For several years now, UNIX (Mac and Linux) systems have had a native multi-desktop function in their system. Microsoft, on the other hand, remains on the sidelines. And despite its latest Windows 8 release, there's still no native function to manage multiple separate offices. That's why, to overcome this lack, I present a small program, Dexpot, which has everything of a great! Free and effective!
It's a high-performance, intuitive and free multi-office manager, available from Windows 95 to Windows 8. It can manage up to 20 desks on your machine (the basic office and 19 virtual offices). All this without being resource-intensive. Indeed, it only takes a few Mb on the disc. A minimum configuration of 512MB of ram is more than enough to turn properly!
Dexpot is an effective management tool. Personally, I use it with 6 thematic offices and the transition from one office to another is quick. This can be done in 4 different ways:
- Via the notification area where each office has its little icon with its desktop number on it,
- in the taskbar where each desktop appears as an open application window,
- via keyboard shortcuts that can be adjusted in Dexpot's interface,
- and finally, via a small utility. You can choose whether or not to display at the bottom right of the screen just above the clock, which represents all the desks numbered more or less transparent according to taste. For the latter alternative I do not use it but know that it exists.
It's also possible to set up a keyboard shortcut to get an overview of offices and any open applications in each office much like on Mac, when you turn on active corners to view all the open windows. Note that with Dexpot, you can also shorten an active corner or side, thus, leaving the mouse against the left or right side to change desktop. But this system, although practical on previous versions of Windows, is a little less so with Windows 8 which also has active corners. From this preview, you can change your desk by clicking on it or directly putting a window in the foreground, always by clicking on it. Finally by a simple slip drop we can change an office window.
It is also possible to move, copy, remove a window on one, several or all desktops thanks to a Dexpot menu that is added on the click must miniatures, in the taskbar. This feature is useful especially if you use the multi-office like me all day long, from time to time, a small bug is felt. But nothing nasty, just an internet window that follows you once and either moves or duplicates between two offices. It's rare, but it happens.
Dexpot's other strength is desktop customization, whether on the visual side or settings.
Indeed the first thing to note is that each office is totally independent of the others except for a few exceptions, such as when you install a new software that requires an icon on the desktop, this icon will install on all the desktops and remove it from an office will remove it from all, but nothing prevents you from creating an icon apart from the automatic installation of the software and in this way, the icon will only be on the desktop where you are.
For visual settings, Dexpot allows you to have a different wallpaper on each desktop but also to have a different resolution from one desktop to another. You can also put a password on a desk, you can set up an audio sound at the entrance and/or exit of the office. You can also choose to hide the Windows task bar and clock on one or more desks. There is also the possibility of having a small Desktop manager at the bottom right, which I talked about earlier and make it more or less transparent.
To finish with the visual customization of the desktop, the transition from one desktop to another can be by default, simply a screen change without anything special, but there are visual effects that can be put in place such as changing the desktop as if you were turning a cube (default). Having a system with 6 offices I do not really have a cube but a volume at 8 sides. moving from office 4 to office 6 as in the image below. We see desk 4 disappear on the left, desk 5 intermediate from front and desk 6 arriving on the right.
To customize the offices point of view settings, it is possible to assign rules to the office, as well as software assignment rules to one or more offices. So the rules are a kind of event manager. A rule is created by assigning a condition to achieve it. The assignment to the desktop is done via a Dexpot menu that lists current applications (but it is also possible to search for an unopened application via an explorer). An application can be assigned to a particular office. So if I open Chrome from desktop 4 and Chrome is assigned to desk 2, the window will open in office 4 and disappear immediately and will only be visible from desktop 2. If no rules are put in place, the window is assigned to the office where it was opened.
To conclude, I recommend this application if the need for a multi-office system is felt. It's easy to use but complete and allows you to set up a lot of options if you want to make advanced use of it!
Link to download it: Dexpot (portable version available)