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Magic Formation ~ a new spin on an old idea


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Hey all, this free app can be found through the japanese version of the website related to WinFlip, (a free vista win+tab switcher app mentioned here by thewer a few months back,) this circular floating dock, 'Magic Formation' can be found here:

http://www.tokyodownstairs.com/

and does this:

magicformationfc9.jpg

It's a circular dock that is invoked by assignable hotkeys or mouse gestures (draw a circle on your screen,) and is pretty responsive and customizable.

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i can't figure this thing out. what's the deal with making circles?

It's like an alt+tab replacement I think. You can also have it launch apps and stuff. You can have it so it can be in a circle or a straight line, I prefer it in a straight line. In your task bar right click on the icon and go to options and you can configure the mouse and keyboard shortcuts there.

I'm using it just so I can have quick access to certain apps and folders that aren't on my dock or desktop:

fdg.jpg

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ok guys.. icons can be dragged around and reordered. You can even drag an icon (PNG) off the circular dock and have it float (like a regular icon) on the screen.

You can activate it (have the dock appear) with a mouse gesture (no clicking, just circle the mouse cursor anywhere on-screen with approx. the curve of the dimensions of the dock's inner circle.) The dock should appear on the screen.

It's very customizable and very responsive (for me, on 3 machines of varying capabilities, the dock appears instantaneously, with even a little springy bounce.) And it launches apps fast.

I also use strokeit for mouse gestures so I might need to later make sure there'll be no conflicts but so far so good.

Make sure to go through the settings/options (right click the systray icon.)

Out of the gate, the dock looks pretty ugly, pulling it's icons from the system's registered .icos but right click, and assign PNGs and smooths the dock out very nicely.

And so far this thing's lean. Uses minimal system resources on my machines (even less than rocketdock/object dock.)

oh, and make sure to go into the Option (first thing) and uncheck "use skin image for icons" This will get rid of the ugly default bubble overlays on the icons.

@ lostfan, odd that my dock doesn't show the alphabet chars. I wonder if I changed that in the options. I know that WinFlip also can innumerate the windows similar and there is a setting to change to eliminate that there as well.

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...You can have it so it can be in a circle or a straight line...

right. i see that you can drag the icons around. but in options, it says, 'draw a circle here.' that's what i don't get. when i do that in options, nothing happens. and trying to shape the dock by drawing on the desktop seems to have no effect. so, again, what's the deal with drawing circles?

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drawing the circle on your desktop with the mouse pointer makes the "dock" appear...you can't reshape it as far as I can tell. I also notice it doesn't always respond until I've drawn circles (or made circular motions with the mouse) several times...I've adjusted the sensitivity to sensitive and dull and it doesn't seem to make a difference

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@ Shmengie, I hope I'm understanding your problem correctly; the box is just to indicate the size of the circle to draw. With the options window open, I can draw a circle approximately the size of the box with the mouse cursor and the floating circular dock will appear around the mouse cursor. This mouse gesture should work (without clicking) anywhere over your desktop. If it's not working, perhaps another app's conflicting? Let us know how it goes down.

Edit, hallf beat me to it ;)

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OK...I'm blind....where's the setting to get a striaght line of icons instead of a circle?

You know the icon in the center that appars? right click that and there should be something about the shape in the menu about the shape and you can chose a circle or line. I'm not at home right now so I don't know exactly what it's called, but it's in the menu when you right click on the icon.

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  • 2 weeks later...

hey all,

I ran across some tips on using Magic Formation from the author of the program Koji; I thought I'd repost here:

...I'll write about some hidden functions for you.

- MouseGesture Option for TaskList page

Drag the center icon just a little bit by mouse right button. then release it.

It's not MouseGesture but kind of.(it returns if you do that again.)

- separate Icon size options for CenterIcon and ApplicationIcons

Press the mouse left button on the center icon(keep pressing). use mouse wheel to enlarge/reduce the center icon.

(- more formations like X-formation or half-circle )

I think you know the "Manual formation". You can make any Formations at that mode.

NOTE: Before you make the original formation, You'd better use "Disable icon animation" and use the SHIFT key While moving the icons at that mode. you'll know the reason.

Question: What is the Cover Image, you can set?

The cover image means.....

you are looking from here to down there.

----- cover image -----

----- icon image -----

----- sheet image -----

Therefore, The cover image should be half or almost transparent.

Do you see what I mean?

And one more important function.

To change the icon image, You just press the SHIFT key(keep pressing) and Drag and drop the image file to the icons in the formation.

I mean you don't have to open the dialog to change the icon images.

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draw a circle approximately the size of the box with the mouse cursor and the floating circular dock will appear around the mouse cursor. This mouse gesture should work (without clicking) anywhere over your desktop. If it's not working, perhaps another app's conflicting?

try moving the mouse around in a circle, slow ~ fast, once, a couple of times... I'm sure you'll trigger the dock to appear one of those times

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