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Adding Flip 3D to Windows 7's Taskbar

The Windows7News blog has a handy tip on how you can add Windows 7’s Flip 3D feature directly to the new Windows 7 taskbar. Introduced in Windows Vista, Flip 3D is the more dazzling version of Windows Flip which lets you cycle through your open windows using a keyboard shortcut. Most users are already familiar with the basic “Flip” action – a cycling feature activated by pressing ALT + TAB. However, those who are just arriving to Windows 7 from Windows XP may not have known about “Flip 3D,” a feature introduced in Vista. Activated through Windows Key + TAB, the open windows’ thumbnails are now live updating, meaning if you have a video playing in one, it will continue to play in the 3D interface.

screenshot_windowsflip3d

Although this feature is only a keyboard combo away, there are those of you out there who prefer to have access to features from icons you can click with your mouse. (You’ll know if you fall into this category if you’ve been finding yourself wondering why the “Show Desktop” button got moved in Windows 7 all the way over to the far right of the taskbar.)

For this group of users, the following tip will come in handy.

Adding Flip 3D to the Taskbar

As you already know, the new Windows taskbar lets you pin your frequently used applications to its interface for quick launching. Since Flip 3D is essentially just an application, the same can be done with it, too. Just follow these steps (courtesy of Windows7News):

1. Right-click on your desktop, select New, and then select Shortcut.

2. In the location field, type C:\Windows\System32\rundll32.exe dwmapi #105 (assuming that Windows is installed on C:)

3. Click Next, and then type Window Switcher for the shortcut name, then press Finish.

4. Right-click on the Window Switcher shortcut that you just created and then click on Properties.

5. Click on the Change Icon… button.

6. In the Look for icons in this file field type %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\imageres.dll, and then press Enter.

7. Select the first icon and then click on OK.

8. Click on OK to dismiss the properties dialog.

9. Drag the Window Switcher shortcut from your desktop onto the taskbar.

Note: Flip 3D will only work if Aero is enabled.

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