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Dazzle your desktop with Dexpot

Create multiple desktops you'll actually use with this free tool.

Virtual desktop tools have been around a long time. They tend to be a good idea that somehow fails in implementation, often because it's just a nuisance to switch between desktops. So we didn't muster a lot of enthusiasm for Dexpot--until we tried it, that is. Yes, it enables you to create totally separate, customized desktops that you can switch between, though it's actually easy to do in Dexpot. But Dexpot offers enough choices to create useful desktops and enough ways to quickly view, change, and configure them to answer our concerns.

Dexpot's system tray icon accesses the program's functions and settings, beginning with the ability to select Desktops 1 through 4 with a click. As we mentioned, Dexpot offers a lot of ways to view your stuff, such as the Windows catalog button that opens a scrolling display of all open windows, four at a time, or the Desktop Manager, a small bar giving instant access to all four choices from the lower right corner. There's even a full-screen preview option that shows all four available desktops grouped together. The Settings sheet contains numerous options for configuring Dexpot's appearance and behavior, while the Configure Desktops wizard made it easy to set up four different looks. But while Dexpot enables individual screensaver, background, and even resolution settings, it goes deeper than appearances with the ability to enter startup commands, enable password protection, play sounds, and other options. A Desktop Rules wizard let us further customize each desktop with specific Conditions and Actions, including the ability to set exclusions.

The true test of virtual desktops is whether you keep using them. But Dexpot has some advantages that could make it indispensable. For instance, the ability to customize your display resolution could come in handy if you like to send video from your computer to your TV but lack multiple output settings. You can set a video-specialized desktop in Dexpot and just click to switch when you're in the mood for a movie. It's also great for families, working at home, gaming, and any situation that calls for a different desktop.

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