MoreDesk: Customisation Guide


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Much of the MoreDesk customisation can be performed by adjusting the settings in the configuration plug-in. However, there are some advanced features which can only be accessed in other ways.

Application to Sprite Name Mapping

Some applications do not make it easy for MoreDesk to decide which iconsprite it should use in the desk space view for any windows which belong to that application. If MoreDesk can't decide, it will use the standard “application” icon sprite.

You can increase the number of applications which MoreDesk knows about by editing the TaskSpr choices file (called !Boot.Choices.MoreDesk.TaskSpr on most systems). This file is a simple list of mappings which contains lines of the following format:

  <Task name> <large sprite> [<small sprite>]

Note: if the task name contains spaces, you should enclose it in "quotes".

You can find the application's name by opening the Task Manager window and looking in the lists of “Application tasks” and “Module tasks”. The sprite(s) to use normally can be found by looking at the !Sprites files within the application itself.

If the application doesn't have a small icon sprite, leave that bit blank and MoreDesk will use the large icon sprite scaled-down when it needs to.

7th software are interested in any mappings which you find. Please drop an email to with any additional task sprite mappings which you use.

Windows and Applications to Ignore

If you see the error message “One or more windows have been left in an unreachable position”, this is usually caused by windows belonging to some task which are way off-screen. Various applications have an additional window which is deliberately kept off-screen to grab hot keys. These need to be ignored by MoreDesk.

Also, if you have some windows which you'd like to keep on-screen even when you switch desktop, you need to add these windows to the ignore list.

MoreDesk has a configuration file (called !Boot.Choices.MoreDesk.Ignore on most systems) which contains a list of applications and windows which should be ignored by MoreDesk. This list already includes all windows owned by MoreDesk, any window owned by the interactive Help application, the Task Manager's “Grab keys” window, etc.

The ignore list is a plain text file which contains lines of the following format:

  <Task name> [<window title>]

Note: if the task name or window title contains spaces, you should enclose it in "quotes".

If, for example, you wanted to ignore a window called “Toolbar” belonging to an appliaction called “Toolbar app”, you might add a line as follows:

  "toolbar app" toolbar

If you don't specify a window title, all windows belonging to the specified task will be ignored by MoreDesk.

7th software are interested in any mappings which you find. Please drop an email to with any additional ignore tasks and windows which you add.


To help you to correctly select windows to ignore, you can load the interactive Help application and hover the mouse over the window in the desk space view. The help message includes the window handle, owner task name and window title (an empty string if the window doesn't have a title). The help message also says when the window is a pane window.

recall windows
Recall windows item

If the window is off the desk space view, you won't be able to see it in the main window. Click the “Recall windows” menu option to try to bring these windows into view.

*Backdrop Syntax String

In order to parse your ‘PinSetup’ file, MoreDesk has to make assumptions about the syntax of the *Backdrop command. This is believed to be correct at the time of writing but future revisions of the Pinboard may change this. Some versions of RISC OS have changed this command in the recent past.

If you know what you are doing, you can edit the syntax string in the !MoreDesk.Resources.UK.Messages file (it is passed to the OS_ReadArgs SWI). MoreDesk assumes that the first parameter is the pinboard background colour, any of the next three parameters may specify the backdrop image file name and all other parameters are ignored.

Main Window Colour Configuration

The main window colour scheme is fully configurable in order to help people to set up their display in a way that suits them. You will see more colours in the main window view if you have backdrop association switched off but this is still a useful area to configure even with that setting switched on.

colour config
Main window colour configuration

Simply open the MoreDesk choices window and navigate to the Display Colours tab. From there you can select a colour for a number of aspects of the display:

Current desktop
The fill colour used to indicate the current desktop.
The cursor is the highlight around a specific desktop. You position the cursor with either mouse clicks or the cursor keys on your keyboard.
User redrawn
A particular type of window (only really of interest to programmers).
The fill colour used to indicate a window has been selected by you.
The fill colour used to indicate a window has a flashing alert in progress.
The main window's background fill colour.
The grid lines on the background which illustrate the divides between desktops.

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