Nov
22
2010

Make Multiple Desktops and keep your workflow more organised with Dexpot

Virtual desktops are a way to help computer users organize themselves better as they work or play. In simple terms, a virtual desktop allows you to have multiple desktop workspaces just like if you were using multiple monitors; the difference is instead of changing from monitor to monitor, you navigate between these multiple desktop workspaces just like you would navigate from one tab to another in Firefox or Internet Explorer. For example, instead of having all the windows related to task A and all the windows related to task B on the same desktop, a user can put all the windows related to task A in desktop one and all the windows related to task B in desktop two. Then the user can switch back and forth between the desktops as he/she pleases.

Linux, Unix and Mac OS X all have this feature built-in, but on Windows it is sadly absent. Thankfully though, a large number of external programs are available from the internet that can give you this functionality and more. Today I want to share with you the one I think is the best of the bunch.

Dexpot (pronounced like decks-pot) is a lightweight program that works mainly out of your system tray. It lets you create up to 20 Virtual Desktops to switch between, with 4 being created by default on installation. As well as the basic Virtual Desktop management, though, Dexpot has a large number of other “main” features, most of which can be accessed by right-clicking its System Tray icon. Here’s a list of them, with screenshots of each provided by the developers (the developers are German so a lot of screenshots are written in German, but don’t worry – there IS an English version of the program, and it’s quite well translated in my opinion):

Window Catalogue
“Have you ever seen windows tiling? No? Well, it’s about time then.”

This feature allows you to view all your open windows in ‘catalog’ style.

Full-screen Preview
“Microsoft XP Powertoy, just more beautiful, simple, and better. Full-size.”

This feature allows you to view all your desktops side by side to each other.

Desktop Manager
“Small and unobtrusive: a faithful companion for presentations and every-day desktop switching.”

This feature allows you to open a small widget where you can click on different desktops to switch to them.

Desktop Preview
“In case you want to know what’s up on other desktops.”

This feature takes the full-screen preview feature and fits it into a widget similar to “Desktop Manager”.

Desktop Windows
“How can one describe such functional glory in three lines? Simply take a look, now!”

This feature allows you see which desktop has which windows open. Also, you can view which icons are on each desktop.

Desktop Rules
“This small but powerful module helps to distribute windows.”

Dexpot also allows you to Configure Desktops, either all at once or individually, allowing you to make each Desktop completely different from each other. For example, you can give each Desktop its own wallpaper, screen saver, etc. You can customize each desktop even more if you go to Settings and active custom resolution and icons via the “Switching Desktop” button. This allows you to set a different resolution for each desktop and the ability to add different icons to each desktop without having them appear on all of the desktops. There are a lot of other settings tucked into various areas of the Settings panel, including setting hotkeys for moving from desktop to desktop, moving windows from desktop to desktop, etc.

Dexpot even allows you to change the appearance of each individual window within a Desktop. If you right-click on an open window, you can change its transparency, set it to be ‘always on top’, ‘roll’ it up, and minimize the window to system tray. My most favorite feature of Dexpot is the ability to ‘hide’ a window by moving it to another desktop. All this and being very lightweight at the same time: ~2-4MB RAM usage for me.

Dexpot supports every version of Windows in common usage, including 64-bit editions. For Windows 7 users, it even integrates into the Windows 7 taskbar, offering greater control. Are you interested in Dexpot? If so, you can download it from the developer’s website or by clicking here.

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