Use Linux-like virtual deskops with VirtuaWin

Extend your windows desktop onto virtual screens with handy, but sometimes confusing, utility VirtuaWin.

Anyone familiar with Linux is probably familiar with virtual desktops. If you're not, download VirtuaWin and take a look. This utility takes your Windows desktop, clones it up to nineteen times, then lets you switch between them. The idea is to keep a set of related programs or documents on each desktop to help organize things for people who leave lots of applications and documents open.

VirtuaWin sits in the system tray where you access most functions, including the ability to define and switch between virtual desktops by right-clicking the little square VirtuaWin icon. You may also switch between desktops using hot keys, defined by default as Ctrl + Alt plus an arrow key. The left mouse button is used to move directly to, or bring to the current desktop currently open applications and documents.

You may have up to 20 desktops, but practically speaking most users will only create a few. Learning how to use VirtuWin isn't as easy as it could be--the developers don't seem to have spent a lot of time putting themselves in a new user's shoes. For instance, open the setup dialog, select the Hotkeys tab and a hotkey entry will read something like NAV: A + C + Left. An experienced user will know that the A and C must mean Alt and Ctrl, as well as W meaning the Windows key--a key lacking from many, many keyboards. However, a new user might sit there pressing the alpha keys wondering what they were doing wrong. There are also rules for Windows, which will be of interest only to techies with programming experience.

Steep learning curve aside, VirtuaWin works great and--for some--will work organizational wonders. If you're interested in virtual desktops, give it a whirl.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags UtilitiesFreeware / sharewaresoftware

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon L. Jacobi

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?