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 Post subject: Variable window transparency via keybindings/xcompmgr/transs
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 8:56 am
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1Eric2 points out that variable window transparency via keybindings/xcompmgr/transset is something that only takes a little time, knowing how to install software from repository and editing a few configuration files to get set up.

The end result will result in hot keys which, when pressed, will turn your cursor into a transparency-making gadget, making windows you click on turn more or less transparent depending on the number you put in (1 for least transparent, 0 for totally opaque). Handy if you're, tracing...? Still, we think it's pretty nifty!

Class: Desktop enhancement
Difficulty: Basic software installation, text file configuration
Time: Just a few minutes, more if experimenting
Desirability: Could be handy depending on your desktop needs; gives good control over individual window transparency

Be warned that if previously you have enabled compositing, you will need to adapt this tutorial so as not to conflict with the changes you have already made.

This tutorial is written for Peppermint One. It should be fairly easy to adapt to Ice; mainly replace Peppermint / peppermint in path / file names with Peppermint-Ice / peppermint-ice; if you are struggling feel free to ask for support on the boards

Ensure that the Composite extension is enabled by executing, in a terminal (Alt+Ctrl+T):
Code:
xdpyinfo|grep Composite
It should return
Code:
Composite
if all is well. If not, seek support. Bear in mind that not all GPUs will handle compositing.

Install the packages xcompmgr , transset , and docky (if desired), via Synaptic Package Manager / Software Sources or with the terminal:
Code:
apt install xcompmgr transset
and for docky if you want it
Code:
apt install docky


Set xcompmgr and docky to autostart in /etc/xdg/lxsession/Peppermint/autostart by adding:
Code:
@xcompmgr
@docky


If you choose to install docky as well, you may want to move lxpanel to another position other than the bottom of your screen before you logout. Otherwise it could get in the way.

Right-click on the panel, select Panel settings, and under the Geometry tab change the settings as you wish. I wouldn't recommend deleting the panel, as it can be a bit of a pain to recover it if you do.

You can run xcompmgr with arguments to achieve different effects, e.g. shadows, etc. They tend to conflict with docky and leave "remnants" while moving windows, so this tutorial will not go into arguments. See
Code:
man xcompmgr
which will detail arguments if you want to experiment.

Time for the keybindings:

Navigate to /home/user/.config/openbox/peppermint-rc.xml (where user is your username) and make a copy of the file adding .bkup to the name and remember where you put it. This will get the job done:
Code:
cp ~/.config/openbox/peppermint-rc.xml ~/.config/openbox/peppermint-rc.xml.bkup


Then open the original file with your favorite editor.

About 1/4 of the way into the rc.xml file you'll find the lines
Code:
   <!-- Taking Screenshots -->
   <keybind key="Print"><action name="Execute"><execute>scrot</execute></action></keybind>
  </keyboard>


Paste the keybindings for transparency section here at the end of the keybinding section, between the last </keybind> and </keyboard>

the last sub-section of the keybindings section should then look like this:
Code:
    <keybind key="W-0">
      <action name="Execute">
        <startupnotify>
          <enabled>true</enabled>
          <name>transset 1</name>
        </startupnotify>
        <command>transset 1</command>
      </action>
    </keybind>
  </keyboard>
  <mouse>
    <dragThreshold>8</dragThreshold>


Logout/login, and if all went right, you will now be able to open any window, browser, pcmanfm, etc and then toggle the transparency by hitting the "windows key" and a number 1-0!

1 is the highest transparency, 0 is opaque.

It will give you a crosshair to place over the window and click with your mouse.

If something is broken or if you tire of the feature, replace the peppermint-rc.xml file with the backup copy you made.

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