Adding Flip 3D to the Windows 7 taskbar

Some of our readers may read the title and say, “Flip 3D is already in Windows 7″ and this is true, so I am technically not showing you how to add it to Windows, but instead, how to find it and add it to the taskbar. Now that we’ve sorted through that, I wanted to explain why I am dedicating an article to a small feature such as Flip 3D.  It’s simple, I was very pleased when I first used Windows Vista and saw Flip 3D for the first time. It signified an actual visual change to the UI. Of course, the toolbar and start button were redone a bit, but Flip 3D created a 3D style that we had not yet seen in Windows and when I first got my hands on Windows 7, I was suprised to find that it was missing and replaced with the normal, boring, alt-tab windows switcher.

I had assumed that because Flip 3D had been removed from the quick launch menu, that it had been removed from the OS altogether. After finally giving up on Flip 3D, I installed the actual drivers for my mouse, which is a Microsoft Comfort Optical Mouse 3000. The software that came with the mouse gave options for button assignments for both Flip and Flip 3D, I thought this was a mistake. After assigning the button and pressing it, I was suprised to see that Flip 3D was still in Windows 7. That’s my introduction, and this is how to find it:

1. Right-click on your desktop, select New, and then select Shortcut.

2. In the location field, type C:WindowsSystem32rundll32.exe dwmapi #105 (assuming that Windows is installed on C:)

3. Click Next, and then type Window Switcher for the shortcut name, then press Finish.

4. Right-click on the Window Switcher shortcut that you just created and then click on Properties.

5. Click on the Change Icon… button.

6. In the Look for icons in this file field type %SYSTEMROOT%system32imageres.dll, and then press Enter.

7. Select the first icon and then click on OK.

8. Click on OK to dismiss the properties dialog.

9. Drag the Window Switcher shortcut from your desktop onto the taskbar.

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(Note: Flip 3D will only work if Aero is enabled. You can also access Flip 3D by using Windows Key+Tab)

Yes, I really did just write an article on how to do this. I’m sure some people may find Flip 3D absolutely useless, but I bet there are at least a few users that were like me and wondered why Microsoft got rid of or hid a feature such as this.

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