window you can:
  • click any application's icon to activate the application window (and its host virtual desktop as well);
  • click somewhere on the empty space in the toolbar to activate virtual desktop itself;
  • drag any application's icon from one toolbar to any of others, which means moving that application's windows from one virtual desktop to another.

You can toggle the Switcher window either via
hotkey (Alt key with back single quote key) or via Show/Hide Switcher command in Actual Window Manager tray icon's context menu.

The other interesting usability improvement is the long-awaited Window Thumbnails feature. Window thumbnail is a reduced window snapshot - looking at it you can quickly overview window contents on the whole and tell windows apart easier without the need to activate them. Once enabled (see the Window Thumbnails item in the Options window), this feature creates a preview image for each running window (either visible or hidden) and then displays it along with the tool tip in the following places:
  • over Taskbar buttons;
  • over AltMin screen icons;
  • over above-mentioned Virtual Desktops Switcher buttons.

Note. Unfortunately, for now there are some known issues of this feature:
  • it works only on Windows XP or later
  • it slightly increases the consumption of system memory by Actual Window Manager Control Center;
  • sometimes it may produce visual glitches on some windows.

Also, after some research we decided to implement the ability to immediately set Multi-monitor Background Wallpaper and Multi-monitor Screen Saver, without the need to create certain desktop profile and activate it. This update has forced us to change the Configuration window layout once more: the Desktop Profiles tab has been replaced with the Multiple Monitors tab and now all options related to multiple monitors are grouped there. On this tab you can adjust the Multi-monitor Taskbar options (formerly the Multiple Monitors item in the Options window), immediately set the Multi-monitor Background Wallpaper picture/Multi-monitor Screen Saver and manage the Desktop Profiles. We believe the new layout should make some tasks easier to accomplish and looks more logical at all.

Note. Please provide us some feedback on the new icons we created for the multi-monitor option sets. Are they clear enough and good recognizable?

As usual, there are some minor bug fixes and improvements:
  • the Multi-monitor Task Switcher extension is compatible with the TaskSwitch XP PowerToy utility;
  • the Multi-monitor Taskbar/Task Switcher windows don't disappear in Windows 7 when the Aero Peek mode is activated;
  • console windows can be moved/resized when the Aero Snap emulation is active;
  • title buttons have stopped responding to mouse clicks in full screen applications (like games);
  • the compatibility with Microsoft Flight Simulator X is fixed.

Finally, let me remind you the basic principles of our beta-testing policy:
  • beta versions have an expiration date after which they can't be used.
    The beta 2 of Actual Window Manager 5.4 will expire on August 1, 2009.
  • beta versions can't be registered, even with a valid registration data (they are not final products but betas!). So when the beta version expires you should either roll back to the last stable release, update your beta to a new one (if available), or upgrade to a new stable release (if available).

I strongly recommend to install this beta into a separate folder (for example, "C:\Program Files\Actual Window Manager 5.4 beta 2") so you could easily roll back to any previous version.

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