How To Change Window Transparency in Windows 7 with a Hotkey

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Linux has a lot of eye-candy because of Compiz, my favorite of which is the window opacity plugin. Using a short AutoHotKey script, you can add that same functionality to Windows 7.

I used this AHK script as a basis for changing opacity. It uses a single hotkey to change the active window’s transparency by 25% each time until it resets to 0. I wanted functionality similar to Compiz, so I modified the script to use the mouse wheel and shortened the increments to get more variety.

Just hold down the Windows key and scroll down to see through the window. This decreases opacity and makes windows more transparent.

opacity-low

Hold Win and scroll up to make the window more opaque.

opacity-high

There are two additional hotkeys in the script:

  • Win+O: This resets your opacity back to 100% instantly.
  • Win+G: This will show you a tooltip with the current opacity value (from 0-255). It will dismiss itself after 2 seconds.

I’ve added this to my Linux features script, along with the always-on-top, alt-window-drag, and monitor-off hotkeys.

In the download below, you’ll find the script itself and an .exe file for those of you who don’t use AutoHotKey.

Download the Opacity AutoHotKey Script & Executable Files

Yatri Trivedi is a monk-like geek. When he's not overdosing on meditation and geek news of all kinds, he's hacking and tweaking something, often while mumbling in 4 or 5 other languages.