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In this edition of the Windows Desktop Report, Greg Shultz introduces you to AquaSnap and shows you how you can use it to bring the new Aero features to Windows XP and Vista. He also explains how you can use the controls in AquaSnap to fine tune Snap in Windows 7.
You can download AquaSnap from the Nurgo Software site or directly from the TechRepublic Software Library. Once you download AquaSnap, which comes as a MSI (Windows Installer Package) file, installation is a snap using the Setup Wizard.
Click the Settings command to get started
After the installation is complete, you’ll find the AquaSnap icon in the Notification Area. To get started, just right click on that icon and select the Settings command.
When you first launch AquaSnap, you’ll see the General tab, which allows you to choose how you want to access the tool. By default, AquaSnap configured to start with Windows and display an icon in the Notification area. I found these settings make it easy to work with AquaSnap.
When you access the AquaSnap tab, you’ll see that the default Snapping Mode setting is at the AquaSnap (advanced) level, which is a step above and beyond Windows 7’s default of a 3-position Snap. As you may know, in Windows 7, you can maximize a window by clicking and dragging its title bar to the top of the screen. To position a window on half of the screen, just click and drag the title bar toward the left or right side of the screen.
As you can see in the preview monitor, the AquaSnap (advanced) level provides you an 8-position Snap. You can drag a window’s title bar to any of the four corners to resize the window to a quarter of the screen and in addition to positioning a window on either the left or right half of the screen, you can also drag a window to the top or bottom and get a horizontal sized window.
If you drop down to the AquaSnap (simple) level you get 4-position Snap (top, bottom, left and right). You can also choose AeroSnap to get Windows 7’s default of a 3u2013position Snap or you can select the Disabled option to completely eliminate Snap altogether. Of course, with the Custom option, you get to choose how you want AquaSnap to work.
On the AquaStretch tab, you can configure how you want to be able to stretch a window. The default AquaStretch allows you to stretch a window simply by double-clicking the edge of a window.
On the AquaShake tab, you can configure how Shake feature works. The AquaShake setting makes the window you shake always stay on top, like Windows Task Manager, which some may like, but I prefer the standard AeroShake setting. Just click the title bar of the window you want to work with and while holding the mouse button down, shake the window back and forth quickly minimize all the open windows except the one that you are shaking.
The AquaGlass setting allows you to make any window that you are dragging become transparent so that you can easily see any windows underneath. As you can see, you can set to opacity using a slider bar.
When you drag a window to a Snap point, a snap indicator will appear and let you know the location in which the window will snap. By enabling and configuring the preview rectangle, you can further determine the location in which the window will snap by configuring what is essentially a shadow. You can see AquaSnap’s visual cues on a Windows 7 system.