Monday, May 12, 2008

With This Tweak, TaskSwitch XP IS the best "better Alt-Tab Solution" Out there!

A few months ago I ran a series of articles that compared various alternatives to Windows' Alt-Tab feature. The first featured Windows' own Alt-Tab Replacement Powertoy . The second featured Taskswitch XP. The third featured the Vista-like WinFlip 3d. All three were impressive improvements over the status quo, but none of them were perfect. In the end, I recommended my original endorsement, the Alt-Tab Powertoy.

I really loved TaskSwitch XP when I reviewed it. It was faster and more feature-rich (almost to a fault) than the Alt-Tab Powertoy, but I was really annoyed by its persistent need to be displaying its System Tray icon (read the original article for more on this), which is a pet peeve of mine. For this small niggle I settled on recommending the Alt-Tab Powertoy, which aimed for lower but hit the target.

That changes today. A comment left by one of our readers, Stanley, aims to scratch Taskswitch's persistent System Tray itch:

Great Review! Thanks for pointing me towards TaskSwitchXP - being unimpressed with the XP powertoy replacement its exactly what I was after! I'm the same as you when it comes to cluttered systrays so I thought you should know; the tray icon isn't mandatory - just make sure the top two boxes in the 'Tray icons' segment on the General settings tab aren't checked. The only downside to this is that you no longer have an instant systray shortcut to the Settings but you can easily add a shortcut to your preferred place in the Start Menu - just make sure the 'Autostart TaskSwitchXP on system startup' is also checked or you'll never know why it's not working!

Fantastic! Not only does this solve the non-working when invisible system tray icon problem, it also solves the problem of having a system tray icon at all! For this simple fix, I am not only ecstatically indebted to Stanley, I am also enthusiastically, finally, endorsing Taskswitch XP as the BEST "better Alt-Tab replacement" out there.

(Prove me wrong again? Write in the comments!)

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