Nvidia Forceware Tweak Guide

[Page 8] NView Desktop Manager



nView Desktop Manager


The nView Desktop Manager is a utility of the Classic Forceware Control Panel which allows you to configure and use advanced features for both single and multi-display systems, although it is primarily aimed at multi-display systems. There are three main ways to access the nView Desktop Manager: Right-click on your Windows Desktop and select 'nView Properties'; go to the Desktop Management menu in the Classic Forceware Control Panel; or go to the Windows Control Panel and click the nView icon. At present full nView functionality is not available in Vista, so this section is for XP users.


Importantly, for nView to function you will need to have the NWiz.exe item in your Windows startup. If you've removed this item, you can still access nView features simply by opening nView as covered above, then on the main nView Desktop Manager screen selecting the 'Enable' button. If enabled, the various features of nView can and will use up system resources of various amounts, depending on the function(s) enabled, how many displays are involved, and what particular actions you undertake. cllearly if you have multiple displays and/or you like certain nView functionality, you should weigh up the convenience benefits against the resource usage of this utility and decide which suits you best.


Important note: Almost all nView functionality will come immediately into effect only after you tick/change the appropriate options and then click the Apply button. Make sure you click the Apply button after each and every change if you want to see the effects of an option straight away.



Click to enlarge

nView Desktop Manager Wizard


On the main nView screen there is an option to run the nView Desktop Manager Wizard. The wizard helps you quickly configure a range of nView settings by running through a sequence of options. To use start the wizard, click the 'Setup Wizard' button. I recommend manually going through and configuring all the nView settings instead. Note that if you open nView from the Windows Desktop or the Windows Control Panel, you will see a third section on the main nView screen - a button which labelled 'Properties' which brings up the Display Properties box.


If you have more than one display, you will find another button available called the 'Display Wizard'. The Display Wizard guides you through the process of setting up your multiple displays. Typically once you connect more than one display and it is detected by Windows, the Forceware drivers will automatically launch the Display Wizard, so you may have already gone through the wizard. However once again, it is recommended that you manually (re)configure all of the different settings in nView by going through each of the tabs/menus in the nView utility.


Important Note: Some options of nView may not be available to you, either due to lack of support by your particular Nvidia graphics card and/or because of the number of displays you are using. Bear this in mind if you see an option listed below which is not listed in your nView control panel.


Each of the nView sections are covered below:



Profiles


Profiles save your individual nView and Control Panel settings. The Default profile is the initial profile you can save changes to, however if there is more than one user on your computer, or you want to set up different settings for different situations, use the New button to create a new profile(s) and use them to save your changes as relevant. To load up the settings from a pre-saved profile, highlight the profile under the 'Current Profile' list and click the Load button. I recommend the 'Prompt to save changes before loading new profile' option is ticked so you don't lose all your changes accidentally if you switch profiles.


The profiles feature also has another very important role - it can save all your settings prior to upgrading your Nvidia Forceware drivers. These settings are typically saved using your profile's name under the \Windows\nview directory, and may also be saved in the \Documents and Settings\All Users\ Application Data\nView_Profiles directory as well. By saving your settings to a profile, you can uninstall your existing drivers and install new Forceware drivers without losing these important settings. However by the same token, if you're experiencing problems and want a complete 'clean' installation of the Forceware drivers as covered earlier in this guide, you will need to delete the two directories above and all of their contents.



Windows


Prevent Windows from Opening Off-Screen: Ticking this option prevents any windows from opening off the visible portion of the screen, and thereby being inaccessible or hard to access.


Limit taskbar to a single display: Only available on multi-display systems when using nView Horizontal or Vertical Span mode. If ticked, this option restricts the Windows Taskbar (the bar on which the Start button sits) to being displayed on only one of your displays, not stretched across them.


Enable window spanning across multiple displays: If ticked, this option allows individual windows to cross over (span) multiple displays. If unticked, each window will remain restricted to its own display.


Enable child window spanning across multiple displays: If the 'Enable window spanning across multiple displays' option is ticked, this option becomes available. If ticked, this option allows child windows - windows which are created as the result of actions in other windows - to also span multiple displays.


Open windows on: This option lets you select where a new window (for a launched application for example) will open each time. The available options here are 'Default display', 'Start button display', 'Next display', 'Last Display', 'Display number'. Both the 'Default display' and 'Start button display' options refer to the display which shows your Start button and taskbar. The 'Next display' option opens the window in the next available display, while the 'Last display' option opens the window in the same window as it opened the last time it was launched. You can specify a particular display by selecting the 'Display number', e.g. 'Display 1'. To work out the display numbers, see the 'Identify Displays' option below.


Snap window edges by: If you want your windows to 'snap' to the edges of another window, or any visible borders on the Desktop, you can select a pixel value in this box. Then whenever you move a window to within the pixel range specified of another window or desktop border, it will 'snap' to that edge, lining up with it perfectly. The higher the pixel value, the further away a window can be from an edge before snapping to it when released. Select 'No window snapping' if you don't like this behavior.


Reposition dialog boxes on: This option allows you to choose where dialog boxes (e.g. boxes which contain 'OK' and 'Cancel' buttons) appear. The options are 'No respositioning' which results in dialog boxes opening wherever the system determines appropriate. The 'Move to application display' option forces dialog boxes to open in the same display as the application from which they are generated. The 'Move to cursor display' option opens the dialog box in the same display as your mouse cursor is currently located. The 'Move to Display number' option forces the dialog box to open in the display number chosen, e.g. 'Move to Display 1'.


Center dialog box on display: If you choose any option other than 'No repositioning' in the 'Reposition dialog boxes on' option, this option will become available. If ticked, this will force all dialog boxes to be displayed in the absolute middle of the relevant display.


Identify Displays: When this button is pressed a large number will appear on each connected display, showing the display number assigned to it by the Forceware drivers.



Applications


You can configure different nView settings for different applications and/or different classes (types) of windows. For example, if you want Internet Explorer to have nView specific settings which are different to those of Windows Explorer or other application windows, you can add Internet Explorer to the list of applications displayed in the main box, then edit its individual settings.


Add: To add an application or window class, click this button. In the new dialog box which opens, you can select a specific application either by entering its name, clicking the Find button and dragging the target over the open application (not its icon), or by using the Browse button to find the location of the application's main executable file. Alternatively, you can click the Find button and drag the target cursor over the window class which you want to assign individual settings. Note that window classes are categories of windows, such as explorer windows, dialog boxes, even Buttons themselves. Once your application or window class has been chosen, click OK.


Remove: If you want to remove an application from the list, highlight it and click the Remove button. This will delete all the individual settings for that particular application or window class from nView, but will not delete the application or window class itself from Windows.


Disable: If you want to temporarily disable the individual settings for a particular application or window class, highlight it and click the Disable button. On the dialog box which opens, select which effect(s) to disable. A large red cross will appear next to the application, indicating it has disabled nView functionality. If you want to reenable any such functionality, simply follow the steps above but this time retick the disabled functions and click OK. The red cross will disappear.


Individual Settings: When an application or window class is highlighted in the Applications box, click the 'Individual Settings' button and a new dialog box will appear, allowing you to select or edit particular nView settings for this application/window class. Click on the box at the very top (next to 'NOTE:') several times - this shows you what the symbols in the boxes mean. A solid box means global nView settings are used for a specific setting. A tick in a box means the option is enabled, an empty box means the option is disabled.


Globally disable all individual settings and window memory: If this option is ticked, all individual settings will be disabled, including those for window classes.


Application Enhancements: Clicking the Enhancements button brings up a list of enhancements for Internet Explorer and PowerPoint which you can enable. The 'Add Internet Explorer double-right and Shift-left click extension' option if ticked allows you to open Internet Explorer web links in a display of your choice (if you have multiple displays). The 'Add Internet Explorer popup preventer extension' option if ticked allows you to block popup windows in Internet Explorer - note however the built-in Popup blocker in Windows XP SP2 already has similar functionality, and is the recommended method for blocking popups. The 'Add PowerPoint slide show extensions' option if ticked allows you to send PowerPoint slideshows to a display of your choice (if you have multiple displays).



Desktops


This section provides you with the ability to have up to 32 different Windows Desktops, which you can switch between quickly, whether on a single or multi-display setup. This allows you to use different desktops for different applications for example, increasing the amount of space available to you. Note that for this to work, you need to make sure the 'Enable multiple desktops' option at the bottom of this page is ticked.


Available Desktops: This box contains a list of currently available Desktops. The Default desktop is the main desktop which you normally see in Windows. You can quickly and easily add another desktop by using the Add button. When you click Add, you will then get the opportunity to change the new desktop's name, background wallpaper, as well as the icon which is used to represent the desktop in the system tray. Note that the larger the file size of the wallpaper image you choose, the longer it may take to switch between desktops. Once done, click OK and this desktop is added to your list of available desktops. If at any time you want to remove a desktop in the list, you can highlight it and click the Remove button. Note that you can't delete the Default desktop.


Options: Click this button to configure the way in which you can switch between desktops, among other things. The 'Show desktop name when switching' option if ticked will briefly show the name of the desktop being switched to, and then may leave a faint desktop name showing - untick if this bothers you. The 'Show desktops in Windows Explorer' adds your desktops to the Windows Explorer as separate subdirectories with the relevant desktop names. The 'Show active desktop in the Windows taskbar notification area' is an important setting, because if ticked it places a small icon in the system tray area, which you can then click to select which desktop you want to switch to. The 'Maximize desktop switching speed' option if ticked will increase desktop switching speed by using the same background wallpaper on all your desktop as well as the same resolution. The 'Show command prompt windows on all desktops' option if ticked shows any opened command prompts on every desktop, instead of simply on the desktop on which it was opened. The 'Force desktop to redraw in one step' option forces all desktops to refresh their image in one step, but can lower desktop switching speed. The 'Allow desktops to use different resolutions' option if ticked allows each desktop to have a different resolution if required, however this slows down desktop rendering. Once you've chosen the appropriate settings, click the Apply button then OK to use these settings.



User Interface


This section allows you to configure the user interface for nView functions. Most of these increase the convenience of accessing nView functionality, but they alter the look of Windows in several ways. Each option is covered below:


Enable nView option in the Windows desktop right-click menu: if ticked this option places 'nView Properties' and 'nView Desktops' entries in your Windows context menus (also known as the right-click menus). If you right-click on an empty area of your desktop, you will see this context menu. If you want to remove these items from the context menu, untick this option. The other methods for accessing the nView control panel are covered at the top of this page.


Show notification messages on taskbar: if ticked, this option shows little popup messages on the Windows taskbar which tell you about changes to nView functions and/or any nView incompatibilies or errors which may occur.


Enable nView task switcher: if ticked, this setting enhances the standard Windows task switching functionality (i.e. when you press ALT+TAB or ALT+~) by providing more information about which display the application is on, along with the ability to switch between tasks on different desktops and switch the desktops themselves as well.


Enable nView toolbar: if ticked, this option brings up an nView toolbar, complete with a range of icons which provide easy access to common nView functionality. To add, remove or rearrange any icons, right-click on any nView toolbar icon, select Actions>Customize, and edit the available icons in the right panel accordingly. To attach the toolbar to a section of your desktop (top, bottom, left or right of the screen), right-click on the toolbar and under the Attach menu select the section of the screen to attach it to.


Enable display gridlines: if ticked, this option allows you to set up and configure up to 4 sections on each display in a "grid". This grid can then be used to control functionality like window spanning, window maximizing and dialog box positioning.


Title bar buttons: These options change the way in which the title bar on windows (the thick bar at the top of each open window) behaves. If ticked, each option places a unique icon of its own in all window titlebars allowing quicker access to their special functions. The 'nView options' setting if ticked allows quicker access to the nView Desktop Manager. The 'Full-Desktop maximize' option if ticked allows you to maximize a window to the point where it takes up the entire screen. Clicking on the icon again restores the window to its original size. The 'Next display' option if ticked gives the user the ability to move the current window to the next availabe display in multi-display setups. The 'Collapse to title bar' option if ticked lets you quickly collapse the window to the titlebar leaving only the titlebar itself visible, much like the way in which a scroll closes or opens.


Add nView options to the system menus: if ticked, this option places a range of items in all your windows context menus under the 'nView Options' main menu item. These options are configurable, and to see and change the full list, click the Options button.



Effects


This section contains some effects which can improve the appearance of Windows


Make windows minimize and maximize faster: if ticked, this option speeds up the default maximization and minimization of windows. There is no reason why this option should be unticked.


Make windows transparent when dragged: if ticked, this option makes windows transparent when they are dragged around the desktop(s), allowing you to see behind the window while it is moving. Note that this functionality may not be supported on some systems due to the resource-intensiveness of the task. If you want to only enable this functionlity on certain occasions, tick the 'Require Shift key to be held down' box as well, and then you can only trigger transparent windows when you hold down the SHIFT key while moving a window.


Enable taskbar transparency: if ticked, this option makes the Windows taskbar transparent at all times. The degree of transparency can be set in the 'Transparency level of x percent' box. The higher the percentage chosen (up to a maximum of 80%), the more see-through the taskbar becomes. Once again note that this functionality can take up extra resources and may not be supported on all systems.



Zoom


This section allows you to zoom in on portions of the desktop in various ways.


Zoom Window Style: The available options here are 'Magnifying glass', 'Centered on cursor' and 'Fixed frame'. When you select the 'Show Zoom Window' button at the bottom of the dialog box a Zoom Window will open and depending on which of the three options you choose under this section its contents will differ. If you choose 'Magnifying glass', the zoom window will only contain a small white box. You can then move the zoom window around, and wherever you drop it, the contents of the area under the white box will be magnified. If you choose 'Centered on cursor', as you move your cursor around the contents of the Zoom Window will show a zoomed image of what's under the cursor. If you choose 'Fixed frame' a small frame will open along with the Zoom Window. You can drag and drop this frame over a portion of the screen, and the zoomed image in the Zoom Window will display that section zoomed in, and will not change regardless of where you move the Zoom Window or the cursor.


Use the mouse wheel to change zoom levels while holding down the following keys: If this box is ticked, you can alter the level of zoom in the Zoom Window by scrolling your mouse wheel while holding down either the SHIFT or CTRL keys.


Show cursor in zoom window: If this option is ticked, the cursor itself will appear in the zoomed image shown in the Zoom Window.


Automaticall move zoom window to the next screen: This option is only available if the zoom method chosen is 'Centered on cursor'. If this option is enabled (only if you have a multi-display setup), whenever you move your cursor over the Zoom Window itself the Zoom Window will be moved to the next available display.


Enable bi-directional editing: Only available if you've chosen the 'Magnifying glass' or 'Fixed frame' zoom methods, if ticked this option allows you to use an application's normal editing methods in conjunction with the nView zoom method.


Invert zoomed image colors: If ticked, this option inverts the colors of the zoomed image displayed in the Zoom Window.


Enable zoom of video playback: If ticked, this option allows any videos opened (after the Zoom Window has been opened) to display as a zoomed image in the Zoom Window. This option only works with the 'Magnifying glass' zoom method.



Hot Keys


This section allows you to assign nView hotkeys - key combinations which speed up access to certain nView functionality. For example, you may wish the keystrokes CTRL and Q (CTRL+Q) when held together to collapse all open windows. To do this, double-click the 'Window Manager' item in the box under 'Select an action', and then double-click the 'Collapse all windows' item. A dialog box will appear, allowing you to assign a key combination to this function. Once the combination is assigned as shown in the 'Hot Keystroke' box, click OK to close the Hot Key Properties box.


The list of all current hot key combinations for nView functions is shown under the 'Active hot keys' box. You can add or remove any by using the appropriate buttons, and you can edit existing hotkeys by double-clicking on the active hot key and reassigning its key combinations.



Mouse


Enable throw window action: If ticked, this option allows you to 'throw' windows to screen edges by dragging them rapidly with your mouse and then letting them go - the thrown window will continue moving until it becomes aligned to a screen edge. You can adjust the sensitivity of the throw (i.e the amount of motion required to throw the window) by using the 'Throw Sensitivity' slider, with the further right the slider, the greater the sensitivity and hence the easier it is to throw windows.


Jump dead screen areas: If you have a multi-display setup, ticking this option will allow you to 'jump over' dead areas (areas with no clickable objects) when moving the mouse rapidly.


Toggle window z-order with middle mouse button: If ticked, this option allows you to use your middle mouse button (if you have one) to change the stacking order of windows. For example, select a window and click the middle mouse button - it will move further towards the back or the front of the window order.


Automatically activate window under cursor: If ticked, this option automatically activates and brings to the front the window on which you rest your cursor.



Kinematics


When the 'Enable mouse gestures' box is ticked, you can use certain mouse 'gestures' to initiate certain actions. There are four types of mouse gestures you can assign a function to: Shaking the mouse side to side ('Shake mouse horizontally'), shaking the mouse up and down ('Shake mouse vertically'), Rotating the mouse in a clockwise circle ('Rotate mouse clockwise') or rotating the mouse cursor in an anti-clockwise circle ('Rotate mouse counter-clockwise). You can determine just how sensitive nView is to your mouse movements before triggering the appropriate action by using the 'Gesture Sensitivity' slider - the further to the right the slider is set, the less gesturing you must do to trigger a function. If you still want to prevent accidental gesture trigger, tick the 'Require shift key to be held down' box, that way the gestures only work when the SHIFT key is also held down at the time.


Assigning and using mouse gestures is simple. For example, if you want to activate the Zoom Window by simply moving your mouse cursor quickly from side to side, go to the 'Shake mouse horizontally' box, select the 'Zoom window' function and click the Apply button. Now whenever you rapidly move your cursor from side to side over a window, the Zoom Window will appear and show a zoomed image of what is under your cursor (See the Zoom section above).



Tools


This section allows you to access tools which help in configuring the image on flat panel and projection displays.


NVKeystone: 'Keystoning' is a form of image distortion which affects projected images, and NVKeystone is a utility which helps overcome this by turning a 2D image into a 3D image, effectively letting you warp and alter the displayed image until it displays correctly. You should not enable NVKeystone unless you need this functionality as it comes with quite a performance hit. However if you need this feature, enable it by ticking the 'Enable NVKeystone display correction' box, and then tick the 'Enable NVKeystone option in desktop right-click menu' option for easy access to NVKeystone functionality. Then right-click on the desktop and under the NVKeystone menu item, select the 'Activate' option first. Then select the Adjust item and you can then alter the shape of the image shown by using the center box or side arrows around the display, as well as inverting the image vertically and/or horizontally using the small icons in the middle of the screen. Experiment with NVKeystone functionality until the image being displayed through your projector appears correct on the surface onto which it is being projected. Make sure that you untick the 'Activate' option in the NVKeystone menu if you don't need NVKeystone functionality as when active it uses a great deal of resources and hence reduces both 2D and 3D performance.


Display Calibration: Clicking the 'Calibration Screen' button brings up a screen on each connected display which has been designed to optimize calibration of analog flat panels when using auto-calibrate/auto-synchronization features on most flat panel displays.


Windows Utilities: If you have a multi-display setup, you can access the two options available here. The 'Align Displays' button will automatically align all your displays. The 'Move to Display' button will move your Windows taskbar to the display you choose.



The next section covers Advanced Tweaking of your graphics card.