Question regarding a window shape for a stack in Windows

Scott Rossi scott at
Thu Jun 30 14:13:50 EDT 2011

Hi Jonathan:

The only way I've ever been able to get around this in my projects is to use
an additional "normal" topLevel stack that appears offscreen and acts as a
"proxy" for the application.  Maybe there's another option but I've never
seen one.

If you really want to be thorough, you should know the stack with the
windowShape isn't just missing from the list of running applications -- it's
also missing from the taskbar, an important means of access that all Windows
users expect.  And there's no way to minimize/maximize from the taskbar.
Plus, in Vista and beyond, there will be no thumbnail icon for the window
that appears above the button entry in the taskbar.

The way I get around this is to take a screenshot (or multiple screenshots)
of the content in main stack and place this in the "proxy" stack.  Windows
will "see" this image and use it for the thumbnail representation of the
application in the taskbar.  If the user minimizes the app, I trap the
message and minimize the "proxy" (maximize = vice versa).

This is all a major pain, especially if you have content that changes in the
stack with the windowShape, because the taskbar thumbnail will appear "out
of sync" with the application, but again, I haven't found any simpler


Scott Rossi
Creative Director
Tactile Media, UX Design

Recently, Jonathan Lynch wrote:

> Hi Everyone,
> I am using Rev 4.0.
> When I set the window shape of a stack, thus removing the system frame from
> the stack, I encounter a problem. The stack takes on its new shape without
> difficulty, but it is no longer visible in the menu that arises when I use
> alt+tab to switch between applications. It is also gone from the menubar at
> the bottom that lists running applications.
> This problem does not occur with the same application running on Rev. 2.6.1,
> but it does occur using Rev. 4.0.
> This occurrs in a Windows network environment and at home using Windows 7.
> Does anyone have any suggestions on how to address this problem? Have you
> ever encountered it before? If I must, I will leave the system window frame
> in place. It is just prettier without it.
> Thanks,
> Jonathan

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