Actual Window Manager Review at

"In short, this is a great application if you like to change the default behaviours of your applications and your desktop."

George Valenzuela - The Computer Radio Show -

Actual Window Manager is 6 tools in 1: transparency effect, minimize to tray and much more. Review info:
Reviewer: George Valenzuela -
The Computer Radio Show -

Published Date: 5 March, 2004

Actual Window Manager:
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Beautify and control your Desktop

A few months ago, I talked about Windows Themes and using them to change the look of your Windows XP desktop. This program does not change the look, but allows you to change the way your desktop behaves, how each window behaves, and it does so easily, reliably and with very little footprint.

After a quick installation, you bring up the initial configuration screen. I recommend reading the "What is a Windows Rule" before you go too crazy with the settings as some of the behaviours are surprising if you're not expecting them.

Actual Window Manager Configuration Screen

Basically, a Windows Rule is a set of behaviours you define for a specific window, be it an application, the windows task bar, the start menu or even title menus etc ... So, using this application, you can totally change how each one works in several categories:

Title Buttons - Basically, you can add a number of options that will appear in the title bar of the selected application ( Minimize to Try, Make Transparent, Send to Bottom, Rollup ). They appear next to the default buttons.

Window Menu - You can add the same options to the window menu ( that icon in the top left of the application window ) as you can to the title bar with buttons.

Minimizing Options - Changes the default minimizing behaviour of the application to do what you want it to, including minimize to tray or to screen edge. You can also choose to have windows minimized automatically after a specified period of inactivity.

Transparency Effect - You can make the entire window appear transparent, by setting the percentage effect. You can even choose to make it active only during certain window events.

Window Actions - Here you can set some behaviours like Stay on Top, Close Automatically, Save Size and/or Position and many many more. I like these options, they allow me to fine tune what an application will do. I can choose to change the default text in the title bar as well, another one I like is always set the application to run in a maximized window.

Window Rollup - This is another nifty UNIX-like feature. You can have the window rollup, that is, the window disappears and rolls into the title bar in a number of ways. It's another neat customization possible with this application.

Actual Window Manager Options

The default set of Windows Rules is substantial, however, you will inevitably have to add some of your lesser known programs. Window Manager gives you several options to select the app or window you want to change.

Window Class - For you programmers out there, you can choose the Window Object by name. You probably didn't know that rctrl_renwnd32 is Microsoft Outlook...

Window Caption - You can enter the text that appears in the title bar.

Program - Click on the borwse button and point to the executable or DLL that you are targeting.

Select window from list - Click on the button and select from a somewhat confusing list of all currently running applications, services and programs.

Gunsight Selector - My personal favourite. Click and drag the target icon to any window or icon and the application in question is instantly targeted. Very cool!!

Actual Window Manager Target Window

In short, this is a great application if you like to change the default behaviours of your applications and your desktop. It's not a big program and there's not a lot of overhead while it's running. I found that it ran very well on both my fast and my slower machine. It works with any current flavour of Windows and is incredibly easy to figure out. I found myself endlessly tweaking each individual window and application until I was happy.

If you are a fan of customization ( and who isn't ), you can't beat the price and you can't beat this application.

George Valenzuela - The Computer Radio Show -

View this review on The Computer Radio Show - or learn more about Actual Window Manager.