Bring Order to your Desktop and Taskbar
Any window that you minimize on a Windows machine is placed in the Windows taskbar. Window can only display a limited number of open programs windows on it, and starts to group windows of the same process together to save space.
Some programs allow you to minimize them to the system tray instead which can be useful especially when you do not need to interact with the window at all.
MiniMize is a software that brings order into that chaos. Instead of minimizing windows to the taskbar it displays them as thumbnails on your desktop.
These thumbnails can be moved around on the desktop, and their size can be changed in the settings.
The default value of 100 pixels is probably a bit too small. What you see in the screenshot is a width of 200 pixels instead. Raising the width increases the memory usage of Minimize a bit but not as much to make much of a difference.
Minimze uses between 5 and 6 Megabytes of RAM when it is running which is more than acceptable for a software of its kind.
Thumbnails can be pinned to the top, to the desktop or behave like any other window. Pinning to the top means that they will always be displayed and stay on top even if you maximize another window. The pin to desktop feature pins them to the desktop which means that they will be hidden beneath any window that takes their place.
The opacity of the thumbnail windows can be set as well. This is useful if you decided to pin them on top for example. The application icon is shown in the left lower corner of the thumbnail which helps identifying to which software it belongs.
I would like to point out two additional features that make this software worthwhile. First of all it supports hotkeys to show / hide thumbnails, minimize all windows and cycle the thumbnail level. Besides that it offers a list of software excluded from behaving this way.
Update: The MiniMize website is no longer available. We have uploaded the latest release version of the software program for Windows to our download server. Note that we have done so for archiving purposes only, and don't support the program in any way. You can download the application with a click on the following link: MiniMize
For now, I am quite comfortable with the Windows taskbar
That’s a nice idea – but I’ll stick to VirtuaWin’s virtual desktops for now.
btw: You should include links to hi-res versions of such screenshots.
Great recommendation, Martin – thank you! :D If you ever come across something that can group programs on the desktop (so a permanent feature rather than just windows that are open) please let us know too!
From my experience, ThumbWin is lot more stable and compatible than MiniMIZE. I’ve had MiniMIZE crash, get windows order mixed up (leave bunch of empty spaces), and get proportions wrong a lot more. I do think MiniMIZE might have more settings though…but I found ThumbWin to just plain work better. (hmmm…I thought I originally got ThumbWin from gHacks too?)
Thanks for the tip, XP User!
(I can’t find any mention of ThumbWin on gHacks, by the way.)