DM2

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DM2 context menu

DM2 is an open source program that adds useful enhancements to Windows (e.g. minimize a window to tray, keep on top, roll a window to the title bar, snap windows to edge, quickly resize windows, favorite folders option in save file dilaog, etc). Where it is different from most programs in its category is (a) the sheer range of different functions it provides, and (b) that it is built on a plugin architecture, which means that it is always possible to extend its functionality by installing new ones.

DM2 runs in the background and its various functions are triggered by hotkeys, right clicking on the title bar, or combination of hotkeys and clicking on the minimize/maximize/close buttons of an open window.

This program is really cool; before I talk about some of the features and functions in detail let me briefly list what I like (and don’t like) about DM2.

What I like about this program:

  • The sheer range of possible enhancements and its open, plugin-based architecture. Packs the functionality provided by a number of programs previously mentioned on Freewaregenius into one (from the following postings: RadWinMan, WinSplit Revolution, and 4 Utilities that tweak Windows, and others).
  • Provides a number of unique enhancement such as minimizing to floating Window and pasting a multi-segment serial code or key.
  • Low on resources: takes up between 2 to 3 megs of memory on my machine with a handful of plugins installed

Favorites Menu is open/save dialog

What I do not like about this program:
  • Management of the various enhancements/functions can be somewhat cumbersome, and left me wondering whether a simpler, more user friendly design for the program console would
    have been possible.
  • Sometimes less is more (inwhich case installing a program like RadWinMan might be a better option). This is somewhat of an unfair criticism since as mentioned above one of the reasons why I like this program is that it packs so much into a single application.
  • Program may be buggy; although it works fine on my wife’s laptop, on my work computer clicking on the maximize/minimize buttons does not work on folder windows (but works fine on application windows). I am guessing this is due to a conflict with something else I have installed, though.
Minimize to floating icon

Here’s an overview of some of my favorite DM2 enhancements: note that some of these are installed through plugins.

  • Minimize to floating icon: I start with this one because its unique to DM2 and somewhat interesting. It allows you to minimize a window to an icon placed on the desktop that you can drag around. The interesting thing about these ghost-like icons is that they are always visible on the screen and cannot be covered by any window or application (user can tweak the degree of transparency).
  • Minimize to tray: (self explanatory)
  • Resize: this one is one of my favorites, for the simple reason that it gives you size presets in both pixels and percentages, and allows you to type in your own custom size (also in pixels or percentages).
  • Align window: quickly places any window anywhere on the screen within a grid of 9 possible placements (similar to WinSplit Revolution).
  • Roll Windows to title bar: window-blind style.
    Quick window resize
  • Favorites Menu: this will install a button on your save file dialog that can be used to quickly select or jump to favorite or recent directories. It can also be accessed on the desktop through a hotkey (see second screenshot above).
  • Virtual desktop: and a very competent one at that. If you want more of a full-featured virtual desktop program I recommend Dexpot, though.
  • Paste Serial number: allows for entering multi-segment serial numbers in one go (e.g. when installing software).
  • Enable disabled controls: similar to Windows Enabler.
  • Other controls: use hotkeys to control the following: your screen’s Gamma, CD control, Volume, Closing your monior, hiding Windows, window on top, window opacity, window/program priority, and others.

Version tested: 1.23.1

Compatibility: Windows 2K/XP; no info on VISTA.

Go to the program home page to get the latest version (approx 153K).