Actual Window Manager adds new ways to handle program windows via new title-bar buttons. In addition, it introduces new general desktop operations. This is a great addition if you feel that the Minimize, Restore, Maximize and Close buttons are not enough for you.
Once you have installed this application, it will sit in the system tray and you will soon notice there are new buttons on the upper-right corner of every window. These new buttons are Minimize to System Tray, Stay Always on Top, Apply 20% Transparency and Move to Virtual Desktop. Additionally, there is a button from which you can access the rest of the program’s functions. This is actually the default setting, but you can click on the program icon at the System Tray to customize many other features, including what buttons to show. The icon there also lets you activate or deactivate specific functions.
The configuration window has a navigation pane, where functions are grouped, but you may still find that there are too many options. This is definitely not the kind of program you feel comfortable with from the start. Instead, it might require you to study its interface a little bit. You will then notice that you can use general settings for all the windows or, conversely, you can specify what actions are available for a specific application. Not all actions have visually noticeable effects as some of them will influence the given program’s behavior. These include changing its priority or running it as a different user.
Apart from controlling window behavior, Actual Window Manager allows you to use multiple monitors with even different screensavers for each monitor, different desktop profiles and various virtual desktops. Although this program includes many of the features you have ever wanted Windows to provide, the reverse effect is that it definitely makes the system more difficult to interact with. So, while many advanced users could welcome the new changes to their systems, I do not think beginners would find them agreeable. Fortunately, you can select only those functions you want to use.
In order to access the multiple functions, you can use keyboard shortcuts, but in my opinion, most of them would be rather worthless because it is virtually impossible to remember all of them.
In general, Actual Window Manager adds functions that many users will find useful. However, one thing I did not really like about Actual Window Manager is that it noticeably reduced my system’s performance, so much so that it sometimes made my system freeze for a little while.