CNET Editors' review
BetterDesktopTool integrates a tool sorely lacking from Windows--the ability to instantly move, adjust, and compartmentalize desktops on your computer. While there is similar functionality in Windows 8, BetterDesktopTool makes it more intuitive and easier to manage than Microsoft's default controls--much closer to what you can do in OS X. The result is a powerful background application that can improve productivity and control, while working.
After installing BetterDesktopTool it immediately goes to your tray to run in the background. Despite this, it uses only a small amount of memory--a fraction of what your Web browser does. Open the menu and you can set hot keys for things like "show all windows," "show foreground windows," and "show desktop." These are all very useful, but the real winner in this piece of software is the virtual desktop creation option. With the tap of a button you can open a quartet of virtual desktops, allowing you to separate your work into separate screens, similar to what OS X allows on the Mac. Better yet, it is very fast, and having multiple desktops running doesn't seem to add to memory more than having those apps open on one screen.
We were extremely impressed with the speed, intuitive controls, and memory-friendly operation of BetterDesktopTool. For anyone obsessed with squeezing every ounce of productivity possible out of their PC, this is a must-have tool, and a fine example of how to enhance Windows without bogging it down with additional features.
Having dozens of overlapped windows is a normal scenario on a desktop computer. The operating system provides various methods of switching between windows. Even if these methods have been improved over time, BetterDesktopTool makes it much more efficient to locate and select different windows. It displays all the windows in an overview without overlapping them. Furthermore, the application comes with a Virtual-Desktops feature, which allows you to extend your workspace. Window-Overview displays all the windows on your desktop, without overlapping them, regardless if they are minimized or maximized. In this arrangement you can select an arbitrary window and bring it to the front. It is also possible to assign shortcuts for moving all windows out of the way so you can see your desktop, or show an overview of minimized, non-minimized or foreground app windows. Another useful feature, which you will definitely appreciate, is the possibility of activating up to 64 Virtual-Desktops. You may assign the same type of shortcuts and use them to display all the desktops in a grid. When you activate this view mode, you just need to click a desktop to zoom in on it. Alternatively, you can define shortcuts to switch between desktop instantly. You can find the same icons layout on each virtual desktop. The only difference is that you will not find any active windows. In other words, if you are working with too many windows and you cannot organize them properly, you may activate and use a series of fresh desktops. The best part is that BetterDesktopTool enables you to move any window, from one desktop to another, while the grid view is active. Furthermore you are able to setup global windows which appear on all Virtual-Desktops. All Features can be activated with freely chosen keyboard shortcuts, the mouse wheel or its extra buttons, or by moving the mouse cursor to one of the screen's corners. The software fully supports usage of multiple screens.
What's new in this version: Added super/windows key to shortcuts and enabled usage of up to 3 modifier keys at a time Added shortcuts to directly switch to a particular Virtual-Desktop (0-9) Added shortcuts to directly transport a window to a particular Virtual-Desktop (0-9) Added shortcuts to directly send a window to a particular Virtual-Desktop (0-9) Fixed some minor issues
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