Computerized Investing > October 6, 2012

Fences 1.01

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If you have ever had to choose between seeing your beautiful desktop wallpaper or having your icons well-organized, then Fences by Stardock may be the solution you’ve been looking for. Many heavy computer users find that their desktop is crowded with icons that are unorganized and in the way, but they do not want to remove some of them.

Fences is an easy-to-use and inexpensive program  for Windows PCs that helps individuals organize their desktop using a variety of customizable options. A fence is essentially another window on the user’s desktop that holds icons. Users can create multiple fences, which can each be named, using a variety of preset or custom layouts. Appearance is fully customizable as well; for instance, users can adjust transparency, so they can see their wallpaper behind the fences. This perhaps solves the organizational problem, but how can fences help reduce clutter and allow the individual to enjoy his wallpaper?

Among the variety of options, there are at least two that stand out when it comes to reducing clutter. The first is that fences are scrollable, so if icons take up more space than the size of the fence permits, users can scroll within the fence to find the remaining icons. Moreover, users do not have to worry about seeing multiple scroll bars on their desktop because appearance can be customized such that they fade out when inactive. Although a useful feature, scrolling through fences of icons may not be ideal for everyone. For this reason, the second option that stands out is the quick-hide feature. With the quick-hide feature enabled, users can double-click on their desktop to automatically hide their icons; double-clicking again will make them visible. By going into the Tools tab of the Fences program, users can enable and disable quick-hide and set exclusions, which means they can choose certain icons to be visible at all times.

There are many more practical and time-saving features to Fences that may come as a surprise. For instance, if an individual would like two monitors attached to his computer, but he has different resolutions, Windows will automatically adjust the resolution of both screens to the lesser of the two for smoother operation. However, adjusting resolution also moves desktop icons and Windows does not move them back for you when changing the resolution back to normal. By putting your icons in fences, the program will keep them in the same relative spots.

For those who would like even more neat features, Stardock sells an inexpensive add-in called Fences Pro, which contains a Ghost option that can automatically organize and sort icons, and more.

Stardock Corporation

System Requirements: Windows XP/Vista/7 (32- and 64-bit)

Size: 9 MB

Price: Free; $19.95 for Pro


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