goScreen

Virtual Desktop Manager for Microsoft® Windows
version 9.0


How-to guides:


"Left click" stands for "single click with the left mouse button"
"Right click" stands for "single click with the right mouse button"
In general, to discover different aspects of functionality, try left click, or right click on different parts of goScreen windows; also try holding Ctrl keyboard key down.

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Installation and setup

To install goScreen:

There are two forms of goScreen distribution package - goScreen.zip and setup_goScreen.exe. The latter one is just a self-extracting form of the former one. It extracts goScreen.zip, unzips it, and runs gsSetup.exe. Otherwise, both packages are identical. It is only a matter of convenience.

So, run gsSetup.exe, choose Install, and follow the instructions.

Distribution package contains: goScreen.exe − main executable, gsSetup.exe − setup program, several DLL files, each of which contains language-dependent resources (goScreen is multi-lingual) and goScreen.htm - help file.

The purpose of Setup is to copy the package files to a specified location, and optionally, to configure goScreen to be started at Windows start-up, to create goScreen program group on Start menu, and to install a desktop shortcut to it.

Windows 8 and 8.1 lack Start menu, but that does not change much - it only looks different. All elements of Start menu are inplace, which makes it easy to 3rd party tools to emulate it.

IMPORTANT NOTE: To initiate the goScreen's trial period you need to run it once with administrator privileges: right click a shortcut to goScreen and choose Run as administrator menu item. Next time you can run goScreen with your normal privileges.

It is possible to run gsSetup in batch mode, with no user interface. If you have to install goScreen on hundreds or even thousands of computers in your organization, you should definitely consider this possibility. Please contact me for details.

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To modify the installation:

Close goScreen if it is running. On Start - Settings - Control Panel menu, choose Add or Remove Programs (Windows XP) or Programs and Features (Windows Vista and newer). Then choose Andrew Guryanov's goScreen item and press Change/Remove button (XP) or Uninstall/Change (Vista). When Setup program starts - choose Install or Customize, and perform the installation again.

Please note, in case you are re-installing goScreen into another directory, you have to remove files in the previous directory manually.

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To customize shortcuts to goScreen:

There are several ways of customizing goScreen behavior: it is possible to make it use configuration file instead of registry, to create and use different configuration profiles in registry, to manage different monitors independently. All this requires use of command line paramaters, that is, creating and editing Windows shortcuts (links). You can do this either manually, or with the help of goScreen setup program - gsSetup. The benefit of utilizing gsSetup is that it creates or modifies shortcuts for you, generating correct command lines. It hides unnecessary technical details, leaving to you decision making.

Run gsSetup, choose Customize, specify other options. Then on Customeze file shortcuts to goScreen pane, specify desired options.

There are four groups of shortcuts:

StartupStart goScreen on Windows startup
DesktopShortcuts to goScreen on desktop
Start menuShortcuts to goScreen on Start menu
CustomAll other shortcuts to goScreen

The location of first three folders is fixed, when adding shortcut here, you can specify its name only. When adding Custom shortcut, you also need to specify where to find (or create) it. If Setup fails to find existing shortcut, you can add it manually - press Add button, browse to the location of existing or new shortcut, specify its name and press Open.

Next, you can specify where to store configuration settings - in file or in registry. If the file or registry profile does not exist, it will be created. Instances of goScreen that manage different monitors and run at the same time must use different profiles.

Please be especially careful when configuring Startup shortcuts. These start automatically on Windows startup. Even though nothing bad will happen in any case, it might be tricky to understand what is wrong with goScreen.

Finally, press Next button, then Install.

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To uninstall goScreen:

The purpose of de-installation is to remove goScreen files from computer and to clean up registry. Unlike many other programs, goScreen, when uninstalled, leaves no traces in the registry. It means that all configuration information will be erased (this is optional though). That is, if you plan to re-install it later - you will have to configure it again. In this case, maybe it is worth to consider saving configuration information into a file.

Close goScreen if it is running. On Start - Settings - Control Panel menu, choose Add or Remove Programs (Windows XP) or Programs and Features (Windows Vista). Then choose Andrew Guryanov's goScreen item and press Change/Remove button (XP) or Uninstall/Change (Vista). When setup program starts - choose Uninstall and follow the instructions.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In case you stop using registered copy of goScreen (at all, or on a given computer), you must uninstall it. It is not a problem, if you have never installed it before. Just find gsSetup.exe, run it and perform the Uninstall.

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To close goScreen:

Close its primary user interface window. Initially, it is the Control bar.

Maintenance

Automatic backup and restore.

Periodically, when computer is idle, goScreen runs automatic maintenance, cleaning memory, deleting unused temporary files that it has created earlier, and backing up its own configuration settings - creating restore points. Bad things happen. This mechanism makes it possible to completely restore goScreen configuration to an earlier point in time.

To restore goScreen configuration, Open the Properties dialog box; in the Maintenance pane, pick restore point on Restore to drop-down list, press Restore button.

Depending on computer configuration, the automatic maintenance may fail to run for considerable periods of time. It waits for idle time, but Windows might put computer to sleep before that - to save energy. In most cases, this is not a problem, but still, goScreen can fail to create restore points sometimes. To make goScreen create restore point immediately - in the Maintenance pane, press Run button next to Maintenance done on text. Also, you might want to consider exporting configuration settings manually.

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To export or import configuration settings:

While automatic backup is helpful, there is still a place for manual one. One could feel much safer, having written down all settings into a file and placing this file into a safe place, far from the computer.

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Maintenance pane, press one of Export buttons. To merge settings back, use Import buttons.

Exporting everything would be a wise decision to provide emergency backup. I strongly recommend it. Please note, such a backup includes Launchpad shortcuts. That is, one file is all you need.

Yet another scenario could be transferring configuration settings from one computer to another. Transferring everything does not always makes sense. What is convenient on a desktop PC, might be undesirable on an Ultra-Mobile one. It is possible to export and import only a portion of settings: visual appearance, keyboard hot keys and mouse shortcuts, window handling rules, default applications commands.

Finally, ease of changing part of or all configuration parameters, makes it possible to do so on the same computer depending on work place, convenience, or mood.

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To transfer configuration settings to another PC:

For example, you have got new PC and would like to transfer goScreen there without re-configuring it again. Or, you would like to share you configuration settings with the rest of the world (say for instance, you are system administrator and have to install it on several computers in your organization).

First option to consider is, of course, export and import. Another one, is working with registry directly.

Close goScreen if it is running (it saves all the settings). Run regedit. Find and select the key named HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Andrew Guryanov\goScreen. On File menu choose Export item. Specify the file name to which settings will be saved. This is actually a plain text file, so one can look on its contents using notepad. Then copy this file to another computer, make sure goScreen is not running, right click the file with settings in Explorer and choose Merge menu item.

Please note, all references to other files (paths - it can be Windows icons, pictures, other programs) are absolute. That is, on another computer goScreen should be able to find these files on same locations. If it is unable to, goScreen just ignores such settings.

If you prefer the command line interface, here is how to export the registry settings: c regedit /e goscreen.reg "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Andrew Guryanov\goScreen"
    Settings will be exported into goscreen.reg file. And here is how to merge the settings back into registry:
    regedit /s goscreen.reg

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To use a configuration file instead of registry settings:

By default, goScreen saves all configuration settings into the Windows registry (under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Andrew Guryanov\goScreen), but it is possible to make it use configuration file instead. The solution is to specify name of the file in the beginning of goScreen command line. That is it. If the command line is not empty, goScreen interprets it as a configuration file name. Put the file name in quotes if it contains blanks. Also, I would recommend specifying full path names only.

Please note, the file name, if specified, must be the first parameter of the command line.

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To create and use different configuration profiles:

Imagine the following scenario: you run goScreen on your mobile computer. When coming to a customer, you would prefer a specific goScreen configuration. When on the road - another one. When at office, you connect your mobile PC to the office desktop and, again, you need yet another configuration. To make this possible, you can choose between following options:

  1. Use Export/Import settings.
  2. Use configuration files.
  3. Create several configuration profiles in registry. As with the configuration file, you have to use the command line. The command line parameter name is -profile=, which is followed by the profile name you would like to use or create. For example, when you start goScreen using the following command line:
        "C:\Program Files\goScreen\goScreen.exe" -profile=OntheRoad
    it will use the profile named OntheRoad.
    To copy configuration settings from one profile to another, you can Export them from one profile, then Import into another.

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To transfer screen page settings to another page:

Open the Page properties dialog box; in the Maintenance pane, press one of Copy or Swap buttons.

In addition to screen page repositories, page properties can be stored on clipboard. It possible to Copy all or some properties on the clipboard, and Swap them with the contents of the clipboard. In the latter case page properties are copied on the clipboard, while at the same time properties from the clipboard are copied into this page.

For example, to exchange properties of page 1 and page 2, one has to do three steps:

  1. Open page 1 properties dialog box. Press Copy. Press OK.
  2. Open page 2 properties dialog box. Press Swap. Press OK.
  3. Open page 1 properties dialog box. Press Swap. Press OK.

To move properties of pages 2 and 3, respectively to page 3 and 4 (in this example, properties of page 4 end up in page 2):

  1. Open page 2 properties dialog box. Press Copy. Press OK.
  2. Open page 3 properties dialog box. Press Swap. Press OK.
  3. Open page 4 properties dialog box. Press Swap. Press OK.
  4. Open page 2 properties dialog box. Press Swap. Press OK.

To copy properties of page 2 both to page 3 and 4:

  1. Open page 2 properties dialog box. Press Copy. Press OK.
  2. Open page 3 properties dialog box. Press Swap. Press Copy. Press OK.
  3. Open page 4 properties dialog box. Press Swap. Press Copy. Press OK.

Please note, while it is perfectly normal when more than one page has the same attributes - name, description, icon etc, the set of keyboard hot keys can be owned by one page only. One hot key cannot do more than one action.

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To start more than one instance of goScreen to manage different PC monitors independently:

On multiple monitor systems Windows considers all the screen space as a single virtual screen. The desktop covers the virtual screen (which resides on multiple monitors) instead of a single monitor. By default, goScreen's screen pages cover the same virtual screen.

Still, it is possible to make goScreen manage a specific monitor only; and, once this is possible, to start multiple instances of goScreen, each of which manages its own monitor. This should not create an illusion of complete independence of PC monitors. Two, or more, instances of goScreen still run on the same computer: there is still one single OS, and one single taskbar, which in this scenario could become sort of misleading sometimes. Also, please note:

  • Different instances of goScreen must use different configuration profiles, so they do not overwrite each other's settings;
  • Multiple instances of goScreen cannot share the same keyboard or mouse shortcuts;
  • There is only one desktop background picture: if one instance of goScreen manages it, others should not;
  • X-Mouse tool is global - it still sees application windows on all monitors. If one instance of goScreen has it enabled, others should not.

The behavior is configured from a command line, using -monitor= parameter. Let us say you have two monitors:

  1. Primary one with the screen resolution 1280x1024 and upper left corner at (0,0);
  2. Secondary one with the screen resolution 1024x768 and upper left corner at (-1024,0). (Put the cursor over the second monitor in the Desktop Setup - Display Properties dialog box, Settings tab - to determine its location settings.)

Create two shortcuts to goScreen:

  1. Shortcut #1 will start goScreen that handles the primary monitor and uses the standard settings profile. Its command line looks like this:
    "C:\Program Files\goScreen\goScreen.exe" -monitor=1280x1024+0+0
  2. Shortcut #2 will start goScreen that handles the secondary monitor and uses alternative settings profile named second. The command line should look like this:
    "C:\Program Files\goScreen\goScreen.exe" -monitor=1024x768-1024+0 -profile=second

goScreen prevents you from starting two instances that manage the same monitor. Still, it does not prevent from using the same profile - this is your responsibility.

GoScreen is pretty flexible about recognizing changing monitor setup.

Say for instance, as in the example above, you start goScreen using shortcut #2 when there is no monitor to the left. Second instance of goScreen will start, but will not pick up any monitor and will not see any application windows. If, at a later time, you connect a second monitor and properly enable it in Windows, goScreen #2 will recognize the fact that now there is monitor it is supposed to manage and will start working. If you then change monitor configuration in Windows so that now your second monitor is to the right, goScreen #2 will disconnect from that monitor and, again, will see no applications.

If you change screen resolution of secondary monitor (the one to the left), goScreen #2 will look for a "nearest" monitor, and, most likely, will identify it correctly. That is, the -monitor= command line parameter should not match your secondary monitor settings exactly; it only gives an approximate search area. From another side, if there are two or more monitors in this search rectangle, goScreen will pick up and manage only one of them.

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User interface windows

GoScreen has the following user interface windows:

  • Control bar is a small window with numbered screen page buttons and, optionally, [?] and [x] buttons.
  • System tray icons (Icons in taskbar's status area) are designed to imitate the Control bar - to make it look as though the Control bar has been placed into system tray.
  • Window list resembles a menu, while being much more than one. It lists all currently open application windows on all screen pages.
  • Window map is an Application Desktop Toolbar. It is a window with relatively large buttons that show screen page background pictures and lists of applications running on each page.

IMPORTANT NOTE: goScreen has no hard-coded main window. Let us define primary window as the one that always exists while the application is running, closing it quits the application. With goScreen it is you - user - who decides which one of user interface windows will be the primary one: Control bar, Window list, or Window map.

Secondary windows can exist or not; primary one exists always as long as goScreen is running. Each user interface window provides, with some variations, access to all the functionality of goScreen. Depending on your personal preferences and work habits, you might find one of them to be more convenient than others. If so, go ahead and assign this window to be the primary user interface.

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Properties dialog boxes

All configuration parameters can be found in two dialog boxes: goScreen properties - parameters that define behavior and visual appearance of user interface windows, and those common to all virtual desktops, and Page properties - parameters of a specific screen page. The meaning of each parameter is explained in a tooltip window that shows when one hovers the mouse cursor over a dialog box control.

To open goScreen properties dialog box:

Left click the [?] button on the Control bar. Or right click the non-button area, or title bar of any user interface window and choose Properties menu item. Or click on goScreen window and press F1 on the keyboard. Or define a keyboard or mouse shortcut to Properties command, and use it.

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To open Page properties dialog box:

Right click a page button and choose Properties menu item. Or define a keyboard or mouse shortcut to Page properties command, and use it.

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To change the font used in Properties dialog boxes:

This is actually a Windows-wide parameter. The font is the standard Message box font. To change it on Windows 7, for example, right click the monitor screen and choose Personalize menu item. Click Window color link, then Advanced appearance settings. In the Window Color and Appearance dialog window, select Message Box on Item drop-down list. Change the font, press Apply.

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Configuration

These parameters define configuration and roles of goScreen user interface windows.

To change the language of the user interface:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Configuration pane, select a language on the Language drop-down list. The language changes only after you close the Properties dialog window.

If you do not find your favorite language in the list - visit goScreen's WEB site - there is a chance it has been added recently. This feature is available only due to invaluable contributions of volunteers, who took time to translate it. Please join me in praising them.

All language-dependent resources are stored in special DLLs, each of which has a unique name like gsResXX.dll. Only one such DLL is used at any given time, so one can remove unused or add new ones. There is only one exception: never remove nor rename gsRes.dll - the one, which provides resources for the English version.

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To change the number of screen pages:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Configuration pane, enter the number in the Number of pages text box. The change takes effect only after you close the Properties dialog box.

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To choose primary user interface:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Configuration pane, select a primary window in the Primary user interface group. Primary user interface window exists always, closing it quits the application. Secondary windows can be opened and closed upon request. The change takes effect only after you close the Properties dialog box.

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To add goScreen icon to the system tray:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Configuration pane, select the Add icon to system tray check box. Left click on goScreen system tray icon activates the primary window; right click opens a menu that lists all applications on all virtual desktops and also gives access to most of goScreen commands.

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To add page button icons to the system tray:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Configuration pane, select the Add page buttons to system tray check box. These icons resemble Control bar page buttons and act like ones. There are several limitations in system tray icon's visual appearance imposed by the operating system:

  • It must be square, which makes it impossible to put a page button name or icon on it;
  • In early versions of Microsoft Windows it may have only 16 colors.

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General parameters

These parameters are common to all goScreen user interface windows.

To define how to display the list of applications running on a screen page:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the General pane and select a method on the Show contents as drop-down list. This list is displayed when one hovers the mouse cursor over a screen page button. You can instruct goScreen to show it as a regular tooltip text, or as a menu. In the latter case, choosing an item on such menu activates a virtual desktop where this application is running, and then activates the selected application window there.

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To show thumbnails of inactive screen pages:

In addition to displaying list of applications, goScreen can also show screen page previews. Open the Properties dialog box; in the General pane select the Use page preview check box.

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To change goScreen tooltip font:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the General pane, press the Tool tip font button.

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To sort application lists:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the General pane, select a method on the Sort application lists drop-down list. There are three options to sort lists:

  • in order of activation (currently active application goes first),
  • alphabetically,
  • in order of creation (oldest window goes first).

Please note, chronological sorting is not reliable for couple of reasons: Microsoft Windows does not provide any chronological information about application window creation; some applications can reuse their already existing windows for different purposes - so, even if a window appears new to you, it might look old to goScreen.

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To close menus automatically:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the General pane, select the Auto-close menus check box. In this case goScreen closes all its menus automatically when the mouse cursor moves away from them - so, there is no need to press Esc keyboard key.

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To list on menus application windows, which show on all screen pages:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the General pane, select the List sticky windows check box. Once an application window is visible on all virtual desktops, you might wish to not to show it on menus, in Window list, and Window map - to save space.

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To accentuate title of currently active application:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the General pane, select the Underline title of currently active application check box. Each virtual desktop has its own currently active application.

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To define screen page transition effect:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the General pane, select an item on Page transition effect drop-down list.

When Random effect is selected, it is also possible to specify a set of effects to choose from: press the [...] button next to the drop-down list and select the effects you like.

The duration of page transition animation is the same as duration of the layout animation.

Please note, when other applications on your computer consume too much physical memory (RAM), goScreen automatically disables page transition animations - speed is more important.

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To define the duration of layout animation:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the General pane, specify the duration using the Duration of layout animation slider.

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To use transition effect in Properties dialog boxes:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Miscellany pane, select the Use transition effect in dialog boxes check box. This activates smooth scrolling of dialog box panes.

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Control bar

Control bar is a small window with numbered screen page buttons and, optionally, [?] and [x] buttons.

To open or activate Control bar:

Right click the non-button area, or the active screen page button, and choose User interface - Control bar from Commands menu, or use a shortcut command.

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To move goScreen Control bar:

Move the mouse cursor to the non-button area. Press the left mouse button and, while holding it down, move the mouse. Release the left mouse button to drop the Control bar.

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To resize goScreen Control bar:

Move the mouse cursor to the top or bottom of the non-button area of the Control bar until it changes to a resize cursor. Press the left mouse button and, while holding it down, move the mouse. Release the left mouse button to release Control bar.

Resizing changes only the layout of the Control bar, - it does not change the size of screen page buttons. The latter is calculated automatically and is defined by the button font, button name, presence of page button icon, and its size.

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To show or hide window controls on the Control bar:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Control bar pane, select or unselect the Show window controls check box. When the controls are not shown, use F1 to display Properties dialog box, Alt+F4 to close the Control bar.

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To make Control bar smaller:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Control bar pane, select the No minimal height check box. This option allows Control bar page buttons to be as small as their font will allow. In other words, it has effect only when using small fonts.

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To make Control bar transparent when it is inactive:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Control bar pane, define the transparency using the Transparency when inactive slider.

It is possible to make the Control bar ignore all mouse input when being transparent: unselect Make opaque automatically check box. In this case one can access windows that are below it, while the Control bar is still visible. The only way to access the Control bar in this scenario is to activate it somehow, by means other than clicking on it.

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To change the Control bar visual appearance:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Control bar -- Appearance pane, edit page button font, colors, and size of an icon which can be displayed on a page button.

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System tray icons (Icons in taskbar's status area)

It is possible to add to taskbar's status area (system tray) either a single goScreen icon, or goScreen icon and page button icons.

Page button icons were designed to imitate the Control bar - to make it look as though the Control bar has been placed into system tray. The icons provide all of the Control bar functionality with few limitations in visual appearance.

To change system tray icons visual appearance:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the System tray icons pane, edit icon font, and colors

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Window list

Window list resembles a menu, while being much more than one. It lists all currently open application windows on all virtual desktops.

To open or activate Window list:

Right click the non-button area, or the active screen page button, and choose User interface - Window list from Commands menu, or use a shortcut command.

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To define how to show applications list:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Window list pane, select an item on Applications list drop-down list. There are options of showing application icons only, or application window titles, or both icons and titles.

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To open Window list at the mouse cursor position:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Window list pane, select the Open at the mouse cursor position check box. Opening Window list at the current mouse cursor position presumably makes it a bit more convenient to access.

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To make Window list unmovable:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Window list pane, select the Lock check box.

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To prevent Window list from closing when an application is selected:

Window list was designed to be a lightweight window that is easy to create and easy to destroy - something like the standard Windows Alt+Tab selector. This is why, each time one selects an application on it, the Window list closes (provided Window list is not a primary interface). To change this default behavior, open the Properties dialog box, and in the Window list pane, unselect the Close on select check box.

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To show empty screen pages on Window list:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Window list pane, select Show empty screen pages check box.

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To make Window list transparent when it is inactive:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Window list pane, define the transparency using the Transparency when inactive slider.

It is possible to make the Window list ignore all mouse input when being transparent: unselect Make opaque automatically check box. In this case one can access windows that are below it, while the Window list is still visible. The only way to access the Window list in this scenario is to activate it somehow, by means other than clicking on it.

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Window map

Window map is an Application Desktop Toolbar. It is a window with relatively large buttons that show screen page background pictures and lists of applications running on each page.

To open or activate Window map:

Right click the non-button area, or the active screen page button, and choose User interface - Window map from Commands menu, or use a shortcut command.

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To position Window map:

Window map can be docked to any edge of the monitor screen or left in a floating state. When you move Window map to a screen edge and do not want to dock it there - press and hold keyboard Ctrl key down.

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To resize Window map:

Resizing Window map while in floating state only changes the layout of screen page buttons. To change the size of buttons, dock Window map to a screen edge first, then resize it; or, hold the keyboard Ctrl key down while resizing it in floating state.

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To define how to show applications list:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Window map pane, select an item on Applications list drop-down list. There are options of showing application icons only, or application window titles, or both icons and titles.

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To show desktop backgound pictures:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Window map pane, select Show background picture check box.

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To keep Window map in front of other windows:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Window map pane, select Always on top check box.

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To make Window map unmovable:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Window map pane, select the Lock check box. When locked, Window map cannot be moved to a new location, or resized.

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To configure scrolling of Window map page button contents:

It is possible to configure visibility and position of scroll bars on Window map page buttons, and also availability of automatic scrolling. Open the Properties dialog box; in the Window map pane, select or unselect appropriate check boxes.

When scroll bars are not shown, it is still possible to use mouse wheel, or keyboard arrow keys. Automatic scrolling makes it possible to scroll the contents by simply pointing at the very top or bottom of a page button.

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To automatically remove Window map from screen:

To minimize the area occupied by Window map on the desktop, it is possible to make it auto-hide itself when not in use: open the Properties dialog box; in the Window map -- More options pane, select the Auto hide check box. Auto-hide works both in docked and floating state of Window map.

It is also possible to impose additional constraints to prevent Window map from showing up "too easily" when in auto-hide state. These could be keyboard modifiers (keyboard keys that must be held down), or a time lag.

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To make Window map transparent when it is inactive:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Window map -- More options pane, define the transparency using the Transparency when inactive slider.

It is possible to make the Window map ignore all mouse input when being transparent: unselect Make opaque automatically check box. In this case one can access windows that are below it, while the Window map is still visible. The only way to access the Window map in this scenario is to activate it somehow, by means other than clicking on it.

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To change the Window map visual appearance:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Window map -- Appearance pane, edit page button font, colors, and size of application icons displayed on a page button.

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Page selector

Page selector window shows screenshots of all screen pages - the way they were when you left them. This gives an overview of all currently running applications on all screen pages. Clicking on a screenshot activates corresponding page. Unvisited pages show blank.

Screen page properties

To change screen page attributes: name, description, icon, and sound:

Open the Page properties dialog box; in the Name pane, define the attributes of the virtual desktop. A screen page always has a number, and optionally: name, description, icon, and sound. Sound, if defined, is played when the page becomes active. Name and Icon attributes can show in Control bar and Window map. Page description is a relatively long, multi-line text that is shown on the desktop. It can be a reminder, an instruction, or whatever you want it to be. It is possible to change position, font, color and transparency of this information window: open the Properties dialog box and specify the desired settings in the Page description pane.

Yet another way of changing a page icon is to just drag and drop an icon, or a program file, or a shortcut to it on the page button. It is also possible to drag and drop an icon file on the Icon text box.

If a program file contains more than one icon, goScreen always selects the first one. Still, it is possible to select a different icon: create a desktop shortcut to the program, change the icon of the shortcut by editing its properties, drag and drop the shortcut on the page button, delete the desktop shortcut.

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To assign color mark to a screen page:

It is possible to assign color mark to a screen page button. The mark looks like a narrow color strip on a side of the button. It has no specific meaning other than helping you quickly track and identify screen pages for whatever reason. A page can have up to 3 color marks.

To assign a mark, right click a page button, on Mark menu. choose a color.
To remove the mark, choose the same color once again.
To clear all marks of a specific screen page, right click a page button, on Mark menu. choose Clear all marks item.
To clear all marks of all screen pages, right click the non-button area of any goScreen window, and choose Screen pages - Clear all marks from Commands menu.

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To hide a screen page:

Open the Page properties dialog box; in the Name pane, select the Hide page button check box. When hidden, the page is accessible only by the keyboard hot key (so it must be set as well) and is excluded from the page switching mechanism. Use this option with caution and do not forget the access key.

There is another, closely related option - Guard. It answers the question "What should goScreen do when someone tries to close it while there are some running applications on hidden pages?" - just exit or never exit?

To add yet another level of protection, goScreen can also be instructed to leave a hidden page when there is no keyboard or mouse activity for a specified period of time: Open the Properties dialog box; in the Miscellany pane, select the Leave unattended hidden screen page check box, then specify a timeout in the Leave after text box.

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To change screen page desktop background picture:

Just drag and drop a picture file on the page button. Or, Open the Page properties dialog box; in the Background pane, enter the picture file name in the Background picture text box. It is also possible to drag and drop a picture file on the Background picture text box.

On systems with a single monitor it is possible to define different background pictures for landscape and portrait modes of the display. This makes sense on Tablet and Ultra-Mobile computers where switches between these two screen orientaions can be frequent.

On Windows XP and Vista, when you set a custom screen page wallpaper, goScreen converts the source picture into Windows Bitmap format. This speeds up the wallpaper change, sometimes considerably. It seems, such conversion is not required on newer version of Windows.

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To change screen page desktop color:

Open the Page properties dialog box; in the Background pane, select the Desktop color check box. Then press the nearby button to edit the color.

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To assign a keyboard hot key to activate a particular page:

Open the Page properties dialog box; in the Shortcuts pane, select Activate command and specify key combination you like. Setting up your own hot keys is necessary to avoid possible conflicts with other applications.

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To assign a keyboard hot key to relocate the currently active application to a particular page:

Open the Page properties dialog box; in the Shortcuts pane, select Relocate here command and specify a key combination.

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Page information display

Page information window is a non-interactive one. Its purpose is to show which screen page is currently active. Displaying current virtual desktop information is similar to displaying the channel number on a TV screen. It is possible to choose:

  • what kind of information to display (page number, name, and icon in any combination);
  • font and color of page number and name;
  • transparency of the information window;
  • position of the information on the monitor screen.

What to display (page number, name, icon):

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Page information pane, select or unselect Page number, Page name, and Page icon check boxes.

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How to display (font, color, transparency):

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Page information pane, specify font (press Font button), color (press Color button), or adjust the Transparency slider.

Please note, window transparency is not supported in early versions of Microsoft Windows.

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Where to display the information:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Page information pane, move the square mark on the Position control to a desired position. When Position control has the input focus it is also possible to use keyboard arrow keys. Normally, the position of the information window is restricted by the monitor screen size. To get rid if this restriction, hold the keyboard Ctrl key down while moving the mark that defines the position.

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To display page information continually:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Page information pane, select the Display continually check box.

There are three possible variants:

  • to display continually (Display continually check box is selected),
  • to display for a short while, when a screen page becomes active (Display continually check box is unselected),
  • not to display at all (all three check boxes Page number, Page name, and Page icon are unselected)

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Launchpad

Launchpad is an application launcher, it holds links to your favorite application and documents. Link is a short record that stores information about where the actual data is.

Each screen page has a separate list of such links. You can name them any way you like, arrange them any way you like, open them with a single or double click.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Launchpad does not store any actual data, it only stores links to applications or data files. So, for example, while it is possible to store a picture or text document on Windows desktop, it is impossible to store it in Launchpad.

To open or activate Launchpad

Right click the non-button area, or the active screen page button, and choose Tools - Launchpad from Commands menu, or use a shortcut command.

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To resize Launchpad

Normally, resizing Launchpad changes the number of rows and columns only. To change the size of cells, move Launchpad to a screen edge first, then resize it; or, hold the keyboard Ctrl key down while resizing it in floating state.

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To create a link

Drag a file, a file folder, or an application and drop it onto Launchpad. Please note, Launchpad stores links only, it never stores any real data. So, if the file is a link file, it is possible to copy it into Launchpad or move; otherwise, Launchpad will create a link to the data file automatically.

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To rename a link

Right click an item in Launchpad and choose Rename menu item. It is possible to have several identically named items in Launchpad. Here, item names have nothing to do with file names.

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To resize a link

Right click an item in Launchpad and choose Resize menu item. Launchpad shows a frame around the link button, which can be used to resize it. To make the frame disappear, click anywhere outside the cell.

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To arrange, cut, copy, or delete links

Right click an item in Launchpad and choose an operation: Cut, Copy, Paste, or Remove. It is possible to select several links - hold the keyboard Ctrl key down when selecting an item, or use item check boxes. This also makes it possible to copy a set of links from one screen page to another.

To arrange links, simply drag items to different locations.

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To show a link on all screen pages

Right click an item in Launchpad and choose Keep visible menu item.

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To open a link

Right click an item in Launchpad and choose Open menu item. You can also open a link with a single or double click - this is configured in Properties dialog box -- Launchpad pane; or, select an item using keyboard and press Spacebar or Enter key.

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To make Launchpad unmoveable

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Launchpad pane, select the Lock check box. When locked, Launchpad cannot be moved to a new location, or resized.

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To make Launchpad transparent when it is inactive

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Launchpad pane, define the transparency using the Transparency when inactive slider.

It is possible to make the Launchpad ignore all mouse input when being transparent: unselect Make opaque automatically check box. In this case one can access windows that are below it, while the Launchpad is still visible. The only way to access the Launchpad in this scenario is to activate it somehow, by means other than clicking on it.

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To change the Launchpad visual appearance

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Launchpad -- Appearance pane, edit cell font and colors.

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Functionality

General notes

Organization of menus

There are two types of menus in goScreen:

  • One that is displayed when you right click the active screen page button, or the non-button area:

    This menu lists all applications running on the active virtual desktop, or on all virtual desktops; lets you open configuration dialog boxes; and also gives access to application management commands. The idea is to provide access to all commands without need to configure shortcuts for them. Since the list of commands is long, while the space is limited, goScreen also maintains a list of most recently used commands. First time you use a command, goScreen also places it on the top level of the menu, so accessing the same command next time is easier. As long as you use the command it stays on the top. If you stop using it, after a while it will be removed from the top level of the menu.

  • One that is displayed when you right click an inactive screen page button:

    This menu provides access to Page properties dialog box, and also lets you relocate applications to and from the currently inactive virtual desktop.

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Window identification rules

In order to perform some application management actions (showing an application window on all screen pages, assigning it to a specific page, or relocating to a preferred position), goScreen needs to identify proper windows to act on. GoScreen distinguishes application windows by the Process that has created it, and by the window Title or title pattern.

An example of the Process part could be c:\windows\system32\notepad.exe, or an empty string. Empty string means here that the Process part is not important - a window could have been created by any process. Please note that the Process must be specified using full path names only - notepad.exe will not be enough.

When specifying in a rule a window Title, you also describe how to match it against the real window title: Exact, All, or Any. Exact would mean an exact match - a window with this exact title; while All, or Any results in treating the Title part of the rule as a blank-separated list or words. All flag means that all words on the list must be present in a window title - in any order; Any - that any one (at least one) of the words on the list must be present in a window title.

If a word on such list should include a blank itself, put the word combination into quotes. For example, Windows Task Manager would be interpreted as a list of three words: Windows, Task, and Manager, while Windows "Task Manager" would mean a list of two words: Windows, and Task Manager.

The special case is empty Title string in a rule: if you say it is Exact one, it means a window with exactly empty title, otherwise (All or Any) it means that window title is not important at all - any title fits.

It is a good idea to have an application for which you are going to define a rule running. In this case you can just select an appropriate information from a list and maybe modify it slightly.

So, defining a rule, think what is more appropriate for you in each case. For example, you have a text document (MyText.txt) opened in Notepad. On the goScreen "rule" panel you will be able to find the window title (MyText.txt - Notepad - on Title drop-down list) and the application that has created it (Notepad.exe - on Process drop-down list). Now, if you want the rule to match all documents opened by Notepad - specify Notepad in the Title text box, select All, and select Notepad.exe in the Process list. (and click Add button, to add this rule to the list of defined). Otherwise, if you want the rule to match MyText.txt document, which, potentially, can be opened in many different text editors - specify MyText.txt in the Title, select All and clean any text in the Process text box.

More complex rules can be created using \&, \|, and \! modifiers. Here, \& means logical AND, \| means OR, and \! means NOT.

Say for instance, you have three documents, named Domestic Customers, Local Customers, and Foreign Customers respectively. You want to define a rule that matches first two documents only. You could specify All as a matching rule, and the following title pattern: Domestic \|Local Customers (which means "Domestic OR Local" AND "Customers"). Or, if you have more customers and want to exclude Foreign ones from the rule, you could use this title pattern: \!Foreign Customers (means: "NOT Foreign" AND "Customers". That is, the word "Foreign" should not be present in the document title).

Using logical AND modifier can be convenient when you want two (or more) words to be present in the title. For example, to match all documents that contain either both "License" and "Agreement" or a single "Lizenzvereinbarung" in their title, you could use the following: specify Any as a matching rule and the title pattern: License \&Agreement Lizenzvereinbarung (which means "License AND Agreement" OR "Lizenzvereinbarung")

On Windows NT/2000/XP, for goScreen to be able to see the names of running processes you need PSAPI.DLL. This is a standard Microsoft DLL, but not all NT computers have it installed. This DLL is not included in the goScreen package.

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Application visibility

To activate a screen page:

Left click a page button in Control bar, Window map, or taskbar's status area. It is also possible to assign a specific keyboard hot key to each page, or go from page to page by page switching.

GoScreen is capable of playing a sound when a screen page is activated. It is possible to assign a specific sound to each page: open the Page properties dialog box; in the Name pane and specify a sound on the Sound drop-down list.

For those of you who have a keyboard with programmable keys: sometimes such keys can only be programmed "to start applications". It is possible to switch virtual desktops using such keys: use command line in the form
    "C:\Program Files\goScreen\goScreen.exe" -page=N
Naturally, goScreen must be up and running when you invoke such a command.

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To find an application, activate its page, and make it the active window there:

Right click the non-button area. A menu will be shown with the list of all applications on all screen pages. Choosing an item here activates the appropriate page, if necessary, and the application.

Another option is to use Window list or Window map: click an item with the mouse, or select it with a keyboard and press Enter or Spacebar). It is also possible to select an item here by pressing on the keyboard the first letter of its title.

Yet another option is to use "contents menu" feature: Open the Properties dialog box; in the General pane, select menu on Show contents as drop-down list. In this case, instead of showing the list of applications running on a screen page in text format, goScreen will show it as a menu. So, you can choose an item there.

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To relocate an application from one page to another:

Right click an inactive page button. A menu will be shown with the list of applications on that page and on the current page. By choosing an item on this menu you relocate the application to (upward, to the top) or from (downward) the current, active page. Choosing Relocate All menu item will relocate all applications to or from the currently active screen page.

Another option is to drag and drop application's icon or title in Window list or in Window map. Since Window list has no page buttons, in case of empty pages it creates a special drop zone. Here you can select a drop page by moving a cursor from left to right.

You can also use right mouse button for drag and drop. In this case goScreen relocates the application, then immediately switches to the drop page and activates the application you just dragged.

It is also possible to copy an application from an inactive virtual desktop to the current one: hold the keyboard Ctrl key down while moving the application. Please note, it is only possible to copy to the current page, not from any page to any one. As a result, application windows will be shown, but the application itself remains marked in goScreen as belonging to another, currently inactive screen page and at the earliest convenience goScreen will send it where it belongs.

Yet another possiblity is to drag an application window and drop it on a screen page button in Window list or in Window map. The screen page button changes its color to indicate that it is ready to accept the application window. By dragging an application's icon and dropping it on the desktop, you can relocate the application from an inactive screen page to the active one.

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To take the active application with you to another page:

Instead of moving applications from one page to another as desribed above, in many cases it is much easier just to say "I am about to switch to another page, and I want to take this application with me". To be able to do so, define a keyboard or mouse shortcut to the Follow me command. Invoke this command right before switching screen pages. The application's window title flashes once to indicate that goScreen has included this window in its Follow me list. Now, when you go to another page (no matter how), the window remains visible - that is, it gets relocated to the new page. GoScreen cleans up the Follow me list after each screen change.

Another option is to switch virtual desktops using a keyboard hot key while dragging an application window.

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To "send back" windows from other pages:

As you know, what goScreen does is just hiding and showing application windows. Of course, it does not prevent them from calling ShowWindow API function themselves. In this case it looks like the window has been copied to the active virtual desktop. To send such windows to the page where they belong left click the active screen page button. Or, click keyboard hot key that corresponds to the current page.

Sometimes (very rarely, as I believe) you may want this action to be executed automativally on goScreen startup. To configure goScreen to do it for you, close goScreen, if it is running. On Start Windows menu choose Run and type regedit in the dialog box shown, press OK. Find entry HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Andrew Guryanov\goScreen\Main and double click the WaitBeforeClean value. Its default value is 0xffffffff, which means this function is disabled. Change the value data to 0 or any positive integer. When the value data is greater than zero, it means the number of seconds on Windows startup to wait before executing this command. When the value data is zero, goScreen waits 20 seconds, which I believe would suffice in most cases. Again, this value means how many seconds to wait on Windows startup, when your computer is very busy starting many different applications. I am unable to detect programmatically when it is finished, that is why I ask you to configure it yourself. Otherwise, when you just restart goScreen, the waiting period is 2 seconds always.

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To show a window on all screen pages:

Right click the active screen page button, or the non-button area, on Keep visible menu, choose a window title. This window will now show on all virtual desktops.

Another option is to define a rule - so goScreen will automatically identify windows that will show on all screen pages. Open the Properties dialog box; in the Keep visible pane, define a rule.

Please note, if a window becomes "sticky" according to a Keep visible rule, it will show on all screen pages only as long as the rule is satisfied. If the window title changes, the window can loose its sticky status. From the other side, if a window becomes sticky as a result of a command from Keep visible menu, it will always be sticky, regardless of any possible changes in its title.

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To put a window on the dashboard:

As an alternative to showing an application window on all screen pages, you can consider putting it on the Dashboard. In this case, such a window is "nowhere", not on any screen page, yet it remains easily accessible. Probably, it makes sense to place mini-applications there, ones that could be used on any screen page, while not cluttering the desktop when not needed.

To put a window on the dashboard, open the Properties dialog box, in the Dashboard pane, define the assignment rule. Please note, goScreen does not start these applications automatically, the dashboard only hosts them.

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To handle windows that do not appear in the taskbar:

The default behavior of goScreen is to manage windows, which are shown in the taskbar, only (and their "relatives", of course). By default, Windows that do not appear in the taskbar are shown on all virtual desktops.

For managing these, there are two options: assigning such a window to a specific screen page, or declaring that goScreen should manage such a window as though it has an entry in the taskbar - using Handle as main rules: open the Properties dialog box; in the Handle as main pane, define a rule.

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To ignore specific windows completely:

There are numerous utilities that enhance the operating system (goScreen is one of them). Sometimes, it makes sense to treat windows created by such utilities as part of the OS, that is, ignore them completely - same way as goScreen ignores, for example, Taskbar or Program Manager. To do so, define Exclude rule: open the Properties dialog box; in the Exclude pane, define a rule.

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To assign a window to a specific screen page:

Open the Page properties dialog box; and in the Assign to this page pane, define a rule. Assignment to page rule overrides show on all pages rule.

For example, you have multiple applications starting at Windows start-up and would like to have them running on different screen pages. How to tell goScreen to relocate them to a "proper" page? The answer is - define assignment rules. Another scenario might be like this one: a mail program that runs on an inactive virtual desktop notifies you that there was a new message - "Would you like to read it now?". You open the message, read it and go to another page without closing it. Now, where have you left that message? It takes time to recall. Possible solution would be to define a rule for goScreen to relocate all messages to the page where the mail program is running. Now, instead of remembering where have you left an application window, you are supposed to remember where that window should be next time you want it.

Please note, applications are not relocated automatically, that is not unless you ask for it. From the other hand, such a request is simple: each time you switch screen pages or invoke send back command, all the windows on the current, or previous page are being examined and sent to appropriate pages, if necessary.

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To assign a window to several screen pages:

What if you specify the assignment rule, described in the previous paragraph, for several screen pages? - goScreen will show such windows whenever you switch to any one of these pages.

For example, you have specified the rule "keep all windows created by notepad.exe on this page" both for pages 1 and 3. Being on page 1, you start notepad. Then you go to page 2. Notepad is left on page 1. Then you go to page 3. goScreen relocates notepad from page 1 to page 3.

It is evident that if you specify such rule for all screen pages, the result will be the same as if you have made such window always visible.

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To perform an action (maximize, minimize, restore, close) for all windows on the current page:

Right click the active screen page button, on Commands - All windows menu, choose an action.

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To monitor hidden activation:

Sometimes an application on an inactive screen page becomes active. It is possible to instruct goScreen what to do in this case: ignore it, relocate or copy this application to the current virtual desktop, or switch to that page. Open the Properties dialog box; in the Miscellany pane, select an action on the Hidden activation drop-down list.

Please note, hidden activation means that an application window becomes active from the point of view of operating system, and does not become visible. This is an application-specific behavior, which could be considered as inappropiate one, or bug, if you wish. So, this option in goScreen only fixes this inappropiate behavior to some extent.

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Screen page layout

Application window layout management makes it possible:

  • to cascade application windows so that all their title bars are visible;
  • to arrange application windows as tiles, so that major portion of each window is visible;
  • to define preferred size and position of application windows, and restore it with a single shortcut command;
  • to temporarily rearrange all windows on the current screen page so they are all visible - to find a window you need; once you find and activate it, all windows will return to their previous positions, with the one that you needed at the top of the stack;
  • to pack all windows on the currents screen page while working with several documents at once - goScreen arranges them so they are all visible and maintains the order. Any window on the page is always one mouse click away.
  • to temporarily move all application windows aside so the desktop is visible - to open yet another document, or start an application. Once you do, all windows return to their previous positions.

To cascade application windows:

When cascading, goScreen arranges application windows from lower left to upper right corner of the desktop. As a result, upper left corner of each window - one that containes window icon and title - stays visible regardless of which application is currently active. This makes it much easier to work with several applications (documents) at the same time.

Variants of this command - Cascade+Fit and Cascade+Fill - perform additional potentially useful actions which are too boring to do them manually. Cascade+Fit decreases application windows sizes, if needed, to make them all fit on monitor. Cascade+Fill increases window sizes to the right and bottom to take most of the available desktop space.

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To arrange application windows as tiles:

Having received this command, goScreen tries to move and resize application windows to minimize the overlapping regions. While doing so, goScreen tries to not move windows "too far", or resize them "too much". As a result, tiles have uneven size and windows can still overlap. The command works best when applilcation windows are already in approximately correct positions and sizes. For example, you throw several windows roughly on the screen, then goScreen does fine-tuning.

To exclude a window from tiling, hold it with a mouse: move mouse cursor inside a window, press and hold down mouse left button like you do when dragging or resizing window, then press keyboard hot key for Tile command. The window that you hold does not move or change size; other windows go around it.

I have made it this way because I find standard ways of tiling application windows - when windows are given almost identical size - practically useless. If I have five windows on the desktop, one of them is large and others are small, I have a good reason to have it this way. Large windows must remain large.

Sometimes, for better results, it makes sense to perform this command several times in a row.

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To move application windows to preferred positions:

How many times during the day do you change the size and position of application windows? Do you have a preferred placement for certain windows? If so, how often do you "restore" it?

To make goScreen do the job for you, define the layout rules: open the Page properties dialog box; in the Layout pane, define a rule. In addition to the window identification information, layout rule also defines a preferred placement - in the form Width×Height±Left±Top (for example, 600x500+20+30). Here Left and Top are screen coordinates of the upper left corner of the window.

Once the rule is there, right click the non-button area, or the active screen page button, and choose Commands - Layout - Restore layout menu item, or use a shortcut command.

If several application windows match the same layout rule, only one of such windows will be relocated. It is possible to define several rules with identical window identification data, but different placements. In this case such "identical" application windows will be relocated into different positions - one window per position.

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To bring all windows to view temporarily:

Say for instance, you are working on a specific task having several application windows open at the same time. While working with one document, you need another one, which is "somewhere here" - covered by other windows. How to find it?

Try Uncover: right click the non-button area, or the active screen page button, and choose Find - Uncover from Commands menu, or use a shortcut command. GoScreen relocates all windows on the current screen page so they are all visible. When you find the window you need, just click on it. All windows return to their previous positions, while the window you just clicked becomes the active one, and at the very top of the stack.

Another option is Expose command. While Uncover moves real windows and tries hard to not to resize them, Expose manipulates thumbnails.

Yet another way of finding a window that you need is making application windows transparent one by one, or cycling though them.

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To arrange windows so they are all visible, and maintain the order:

If you switch between windows often, and become tired of uncovering them over and over again - pack them: right click the non-button area, or the active screen page button, and choose Find - Pack from Commands menu, or use a shortcut command. Now goScreen does not restore the previous window positions each time you activate another window - instead, it maintains the order. Any window on the page is always one mouse click away. To stop it, invoke the same command - Pack - again.

Please note, when using window packing, the distance between "convenient" and "annoying" is amazingly short.

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To move windows aside temporarily, so the desktop is visible:

What if in the middle of working on something, while having a dozen of documents open at the same time, you need to access an item on the desktop - to open yet another document, or start an application?

Right click the non-button area, or the active screen page button, and choose Find - Show desktop from Commands menu, or use a shortcut command.

GoScreen temporarily moves all application windows aside, then, once another window becomes active, moves them back. Yet another way to move windows back is to invoke the Show desktop command again.

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To make windows transparent temporarily:

When you need to find an application window that is buried behind other windows on the screen, you might like the idea of making top level windows transparent one by one: right click the non-button area, or the active screen page button, and choose Find - Look through from Commands menu, or use a shortcut command. GoScreen makes the top level window semi-transparent. If you invoke this command again, the next window becomes transparent, and so on. Once you see the window you need, click on it. This window becomes active and goes to the top of the window stack. All other windows become opaque again.

Yet another way of finding a window that you need is uncovering them.

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To cycle through windows on the current screen page:

Yet another way of finding a window on a crowded desktop is lowering or raising them one by one: right click the non-button area, or the active screen page button, and choose Find - Lower or Find - Raise from Commands menu, or use a shortcut command. Lower command moves an application window that is currently at the top to the bottom of the Z order; Raise one moves bottom window to the top.

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To move active application window to another monitor:

Define keyboard or mouse shortcut to Change monitor command. Then, activate an application window and press this hot key combination.

This command could be a convenient way to quickly move several applications to another monitor; also, if an application has several windows, goScreen moves all of them in one shot. Finally, if an application window is out of any monitor (because of bug in that application), goScreen will move it into view.

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Commands

To create keyboard or mouse shortcuts to goScreen commands:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Keyboard or Mouse pane, select a command, and specify key combinations you like. Setting up your own keyboard hot keys and mouse hot zones is necessary to avoid possible conflicts with other applications. GoScreen is also capable of playing a sound when executing such a command.

There are five page switching commands: Previous/Next, Back/Forward, Return to page. They let you switch to the previous or next virtual desktop in numerical order or in order of usage. Return to page command returns you to the immediately past active screen page. Unlike Back/Forward, Return to page command does not maintain any history; that is, it always switches between two pages only.

Other commands include:

Current - "send back" windows from other pages,

Change monitor - move the active application window to another monitor,
Minimize - minimize the active application window,
Maximize - maximize or restore the active application window,
Relocate to next - relocate the active application window to the next screen page (in numerical order),
Relocate to previous - relocate the active application window to the previous screen page (in numerical order),
Follow me - take the active application with you, when going to another page,
Keep visible - make the active application window visible on all screen pages,
Return to window - activate the immediately past active application window, no matter which page it is on,

Reveal all - relocate all windows from all screen pages to the current one,
Follow me all - take all windows on the current screen page with you, when going to another page,
Stay here all - when leaving current screen page, ignore assignment rules,
Restore all - restore all windows on the current page,
Mimimize all - minimize all windows on the current page,
Maximize all - maximize all windows on the current page,
Close all - close all windows on the current page,
Clean all - Reveal all + Close all. That is, relocate all application windows from all screen pages to the current one, and then close them,

Cascade - cascade application windows,
Cascade+Fit - Cascade, then trim application windows,
Cascade+Fill - Cascade, then grow application windows,
Tile - arrange application windows as tiles,
Restore layout - move application windows to preferred positions,
Uncover - bring all windows to view temporarily,
Expose - expose all windows on the current screen page,
Pack - arrange windows so they are all visible, and maintain the order,
Show desktop - move windows aside temporarily, so the desktop is visible,
Look through - temporarily make windows transparent one by one,
Lower - move top application window to the bottom of the Z order,
Raise - move bottom application window to the top of the Z order,

Primary - activate goScreen's primary user interface window,
Control bar - open or activate the Control bar,
Window list - open or activate the Window list,
Window map - open or activate the Window map,
Dashboard - bring into view the dashboard applications,
Page selector - show screenshots of all screen pages,
Page information - display the current screen page information.

Launchpad - open or activate the Launchpad.
Run - open Run dialog box.
Default applications - run screen pages default applications,
Page-surf - automatically switch to the next screen page after a predefined time interval,

Hide Shell - hide or show Windows shell windows: Desktop icons and the Taskbar,
Hide goScreen - temporarily hide or show goScreen windows: Control bar, Window map and Window list,
System tray - add goScreen icon to the taskbar's status area,
Commands - open Commands menu,
Applications - open a menu with all applications on all pages,
Page menu - open current screen page menu,
Properties - open the goScreen properties dialog box,
Page properties - open the Page properties dialog box,

Some computers and keyboards have programmable hardware keys: sometimes, such keys can only be programmed "to start applications". It is possible to invoke any one of the above commands using such keys: use command line in the form

"C:\Program Files\goScreen\goScreen.exe" -command=N
Here, N is the name of the command in English with omitted blanks. So, for example, to invoke Follow me all command, the command line should look as follows:

"C:\Program Files\goScreen\goScreen.exe" -command=Followmeall

Also, you can try to make goScreen identify the meaning of a keyboard key for you: in the Keyboard pane, activate Hot key to press drop-down list, then press a keyboard key. In many cases it works.

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Supplementary tools

These tools are not directly related to desktop management, and are provided in goScreen for convenience.

To use the Run tool:

Right click the non-button area, or the active screen page button, and choose Tools - Run from Commands menu, or use a shortcut command.

Run tool makes it possible to start other applications or open documents. Unlike standard Windows Run dialog box, this one can start several applications at once. Also, each screen page has its own list of applications (documents), which gives better opportunities for customization - goScreen remembers which applications you usually run on a particular virtual desktop.

A special case of an application - this - makes it possible to execute any goScreen command (send a command to itself), or send a command to another application window. For example:

this -command=Pageselector

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To define and run screen pages default applications:

Open the Page properties dialog box; in the Default applications pane, define a list of commands.

This mechanism can be used, for example, to easily re-create work environment. Unlike Run tool, which starts specified application on the currently active virtual desktop only using "start and forget" approach, Default applications command starts applications on all screen pages, and, once they started, automatically relocates them onto "their" virtual desktops. Also, such applications become assigned to their virtual desktops in a sense that

  1. if they are manually relocated to another virtual desktop, goScreen relocates them back when appropriate;
  2. if such application is still running the next time the Default applications command is invoked, goScreen does not start this application again.

GoScreen can be configured to execute Default applications commands of a specific screen page "automatically": first time this page becomes active, each time it becomes active, or each time the page becomes inactive. Also, it is possible to instruct goScreen to not to assign such application to any screen page - unselect Wait check box.

Please note, for this mechanism to work, the "command line" should look like a command line, that is it must contain the name of the application you want to start. Say for instance, you have a text document MyText.txt in C:\My Documents folder. To open this document using Run tool you can specify both "C:\My Documents\MyText.txt" or notepad "C:\My Documents\MyText.txt" commands. In Default applications you must use the latter form only.

Please note, due to some issues with how MS Windows is implemented, this mechanism does not work for Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer.

A special case of an application - this - makes it possible to execute any goScreen command (send a command to itself), or send a command to another application window. If there are several this-commands, the order in which they will be executed is undefined. For example:

this -command=Restorelayout

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To switch screen pages automatically after a predefined time interval:

Sometimes it can be convenient to make goScreen switch from one screen page to the next automatically. For example, you have started several lengthy applications on different screen pages and want to wait until they finish their job. While they work, you do something else on a different computer, or computer monitor. Your interest is to be able to monitor what is going on on that first PC without touching it. The solution is Page-surf mechanism. Start the auto-switching and watch the show.

Please note, when Page-surf is ON, goScreen switches to the next page regardless of what you do on the computer. So, it is better to not to do much until you stopped Page-surf first.

The tricky part of configuring this mechanism is to define the time interval. It equals to the delay for triggering this command using mouse shortcut: open the Properties dialog box; in the Mouse pane, select Page-surf command, and specify the delay in And wait text box.

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To use the X-Mouse tool:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Miscellany pane, select X-Mouse check box.

X-Mouse tool makes it possible to activate an application on the current screen page by pointing on it, not only by clicking.

Please note, implementation of this feature has absolutely nothing to do with the similar option provided by Microsoft. In fact, they work differently - you decide, which one is better.

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To use the Window mover (UMPC scroll bar) tool:

Open the Properties dialog box; in the Miscellany pane, select Window mover check box.

Modern ultra-portable computers are amazingly small. In theory, you can run any Windows application on them; in practice, many applications were not designed for such small screen and some of their windows do not fit into it.

When such a window becomes active, Window mover shows a scroll bar beside it. Using this scroll bar, you can move the window and get access to all of its parts and controls.

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Command line parameters

There are three categories of command line parameters to goScreen: ones that affect how it works, ones that send a command to another instance of goScreen, and ones that send a command to another application.

Define how goScreen works

Configuration settings file
The very first command line parameter can be a file name. If it is present, goScreen uses this file to store its configuration settings. If the file does not exist, it will be created. If the file is write-protected, goScreen will be unable to save any changes you make to its configuration. Note, if the folder does not exist, it will not be created. For example, the command line might look as follows:
"c:\Program Files\goScreen\goScreen.exe" "g:\configuration files\goScreen.ini"
-profile= Configuration profile in registry
Normally, goScreen stores configuration settings in Window registry. It might be useful to create several different profiles there. For example, the following command line instructs goScreen to use profile with the name second:
"c:\Program Files\goScreen\goScreen.exe" -profile=second
-monitor= Manage a specific computer monitor
On multiple monitor systems, you could instruct goScreen to manage one monitor only. For example, the following command line instructs goScreen to manage secondary monitor located to the left from the primary one:
"C:\Program Files\goScreen\goScreen.exe" -monitor=1024x768-1024+0
-monitormustexist
This flag makes sense only when being used together with the previous one - -monitor. It prevents goScreen from starting when managed monitor is not found (not connected).
Let us say, on Windows startup, you want to run two instances of goScreen each of which manages its own monitor. But, it so happens, that secondary monitor can be missing. For example, sometimes you connect your Tablet PC to secondary monitor, sometimes you do not. When there is one monitor only, you would have to close second goScreen manually. This flag does this for you.
Well, life is not perfect. When you connect external monitor, second instance of goScreen does not start automatically. You have to start it yourself...
Command line example:
"C:\Program Files\goScreen\goScreen.exe" -monitor=1024x768-1024+0 -monitormustexist
-freeze= Delay goScreen startup for several seconds
When goScreen starts on Windows startup, sometimes it can be useful to give more time and resources to other applications, making sure that goScreen is the last application that completes its initialization. For example, the following command line instructs goScreen to wait additional 5 seconds on startup before creating its windows:
"c:\Program Files\goScreen\goScreen.exe" -freeze=5

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Send a command to another instance of goScreen

It is possible to send a command to already running instance of goScreen. If the second instance of goScreen finds the first one, it sends a command to the latter and immediately terminates. For example, the following command line instructs goScreen that manages the primary monitor, to switch to page 3:

"c:\Program Files\goScreen\goScreen.exe" -monitor=1024x768+0+0 -page=3

Parameter Synopsis Example
-page=N Activate page number N -page=1
-monitor=1024x768+0+0 -page=3
-command=command Execute a command -command=Pageselector
-command=Followmeall
-monitor=1024x768+1024+0 -command=Restorelayout

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Send a command to another application

These commands let show or hide, minimize, maximize or restore an application window. Instruction consists of two parts: how to find a window and what to do with this window. The window can be found by its title, class name or handle (if you do not know what class name or handle is, please do not use them).

How to find a window:

Parameter Synopsis Example
-title=title Window title -title="Windows Task Manager" -min
-class=class Window class name -class="Progman" -hide
-hwnd=handle Window handle -hwnd=1F50AE -res

What to do with the window:

Parameter Synopsis Example
-show Show window -title="Windows Task Manager" -show
-hide Hide window -title="Windows Task Manager" -hide
-min Minimize window -title="Windows Task Manager" -min
-max Maximize window -title="Windows Task Manager" -max
-res Restore window -title="Windows Task Manager" -res

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Information

To see the list of applications running on a screen page:

Hover the mouse cursor over the page button.

To see the list of all running applications:

Hover the mouse cursor over the non-button area.

To see the hot key for a screen page:

Hover the mouse cursor over the page button while holding Ctrl key down.

To see hot keys for all screen pages:

Hover the mouse cursor over the non-button area while holding Ctrl key down.

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