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I noticed something weird happen to my Show Desktop button under Windows 7, which is that its size almost doubled from what it was when I first installed Windows. What can cause that to happen? By the way, the last thing I remember installing on the machine was Smart Notebook (a notetaking/presenting application), but why would its installation suddenly make the button bigger?

The way it is supposed to look like:

small show desktop button

The way it actually looks like:

abnormal size show desktop button

Also, please note that I am not trying to "fix" the problem and move it back to the old state. Rather, I am just curious about why this happens.

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  • And did you by any chance have (or had) a pen-tablet/touch-pad connected to the machine?
    – Rik
    Dec 10 '13 at 22:59
  • @Rik No, all I installed was Smart Notebook. After that, the button strangely grew.
    – gparyani
    Dec 11 '13 at 1:01
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Some background of Windows Design Guideline on Interaction

Touch Interaction

Pen Interaction

These two interactions indicated that:

  • Small controls are difficult to use.
  • Small targets near the edge of the display can be very difficult to touch.

I assumed that pen enabled Windows application like "Smart Notebook" somehow triggers the touch/pen interface by installing the driver or changing the system settings. Afterwards, following the guideline, Windows enlarged the "Show Desktop" button in the edge to a larger click target.


Workaround posted in Microsoft Community: Win7 retail: Taskbar icon "Show Desktop" has DOUBLED in width since original install, unable to restore it to default size.

  1. Click Control Panel

  2. Click Turn Windows Features On or Off

  3. Unchecked "Tablet PC Components"

  4. Restart Computer

Drawbacks

Handwriting features are turned off.

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  • But why would Smart Notebook's installation enable the Tablet PC components? Does it install the driver for the Smart Board interactive whiteboard too? If that is the case, then it is justified that its installation would trigger Windows to enable the Tablet PC components.
    – gparyani
    Dec 11 '13 at 21:50
  • So, Windows enlarges the button if it detects that we have installed a driver for a touchscreen (in this case, the Smart Board), so the enlargement just makes the button more "touch-friendly"?
    – gparyani
    Dec 11 '13 at 21:51
  • @gparyani I do not have access on that software so I can only deduced that it may be the cause of this issue. The button is expanded for usability reason: With mouse, you simply point to the edge of the screen to trigger the function while using your finger may not register the touch properly if button size is unchanged.
    – Ivan Chau
    Dec 12 '13 at 3:11

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