Dec 31

If you’re a Windows user, you’ll have noticed that there are usually only three buttons at the top right corner of the window – Close, Maximize and Minimize – with lots of free space to the left of those. Well, I’ve discovered a utility that will add some useful extra functions to the left of these buttons – it’s called eXtra Buttons.

After downloading and installing it, you can add as many of the functions as you think you’ll need. You can also access these options by clicking the eXtra Buttons icon in the system tray.


Here’s an outline of the Parameters options:

Buttons set — to add or remove buttons from window. As you can see in the image above, you also get a preview of how the buttons look on the bar, so you can rearrange them and add separators if required.
Common options — make the eXtra Buttons program launch at Windows startup.
Window menu — set the eXtra Button parameters which show in the right-click menu when you click the top bar of the window.
Exclude applications — exclude any applications where you don’t want the buttons to show.

Now here’s a quick outline of what each button does:

Always on top — places window on top of the other windows, so that it will always be visible whether or not it has the focus.
Send to back — places window under others, so it will not bother you.
Copy window — starts a copy of the application in the new window.
Roll-up/Unroll — minimizes the window to its caption, so you see only the caption line with the title of the window. You can roll-up a number of windows to separate caption lines.
Minimize to Box — minimizes window to a small box and places its icon on the desktop at the top right of the screen. Double click box to maximize.
Transparency — makes the window transparent according to the adjusted level. You may adjust any default transparency level.
Percentage transparency — makes the window transparent according to percentage from pop-up Transparency Menu.
Minimize to Tray — minimizes window and places its icon in the System Tray.
Minimize to Tray Menu — minimizes window and places its icon in the System Tray Menu.
Move to Another Monitor — moves the window to another monitor.
Click through — Makes the window transparent according to the adjusted level and also transparent to mouse activity so you can click the window below it.
Full Screen — Opens the window so it covers the whole screen.
Bookmarks — Adds the application to the adjustable Bookmarks list and provides quick access to the most frequently used applications and folders.

Some time ago, I wrote a post on useful free utilities for a dual monitor set-up. At the time, I recommended Dual Swap as a free utility to move windows between monitors, but I now find the ‘Move to Another Monitor’ button in eXtra Buttons is better integrated with the window bar so I use it now. However, I have also noticed that the buttons don’t show up in some applications, for example, Adobe Reader, but that’s the only downside so far.

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