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Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5

[WIN8] How do I ENABLE taskbar transparency in Win 8?

I HATE opaque taskbars. I have not had an opaque task bar since Windows 98SE. In two different physical XP computers, and in Vista and Win 7 virtual machines, I had transparency of the taskbar. In the virtual machines I had to download a program to do it. In XP Pro on two physical machines, my two nVidia cards had transparency of ALL windows and the taskbar. I am spoiled by that and I want transparency of all windows also..that was not anything new on Win 7...Microsoft lied as nVidia cards could do that from the first day of XP.

On Win 8 this crappy, supposedly nice nVidia card (I dislike it ...don't get it...nVidia 660 GTX) won't do any transparency! I am stunned..it is a crappy $200+ card and not worth $30 as it can't do anything that my XP nViDIA 7800 GTX card can.

Anyhow, i downloaded Taskbar Transparency program that is supposed to work on Win 8 but I get an error and it installs but doesn't work. So, I did a Google and all I found were results telling how to turn OFF transparency of the taskbar in Win 8! I want to know how to turn it ON!! How do I do this and why is on for everybody but me? Does every one else have a better video card?
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson



urbanriot
Premium
join:2004-10-18
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable

So I'm guessing you want to enable Aero, which Microsoft removed from Windows 8 for some bizarre reason?

There's a few solutions here and another one in the comments section - »betanews.com/2012/09/07/get-aero···ndows-8/



plencnerb
Premium
join:2000-09-25
Carpentersville, IL
kudos:3
reply to Mele20

Click for full size
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Well, I switched back to my Windows 8 test system, and looked at the bottom task bar.

By default, when I select one of the Windows Default Themes, the bottom bar is "Transparent". Meaning, that the bitmap image that is behind it you can see.

Picture #1 shows this in action

I did not have to do anything to enable it. It just did it for me.

However, other Windows are not Transparent. Just the bottom task bar is. I don't think there is a way to enable Transparent Windows. Just a transparent bar at the bottom.

However, to get the "peek" feature on, I right-clicked on the taskbar, and then selected "Properties". The windows in Picture #2 was then displayed. I had to check the box "Use Peek to preview the desktop when you move your mouse to the Show Desktop button at the end of the taskbar". By default, this box was unchecked.

Picture #3 shows the "Peek" feature working.

As far as my video card, it is a NVIDIA GeForce GT 220, with a Windows 8 driver. The version of the driver is 9.18.13.697, dated 10/2/2012 (See Pic #4). I installed this driver myself. Not sure what was there by default. For video cards (as well as LAN, Wireless, and Sound) I always go to the vendor to find the most current version depending on my hardware. And by Vendor, I don't mean the maker of the computer (like Dell), I go to whoever makes the card (In the case of the video card, I went to NVIDIA's webpage.

--Brian
--
============================
--Brian Plencner

E-Mail: CoasterBrian72Cancer@gmail.com
Note: Kill Cancer to Reply via e-mail

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
reply to urbanriot

said by urbanriot:

So I'm guessing you want to enable Aero, which Microsoft removed from Windows 8 for some bizarre reason?

There's a few solutions here and another one in the comments section - »betanews.com/2012/09/07/get-aero···ndows-8/

That article title is wrong. That article is about how to get Win 8 look on Win 7. The downloads specify they are to be used on Win 7 or earlier to provide a Win 8 look. That will not give me transparency on Win 8.

I should not need Windows 7 to get transparency. I have had transparency of all Windows and taskbar (at the precise strength of transparency that I want) on XP Pro since 2003 on two different computers with two different nVidia cards. Your video card should provide transparency not the OS. But there is no transparancy settings in this nVidia 660 GTX card!
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
reply to plencnerb

I have NO transparency of the taskbar even when I switch to one of the default Microsoft themes.

Besides, transparency level needs to be controlled by the user. That is a function of your video card ...at least it is on XP Pro. On Vista Ultimate on a virtual machine (where I could not use my nVidia 7800 GTX card), I had to install a third party program to get transparency but I can't find a third party program that will work on Win 8 and my shiny new $250 video card has no ability to provide transparency levels! Do you have to spend $500 on a video card now to get the ability to do transparency at the level you want for task bar and windows?

I didn't have that preview enabled. Thanks. I checked that box. That checkbox says it will show desktop button at the end of the taskbar. It does NOT do this. I cannot access desktop from the taskbar. I have to go into the horrific Metro side to get to the desktop.
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson



urbanriot
Premium
join:2004-10-18
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable
reply to Mele20

said by Mele20:

That article title is wrong.

I apologize, you're right. Not enough sleep on Mondays!

I can confirm that my Windows 8 system has a translucent toolbar and I'm not sure why I have it and you don't.

The system I checked is a core i5 so the GPU is built into the chip, less than a $250 video card.

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5

Maybe I don't have it because I was forced to switch to 120 DPI because I couldn't read that horrible Segoe font? I still can barely read it. I need Verdana for everything. I just read that Microsoft FORCES Segoe on Win 8 because other fonts are INCOMPATIBLE. If that is true, that is simply another nail in Win 8's coffin for me. I must have Verdana for my Windows font. I was planning to buy a new widescreen Dell Ultrasharp 24" monitor but if I can't read Windows 8 font on a 19" 5:4 monitor even at 120 DPI, and high minimum font size, then there is no way I can ever use a big wide screen monitor with Win 8.

I noticed immediately that even when I switched to 120 DPI that I had to heavily increase the minimum font size for Windows on the same monitor that I have for XP Pro. That means Microsoft has given the finger to anyone that doesn't want to get headaches and tearing, burning eyes because of hard to read fonts. I can read tiny fonts (I have 20/20 vision at all ranges with no glasses) but I don't want to have to read them. My eyes are precious to me and I try to take good care of them so tiny, non Verdana fonts are a no-no and evidently that means no Win 8.
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson



plencnerb
Premium
join:2000-09-25
Carpentersville, IL
kudos:3
reply to urbanriot

said by urbanriot:

I can confirm that my Windows 8 system has a translucent toolbar and I'm not sure why I have it and you don't.

The same is true with my system.

I do want to point out (not sure if it makes any difference), but I'm not running Windows 8 in any kind of "virtual" setting. Yes, I will admit that I mostly run in Windows 7, and right now, I am in Windows 8. However, I have a separate 80 GB EIDE hard drive that I installed it on. So, when I want to try something out, test something, verify, help someone troubleshoot, etc, I power off my desktop, unplug my 1 TB SATA HD running Windows 7, and plug in my 80 GB EIDE drive running Windows 8. Lot of extra work? Maybe. But, I do know how Windows 8 will run on my system with actual hardware, and not in a VM world, which is what I want to test and verify. So, when I am ready to move to Windows 8, I know how it will work.

Ok, with that out of the way, when I installed Windows 8, I installed 8 Pro x64. I made no changes to the visual settings, screen resolution, etc. I have a 22 inch ViewSonic monitor (model # VA2248). CPU is an AMD X4 635 Processor, with 12 GB of RAM. Video Card is the one I noted above (NVIDIA GeForce GT 220) and is a stand-alone card (not one built-in to the motherboard). My screen resolution is 1920 x 1080, which is the recommended resolution for my monitor. I also left the orientation alone, which is set as Landscape.

Once Windows 8 was installed, I upgraded the driver on that video card, which I got directly from Nvidia.

Once I installed the driver for my video card, and selected one of the built-in themes, the transparency for the taskbar just kicked in. I did not modify or change any setting to get it to do so. I can select any of the three Windows Default Themes and it does work. The three themes that I'm talking about are
• Windows
• Earth
• Flowers

When I select any one of them, and select any of the background images, the color of the windows, and the taskbar will change, depending on what is in the image. Example, one of the images is of this pink flower. When that is my background, all the window borders are PINK! However, in all of this, while the taskbar will also be (in this case, pink in nature), it is still transparent.

As far as that option I showed you? I went and unchecked the box, and what I will call "Aero Peek" from Windows 7 still works with that option off. So, I have no idea what that does. I even loaded a Metro App (the weather one), and went back to desktop mode (thinking that is what they were taking about). If you move the mouse to the far left side of the screen, and leave it there, you can see what metro apps are running. That still works too, even with that button unchecked. So, I have no idea what that check box does.

I did modify the taskbar buttons to have an option of "Never Combine", as I hate that. If I have 6 versions of Firefox open, I want to see 6 windows at the bottom of the screen. Maybe that has something to do with it?

I did some searches to figure out a way to turn off the transparency, and from what I can tell, its just "part of Windows 8".

So, I'm at a loss why its not working for you.

Is it possible for you to undo all the modifications you have done so far? Probably a lot of work I know, but if it is something that should "just work" in Windows 8, I wonder if some modification you did in the registry to try to get something else changed had an adverse reaction to the Windows 8 taskbar, and its ability to be transparent?

--Brian
--
============================
--Brian Plencner

E-Mail: CoasterBrian72Cancer@gmail.com
Note: Kill Cancer to Reply via e-mail


plencnerb
Premium
join:2000-09-25
Carpentersville, IL
kudos:3
reply to Mele20

Click for full size
1
Click for full size
2
I wanted to add another note about your video card.

I went to Nvidia's driver page, which is below

»www.geforce.com/drivers

I then put in the information for your video card, as shown in picture #1.

When I did the search, the driver that came up is shown in Picture #2.

I would verify that you are running this version of the driver. Your issue may be driver related, if you are running an old or incorrect driver for your nVidia 660 GTX card.

My personal preference is not trust Microsoft when it comes to installing drivers for network cards (both wired and wireless), video cards, and sound cards. I always make sure that I have the proper drivers based on my hardware, for the OS installed, directly from the hardware manufacturer.

--Brian
--
============================
--Brian Plencner

E-Mail: CoasterBrian72Cancer@gmail.com
Note: Kill Cancer to Reply via e-mail

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
reply to Mele20

I just switched to my XP Pro machine which means unhooking the one monitor I have from Win 8 machine and hooking it up to the XP machine. Wow, what a difference in the display! Same monitor and both OSes have nVidia cards.

I then checked my email (I use OE and use it on Win 8). I had an email waiting from Dell support regarding the Dell form I filled out to request a Win 8 Reinstallation disk. It said because Win 8 computer shipped with no media, I would need to pay Dell for a reinstallation disk...didn't give the price and said to call a particular number for the price. So, I did that and got Dell Small/Med Business Expired Warranty Support! Evidently, the phone system only saw my old XP Dell machine and didn't see the new machine. The tech I spoke to said that I have hardware and software warranties on the new machine and said I needed to talk with Dell Small/Med Business Employer Software Support Program and said he would transfer me. But before he did that he asked me what I think of Win 8 and did I plan to keep the computer?

I had not said anything at that point about liking or disliking Win 8. I had just asked for media for Win 8 so I could do a clean install. For him to want to know if I plan to return the computer....well, there are already returns to Dell so they are trying to monitor the acceptance/non acceptance of Win 8.

I asked about my downgrade rights and he immediately said..no problem if I want to downgrade but I should talk to the correct Employer Software Support Program not him because he is Expired Warranty. He did say that there is NO reinstallation disk for win 8. That does not exist if you have Win 8 OEM from ANY manufacturer because Microsoft made it this way. Yet he said I could do a clean install but without a disk...that makes no sense. We then talked about what bothers me so much in Win 8 (he wanted to know on behalf of Dell which is collecting this information from everyone). Then he transferred me to the correct department where I was told I should call between 8-5PM T-F CST to avoid long holds. So, I will call tomorrow as I am not even on the Win 8 computer now.
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson


Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
reply to plencnerb

said by plencnerb:

Well, I switched back to my Windows 8 test system, and looked at the bottom task bar.

By default, when I select one of the Windows Default Themes, the bottom bar is "Transparent". Meaning, that the bitmap image that is behind it you can see.

Picture #1 shows this in action

I did not have to do anything to enable it. It just did it for me.

However, other Windows are not Transparent. Just the bottom task bar is. I don't think there is a way to enable Transparent Windows. Just a transparent bar at the bottom.

However, to get the "peek" feature on, I right-clicked on the taskbar, and then selected "Properties". The windows in Picture #2 was then displayed. I had to check the box "Use Peek to preview the desktop when you move your mouse to the Show Desktop button at the end of the taskbar". By default, this box was unchecked.

Picture #3 shows the "Peek" feature working.

As far as my video card, it is a NVIDIA GeForce GT 220, with a Windows 8 driver. The version of the driver is 9.18.13.697, dated 10/2/2012 (See Pic #4). I installed this driver myself. Not sure what was there by default. For video cards (as well as LAN, Wireless, and Sound) I always go to the vendor to find the most current version depending on my hardware. And by Vendor, I don't mean the maker of the computer (like Dell), I go to whoever makes the card (In the case of the video card, I went to NVIDIA's webpage.

--Brian

Justin's adjustments to this text box don't work in Windows 8...I just realized it after switching back to the XP machine where it does work.

Yes, I agree Win 8 only makes the taskbar transparent (although even the default themes do not do this for me). To have Windows transparency that function needs to be on your video card and it is not on my card but I suspect that is because Microsoft has made impossible for a video card to do transparancy of windows in Windows 8. I'll find out when I can reach Dell Employer Sofware Support Program...probably have to call 4AM my time.

That Peek feature allows you see a preview of the new theme. That works for me...transparency of the taskbar does not.
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
reply to plencnerb

said by plencnerb:

I wanted to add another note about your video card.
I would verify that you are running this version of the driver. Your issue may be driver related, if you are running an old or incorrect driver for your nVidia 660 GTX card.

My personal preference is not trust Microsoft when it comes to installing drivers for network cards (both wired and wireless), video cards, and sound cards. I always make sure that I have the proper drivers based on my hardware, for the OS installed, directly from the hardware manufacturer.

--Brian

Dell had a NON Windows 8 certified driver installed on this video card yet the card is sold ONLY with Win 8 machines. (In fact, if I exercise my downgrade rights to Win 7 Pro at least two Dell employees have stated that this video card will not work on Win 7 because Microsoft so radically changed Win 8 that video cards made for Win 8 will not work if you downgrade. I find that shocking, if true, but difficult to believe could be true.

Dell just started selling the nVidia 660 series for their Win 8 machines. I got the correct driver last night from nVidia (I know to never use Dell or Microsoft Updates for drivers).

The new nVidia driver certified as the FIRST Windows 8 driver from nVidia, does not give me transparency of the taskbar and does not provide transparency of Windows through the functions of the video card itself.
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson