1.Description: Fadebar is an application to make the taskbar and the startmenu in windows XP semi-transparent and having a mouse hovering fading effect.
The app can make the taskbar background transparent while leaving the taskbar buttons intact (compared to other apps which make the whole taskbar transparent).
2.Installation: Just extract the fadebar.zip file to a folder and run fadebar.exe
If you just want the transparent taskbar without the fading effect, use fadebar.exe /quit to launch the app
To restore the taskbar to full opaque, use fadebar.exe /restore (sometimes, it is better to logoff and logon again).
Running fadebar.exe without any paramter will make fadebar stay in the memory and it will take care of the hovering effect as well as making the startmenu transparent. You need to run fadebar without parameters to have the fading effect and transparent startmenu. However, once you have transparent startmenu, you can quit fadebar (from menu tray) and startmenu transparency will stay! To restore startmenu to opaque, log out and log in again. This is because the program needs to see the startmenu active first to make it transparent/opaque.
If you are memory conscious (the app uses about 2M to 4M) and don't care about hovering effect (the effect is cool anyway. Does Windows 7 have this? ), you can just run fadebar.exe /quit (zero memory usage afterward).
3.Setting: Setting is done through fadebar.ini in the same folder as fadebar.exe. Just look at the comments on the file fadebar.ini for detail.
You can set transparency level and fading speed to match your taste.
If you use stylerTB drop shadow feature, you need to use nobar shadow to avoid shadow under the taskbar; otherwise Styler still puts a shadow below the transparent taskbar. If you do not use stylerTB drop shadow, this section can be ignored (for example, if you use YzShadow, then taskbar shadow can be turned off from the option menu of YzShadow)
Put "styler\shadow\nobar" in the package into the stylerTB folder (usually c:\program files\styler\). Then select styler options > Desktop > Drop Shadow > nobar from stylerTB option
I have not tested this on Vista but I think/hope that the transparency and fading might work on Vista as well ! If you have tried this on Vista, please let me know if this is the case via note or post a comment below.
Update 11/30/08 - Add option to turn SubMenu Transparency or startmenu transparency off. - Minor code optimization
Update 12/05/08 - Added auto color picker feature (enable by default). The hot pixel is set to the point 0,0 of the taskbar (or you can set a different point) so now you don't have to manually set Transcolor. You just need a solid taskbar background and the program will pick the pixel 0,0 of the taskbar to be the TransColor. See fadebar.ini for detail. - Set SubMenuTransparency=off as default. If you want submenu transparency, turn it on (see fadebar.ini)
Update 12/27/08 - fix the occasional blackout of startmenu with transparency on - small speed improvement