If the line of your work (or education) requires you to write often, you would already know the benefits of a distraction-free writing environment. To really get down to writing, you have to form your own little distraction-proof bubble that is not only free from people who could talk to you in the middle of your writing, but also free from those distracting elements on your computer screen such as web browsers, music players and other open windows, so that you don’t lose track of your writing just because your Skype goes off or your friend wants to show you a new YouTube video. Previously, we’ve covered a few tools such as Le Dimmer and Ghoster that automatically dim everything on your desktop, leaving only the foreground window and the taskbar brightly lit. Dropcloth is another such app that does the exact same job in an intuitive way. It’s a Windows application that can prove useful if you want to focus on your word processor or other writing tool by dimming everything else. Details to follow after the jump.
Besides giving you a productivity boost, Dropcloth can also come in handy while watching videos in window mode in a dark room, as it does a great job of reducing the brightness level of other parts of your screen.
The application is pretty lightweight in every manner. Sporting an installation package that is just around 434 KB in size, it’s quite small and doesn’t consume a lot of system resources. Its usage is also understandably simpler than what you may think. Once launched, the application sits in the system tray area and automatically dims everything visible on your screen except the selected foreground window.
By default, Dropcloth dims the background to a solid black color. However, you can easily control the color and its intensity from the app’s Settings window. You can change the background color by specifying your desired HEX code in the pertaining field in Settings. Dropcloth even provides a link to a website from where you can easily find the HEX code of your desired color using a color picker tool. The application allows you to control the transparency level of the selected color between invisible and opaque by choosing anything between 0 to 255.
Besides playing with colors and transparency level, you can toggle ‘Show in taskbar’ and ‘Focus mode’, as well as specify a custom hotkey for quickly enabling and disabling the screen dimming option.
Dropcloth works on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8, and supports both 32-bit and 64-bit variants of the operating system.