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I like playing computer games in windowed mode, as opposed to full screen. I don't like staring at the title bar, frame, and other UI junk. I also don't like seeing other stuff on my desktop around the window. Is there a simple Windows program that will strip the UI chrome off of an arbitrary window from some other application? Extra points for an easy way to put a black screen underneath the window, hiding the desktop.

Note: I'm looking specifically to handle windows that are smaller than my desktop size. There's a variety of 'windowed maximized' options that make a window exactly the desktop size, and positioned so all the UI decorations are off screen. (E.g.: ShiftWindow). I'm trying to strip all the decorations away from a window that's smaller than desktop size.

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For your particular use, though, it depends on which game. Games don't behave like a regular program, when windowed. Some don't even handle this window decoration, and draw directly on the top left corner of the screen, for example. Fact is, it might be hard to find a "universal" solution, as it can depend on how the game is rendered, and how each handles the window mode. –  Gnoupi Sep 25 '09 at 7:56

8 Answers 8

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Just something small that I made for my purposes after reading voodoomsr's comment. Makes it to go left up corner and resizes to my full resolution. Restores as it was before. Can't be used with multiple apps same time.

Thanks voodoomsr

;-Caption
LWIN & LButton::
SetTitleMatchMode, 2
WinGetPos, X, Y, Width, Height, A
WinSet, Style, -0xC00000, A
WinMove,A,,0,0,1920,1080
return
;

;+Caption
LWIN & RButton::
WinSet, Style, +0xC00000, A
WinMove,A,,%X%,%Y%,%Width%,%Height%
Sleep, 1000
Sleep, 1000
return
;

EDIT:

TBH I tried to find something useful for windows that doesn't resize but couldn't find anything (not saying that it's not possible, this was actually my first Autohotkey script).

Well anyhow I made some tweaks like removing unnecessary sleeps, using style that Nelson suggested and making it work with only one button so double-clicking won't override saved variables.

; Set your resolution
w = 1920
h = 1080

; Window to fullscreen
LWIN & LButton::
SetTitleMatchMode, 2

WinGet Style, Style, A
if(Style & 0xC40000) {
  WinGetPos, X, Y, Width, Height, A
  WinSet, Style, -0xC40000, A
  WinMove,A,,0,0,w,h
} else {
  WinSet, Style, +0xC40000, A
  WinMove,A,,%X%,%Y%,%Width%,%Height%
}
return
;
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1  
Thanks, that's very close to what I wanted! The only thing that doesn't work well is if the window refuses to resize: it ends up in the upper left with the desktop visible behind. Centered with black behind would be preferable. But if the window is resizeable it's great. One minor tweak: style 0xC40000 seems to work better, it removes the resize handles as well. Also you left some sleeps: are they necessary? –  Nelson Mar 16 '11 at 16:38
    
@Nelson For windows refuse to resize, maybe we can just use WinMaxmize and WinRestroe (with auot-hide task-bar). –  weakish Sep 24 '12 at 15:20

i found this at the HydrogenAudio forums:

Here's a screenshot of Foobar 2000 without a window title bar:

enter image description here

The program used is called Flash Desktops (shareware)

Unfortunately they don't really elaborate on the program settings to achieve the goal but rather on the problem of moving windows without a titlebar. WindowBlinds is also mentioned.

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If you want a window, with no Windows UI around it, and a black background, ie the game and nothing but the game, why not just run in full screen mode? About the only thing windowed mode would be getting you in that circumstance is slightly faster Alt-Tab performance if you've got another app running in the background?

If it's having a playing screen that's smaller than the screen size and with no distractions that you're after, then (presuming you're using an LCD screen) you can normally run in the game's full screen mode, but use a resolution slightly lower than your LCD's native resolution, many LCD screens will show the resulting screen with a black border around it then.

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I'm looking for faster Alt-Tab performance. Actually more than that; I have a second monitor and want to be able to move my mouse over to it. –  Nelson Sep 10 '09 at 0:18
    
Fair enough, I game on a dual-monitor setup and run most games in windowed mode for the same reason. Personally I normally set the game's res to be the same as that screen's res, and manually just drag it so the title bar's off the top of the screen. –  GAThrawn Sep 11 '09 at 12:39

If you can code and you are running Vista or newer it's pretty easy to make a program that registers a DWM thumbnail to the application and then you can select to only show the window content without borders in this thumbnail. You also have to forward all input from this overlaying program to the game in some way but that's not super complicated either.

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here is a programm that can remove the titlebar for any window. To do that you must select games window in WinExplorer tree view than switch to 'Style' tab and check off WS_DLGFRAME.

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This is one of the best programs on the internet. I've been using it for years. I really wish it had the ability to run in the system tray and restore all the settings you set for specific apps. ie, some sort of profile support. –  Scott Beeson Jul 30 '13 at 17:33

CutAway by Skrommel might do what you want.

Cut Away

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just use this autohotkey script:

;-Caption
LWIN & LButton::
WinSet, Style, -0xC00000, A
return
;

;+Caption
LWIN & RButton::
WinSet, Style, +0xC00000, A
return
;

you could download autohotkey from here http://www.autohotkey.com/download/. Save the file with a extension .ahk and run it like any application.

Usage:

to remove the title bar LWindowButton + Left click

to restore the title bar LWindowButton + Right click

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This works for other cases, like this question of mine: superuser.com/questions/664559/… However, it makes no effect on, say, Google Chrome or it's windowed apps. Any hint here? I think those are custom made bars... –  Igoru Oct 24 '13 at 16:36

Using AutoHotKey and an auto-hide taskbar.

LWin & f::

WinGet Style, Style, A
if(Style & 0xC40000) {
  WinSet, Style, -0xC40000, A
  WinMaximize, A 

} else {
  WinSet, Style, +0xC40000, A
  WinRestore, A
}
return

Why use WinMaxmize? See comments of Asd's answer.

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protected by studiohack Mar 15 '11 at 14:43

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