Review: Simulate a window border with FrameDummy | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Review: Simulate a window border with FrameDummy

Create "dummy" windows on your desktop with this unique freeware.

FrameDummy creates a simulated Windows frame on your desktop, complete with title bar, icon, and other features and functions of a normal window. FrameDummy's main window is transparent and shows whatever is behind it on the desktop, but you can also embed images and even fill, center, and stretch them to fit, just like desktop wallpaper. In most ways, FrameDummy behaves like any window: You can drag it to resize or move it around the desktop, change the border color and transparency, and customize the title bar; and FrameDummy's Minimize, Maximize, and Close buttons work just like they do with a program, except FrameDummy is its own program. FrameDummy is portable freeware that is suitable for Windows XP to 8.

Since FrameDummy is portable, we suggest extracting its executable and configuration files to a specific folder to keep them together. FrameDummy opened with a blank window and instructions to press Ctrl + S to open the program's Settings sheet. The hot key combo isn't documented anywhere else, so try not to forget it if you change the title bar's text! Fortunately, right-clicking the program's window also opens the Settings. Here we could change the title bar's text, browse to select a new icon, choose a variety of Border options from a drop-down menu, and set other options such as Opacity, Show in Taskbar, and Topmost (always on top). The shaded lower section handles images with an entry field, Browse and Clear buttons, Sizing options, and a color picker. Our only quibble was with the small pop-up message accessing the About menu; once it appeared, it wouldn't go away, and it obscured the color button. We browsed to a few images, fit them in various ways, and tinkered with the border, title bar, and other options. Closing the window saved our settings, and FrameDummy displayed our image and options the next time we opened it.

So what's FrameDummy for? Suggestions range from software development to pranks: Create a realistic but nonfunctional program window to fool hapless users into thinking something's gone wrong. Mischievous? Maybe; but they'll be glad it's only a prank!

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