Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Metro Icons and Requests for Keyboard Shortcut Buttons



I have received a bunch of requests for the icons I used on the button dock.  You can find them all HERE.  There have also been a lot of requests for buttons that do keyboard shortcuts.  Please let me know which keyboard shortcuts you want created and I will make them for you and post them here.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Windows 7 Touch Optimizations




This guide is intended to show you an alternate touch configuration for your Windows 7 tablet.  All of this was done using an ASUS Eee Slate EP121-1A011M 12.1-Inch Tablet PC, but can be put onto any computer running Windows 7.  If you are using a tablet with a resolution other than 1280x800 you may need to re-size some of the widgets/docks, but that is easy to do.  Everything here is free except for ObjectDock, which is $19.99.  If you use the free version of ObjectDock you will be able to do everything other than the dock you see at the bottom center of the screen.

If you want to see high resolution images of these optimization please see the SCREENSHOTS page.

There are 4 different areas where we will look at optimizing Widows 7 for touch: Windows Settings, Docks, Widgets and Applications

Windows Settings1) Change Control Panel view.  In the Control Panel select "Large Icons" in the "View by:" field.
2) Make applications open Maximized.  If you have any apps that always open windowed when you would like them to open maximized, just right click on the shortcut for the app, go to "Properties" and choose "Maximized" from the "Run:" menu on the "Shortcut" tab.
3) Make folders show List View.  I have found it much easier to deal with folders when they are showing the List View instead of Icons or Tiles.  Screen real estate on a tablet is scarce, so this means you don't always have to scroll to find what you are looking for.  And it is still easy to click on files/folders when they are in the List View.  To set all of your folder of a certain type to List View open your C: in an Explorer window and choose "List" from the view drop down.  Now go to the "Organize" drop down and go to "Folder and Search Options".  Now go to the "View" tab and push the "Apply to Folders" button.  This will make all similar folders display List View.  This will not affect different folder types such as Pictures, Music, etc.
4) Auto-hide the Taskbar.  You can see in my demo that I have the taskbar auto-hidden and on the right side.  The reason for this is screen real estate.  The small screens on tablets mean every inch counts and since I have docks now, I don't really need the taskbar all that much.


Docks
1) Download custom theme HERE and unzip it.  These files will customize ObjectDock with the theme/setting that I am using.  It also contains the buttons on the lower right part of the screen.
2) Download ObjectDock HERE.  You will need the paid version to do everything I have done, but it is well worth it.  If you use the free version you will only be able to have the button dock that I have on the lower right.
3) Download Fences HERE.  This program is free and is used to keep files from showing up on the desktop and ruining the clean look we have.
4) Install ObjectDock.
5) Install the custom ObjectDock settings.  To do this find ObjectDock in the system tray, right click on it and choose "Unload Object Dock".  This will close the program.  Now open the "ObjectDock Settings" folder you downloaded and follow the instructions in the README file to learn where to put the settings files.  Once that is done right click on the "Desktop" tab of the dock and choose "Change Folder".  Navigate to your desktop, choose any file and click "Open".  Now you will see everything on your desktop is now available in the Desktop tab of the dock.
6) Install Fences.  After it is installed, when you are configuring it, go to the "Tools" settings and check the box for "Hide/Show desktop icons when desktop is double clicked".  Now double click on the desktop and see the icons disappear.

Widgets
1) Download the custom theme HERE and unzip it.
2) Download Rainmeter HERE.
3) Install Rainmeter.
4) Double click on the TouchOptimized theme to install it.
5) Find Rainmeter in the system tray, right click on it, go to "Themes" and choose either "TouchOptimized(Left)" if you want the widgets on the left like I do or choose "TouchOptimized(Right)" to have them on the right.

Applications
1) Microsoft Touch Pack
2) Mosaic
3) USA Today
4) Intel AppUp Center (App store for Windows 7 with Angry Birds, Flight Control, etc.)
5) Zune
6) Amazon Kindle
7) Nook
8) Internet Explorer 9 - Surf the web with no restrictions
9) Windows Product Scout - Great place to download touch-based Apps