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Author Topic: DONE: Dim the taskbar (set transparency)  (Read 24730 times)
m_s
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« on: February 25, 2006, 04:02:51 PM »

On the back of this entry over on 43F (http://www.43folders.com/...2/23/against-distraction/), I would like to find something that would do the same as Merlin's number 2, MenuShade.  I've never liked the Windows' Autohide, but I would love to find something that would quite gracefully fade out the Taskbar and bring it back on mouseover.  On a brief Google search, I turned up about four different things, some free, some cheap.  The one I tried is AlphaXP Lite, and this works really well, but everytime WallpaperMaster changes the wallpaper, AlphaXP seems to forget what it's there for, and the Taskbar is solid again...  Anybody up for coding something elegant and tiny?

The image is from the AlphaXP website, over at: http://www.zeroherosoftware.com/alphaxplite.html



* f-taskbartransparency.gif (23.74 KB, 149x63 - viewed 1437 times.)
« Last Edit: March 01, 2006, 01:53:46 AM by brotherS » Logged
Cpilot
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2006, 04:56:27 PM »

Hi m_s.
If your using XP I can do this fairly easily.
As a test copy this script into the edit window here FBSL Studio.
Make sure FBSL.exe is selected then download the exe. onto your machine.
Double click to run and it should fade your TaskBar. run it again to disable.
[copy or print]
'$apptype console
#option explicit
#dlldeclare user32.FindWindow,user32.SetLayeredWindowAttributes,user32.GetWindowLong _
user32.SetWindowLong
dim %Ret,%hTaskBar
Const LWA_ALPHA = &H2
Const GWL_EXSTYLE = (-20)
Const WS_EX_LAYERED = &H80000


hTaskBar = FindWindow("Shell_TrayWnd","")
Ret = GetWindowLong(hTaskBar, GWL_EXSTYLE)

SetWindowLong(hTaskBar,GWL_EXSTYLE,Ret + WS_EX_LAYERED)

SetLayeredWindowAttributes(hTaskBar,0,150,LWA_ALPHA)


If it works ok for you and anyone else who wants to test it (WinXP), I'll go ahead and create your application for you.
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m_s
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2006, 05:17:56 PM »

That looks great!  And what a great site for building apps!  Can you get it to respond to mouseover - i.e. go solid when the mouse hovers?  And can you make the fade a little slower?  And how about setting a variable transparency?  Thanks for your time and effort, Cpilot - much appreciated!
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Cpilot
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2006, 05:26:31 PM »

Quote from: m_s
Can you get it to respond to mouseover - i.e. go solid when the mouse hovers?  And can you make the fade a little slower?  And how about setting a variable transparency?  Thanks for your time and effort, Cpilot - much appreciated!
All those shouldn't be a problem  Wink. The little script you tried out only took me about five minutes to whip up.
I'll work on it tonight and provide a link to download. Gives me an opportunity to really work with the taskbar api.  Thmbsup

Quote
That looks great!  And what a great site for building apps!

Yup, FBSL can either be installed client side or used server side. It's definately worth a look.
FBSL
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Rover
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2006, 12:38:50 AM »

Protest post: not enough traffic on the forums.
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Cpilot
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2006, 01:46:41 AM »

Quote
Protest post: not enough traffic on the forums.
Protest post to protest post, not enough courage to try something new/different.

As an aside I got about 90% of this little project done....stay tuned.
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Cpilot
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2006, 02:21:53 AM »

For those who like a preview you can download it here Taskbar.

WinXp only, start the app and mouse over the taskbar and it will become fully opaque, set the transparency with the trackbar and mouse over, it'll become opaque then go to transparency when the mouse is moved off the taskbar.
Close the app window and the taskbar goes back to normal.

I'll finish this puppy up tomorrow.  Thmbsup
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mouser
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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2006, 02:36:42 AM »

preview release working well here (absent the functions you still have left to implement).  nice work!
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Cpilot
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2006, 02:45:38 AM »

Quote from: mouser
preview release working well here (absent the functions you still have left to implement).  nice work!

Thanks mouser, just a few tweaks and a little prettyin' up and it'll be ready to roll. As an aside anything behind the taskbar will be visible while the taskbar is transparent.
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brotherS
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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2006, 03:07:33 AM »

WinXp only
Sad
Please support Windows 2000 too, when it comes to transparency and stuff both OS are quite similar.
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Cpilot
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« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2006, 03:11:05 AM »

Try it out brotherS,
according to msdn SetLayeredWindowAttributes is supported in Windows 2000. If it functions ok for you then I'll change the OS requirement.
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brotherS
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« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2006, 03:15:02 AM »

Doesn't work here Sad

It reloads the taskbar and I see the slider window (can also move the slider), but nothing changes.
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Cpilot
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« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2006, 03:24:06 AM »

Go to your system folder and see what version of user32.dll you have, mine is version 5.1.2600.2622. You should be able to download a newer version on the net. That should solve the problem.
According to the msdn documents SetLayeredWindowAttributes should be available for win 2000 and up. If it doesn't work for you then you need to upgrade your user32.dll.
As an aside, It would be very helpful if people with win2000 do try this script and see if it works for them. I would very much like to make the finished product available for as many users as possible.
If some can get it to work and others can't then we'll know it's simply an upgrade problem. If not then I'll dig into some of my old API references and I'll try to come up with an alternative.

Thanks
« Last Edit: February 26, 2006, 03:30:43 AM by Cpilot » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2006, 03:53:01 AM »

im using winxp btw.
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brotherS
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« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2006, 05:36:59 AM »

Go to your system folder and see what version of user32.dll you have, mine is version 5.1.2600.2622. You should be able to download a newer version on the net. That should solve the problem.
According to the msdn documents SetLayeredWindowAttributes should be available for win 2000 and up. If it doesn't work for you then you need to upgrade your user32.dll.
I'm having 5.0.2195.7032.

But how can I update a system file that Windows is using constantly?

And why was I able to set the transparency with other programs before?
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m_s
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« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2006, 05:40:38 AM »

This works well for me, but I have the same problem I had with AlphaXP: whenever WallpaperMaster changes the desktop image, the taskbar returns to solid and stays that way...  Any ideas?
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Cpilot
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« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2006, 02:38:45 PM »

Quote from: brotherS
I'm having 5.0.2195.7032.

But how can I update a system file that Windows is using constantly?
Microsoft does it all the time. If the function is not available in your current user32.dll then this script won't work.
Quote from: brotherS
And why was I able to set the transparency with other programs before?
I don't know, what programs were they?

Quote from: m_s
This works well for me, but I have the same problem I had with AlphaXP: whenever WallpaperMaster changes the desktop image, the taskbar returns to solid and stays that way...  Any ideas?
I'm guessing it's a problem with WallpaperMaster, try setting the taskbar transparent and manually setting wallpapers. The taskbar remains transparent for me no matter how many times I change the background.
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brotherS
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« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2006, 02:39:41 AM »

Quote from: brotherS
I'm having 5.0.2195.7032.

But how can I update a system file that Windows is using constantly?
Microsoft does it all the time. If the function is not available in your current user32.dll then this script won't work.
Quote from: brotherS
And why was I able to set the transparency with other programs before?
I don't know, what programs were they?
The only one I can remember right now is PS Tray Factory from http://www.pssoftlab.com/
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Cpilot
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« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2006, 04:16:28 AM »

Quote
The only one I can remember right now is PS Tray Factory from http://www.pssoftlab.com/
Well I'm not sure what method of transparency they were using in their application.
Maybe a little later after I'm done with this one I'll look into the possibility of applying transparency on win2000. 
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brotherS
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« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2006, 04:56:06 AM »

Thanks, looking forward to that!  thumbs up
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Cpilot
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« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2006, 10:23:18 AM »

You asked for it so here it is. An application to adjust the transparency of the taskbar. WinXP.
Because of the peculiarities of SetLayeredWindowAttributes the script will only allow one instance to run at a time.
There is a read me file...and this app will run in the tray. The icon is a wire frame box. smiley

TBFader.

See the to do list.

Enjoy
Cpilot
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mouser
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« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2006, 09:15:41 AM »

TBFader has been added to the coding snacks page: http://www.donationcoder....om/CodingSnacks/index.php

works great here by the way - nice work!
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Cpilot
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« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2006, 09:48:42 AM »

Quote
works great here by the way - nice work!
Thanks mouser.   Thmbsup
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brotherS
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« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2006, 11:32:15 AM »

Drop me a message when I could test the W2k-version smiley
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skrommel
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« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2006, 06:43:55 PM »

 smiley Here's a late entry:


FadingTaskbar
- Change the transparency of the taskbar.

Features:
- Individual transparency settings for when the mouse is inside and outside the taskbar.
- Fade in, fade out.
- Makes the taskbar solid when maximized windows exist.
- Remembers the original transparency.

You'll find the downloads and more info at 1 Hour Software by Skrommel.

Skrommel
« Last Edit: March 02, 2006, 11:03:43 AM by skrommel » Logged

Please stop by my site at  1 Hour Software by skrommel  for downloads and more info.
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