FadeTop Tutorials

The following tutorials will help you get started using FadeTop and explore available setting options.

Getting Started

FadeTop runs in the system tray as icon . At fade time, the icon changes into .

Using the Shortcut Menu

Right click icon in system tray, and below shortcut menu is displayed:

  • Show Fader - allows you to preview a fade in action; you can also click the tray icon directly to show or hide the fader
  • Auto Fade - when unchecked, FadeTop stops fading at break-time
  • Options... - allows you to make the basic settings in a dialog window
  • Website - visits FadeTop's official website (this website)
  • About FadeTop - displays version number and copyright, etc.
  • Exit - quits the application

How FadeTop Works

FadeTop fades your screen when your continuous usage of keyboard and mouse has been lasting for too long (for example, exceeding 15 minutes). This is your break-time.

At the time, a semi-transparent color or picture gradually covers your screen, and something like below is displayed upon it:

  • Break Trail - depicts a history of your break-time status. If break is taken, there's a solid box; otherwise, a hollow one
  • Health Index - indicates a percentage of breaks taken
You can simply dismiss it by pressing any key or shaking the mouse. FadeTop will try fading again in one minute or so.

FadeTop presumes you have taken the break, if it's not dismissed too early. Break-time fading should last for at least 20 seconds before dismissing.

Basic Settings

The FadeTop Options dialog window lets you make the basic settings.

  • Activity timeout - fading will start after this period of continuous activity (mouse movement or keyboard stroke)
  • Maximum opacity - how transparent the fader can be
  • Foreground color - color used for displaying clock time, break trail, etc.
  • Background color - color used for covering the screen
  • Block fader when a full-screen application is running - when checked, fading will not start in that case
  • Reset to Defaults - resets all options in this dialog window to original default settings

Advanced Settings

Advanced users can explore more possibilities in Settings.xml, where all FadeTop settings are stored. This file is automatically created when FadeTop cannot find it.

Where is Settings.xml Located?

Settings.xml can be found in the same folder as FadeTop.exe if you are running the portable version of FadeTop.

If you are running the installer version, check one of the below folders to locate it:
For Windows XP:
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\FadeTop

For Windows Vista and later:

How to Edit Settings.xml?

Settings.xml is a standard XML file, encoded in UTF-8.

In order to edit this file, you'll have to first quit FadeTop, then open Settings.xml with an XML/HTML editor, or any text editor that supports UTF-8 (e.g. Notepad).

After all desired changes have been made, save and close the XML file, then restart FadeTop to see if there's any difference.

How to Set a Picture as Background?

Just edit the Background element in Settings.xml located here:
Available attributes of Background are listed below:
  • bg_color - the Background color option specified in FadeTop Options dialog
  • bg_image_enabled - set it to 1 to enable background picture; 0 to disable it
  • bg_image_file - a relative or absolute path to the picture file; supported file formats include: JPG, PNG, BMP
  • bg_image_position - can be one of the following: fill, fit, stretch, tile, center; they work the same way as for Windows wallpaper
Here is an example:
<Background bg_color="#008040" bg_image_enabled="1" bg_image_file="leaf.jpg" bg_image_position="fill" />

How to Set an Alarm Sound?

Just edit the Sound element in Settings.xml located here:
Available attributes of Sound are listed below:
  • sound_enabled - set it to 1 to enable alarm sound; 0 to disable it
  • sound_file - a relative or absolute path to the sound file; supported file formats include: MP3, WAV, WMA
  • sound_fadein_enabled - set it to 1 to enable sound fadein effect; 0 to disable it
  • sound_fadeout_enabled - set it to 1 to enable sound fadeout effect; 0 to disable it
  • sound_volume_default - the default sound volume level (0..100)
Here is an example:
<Sound sound_enabled="1" sound_file="ringtone.mp3" sound_fadein_enabled="0" sound_fadeout_enabled="1" sound_volume_default="50" />