Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.
Published on September 10, 2014 By Frogboy In Personal Computing

My desktop has 3 monitors with lots and lots of windows.  On Windows 8, it gets really fatiguing picking out the active window.  That’s because Windows 8, unlike Windows 7, doesn’t have shadows.  It’s one of my biggest pet peeves with Windows 8 visually.

This wasn’t a problem with Windows 7 because each window had its own drop shadow which changed based on what was the active window. As a result, at a glance, you could pick out the active window.

To address this, Stardock, the makers of Start8, Fences, ObjectDock, Launch8, ModernMix, etc. has released ShadowsFX, a simple little program that simply adds shadows back. 

Users can pick from a series of shadows.  I find that a medium shadow works the best but your mileage may vary.

image

Stardock ShadowFX in action

To Download:

http://www.stardock.com/products/shadowfx


Comments (Page 1)
on Sep 11, 2014

Yay....just managed a typo edit via s3 phone

on Sep 11, 2014

Very impressed. Great addition 

on Sep 11, 2014

Graphically and aesthetically speaking, Win8 was a throw-back to Win3 [and older].  The loss of 'bling' such as drop-shadows, Aero transparencies, etc. was [one of] its failing[s].  The infatuation with cross-format consistency [phone-tablet-pc] meant it became a Jack-of-all-trades-and-master-of-none.

Imagine the disgust amongst the skinning community whose sole reason of being was/is to improve the aesthetics of the PC GUI and having MS bashing its latest offering with the ugly-stick.

Gives us all more to do, I guess...

Thankfully Stardock's proggies such as ShadowFX, Start8, et al. help restore some 'quality' to the Win 8 appearance ...

on Sep 12, 2014


Graphically and aesthetically speaking, Win8 was a throw-back to Win3 [and older].  The loss of 'bling' such as drop-shadows, Aero transparencies, etc. was [one of] its failing[s].  The infatuation with cross-format consistency [phone-tablet-pc] meant it became a Jack-of-all-trades-and-master-of-none.

Imagine the disgust amongst the skinning community whose sole reason of being was/is to improve the aesthetics of the PC GUI and having MS bashing its latest offering with the ugly-stick.

Gives us all more to do, I guess...


So when be ye g'wen ta stop bitchin' 'bout Win 8? 


Thankfully Stardock's proggies such as ShadowFX, Start8, et al. help restore some 'quality' to the Win 8 appearance ...

Thing is, pre-existing proggies like WB, Cursor FX and IP gave Win 8 a decent look. Now I'm not saying that those proggies made specifically for Win 8 haven't been useful and/or a blessing, it's just that Win 8 is not as bad as it's made out to be.  When used exclusively as a desktop and Metro is bypassed, it is in fact superior to Win 7....eg; programme load times and overall stability, etc. 

So yeah, when speaking about aesthetics, Win 8 out of the box was a step backwards, but Stardock and its customers have been customising Windows since forever, so what's the difference?  I've been customising Windows since 95 and, in one way or another, so have most of us, so I see no special significance in customising Win 8... it's something I've always done to tart up the default Windows GUI. 

For mine, XP had the absolute worst, most ugly GUI of any OS ever created. Every time I looked at it in default I was reminded of infants playthings [Fisher Price toys in particular], and while I liked to customise Win 95 and 98 to make it look different, it was damn near imperative XP got skinned.  The best MS offering to look at was the olive green theme, but that ghastly default blue with bright green splashes here and there was abysmally abhorrent.

The Pirate hath spoken.

on Sep 12, 2014

Great idea for sure, love adding shadows to Windows 8. Question though, if this is for Windows 8, why is it showing up in Object Desktop Manager in Windows 7? 

on Sep 12, 2014

starkers

So yeah, when speaking about aesthetics, Win 8 out of the box was a step backwards, but Stardock and its customers have been customising Windows since forever, so what's the difference? I've been customising Windows since 95 and, in one way or another, so have most of us, so I see no special significance in customising Win 8... it's something I've always done to tart up the default Windows GUI.

Win 7 was the first MS OS that didn't actually NEED prettying-up.

Win 8 wasn't a 'step backwards' as you put it....it was closer to a MARATHON backwards.  The outright success of Stardock's 'corrections' to Win 8 is a no-argument testament to the veracity of the statement, no matter HOW much one individsual might be infatuated.  MS-can-do-no-wrong has been demonstrated 'fail' by 8....

on Sep 12, 2014


Thankfully Stardock's proggies such as ShadowFX, Start8, et al. help restore some 'quality' to the Win 8 appearance

And let's not forget WindowBlinnds. It's only THE most ultimate customization tool ever.

on Sep 12, 2014

LightStar

Great idea for sure, love adding shadows to Windows 8. Question though, if this is for Windows 8, why is it showing up in Object Desktop Manager in Windows 7? 

 

I don't think ODM knows which Os you're running. Would be nice if it did, but that's what the hide software function is for.

Start8 and Decor8 show in ODM on 7 as well.

on Sep 12, 2014


Win 7 was the first MS OS that didn't actually NEED prettying-up.

In your opinion!  Being that it bore little or no difference to Vista - which I had been customising for about 3 years already - I sure as hell felt the need to dress up/conceal MS' offering as a UI in Win 7.  True, Win 7 pretty much worked right out of the box [largely due to the innovations of Vista, but it positively wasn't pretty, not by any stretch of the imagination. 

The plain black and white menu may have been a welcome relief from the Fisher Price look of XP, but it quickly became as boring as bat shit in Vista, so by the time it had been adopted for Win 7 it was barely tolerable.  Thank goodness for WB and all the skinners who create for it.

And no, I'm not infatuated with Win 8.  It is a good OS and I like using it because under the hood it is infinitely better than Win 7.  However, I will drop it like a hot potato for Win 9 when it is released, because under the hood it will be superior and the best OS ever created.


MS-can-do-no-wrong has been demonstrated 'fail' by 8...

Oh, MS demonstrated its 'fail' capabilities long before Win 8.  Not only was there the debacle that was Millennium, there was that ghastly GUI it plastered all over XP, which was an 'alright' OS in its day, under the hood, that is, but certainly not brilliant by any means.  Sure, XP introduced some innovations, but it wasn'y until Vista, then eventually Win 7 that we began to see real under-the-hood innovation.  However, both were merely stepping stones to Win 8 and beyond.... with Win 9 being innovatively astounding under the hood.

As for MS' 'fail' in Win 8, yes, it made mistakes... the second largest being the ommission of the start button and menu.  Its largest mistake was assuming the buying public would embrace a cross-platfom OS that Metro was key to.  I'm not so keen on the Metro IU for the deskop myself, well not set as the default UI, at least, but it is positively fantastic on my phone and on tablet devices.

Thing is, Metro is not the be all and end all of Win 8 on a desktop. It is so much more than that underneath... not that I'm going to convince anyove who fears/hates change and hated it from word go.

Oh well, roll on Win 9... the subtle change from an 8 to a 9 will mark the new round of OS hate and anti-MS speak, and it will be a welcome, if only small change to the conversation.

The Pirate hath spoken.... aarrgghh!

 

 

 

on Sep 12, 2014

starkers

So when be ye g'wen ta stop bitchin' 'bout Win 8?

Probably when Windows 8 is a thing of the past. I actually agree with Jafo and his points on Windows 8.

As for advancements under the hood, they came with a price. The need for a bigger processor and more RAM.

on Sep 13, 2014

kona0197

As for advancements under the hood, they came with a price. The need for a bigger processor and more RAM.

No, that's not so.  My sister first ran Win 8 on a 2.8ghz P4 with 2gb of RAM, and ran it well... infinitely better than Vista and Win 7 on the same machine.  I run it successfully on an Atom 1.6 dual core notebook with just 2gb of RAM, so it's not necessarily power that's required, just reasonably modern hardware that's not too shabby.

on Sep 13, 2014

starkers

I run it successfully on an Atom 1.6 dual core notebook with just 2gb of RAM, so it's not necessarily power that's required, just reasonably modern hardware that's not too shabby.

That'll be the case.  If it's not working 'right' on your machine it'll be new OS versus updated driver availability....same as with 'all' new OS[s].

starkers is right....8 is no hog [may be a dog....but not a hog]...

on Sep 13, 2014

And here I am thinking Vista is faster on the shop computer - single core 2.8 GHz CPU, 4 GB DDR RAM - then Windows 7 is on my machine - dual core CPU, 2.7 GHz, 4 GB DDR2 RAM....

Windows 8 may be good under the hood. Still will not catch me using it as my main OS or anywhere in my house.

on Sep 13, 2014

Nowhere near topic, but I have used 8 on several old XP rigs and it ran better than XP did on them. 8 runs well on old hardware, and does a good job of finding drivers on it's own.

on Sep 13, 2014

RedneckDude


Quoting LightStar,

Great idea for sure, love adding shadows to Windows 8. Question though, if this is for Windows 8, why is it showing up in Object Desktop Manager in Windows 7? 



 

I don't think ODM knows which Os you're running. Would be nice if it did, but that's what the hide software function is for.

Start8 and Decor8 show in ODM on 7 as well.

 

Yep, you're right Jim! I just went and hid it in settings.

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