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Make Transparent Spacers on Your Windows 7 Taskbar

If you are a Windows 7 user, then you have probably gotten a hang of the new taskbar.  Now, some people love the new taskbar and some hate it, but either way, the truth remains that keeping your taskbar organized is a great way to improve the look and feel of your computer and it may even help you be more productive.  One awesome way of organizing your taskbar icons is to make use of a simple tweak that will result in a transparent icon.  You can then pin this transparent icon onto your taskbar to help you organize your icons.  For example, you can use it to separate your pinned Internet application icons from your pinned Office icons, or you can simply use it to separate pinned from non-pinned icons.  However you decide to use the transparent icons, its a great tweak to know.

Step 1:  Make a folder to contain your transparent icons.

The first step is to make a folder where you will make your transparent icon.  It would be a good idea to place this folder in a location that is out of the way so you don’t end up accidentally deleting it.  For example, I placed my folder in the “C:/” directory and named it “Taskbar Spacer”.  You can place and name your folder practically anywhere, the idea is just to avoid deleting the folder and having to repeat the entire process of creating transparent icons again.

Step 2:  Create blank files.

Open up the folder that you created in step one, right click and select “New” then select “Text Document”.  This should create a new text file that is typically opened with notepad.  Once created, rename the file to “Spacer1.exe”.  Basically, this is just a dummy file to trick Windows into thinking that it is actually a program that you can create a shortcut for.  If you want to have more than one transparent icon (or spacer), then you will have to repeat this step to create however many spacers you need.  For example, if you want three spacers, create Spacer1.exe, Spacer2.exe, and Spacer3.exe.

Step 3:  Create shortcuts and prep them as transparent icons.

The next step is to right click each of the spacer files you created and make a shortcut for each one.  Now, use the Internet to find a 256×256 transparent icon.  You can easily find these by heading to your favorite search engine and searching for “256×256 transparent icon”.  It would be best to use a .PNG or .ICO file, so you won’t have to deal with converting the file to use it as your icon image.  Once you find the file, save it to the folder you created in the first step.  Now, right click each of the shortcuts you made, click on Properties, then use the “Change Icon…” function to browse to your folder and select the transparent .PNG or .ICO file that you downloaded earlier.  This will set the icon image for each shortcut as the transparent image.

Step 4:  Place your transparent spacers.

Finally, the last step is to simply left click your newly-created transparent shortcut and drag it to where you want it to be placed on your taskbar.  Hope you found this tip as useful as many did.

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