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Rainmeter 4.3 FINAL

Transform your desktop with this customisation tool

by Nick Peers

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Based on 3 ratings
License: Open Source
Operating Systems: Windows 10, Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 18 March 2019
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 29209
Developer: Rainmeter.net
RSS News Feed: http://rainmeter.net/forum/feed.php
Twitter Feed: http://twitter.com/#!/rainmeter
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rainmeter/357447427748
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Rainmeter 4.3 FINAL
Display all kinds of useful information on your desktop with Rainmeter.

Customising your Windows desktop can be as simple or as complicated as you like. For most people, the options provided by Windows itself are often sufficient, while others want to push the envelope further. One way in which your desktop can be made to work harder is by using it to display all kinds of useful information – in Vista and Windows 7, there are specific gadgets that perform this function, but they’re limited and a little clunky to implement, while XP users are left completely in the cold.

This is where Rainmeter comes in: this desktop customisation tool works on the assumption that the desktop is yours to do with as you see fit. It offers an alternative platform to the Sidebar used in later versions of Windows, offering a wide variety of customisable “skins” (Rainmeter’s rather confusing term for gadgets) that allow you to pretty much cover the desktop with your choice of information, tools and shortcuts.

These skins can act as simple information portals – giving you access to system information, favoured RSS feeds or the latest email count in your inbox, for example. They can also be developed further to provide interactive functionality, such as skins that record notes or let you tweet direct from your desktop. You can also use skins to serve as a panel containing shortcuts to all your favourite programs, allowing you to banish the taskbar or clean up the desktop.

Skins can be developed by hand – they’re open-source, so widely available – or you can download packages known as “themes”. You’ll be prompted to download additional themes after installation, although a basic “illustro” is provided to give you an idea of what’s available. Rainmeter will launch with a selection of skins pre-loaded, such as date/time, disk information, a Lifehacker RSS feed and a Google search box, enabling you to launch web searches direct from the desktop. There’s also a welcome panel with links to articles helping you familiarise yourself with the program.

Edit skin settings by right-clicking the skin itself – this opens a .ini file in Notepad where you can tweak settings by hand. You can also configure the program from its icon in the Notification area of the Taskbar.

With version 3, new features included migrating from an older GDI+ graphics/text rendering system to the newer and more powerful Direct2D system found in Windows 7 and 8. The initial fruit of these labours is to implement vastly improved font rendering in string-based meters, particularly those with smaller font sizes and using anti-aliasing. The feature is currently disabled by default – users must add UseD2D=1 to the [Rainmeter] section of the Rainmeter.ini configuration file to enable it.

Note that with Rainmeter 4, Windows XP and Vista are no longer supported.

What's new in 4.3? See the changelog for more info.

Verdict:

Transform your desktop from simple wallpaper to something more functional and useful with this powerful customisation tool - albeit one less suited to novices.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Windows 10 May 2019 Update ISO (build 1903)

Free Full Commercial Software

This is the latest version of Windows May 2019 Update. it's a media creation tool that can be used to upgrade an existing installation of Windows or create installation media for another PC. Just make your choice after launching the tool and it'll do the rest.

What was new in Windows 10, when it was released? The OS brought back the Start Menu, though with a twist: live tiles keep you up-to-date with the latest news while also providing an easy way to launch apps. (Don't worry if you prefer the Start Screen, it's still there and you can boot into it if you prefer.)

Apps now work much more like regular desktop programs. They have minimise, maximise, restore and close buttons, and can be resized (to a degree) and organised however you like.

If you've still lost track of a program in the mass of open windows, a new Task Spaces feature can help. Click its taskbar button and you'll see thumbnails for everything running now, a little like OS X's Mission Control - just click something to switch to it.

Better still, Task Spaces also supports virtual desktops. Add extra desktops as required and it'll display thumbnails of each one, making it easy to identify whatever you're after and switch to it.

There's also smarter snapping, new customisation options, and even a bunch of experimental additions to the command prompt.

May 2019 Update brings a whole host of new features for Windows 10. See the Microsoft Blog for more information.

The Windows 10 ISO will give you build 1903 which is the May 2019 Update.

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