1. What do I need Emerge Desktop for?
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
2. What are the applets?
3. How do I move the applets?
4. How do I resize the applets?
5. How do I change the settings of an applet?
6. How do I change the transparency (or colour) of the applets?
7. What if I don't like Emerge Desktop?
Emerge Desktop is an alternate shell for Windows 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista and Windows 7. To answer the question shortly: you don't need it :-) Unless you like to customize your desktop and have a lighter interface. This is not a new feature introduced by Emerge Desktop. There are plenty of alternate shells for Windows (since Windows 3.x) and for Linux. The main difference between Emerge Desktop and other alternate Windows shells is the modularity (see next answer) and user friendly configuration interface (no manual editing required).
Each part of Emerge Desktop (the tray, the taskbar) are individual executables called applets. These applets are all optional as part of Emerge Desktop and can be run individually on top of any other shell, including Explorer :-)
You have to press the Ctrl key while dragging the applet with the Left mouse button depressed. If Click Through is activated you need to press Ctrl AND Shift while dragging the applet.
You have to press the Alt key and hover the borders of the applet until they change to a resize cursor (usually a two pointed arrow) and then click with the Left mouse button and drag to the desired size. Please notice that resizing does not work with emergeTray, emergeTasks or emergeLauncher if the option "AutoSize" is activated. Also if Click Through is activated you need to press Alt AND Shift while dragging with the Left mouse button depressed
You have to press Ctrl and click with the Right mouse button on the applet to display the configuration menu and then select Configure to display the Configuration window. Please notice that if Click Through is activated you need to press Ctrl
AND Shift before Right clicking on the applet. The exception to this rule is the emergeHotkey applet which has no visible interface and therefore to access the Configuration dialogue you must press Shift+Esc.
You have to select Configure from the applet's menu (see previous answer). On the applet's Configuration window click on the Style Editor tab where you can change the colours, transparency and other settings through a user friendly interface. After modifying the style you can save it under a new name and load it. The style is applied to each applet individually, therefore you can have a Red style to apply to tasks and a Blue style to apply to the tray :-) BTW don't make everything transparent and click through otherwise you will have nothing to click on...
It is really easy to go back to Explorer if for some reason you don't like Emerge. By right clicking anywhere on the desktop (i.e. the background image or area) you will get a menu. Under the Settings menu, select the Change Desktop Shell option, and from the drop list select Windows Explorer and click on Change. Reboot or logoff to restart Windows, now with Explorer as shell. If you really didn't like Emerge Desktop, you can uninstall it now, safely.
(In fact you can uninstall it in one step, just as safely: with Emerge Desktop as shell, right click on the desktop and from the menu select Start Menu, Programs, Emerge Desktop, Uninstall. After rebooting your system will be back to Explorer and all traces of Emerge Desktop will be removed.