Seeking (Zero) Alpha
September 1, 2010 10:01 AM   Subscribe

See-through windows on an LCD?

At work I have a Dell 2001FP monitor hooked up to my laptop. I usually keep my email clients and TweetDeck up on it. I've noticed that when I drag a window over an email client window, the text in the email client is still visible, almost as if the front window was not totally opaque. Obviously this is not the case, since it only happens on this particular external monitor and never on the main laptop display. Is there a name for this effect and or anything I can do to avoid it?
posted by mkb to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Start/Settings/Control Panel/Display. Appearance/Effects. Uncheck "Show Window Contents While Dragging".
posted by julthumbscrew at 10:10 AM on September 1, 2010

Response by poster: Sorry, this is on a Mac, and it doesn't go away when I stop dragging the window.
posted by mkb at 10:54 AM on September 1, 2010

Eeek! Sorry, I should've asked. And should know more about Macs - 'cept PCs have been my bread and butter for a decade. :-)
posted by julthumbscrew at 11:04 AM on September 1, 2010

I think it's a physical thing with the screen. One of the screens on my work PC does this.
posted by schmod at 11:15 AM on September 1, 2010

i would like to see a screen shot of this.
posted by empath at 1:52 PM on September 1, 2010

Response by poster: I can try. If it doesn't show up in a screen shot it is obviously a monitor fault of some sort.
posted by mkb at 2:08 PM on September 1, 2010

Response by poster: Indeed, in a screen shot the effect is not present.
posted by mkb at 2:12 PM on September 1, 2010

Does the duration of the display of the ghost image prior to the effect seem to matter? In other words, does it happen all the time, or only if you've let that email sit for a little while and burn itself into the screen? From your description, it sounds as if you're doing to the monitor exactly what screen savers are designed to prevent - long-term display of static screen causes temporary or permanent screen damages.

So you might try reducing brightness on the monitor (within acceptable bounds) and see if that helps. Or play with the display settings on your email client and show it as light text on a black field, which would probably be even better.
posted by richyoung at 10:45 PM on September 1, 2010

Gack, I should have made one more editing pass at that first paragraph.

"... of a static screen causes... screen damage."
posted by richyoung at 10:48 PM on September 1, 2010

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