Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

Desktop Organization: Pt. 1 – Fences

By Matt Mayer on Apr 12 2010 • Filed under Tech Talk

Welcome to Part 1 in a series designed to help you take charge of your desktop. Each of these articles will showcase a different piece of software each focused on helping you to organize your computer in different way. First up for review is called Fences by Stardock, a company known for their user experience enhancing software.

Fences is a simple and easy-to-use application for the PC, available in both Free and Pro versions. By allowing you to organize your desktop into various containers, or 'Fences', and then letting you hide your files and shortcuts when they aren't in use, this software is designed to help keep your desktop cutter to a minimum.

Once installed, you can choose to allow Fences to automatically organize your current desktop icons into pre-set ‘Fences’ or you can create your own. Creating a Fence is easy; you just have to right-click and drag your cursor to the size you want and release. You’ll be prompted to name your new Fence and any icons within your selection will be automatically added to that Fence. You can add or remove additional icons just by dragging them to or from the Fence.

Once a Fence has been created, you can move or resize it whenever you want, and any icons contained within the fence will move and shift positions with it. If add more icons than the Fence can show, scrollbars will appear on the side. This allows you to contain many icons within a small area. You can even change the colour and transparency of the Fences to suit your background, or taste.

Another useful feature of Fences is the ability to quickly show or hide your icons. By double-clicking anywhere on your desktop, the Fences (along with the icons contained within) will disappear and by repeating this action, Fences will display them again. You can also choose to exclude certain icons or even entire Fences from disappearing. This feature is great if you want to show off your desktop background, or just want certain icons always visible (like the Recycling Bin).

All of the features mentioned above are available for Free (for personal use), however Stardock has also recently release a Pro version as well, available for $19.95 USD. The Pro version contains some additional features that helps make it easier to stay organized:

  • Configure a default Fence for any icons (in the Free version icons must be placed in Fences manually)
  • Automatically organize icons into different Fences (by name, file type etc.)
  • Sort icons within a Fence (by name, date added, times used etc.)
  • Fade individual Fences until you mouse-over them (in the Free version, you can only set a global transparency)
  • Future Feature – Customize the look and feel of each Fence individually
  • Future Feature – Enables additional customization options with the use of custom images, logos, textures etc.

I've been using Fences myself for over a year now in both my home, and at my office, and I'm found it incredibly useful in allowing me to stay organized with my large number of documents and applications. It's also extremely lightweight and uses almost not additional resources to run. Unfortunately I have been unable to try out Fences Pro first hand, so I can't say if the features are worth the additional cost, however I can definitely give the overall product a big thumbs up. Head over and download it yourself today and let me know what you think in the comments below.

1 Comment

  1. This is a great tool to help get my computer organized! Thank you TechTalk!

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