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Windows 7

Toggle Translucent Selection Rectangle on the Desktop

SUMMARY: When creating selection rectangles on the Windows 7 Desktop, configure whether to show a dotted or translucent selection rectangle.

Depending on your configuration, when you select multiple icons on the Windows 7 Desktop by creating a selection rectangle, such as to copy or move multiple icons to a folder, the rectangle appears translucent. Some people may find this easier to see than the old style selection rectangle that just appears as a dotted outline.

Depending on your graphics drivers, system configuration, or personal preference, you may wish to toggle between viewing the translucent rectangle or the dotted rectangle. You can make the change by doing the following:


Note that using the translucent rectangle may slow down your computer depending on its configuration, graphics drivers, etc. If Windows decided to turn this off for you, enable this feature with caution.



Also note that in Windows 7, this only seems to affect the selection rectangle on the Desktop. Turning this off may still show translucent selection rectangles in Explorer folders.



1. Click the "Start" button, selecting "Control Panel".

2. If you are using an expanded Control Panel, select "System".

Otherwise click "System and Security", then "System".


3. In the left pane, select "Advanced system settings".

4. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, click "Yes".

5. The "System Properties" multi-tabbed dialog box appears. Click the "Advanced" tab.

6. Underneath "Performance", click the "Settings" button.


Accessing Performance Settings in Windows 7



7. The "Performance Options" multi-tabbed dialog box appears. Make sure the "Visual Effects" tab is selected.

8. Click the "Custom" radio button if it is not already selected, then check or uncheck "Show translucent selection rectangle" as desired.


Enabling the translucent selection rectangle in Windows 7



9. Click "OK" on the dialog boxes to close them.

Return to the Windows 7 page.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download.