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Desktop maintenance is perhaps the most frivolous form of organization, but it’s just as important as matching together pairs of socks in your clothes dresser. Fortunately, there are free applications like Fences to help aid the chronically disorganized and transform their desktops into grids of art. Previously in an beta, version 1.0 of Fences has just been released by Stardock, with improved compatibility for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows. Even if you're already rocking Windows 7, we encourage you to give this utility a try.
Fences allows you to right-click and draw labeled shaded areas on your desktop in which to “fence” in your icons and files by custom categories. For example, if you have icons related specifically to your work, you can group them together and label them “work documents” for easy access. These fences effectively divide up your Desktop workspace so help you manage clutter and disorganization.
These kinds of groups can help the typical icon hoarder easily located a long lost file or get their desktop into working order. Fences also offers a patent-pending quick-hide feature that allows you to double click an empty spot on your Desktop and have your icons all fade out in one fell swoop, allowing for a cleared up workspace.
Customizing Fences is easy as well -- you can adjust transparency and color levels with sliders in the setup menu. A snapshot feature lets you capture a screen grab of your Desktop arrangement, just in case you accidentally auto-arrange your icons before Fences is launched.
This is a fairly simple application that is for the user who makes the most out of their desktop work area, and is especially useful if you have a large monitor or use multiple screens. If you’re more of a conservative space maker that doesn't clutter up their Desktop, RocketDock (which holds both shortcuts and files) is also recommended. Or better yet, use both.
Every Wednesday, we pick a new free or shareware download as our favorite of the week. Have a nifty application that you can't live without? Send suggestions to fion [AT] futureus.com with "Download of the Week" in the subject line.