Transparent Backgrounds with Chaos Crystal

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 28, 2006
Updated • May 10, 2013

Chaos Crystal, strange name for a freeware that adds options to Windows to change the transparency level of windows displayed on the desktop. It supports only Windows XP and older versions of Windows and not newer versions of the operating system. If you are looking for a program that adds transparency to newer versions of Windows, check out Ghostwin as it helps you with that.

Chaos Crystal can be run from any location as it is fully portable and does not need to be installed. Just download, unpack and run it with a double-click once it has been unpacked on your system.

Once you have started the program you will see its window pop up that you can use to make windows transparent.

Apply transparency by pressing and dragging the target (Dot next to Window Title field) crosshairs over the target window. You can also apply transparency by selecting the application from the dropdown menu."

All you need to do is select a window from the title pulldown that Chaos Crystal displays in its interface. Once you have selected a window title you see its process name underneath, which you can use for verification purposes. All that is left to do then is to either use the transparency slider or form to modify the initial value. You will notice that the program window gets adjusted in realtime which is a pretty cool effect and helpful at the same time as you can adjust it directly until it offers the right level of transparency.

The effect remains active until you close the window and open it again, close the Chaos Crystal program, or modify the window's opacity level again.

The program has not been updated since 2006, but that has not have an impact on its compatibility with newer versions of the Windows operating system. Chaos Crystal is fully compatible with all recent 32-bit and 64-bit editions of the Microsoft Windows operating system.

The question that I have not answered yet is that of purpose. Why would you want to make application windows semi-transparent on your system? Maybe you want to display information underneath that you'd like to have in view all the time. Another reason may simply be for visual means.


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  1. Dave said on August 29, 2006 at 2:06 pm

    This is also a really good way to hide pr0n browsing when someone else wants to use your machine… make the window completely transparent, and they’ll never know it’s there!

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