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Bug: Taskbar transparency loss under Vista

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xasx
50 discussion posts
Hi,

I have just started using DisplayFusion Pro a few days ago. Nice program so far, very handy!

So far it seems that I have discovered a bug of which I don't know what program is causing it (Windows or DisplayFusion).
About three quarters of the Vista taskbar is opaque while the rest stays transparent.

My configuration is:
Primary screen: 1680x1050
Secondary screen: 1280x1024
The secondary screen is located on the left side of the primary screen.
I use different images on both screens.

If I use one picture to span the entire Desktop the same region that appears opaque before is now colored with the selected background color.
If I set the taskbar to automatically fade out the issue seems to be resolved. Since I don't want my taskbar to be hidden I can't use this.

Here is a scrennshot of the taskbar region over the full Desktop.


Is this a known issue? Does this happon on other machines as well?

Any answers or help are appreciated.

Thanks and regards,
Andreas
May 15, 2008  • #1
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Kevin F.
438 discussion posts
It has been found and mentioned before, I lost the thread, but it is here. They had a temp fix for it IIRC, so I would look around for it. I searched the relevant terms, but came up with nothing. AFAIK it is a windows issue, with low chance of being fixed.
May 16, 2008  • #2
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xasx
50 discussion posts
Thanks for your answer.

I have examined this and I think this is a Vista bug.
At first I did some experiments with the builtin control panel, tried center and stretch. The Background was splitted to each of the screens and the opacity of the taskbar seemed always to be under the wallpaper of the secondary screen.
Since my resolutions slightly differ on both monitors and therefore a black gap is drawn on the whole wallpaper I had a suspicion that Vista paints the lower left pixels of the background image on the taskbar. To prove this I moved the position of the left screen down, so that not the black pixels would be drawn but the pixels that are relatively on the same height as the taskbar on the primary screen. Indeed, Vista drawed parts of the secondary screen's wallpaper to the taskbar.

To reproduce this you could just fill the black space (in my case a 26 pixel high black bar) with a different color, e.g. red. The taskbar should be drawn red.

This got me to a simple workaround:
I just copied a 1280x26 block from the left bottom of the primary screen's wallpaper to black box on the secondary (no stretching). Now this part is drawn to the taskbar (and that is the part we want to see on the taskbar!). Perhaps this could be included in a future version of DFP. If this behaviour brakes some other cases, it could be implemented as an option (to choose via checkbox, e.g. "Fix Vista's WP draw to taskbar bug")

Regards,
Andreas
May 16, 2008  • #3
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xasx
50 discussion posts
BTW:
When I stretch a wallpaper through both screens, the rectangle is drawn with the selected background color, so the taskbar gets this color. In that case the same workaround is needed.

Edit:
Further examinations showed that the problem cannot that easily be fixed. It seems that Vista draws the wallpaper a little bit darker to the taskbar. Also, if you vertically expand your taskbar you get to see more parts of the secondary screen's background.

The question now is: How to file this bug to Microsoft?

:-(
May 16, 2008  • #4
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Kevin F.
438 discussion posts
That sounds like the fix that was come up with in the last thread, nice work.

I have no idea how you would file this, and I highly doubt that microsoft would bother to fix this.
May 17, 2008  • #5
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xasx
50 discussion posts
It's too bad about Microsoft not fixing this since it is a real bug.
Vista just copies the bottom left pixels of the whole virtual screen (i.e. in my case a 1680 pixels wide block!) to the taskbar if it is pinned on the desktop (no auto-fade-out). Instead it should copy the bottom left pixels of the primary screen to the taskbar. You can say that the desktop's coordinate system is not the same as the background's one. If they just took the lower left pixels of the background image everything would be fine.

Edit: On the right side of the formerly black block you will certainly see the first pixels of the second image (primary screen). So a fix in DFP would be worthless. To understand this here is a screenshot.



Regrads and thanks for assistance,
Andreas
May 17, 2008  • #6
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
I have looked into this issue many times and haven't been able to find a solution yet. It seems that this really is a bug in Vista that I can't do anything about. :(

Sorry,
Jon
May 18, 2008  • #7
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Kevin F.
438 discussion posts
This is a bit roundabout, but could DF detect the start bar being transparent? If so, could you then make DF change the picture to the current fixes for the time being? Probably not, but worth a try.... Or maybe not.....
May 19, 2008  • #8
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
It would work in some situations where the monitors are different sizes, but most of the time it isn't easily fixable. I'm hoping that Microsoft will release a fix for the problem, but after a year and a half of waiting I'm not too hopeful.
Jun 7, 2008  • #9
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ZDamned
1 discussion post
I seem to have found a work around that MIGHT be usable by a majority of the users experiencing this problem.

I was moving around my Task Bar and looking at the distortion, trying to figure out if it was a Bug, and noticed that the secondary monitor (Set in Windows) does not get this issue at all.
I changed my Primary monitor to my 2nd one, and simply moved the Task Bar back over.

I hope this helps people out who are somewhat frustrated by this graphical glitch.

I think the only downside to this is in-fact, not using your Primary Monitor as your Primary Monitor.

:Edit: I took notice to a glitch in this fix for some reason, and it has me questioning the ability of my work around. The Task Bar while moving around Renders the transparency of what it is stuck to perfectly. HOWEVER! Once set down, Vista will re-draw the space right above it as the transparent image. (Above is relative to the Task Bar Positioning. Assuming your perspective of the Task Bar is the way it's default positioning dictates... And typing this note makes me think it's taking too much of my time to think about how to word it)
Jun 26, 2008  • #10
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
I think this is just something that we'll have to live with until Microsoft fix it. Thanks for the attempt, if you make any more progress please let me know.
Jun 27, 2008  • #11
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Drzues
1 discussion post
I have this same problem and am no expert, but at the risk of stating the obvious, the problem to me looks like Display fusion is setting the display on the second screen to default as tiled and that is why a strip of the other wall is showing up on the first screen, I hope this makes sense. I've tried to change the setting back to centered, stretch or anything but tiled with no luck. Maybe someone else can play around with this option and figure it out. If not, I'm happy with my ignorance. good luck to all.
Jul 4, 2008  • #12
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
The strange thing about this problem is that Vista doesn't use the wallpaper that is under the taskbar, it uses whatever is directly to the side of it. I can't see anyway around it.
Jul 13, 2008  • #13
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xasx
50 discussion posts
Sorry for bringing up this rather old post.

I posted this bug in Microsoft forums, but nobody could give me a reply.
Perhaps Microsoft thinks that those who place their secondary screen on the left side of their primary one are to blame it on themselves. What I do at the moment is to align the picture (-60 vertically), so the background of the taskbar is entirely black. Fortunately this amount is exactly the difference between the vertical resolutions of my screens.

Since the issue came up before SP1 was released I doubt whether it will be fixed in any Service Pack. Probably we will even see it on Windows 7 (or it will have built-in capability for setting different wallpapers on different screens - whatsoever).

A fix-up for some people might be to let the taskbar automatically fade out. then everything is drawn correctly. The bug seems to be caused by some false calculations (the taskbar just takes the lower left picture corner and paints it on itself, for performance reasons I think: the taskbar does not need to be (semi-)transparent, the picture is blured and we get the impression of the taskbar being transparent).

If I hear something new with this issue, I will inform you.
Oct 28, 2008  • #14
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
xasx: Thanks for the diligence, keep us posted.
Nov 5, 2008  • #15
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