1.    20 Feb 2017 #1
    Join Date : Feb 2017
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10 Pro

    Setting a consistent active window color?


    Hello,

    One of my pet peeves with Win10 is that it is often difficult to easily visually determine which window is the active one. I have encountered instances where the active one was not the top-most window.

    I have seen and followed some of the guides for specifying a color for the active window. Unfortunately, this color is not applied to windows of all applications, which causes even more confusion.

    Is there a way to have a consistent visual indicator of the active window?

    Thanks
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    20 Feb 2017 #2
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 10,992
    Win 10 Pro (1703)

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    Hi, various answers:
    1. You may find @Superfly's utility SMACC helpful (from this forum).
    2. You will see the differentiation between two windows I use- the borders- but this was set using Aeroglass, not that utility. Take no notice of the background colours- it's just that Notepad++ doesn't follow the 'normal' rule.
    3. Not all active window backgrounds obey the same rules, so you can't get consistency.
    4. Similarly, a good number of programs define their own frame, so may be borderless and not use the 'normal' Windows title bar (and hence colour).
    For example, my Firefox has a coloured border (sides and bottom) but the title bar is unique to FF.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    20 Feb 2017 #3
    Join Date : Feb 2017
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Thanks, dalchina. I'm having troubles with Word 2013, Firefox, and Thunderbird, who all set different colors (or no color) when they are active. This is unfortunate. A good UX is based on visibility and consistency.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    21 Feb 2017 #4
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 10,992
    Win 10 Pro (1703)

    Hi, granted- which is why I spent a while making mine a bit more pleasant and easier on the eye - ergonomics. You should have seen Win 10 when it first came out- couldn't tell where one window ended and an overlaid Window started. (Borderless, white title bars for all Windows (bar some 3rd party progs of course).

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    Thunderbird + Kingsoft Writer. (The left pane of Thunderbird is not coloured, though) - but it is possible as you can see.
    And I seem to recall Word allowed the background colour to be set too.
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    There's a Thunderbird setting that may help - I use a simple widely documented registry hack (in lieu of Win 7's dialogue that used to be) for many areas - but you could use SMACC (above) for that.

    For explorer/control panel, Quizo's QTTABBAR (free) which adds tabs to explorer also allows colouring different areas.
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      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    24 Feb 2017 #5

    With UWP-type casting most developers are moving away from the standard Titlebar.. with Win32 apps anyway.

    Eg. ShowKeyPlus and ADT have no titlebar... maybe developers are not listening to it's users enough?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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