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Author Topic: Focus Overlay  (Read 1887 times)
grymmjack
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« on: June 24, 2011, 09:22:52 PM »

I would love to have an application that would allow me to focus on one thing at a time by overlaying a black box across my screens. There would be no title bar, just blackness. Sort of like you see on the new web sites that use thickboxes or fancy image "lights off" kinds of things one finds on the modern web.



Ideally the program would:

  • Have a tray icon that had a right-click context menu for opening a settings panel for adjusting the opacity of the overlay. Menu items in tray could be: Settings, About, Exit. Hovering on the tray icon could show the hotkeys in a tooltip. Right clicking on the overlay itself could bring up the same menu that the tray had, settings, about, exit.
  • Allow the overlay opacity to be adjustable from 100% opaque to 90% transparent
  • Have hotkeys for showing/hiding (superfluous fade in/out?) CTRL-WIN-Up arrow to show and CTRL-WIN-Down arrow to hide. Or the hotkeys could be configurable on the settings dialog.
  • Be multi-monitor aware so that it spans across both of my screens.



The workflow would be:

If the program was not running yet:

  • Start the program.
  • When it opens it draws itself on top with the last used settings. If the opacity is > 90% opaque there could be a time delayed tooltip that pops up somewhere letting the user know that "Focus Overlay: To focus, click on another program, or start one. Right click the overlay for options. (e.g. "Hey your computer isn't broken, this is what you asked for or something smiley

If the program is already running:
  • Any already running tasks when clicked on or switched to with ALT-TAB would automatically adjust the z-index of the overlay to -1 of the clicked window itself so that the focused window would sit on top of the overlay and the overlay on top of every other window.
  • If the user hides the overlay either with hotkey or right click in tray or on focus area, it just hides it (superfluous fade?) and allows input focus to be passed through as if it were not there like minimizing the overlay (which would also be just fine)
  • If the user has an application loaded and presses the show hotkey, while the focus overlay is hidden, it would draw the overlay behind the current program that had input focus when the hotkey was pressed



Perhaps in a future version the color of the overlay could be configurable in addition to the opacity.

There was a program like this that I found for my MacBook and I liked it very much. It helped me focus on doing one thing at a time while being able to see beneath the window itself.

Kind of superfluous, but it would be nice. I very often organize windows side by side, near each other, and especially now today that I've found Frameless, etc.

Sorry if this is too extensive, I don't know what qualifies as a "snack", this could very well be way more like a "meal"?

Thanks, cool forum, and feel free to ignore my idea/request smiley Might be impossible on PC but not hard on OSX?
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grymmjack
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2011, 09:46:32 PM »

Ghoster does most of what I want. Minus the hotkeys, and for some reason I can't get it to work with multimonitor, but otherwise it's basically what I was describing, and a lot more elegant than my clunky attempt at explaining smiley
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skwire
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2011, 11:40:07 PM »

I can make Ghoster work with multiple monitors but the problem is that it chews up CPU bigtime with a transparent window that large.
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skwire
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2011, 01:36:07 AM »

Here's a mod of Ghoster that should work with multiple monitors.

http://skwire.dcmembers.com/apps/snacks/GhosterMod.zip
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grymmjack
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2011, 06:56:49 PM »

Thanks smiley
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mouser
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2011, 06:57:49 PM »

Awesome  Thmbsup
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skwire
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2011, 07:39:56 PM »

Thanks smiley

You're welcome.  Let me know if it worked for you.   cheesy
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