Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I use Windows 7 Home Premium. Recently, when I came through Photoshop in OSX, I was interested by its user interface. It has got a "100% transparent" user interface background, whereas it's usually gray in Windows.

I googled for some glass solutions, but all of them provide a "transparent window" or a semi-transparent one, which makes the complete window transparent. These solutions do not work for me, as I just need the UI (gray) background transparent but require all the other elements (such as nav-bars, control buttons, etc.) to have no transparency.

Below is a screenshot of what I'm saying:


Is this a feature of Photoshop only? How can I achieve the same in Windows 7?

share|improve this question
It might be a Mac OS thing; as far as I know, all MDI programs work that way there. – grawity Jun 30 '13 at 16:57

AutoHotkey's WinSet command can do this. You can choose to make a window completely transparent or semi-transparent (can even specify the degree of transparency). You can also make all pixels of the chosen colour inside the target window (semi-)transparent.

For example, the following command will turn all white pixels in a Win Explorer window 50% transparent:

WinSet, TransColor, FFFFFF 128, ahk_class ExploreWClass

However, in practice you might find this approach a real pain since clicks on a transparent pixel "fall through" and affect the window beneath. Also, there's no way (AFAIK) with AHK to restrict transparency to a specific region when you use TransColor. What this means is, if you use FFFFFF then all white pixels anywhere in the window will be affected, not just those in the window's background.

A proper transparency solution has to come from the app's developers; it generally can't be bolted on like this and be expected to work perfectly.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.