Top 10 Desktop Customization Tools for Cleaner Windows

Posted by Harshad

Top 10 Desktop Customization Tools for Cleaner Windows

Top 10 Desktop Customization Tools for Cleaner Windows

Posted: 15 Jun 2012 03:10 AM PDT

Everyone loves clean environment, but not everyone loves cleaning, especially when you hope your every minute could be dedicated to perform better, and possibly earn more income in your daily jobs. But sometimes, cluttered desktop just overwhelms you and eventually brings you the doom when you try searching files. Trust me, I am the victim, and that’s why I want to dedicate this post to help you organizing your desktop effectively.

desktop customization tool Top 10 Desktop Customization Tools for Cleaner Windows

In this particular post I won’t be giving spiritual tips on cultivating your organization soul, but showcase to you 10 practical desktop customization tools, each with distinctive features and concepts to help organizing your Windows desktop with two ultimate aims: to make your desktop cleaner, and to help your file searching much easier.

I guarantee that you will become passionate on desktop organization with these customization tools, as in the end these tools will get you triumph for your cleaner and fabulous desktop, and every time you search for your files you will thank yourself for using them. Happy organizing and customizing!

For certain software, if you’re a Windows 7 user, you might need to right click on the installation file and choose the option “Run as Administrator” in order to install the software.

Looking for more tools to gear up your Windows? We’ve picked up the best possible gears for you!

And a whole lot more!


Have too much icons and shortcuts on the desktop but too lazy to organize them? That’s the most common scenario for desktop users. Fear not, for Fences is developed to help you arrange the desktop icons in a far more intuitive, organized way.

fences Top 10 Desktop Customization Tools for Cleaner Windows

Upon the first launch the software will automatically help you organize existing icons into several dark transparent tabs, but you can organize them manually with flexible options, such as creating your own tab with a specific category name and put anything related into it. Best of all, if you’re just too lazy to even click on the icon for organization, you can hide all of them with just a click away!


If you’re a fan of Mac OS X’s docking bar, ObjectDock allows you to have the dock with similar functions to the Mac’s docking bar, even if you’re using the free version! And it’s possibly more beautiful than Mac’s dock!

objectdock Top 10 Desktop Customization Tools for Cleaner Windows

Just as how the Mac’s docking bar functions, you can put application or folder shortcuts into your dock, display running applications on it, enable and adjust their zoom effects and sizes, and ultimately position your dock on any edge of the screen! These features will significantly saves up your desktop space, and you can also grab your applications and folders easily by just looking on the bar!

Similar to most desktop customization tools, you can obtain your favorite skins from the application’s official theme site, but what I really love is the fact that it allows me to get the software or folder I want without searching in my desktop!


Now hear me out, RocketDock is very similar to the ObjectDock, but there are reasons that I feature it: It has extensive features to not only allow you to create a more organized docking bar, but also transform possibly every element of the dock into something sleek and potentially sexy as well!

rocketdock Top 10 Desktop Customization Tools for Cleaner Windows

Just like the ObjectDock, RocketDock also supports alpha-blended PNG and ICO icons with a more user-friendly settings panel, and that means you can download those extremely sleek icon packs and change them to please your eyes! Cleaner interface with appealing look is what we the Windows users ultimately seek for, right?


Tiles allows you to quickly view and manage your applications by simply looking at the edge of your screen, but it has more than it promotes.

tiles Top 10 Desktop Customization Tools for Cleaner Windows

With Tiles, you can drag any software, file or folder you use or open often into its Windows 8-styled sidebar. You can also click and swipe though the pages to view a different set of icons, or to navigate the software that you’re using.

The Tiles doesn’t have to be on the right side, you can customize its location, size and even its behavior like “Group windows from the same process together“. Have fun on exploring it, and you will discover that a feature-rich sidebar is all you need to keep your desktop organized!


With Dexpot, every Windows user can finally embrace several virtual desktops for placing different set of applications. For example you can put all your designer’s software and folders into one virtual desktop, while placing your developer’s applications on another virtual desktop. This is extremely helpful if you have different types of jobs or projects running on.

dexpot Top 10 Desktop Customization Tools for Cleaner Windows

What’s really awesome is that the Dexpot provides you tons of flexible features and settings that you can even set multiple methods to switch between the virtual desktops, and also customize everything from simple transition effects to slightly complicated desktop elements. But keep this in mind, the software is developed in the way that it should be keeping your desktop organized, so don’t ever mess up all of your virtual desktops!


You can’t imagine that a 1.3 Megabytes software can change your desktop into something epic entirely, and it is Rainmeter.

rainmeter Top 10 Desktop Customization Tools for Cleaner Windows

Rainmeter is a full-fledged desktop customization tool that provides you the ability to customize almost every portion of the desktop along with its extra widgets as well. The software is very famous within the design community due to its flexibility, user-friendliness, and the epicness invoked from the user-created skins. With Rainmeter, you could adopt rich options of clean user interface, and even ends up getting rid of desktop icons, just because it is too beautiful to put the icons!

That said, besides its original skin, you can also search through the web to download the Rainmeter skins for more choices of appearance and widget, and if you invest more time on learning its advanced customization techniques, your only limitation will be your imagination!

Emerge Desktop

If you can’t organize your desktop, how about restricting the ability to put anything on the desktop? Emerge Desktop could be your discipline teacher.

emerge desktop Top 10 Desktop Customization Tools for Cleaner Windows

Following the reboot, Emerge Desktop will hide any icon on the Desktop and take away the ability to place anything on it. With the trade you will get a full-fledged context menu with a right click, and it will be your best companion, since the menu allows you to access to possibly anywhere in your Windows.

Restricting the icon placement on desktop is just one of the many features included in this software, in fact it also comes with helpful applets, commands and themes to gear up your productivity, but what I really love is that I will not be able to do the worst thing on the desktop again – put icons everywhere.


Stick organizes your desktop with a fresh technique that utilizes the tab concept. It has generally 3 types of tabs: News Feed, Navigator and Notes.

stick Top 10 Desktop Customization Tools for Cleaner Windows

News Feed and Notes are quite self-explanatory, but Navigator is pretty interesting: while it can be used to navigate your existing folders, it can also serve as a web browser!

The beauty of this software is that if you have finished reading or navigating the content, you can just click on the tab and it will hide the content without closing it, and the tab will stick on the top of your desktop. With this approach, you can view the tab any time you want, just click on it! Imagine the space you can save up by constructing a folder directory within the tab, or the time you can save from searching your content here and there in your computer!


Be creative. Eventually you’re just too tired of moving the files and folders here and there in order to keep the desktop organized. Now, what if you can organize your file into folder directory with just 2 clicks away? MyFolders is the software to do it!

myfolders Top 10 Desktop Customization Tools for Cleaner Windows

With MyFolders, you get to define folder destination in the context menu existed with a right click for easier future access. This could save a lot of desktop space since you could just place the folders you want to access into the menu.

Furthermore, if you want to move certain file to the defined folder, you can just right click on the file, hover to “MyFolders” > “Move To” > (Folder Name), then your job is done! No cluttered windows!

Besides the “Move To” ability, there’s also a “Copy To” function in case you want to duplicate certain file into different folders, which is probably another great feature that could potentially speeding up your desktop organization process! Well, an extremely easy solution for the overwhelming issue!


It’s not really a desktop organization/customization tool, really, but it guarantees you an instant access to anything you want in your Windows, especially when you gave up to organize your forever-artistically-cluttered-desktop! It’s pretty easy and intuitive to use, but it’s better for you to use it 30 or 60 minutes after installation, since it needs time to create the search catalog.

launchy Top 10 Desktop Customization Tools for Cleaner Windows

To use the Launchy, you can just press on ALT + SPACE to fire up the application, then type the name of the software, file, or folder you want to search, and the Launchy will display to you the possible results. And heck, if you’re an advanced user, you can even use it to execute commands other than launching application!

Basically Launchy can search general executable files, but if it failed to do so you can add the file catalog manually by clicking on the gear-like icon on its interface, then access to “Catalog” and click on the “+” button to add a directory path, then press “Ok” and eventually “Rescan Catalog“. You can also include other file types by tweaking the settings in the same settings window!

Now you can just put all your files and folders from desktop to the folders located anywhere in your Windows except desktop, and call them through Launchy anytime you need them!


While it is intelligent to choose multiple customization tools for a better desktop organization, it’s essential for you to avoid embracing all of them. The act will not only burdens your Windows, but also making it crash easier since certain software might clash with others.

There’s always a better software existed in this fast-paced software industry! If you have got a better desktop organization software, please don’t mind to share with us! Also do share with us your secret tips on organizing your Windows desktop!

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A Look into: CSS3 Negation (:NOT) Selector

Posted: 20 Jun 2012 06:09 AM PDT

CSS has some selectors that allow you to select elements in certain conditions such as :hover, :focus, :active, etc. Yet today we will not cover those selectors. We will look into one which is still a little known method but used by most web designers – that is the :not selector or also known as negation selector.

notselector cover A Look into: CSS3 Negation (:NOT) Selector

What does it do?

I’m sure that the :not name itself has already described its function, that it will simply select the opposite of the element or condition specified. For example:

This syntax will select any element other than p (paragraph).


While the example syntax below will select the div element that does not have class abc


All right, now, let’s try this selector in a real example:

First of all, let’s make a few paragraphs with a few links from Wikipedia and a few links with fictional domains. Here is the HTML markup for the paragraph.

  <article>      <h1>The CSS :not Selector Demo</h1>      <p>Jujubes applicake sesame snaps chupa chups <a href="http://www.thisisnotwikipedia.com/">chocolate cake</a>. Oat cake marshmallow wypas toffee donut cake. Chupa chups jelly cupcake gummi bears. Lemon drops cake wafer.</p>      <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheesecake">Cheesecake chocolate cake donut</a> jelly sweet roll powder soufflé chocolate cake. Wypas cotton candy lemon drops cookie candy donut bonbon marzipan. Macaroon candy liquorice jelly-o. Chocolate pie sweet roll candy <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshmallow">marshmallow</a> dragée cotton candy brownie marshmallow.</p>      <p>Pudding topping marshmallow bear claw. Pie muffin pastry gummies <a href="http://www.exampledomain.com">fruitcake brownie</a> jelly gingerbread sesame snaps. Candy pudding cupcake bear claw. Carrot cake muffin cotton candy tootsie roll muffin. Jelly beans tart dragée sweet icing <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chocolate_bar">wafer topping chocolate bar</a>. Sweet roll toffee sugar plum pastry dragée <a href="http://www.somename.co/">bonbon candy muffin</a>.</p>      <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastry">Cake marzipan applicake pastry</a> wypas fruitcake. Oat cake chocolate wypas dragée sugar plum carrot cake icing. Caramels chocolate bar croissant wafer cupcake pie jujubes chocolate bar. Biscuit candy canes dragée.Candy brownie oat cake sesame snaps cheesecake powder tootsie roll biscuit bear claw. Soufflé gummi bears jelly beans sesame snaps faworki <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dessert">cookie dessert sweet bonbon</a>.</p>  </article>  

The plan here is: we will select only the links that is not pointing to Wikipedia and then give those links an exclamation mark to alert attention towards those links.

First, we will add an :after pseudo-element on all the links to place the mark, and we define it as an inline-block element.

    a:after {            display: inline-block;        }

Then, to select every link that is not pointing to Wikipedia, we will combine the :not selector with an attribute selector. The attribute selector here will select every anchor tag which the href attribute begins with http://en.wikipedia.org/ and by combining it with the :not, it will obviously select the opposite. So here we go:

    a:not([href^="http://en.wikipedia.org/"]):after {       background-color: #F8EEBD;       border: 1px solid #EEC56D;       border-radius: 3px 3px 3px 3px;       color: #B0811E;       content: "!";       font-size: 10pt;       margin-left: 5px;       padding: 1px 6px;       position: relative;    }

not preview 1 A Look into: CSS3 Negation (:NOT) Selector

It works! The anchor tags that do not point to Wikipedia now has an exclamation mark.

Chrome Bug

If you view this in Chrome, you’ll notice that the rendered effect is not as the above. All the links appear to have an exclamation mark regardless of the URL.

not preview chrome A Look into: CSS3 Negation (:NOT) Selector

This case has actually been addressed as a bug. So, to fix this bug, we need to add this rule.

    a[href^="http://en.wikipedia.org/"] /*Chrome Hack*/ {          display: inline-block;     }

And now the problem should have been fixed.


In some circumstances using the :not selector is really the most effective option, just like the above example, where we are able to select some random elements without even adding unnecessary class, or additional markup to the document.

You can actually further build great effects by utilizing this selector, and this is one example: Filter Functionality with CSS3

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How to Find Your Previous Google Search Queries [Quicktip]

Posted: 15 Jun 2012 01:21 AM PDT

Google has been the search engine of choice for many of your burning (and not so burning) questions. Preference for it is so popular, that whenever you ask someone about a topic, they’d ask you to ‘Google it’. With hundreds of queries made every day, there are times when you may have found the result you wanted, read it, closed it and forgotten about it. Then one day, you may need to retrieve the same page but can’t remember the url or how you generated that search result in the first place!

Google history page How to Find Your Previous Google Search Queries [Quicktip]

To get back the search result you found previously, you may check your browser’s history. But if the search was done many days earlier, you may have to start from square one – regoogle it.

If however you have Google History, it’s a whole new different story. As long as you are logged in when doing any type of search, Google History has all the records of your search results alongside a calendar for easier navigation. Not only will you get to see all visited sites recorded, you get to check out all the search queries you made and on which day you made it.

Retrieving Search History

It is easy to retrieve your search history, just head over to the Google History page and log in with your Google ID.

google history sign in How to Find Your Previous Google Search Queries [Quicktip]

Once logged in, you will be presented with your latest activity on Google Search, that includes your search keyword and the pages you visited.

google history result How to Find Your Previous Google Search Queries [Quicktip]

On the left column, you have an option to simplify your search history by categories like web, images, news and many more while on the right you can see a calendar for easy navigation so you can specifically check the search query made on a specific date.

Search and ‘Click’ Trends

Now with Google History you can also check your search trends by clicking on ‘Trends’ found on the left menu

google history trend How to Find Your Previous Google Search Queries [Quicktip]

From the trend page, you get to see your search behavior, hourly and monthly, as well as the top queries made on Google.

google history trend results How to Find Your Previous Google Search Queries [Quicktip]

Expanding Google History record

If you like how Google keeps your data and want them to track all of your browsing history even when you don’t use Google Search, you need to download Google Toolbar on your browser. Click on the link ‘Expand your web history’ at the top right corner of the Google History page.

google history expand How to Find Your Previous Google Search Queries [Quicktip]

Then click on ‘Expand Web History’ button.

google history expand history How to Find Your Previous Google Search Queries [Quicktip]

If you are using Chrome browser, there will be no toolbar required since all the features were already built in on Chrome.


Now with Google History, not only you get to find the keywords you used, but you can also see all the websites you opened when you searched the keywords. Trends on the other hand will give you a little insight into your activities on Google Search, including your search behavior at which time of the day and on which search engine.

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