One key Flip 3D shortcut for Vista

April 14, 2007

One key Flip 3D shortcut for Vista Windows Vista is the most elegant operating system to come from Microsoft with its transparency effects, Flip 3D view mode, revised Alt-Tab mode and numerous security enhancements. This applies to Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate and Enterprise; Windows Vista Basic users will not be able to take advantage of anything in this post or the aforementioned features. That’s why I don’t (no one) recommends buying Vista Home Basic unless the computer is ancient.

You are probably launching Flip 3D in one of two ways by Windows Key + Tab which flips through it or by Ctrl + Windows Key + Tab which keeps it on the screen and gives you time to select the application you want either by flipping through it with the keys or using the scroll wheel on your mouse.

I would like to know why Microsoft thought it would be necessary to make you press three keys in order to keep the 3D Flip view mode up so you can scroll through it. For example, right now I have iTunes, two Firefox windows, Microsoft Word and Excel, PhotoShop and Windows Live Writer Open. I don’t know which window is which sometimes. It’s easier to identify them by what they look like hence Flip 3D.

There is an easier way to use Flip 3D and that is to create a shortcut on the Desktop to activate it and add it to the Quick Launch bar. Here’s how to do that courtesy of Steve Sinchak from Tweak Vista.

Right click a blank space on the desktop and select “New” then “Shortcut”, copy RunDll32 DwmApi #105 and paste it into the “Location” box, click next, then just give your new shortcut a name, I called it Flip 3D. There is one additional but completely optional step and that is to assign it an icon (besides the blank one Windows gives it). To do that, right click the Shortcut you just created, go to Properties and click the “Change Icon” button.

In the “Look for icons in this file” box, click browse and navigate to C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll and simply select an icon of your liking. Press OK and OK. If your Quick Launch bar isn’t visible, right click the taskbar and go to Properties, go to the Toolbars tab and select Quick Launch which will probably be populated with things you don’t want, simply right click the entries and delete the ones you won’t use.

Now drag your Flip 3D icon into the Quick Launch bar, I put it as the first one next to the start button. At this point you can delete the one off the desktop if you wish.  All you need to do to launch Flip 3D now is click the icon in the Quick Launch bar.  I honestly think this feature should have been built-in but at least you can create it yourself.

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