Transparency in 6.0.11 makes my tray icon unreadable

Discussion in 'Weather Watcher - Help' started by MKairys, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. MKairys

    MKairys Well-Known Member

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    I installed 6.0.11 and (re)set my tray icon background to transparent, and found it had become unreadable. As the attached "after-before" image shows, some pixels seem to be "blacked-out".

    The font is MSPGothic but it seems to happen with any font I try. This is Vista 32-bit.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. msinger

    msinger Administrator
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    I saw a similar issue on one of my Windows XP SP3 machines. I'm not really sure what's causing it since it doesn't happen on all of my machines. A different Windows XP SP3 machine, a Windows Vista SP1 machine, and a Windows 7 machine all displayed the icon as expected. I'm thinking the the issue is video-related.

    I have some ideas to try out. I'll keep you posted in this thread.
     
  3. ad1c

    ad1c New Member

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    I can't get a snapshot of my system tray, but in the transparent mode, even non-bold is too bold. It's hard to read. Running Windows XP SP3 with NVIDIA graphics. Previous versions looked fine.
     
  4. msinger

    msinger Administrator
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    After doing some more testing, I found that I was only able to reproduce this problem when ClearType was enabled.

    The screenshot below shows what happens to text when it is enhanced by the ClearType setting. The top text is enhanced. The bottom text is what is displayed when ClearType is disabled.

    [​IMG]

    When the Weather Watcher Live tray icon is set to a transparent background, the transparency cannot be applied properly since the ClearType settings causes the text to display in multiple colors.

    Most fonts are either TrueType or OpenType fonts. Those are the only fonts enhanced by ClearType. If you select MS Sans Serif, MS Serif, Terminal, or another font that is non-TrueType and non-OpenType, then you'll find it displays as expected with the transparent background enabled.

    Weather Watcher Live 6.0.6 is also affected by this problem. The tray icon looks clearer because the color being used to apply the transparency matches the gray color of the standard Windows XP system tray area. If you change your system tray to a color other than gray, you'll notice the same problem. In Weather Watcher Live 6.0.11, a pink color is being used to apply the transparency, so the issue is quite noticeable -- since most people do not have a pink system tray area.

    The Weather Watcher Live build below reverts the transparency color from pink to gray. This change will make the background transparency appear to work correctly for those people using ClearType and the standard gray system tray color.

    Download Weather Watcher Live 6.0.13
     
  5. MKairys

    MKairys Well-Known Member

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    This change will make the background transparency appear to work correctly for those people using ClearType and the standard gray system tray color.

    Confirmed. Thank you!
     
  6. msinger

    msinger Administrator
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    The Weather Watcher Live build below should work with any system tray color. It takes a sample of your current system tray color on startup and uses that color when applying the transparency.

    Download Weather Watcher Live 6.0.14
     
  7. MKairys

    MKairys Well-Known Member

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    This didn't work for me. Attached is what I see with .13 and .14.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. msinger

    msinger Administrator
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    MKairys, this is what I see with .14 on my Windows Vista system:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. siliconman01

    siliconman01 Well-Known Member

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    Apologies for jumping in on this thread. However, I am seeing the same issue as Mkairys.

    The only font that shows up really well is MS Sans Serif. This may be an Aero issue. I am using the Windows Aero Color Scheme, ClearType with "Show shadows under menus" active. Transparency is also turned on.

    This is on Vista SP1 x64 Business with WWL 6.0.14.
     
  10. MKairys

    MKairys Well-Known Member

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    Well, I see that setting my MS PGothic 10 to Bold makes it look rather better, although I'm not sure it looks quite as good as yours. I've tried turning off ClearType and it doesn't seem to make a difference (although other text degrades :)

    It's not my monitor or graphics card, because I see the exact same thing over there on my Dell laptop as well.

    Is there anything else I can poke at?
     
  11. msinger

    msinger Administrator
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    siliconman01, I tried the Aero theme and the tray icon looks like my screenshot above.

    The tray icon looks very close to MKairys distorted screenshot when I use version 6.0.13 with the Aero theme. How does the tray icon look for you in version 6.0.13 (download link above)?
     
  12. MKairys

    MKairys Well-Known Member

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    Independent of the transparency issue turning off Aero does seem to improve the appearance of fonts in general, and if you were not using it Mike, might explain the discrepancy between my font experience and yours. I assumed (there's that word :) that using Vista == using Aero.
     
  13. msinger

    msinger Administrator
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    MKairys, in my screenshot above, Aero is not turned on. However, my tray icon font looks much clearer than yours when I turn on Aero.

    We must be overlooking a difference between our setups. I guess the only thing I can really do at this point is add an extra setting to allow the 6.0.14 change to be turned on (for me) or off (for you).
     
  14. siliconman01

    siliconman01 Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to stick with MS Sans Serif. I think some of the issue on my system is the fact that the temp icon can end up on the top of my 3 tier task bar. This makes it look wierd with other fonts. The lighter color area at the top of the task bar tends to make the font appear funny. With other fonts, there will be a dark outline around the temp icon in the lighter colored area of the task bar.

    I use off-red for below freezing, off-green for above freezing, and white for weather alert. That appears pleasing on my system...with MS Sans Serif as shown in the picture below.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. msinger

    msinger Administrator
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    siliconman01, the newest Weather Watcher Live build attempts to fill in the light areas that ClearType creates with the color that is in the bottom, right corner of your taskbar. That explains the dark color around the part of the text that appears in the light area of your taskbar.
     
  16. msinger

    msinger Administrator
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    The Weather Watcher Live build below contains a combination of the 6.0.13 and 6.0.14 tray icon settings. The new "Blend edges of ClearType text..." box in the Tray Icon Colors section of the Weather Watcher Live Options window will allow you to toggle between the two settings.

    Download Weather Watcher Live 6.0.15
     
  17. siliconman01

    siliconman01 Well-Known Member

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    WWL 6.0.15 font handling looks much improved. The font below is Trebuchet MS bold. Blend edges is checked.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. ad1c

    ad1c New Member

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    Yes, 6.0.15 looks much much better here. I am using TrueType.

    - Jim
     
  19. msinger

    msinger Administrator
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    Excellent. Thank you for the feedback.
     
  20. MKairys

    MKairys Well-Known Member

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    Unchecking the new option restores the previous appearance of my tray icon, thanks! However there is a small problem with the UI: I uncheck, see the improvement, and OK the options dialog; but then when I re-open the dialog the checkbox is checked, although the actual setting has not changed.