Transparency On The Go: Think Chaos Crystal!


Well, we have seen how to obtain transparent windows with Xneat. But what if you wanted a smaller, and more portable solution? This is when Chaos Crystal comes to play.


What’s so special about Chaos Crystal? It’s small (less than 100KB), it’s portable (a single file to run) and it’s simple to use. Basically, you just need to download the archive at the Chaos Crystal site, extract the contents somewhere, and run the single .exe file in there. You can even carry that .exe file on your portable disk, and use it on the go. Ohyes, it works for Windows 2000/XP/Vista. So no Win9x…

It’s really simple to use. You just run the .exe file, and you are presented with the window shown above. From there, you have 2 choices:

Either you select the title of the window you want to make transparent from the dropdown menu above (in blue), and you adjust the slider (towards the back area means more transparent. 255 means “not transparent”.

Or you can use that blue sphere thing. Click on it, and drag it to the window you want to make transparent. The title is automatically selected from the dropdown menu. Now you just use the slider to adjust the transparency.

How is this program different from XNeat? Well, it’s way simpler to use for simple transparency. It’s light and portable. However, it cannot offer the same features than XNeat. Do not expect Always on Top, Click Through, etc… with this application. It’s useful for simple uses, but for more complex ones, XNeat is the program for you. I forgot to mention that XNeat is portable too. So the only basic difference between these 2 apps is file size. That’s hardly a matter nowadays.

So when to use XNeat and when to use Chaos Crystal? If you want something simple, without much customization being required, use Chaos Crystal. If you need advanced features like transparency + always on top, go get XNeat. It’s as simple as that! Why did I review this program? ‘Cuz it got like 1500+ diggs, and thought I might give it a look and compare it with my current fav, XNeat Window Manager.