One of the big innovations in Windows Vista was the addition of transparency to the operating system. Transparency can help in a number of ways. Not least, it allows you to see what’s behind certain Windows or folders without having to minimise everything. It’s also highly useful if you need to hide a program window that you don’t want others to see while it runs on your system. And of course, it looks quite cool too. Although many people still prefer to use XP over Vista, it doesn’t feature the transparency features Vista does but you can add them using various utilities and plugins.
To start with, you can make the XP toolbar transparent with Transbar as Elena explained a while back. Transbar features a slider so that you can control the level of transparency that suits you and your desktop and you’ll be surprised how radically it changes the look and feel of your working area. Meanwhile Vitrite is aimed at adding transparency options to your windows. It utilizes a dormant transparency function in Windows XP that allows you to click on a window and by holding down the Ctrl and Shift keys, select the level of transparency you want between 1-9.
If you want to add transparency to only a certain part of the screen, then ChaosCrystal is an excellent choice. It allows you to use a cross hair to select an area of the screen you want to target and then drag a transparency box over the area that you want to make transparent. Finally, if you’re looking for something more comprehensive, that includes more than just transparency tools, then XP Visual Tools offers a range of XP customisation options including new desktop templates and transparency features for everything ranging from folders to windows.