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Window Metrics Settings Still Unavailable in Windows 8 CP

    General discussion

  • Just as a reminder to Microsoft:

    Missing Feature in Windows 8:

    There is no dialog with which to alter desktop window metrics.

    This was formerly known as Window Color & Appearance, and in Windows 7 was reachable through the Advanced appearance settings... link in the Window Color and Appearance panel.

    Serious desktop users often like to reduce the sizes of various "chrome" elements, etc.  This is not just vanity; it makes more room for real work.

    I'd like to hope a new desktop tuning feature is being developed, since the old one was oriented toward the basic desktop, which now makes even less sense, since Windows 8 no longer supports classic themes or disabling of desktop composition. 

    In fact, the desktop rendering logic DOES actually abide by the settings found in the registry, which used to be directly controllable, but can now only be set through registry modifications in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics key.

    Just so it's absolutely clear what I'm wanting users to be able to do:

     

    Frankly it would be very nice to be able to reduce some of the other chrome elements as well, such as the height of the ribbon, address, and status bars in Explorer. 

    Please feel free to add your comment or vote if you feel you'd like to see this configurability restored in the Windows 8 RTM.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBook: Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options

    Friday, March 09, 2012 5:16 PM

All replies

  • yes, this sucks so much. I already send feedback for the DP, but nothing changed :'(

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    Saturday, March 10, 2012 12:07 AM
  • It's certainly a must to do for borders, but the title bar is also a good idea. Would you mind posting your registry export of that branch?  Thanks.
    Saturday, March 10, 2012 3:14 AM
  • Sure, here's what I'm using at the moment:

     

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics]
    "SmCaptionWidth"="-255"
    "BorderWidth"="-15"
    "SmCaptionHeight"="-255"
    "CaptionWidth"="-225"
    "IconTitleWrap"="1"
    "ScrollHeight"="-240"
    "CaptionHeight"="-255"
    "CaptionFont"=hex:f4,ff,ff,ff,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,90,01,00,00,\
      00,00,00,01,00,00,05,00,53,00,65,00,67,00,6f,00,65,00,20,00,55,00,49,00,00,\
      00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,\
      00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
    "ScrollWidth"="-240"
    "MenuWidth"="-225"
    "SmCaptionFont"=hex:f4,ff,ff,ff,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,90,01,00,\
      00,00,00,00,01,00,00,05,00,53,00,65,00,67,00,6f,00,65,00,20,00,55,00,49,00,\
      00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,\
      00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
    "MenuFont"=hex:f5,ff,ff,ff,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,90,01,00,00,00,\
      00,00,01,00,00,05,00,53,00,65,00,67,00,6f,00,65,00,20,00,55,00,49,00,00,00,\
      00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,\
      00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
    "StatusFont"=hex:f4,ff,ff,ff,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,90,01,00,00,\
      00,00,00,01,00,00,05,00,53,00,65,00,67,00,6f,00,65,00,20,00,55,00,49,00,00,\
      00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,\
      00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
    "MenuHeight"="-225"
    "MessageFont"=hex:f4,ff,ff,ff,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,90,01,00,00,\
      00,00,00,01,00,00,05,00,53,00,65,00,67,00,6f,00,65,00,20,00,55,00,49,00,00,\
      00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,\
      00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
    "IconFont"=hex:f4,ff,ff,ff,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,90,01,00,00,00,\
      00,00,01,00,00,05,00,53,00,65,00,67,00,6f,00,65,00,20,00,55,00,49,00,00,00,\
      00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,\
      00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
    "Shell Icon Size"="32"
    "AppliedDPI"=dword:00000060
    "PaddedBorderWidth"="0"
    "IconSpacing"="-885"
    "IconVerticalSpacing"="-1095"
    "MinAnimate"="1"

      

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBook: Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options

    Saturday, March 10, 2012 2:20 PM
  • I sent feedback about this too using Send Feedback Tools and B8 blog, emails. MS ignores everything except "W8 is great and I Love it". Removed features are not even documented on MSDN/TechNet and even if they are, no reason given or extremely silly reason like difficult UI or telemetry showed no one used it.
    Sunday, March 11, 2012 4:04 PM
  • Those of us who would prefer to customize the desktop experience genuinely hope that Microsoft is going to ultimately provide the ability to configure window metrics, because of the following:

    • We find it useful and/or pleasing to be able to change these things.  Some want bigger fonts and more chrome, some want smaller and less.
       
    • We believe that if the ability to configure these things via the OS is not provided by Microsoft, then it's just a matter of time before the default settings are hard-coded, so that even registry tweaks won't make it do what we want, and that this would be a step backward - for what reasons we simply can't fathom.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBook:  
    In development:

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Sunday, March 11, 2012 7:29 PM
  • LOL!  The edge to your posts always makes me smile.

    But your suggestion isn't without merit - if only such a beast existed.  I couldn't find a large, high ppi monitor last I looked.  Those old IBM T220/T221 units, at 205 ppi, are long out of production, unfortunately.  Got any suggestions?  As good as it gets is the Dell U2711 at 109 ppi.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBook:  
    In development:

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Sunday, March 11, 2012 10:00 PM
  • Well, at least they restored 6 of them in RP (in Display), but too bad border padding isn't there, since that's an obvious one.
    Thursday, June 14, 2012 6:04 PM
  • Yes, it's now possible to reduce some of the chrome via legitimate tweaks to the Display settings again, and it gives me hope that maybe Microsoft has listened and will be coming out with an even more capable Aero-aware desktop metrics configuration dialog in the actual release.

    With the RP the UI elements do seem to still respond to all the settings saved from a Windows 7 system, so it's possible a better 3rd party configuration function will be possible.

    Somewhere, someone inside Microsoft actually has to (or WILL have to) USE this turkey of an operating system they're developing to do real things, like develop future versions of Windows, and those folks are going to drive the changes back in the proper direction.  They always have.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Thursday, June 14, 2012 6:14 PM
  • Microsoft's argument in the Longhorn betas (as I recall reading on the shell:revealed blog) was that most settings in this dialog didn't affect visual styled-themes, they only affected themes like Classic and with Classic theme gone, they were no longer needed. BUT THEY ARE WRONG!!!! I NEED EVERY SINGLE SETTING IN THE ADVANCED APPEARANCE DIALOG BACK! STOP DUMBING DOWN THE SYSTEM, MICROSOFT AND LOCKING EVERYTHING DOWN!!!!!!! GRRRRRRR.

    • Edited by xpclient Thursday, June 14, 2012 7:22 PM
    Thursday, June 14, 2012 6:23 PM
  • For those who may be reading and not knowing what we're talking about...

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Thursday, June 14, 2012 7:16 PM
  • But is still misses the most important setting. The ability to change the Icon Spacing:

    http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/how-to-increase-icon-spacing-in-windows-7/

    This is required for German, because most Icons have longer names compared to English.


    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    Friday, June 15, 2012 6:24 AM
  • This is really annoying. MS came up a butt ugly UI and removed almost every settings so the user could make it a bit nicer. Testing W8 RP now and have to say I am very disappointed. My biggest concern is not the UI though but the inability to find installed software when I dont know the name / spelling exactly.
    Friday, June 22, 2012 7:24 PM
  • This is really annoying. MS came up a butt ugly UI and removed almost every settings so the user could make it a bit nicer.

    You say it to nice, Its a disaster the removed all the settings. I cant get contrasts right now. Its bad readable. I cant customize the font s right, no the other way seems to ignore some. ALready happy i have the start menu back. Now microsoft need to but some coals under the devs to make windows 8 desktop customizable. For people that need different fonts, colors, and contrast. Give us the advanced appearance settings back ! WHat i dont understand. you can change a color. but if you change that you cant change the active title color. with as result you dont see the window title anymore. How did the ever.......

    Really dissapointed.


    • Edited by OsFly Friday, November 09, 2012 2:28 AM
    Friday, November 09, 2012 2:26 AM
  • Hate to point out the depressingly obvious, but they "put coals under the devs" to make it UN-customizable.  It was worse for a while, but apparently there were just too many "you can't get there from here" situations where they had to put a little of the customizability back.

    There's really no difference in the way the desktop works - it's still Aero.  It's just a hobbled version of it, that's had code deleted.

    Windows is no longer about what we want in an operating system, it's about Microsoft manipulating users.

    Windows 7 was a "better mousetrap" and the world beat a path to Microsoft's door.  We just didn't realize we are the mice.

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Friday, November 09, 2012 3:55 AM
  • By the way it's possible to make it about 3% easier to see, eliminating the remnant partial transparency of the Taskbar (and icons while dragging) and adding some contrast to window borders and scroll thumbs, so that it's possible to actually differentiate them from the surroundings:

     

    This is excerpted from my Windows 8 book:

    Here's how to create an AeroLite style:

    • Right-click on the desktop and choose Personalize.
    • Save your current theme with a name something like "Aero Lite"
    • Navigate to the following folder and edit the .theme file just created:
      %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes
    • Scroll down to the [VisualStyles] section near the bottom.
    • Change the Path= filename from Aero.msstyles to AeroLite.msstyles
    • In Personalize, go select another theme then this theme again.

       

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Friday, November 09, 2012 4:03 AM
  • Andre,

    First time forum user.  Just wondering.... does "God Mode" work in win 8?  If so, Metrics is available there, just like Win 7.  

    Dick...

    Thursday, December 20, 2012 1:16 PM
  • A folder named GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} does invoke magic, but none of the features provide any better ability to program desktop colors and metrics than the dialogs provided overtly in the Control Panel.

     

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Thursday, December 20, 2012 4:23 PM
  • Specifically, the Change display settings entry invokes the same screen as Adjust screen resolution:

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Thursday, December 20, 2012 4:29 PM
  • no, the metric is not there.

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    Thursday, December 20, 2012 7:33 PM