MoreDesk: Frequently Asked Questions


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Here are some of the more common problems which might be seen when using MoreDesk, plus some which you hopefully won't ever see...

What is the difference between the demo and the full version?

MoreDesk is available for free as a demonstration version or you can buy the full version which has more features. There are two main differences between the demo and the full version:

  1. The demo only allows one other virtual desktop
  2. The demo will quit automatically after ten minutes

While the full version of MoreDesk allows you to have upto fourty nine virtual desktops, the demo can only have the ‘home’ desktop plus an optional extra desktop to the right of it. This gives an idea of how you can work on more than one desktop but does not give you the full flexibility or desktop real estate that the full version allows.

The demo version will also quit itself after ten minutes. This is long enough to get a feel for the application and if you haven't, you can always load it again after it has quit.

Aside from those two things, the demonstration version is fully-functional and provides all of the other useful facilities of the full version: the main window, the micro window, the switcher window, desktop automation, flashing alerts and so on.

I found a fault, how do I report it?

If you find a fault, you can go to the MoreDesk icon on the iconbar and open the main menu. Follow the “Info” menu item to get to the “About this program” window. If you maximise the window, you will see three buttons: “Web site”, “Email” and “Fault”.

Ibar menu
Info menu item

Click on the “Fault” button and a template fault report will open in your text editor. Click on the “Email” button to open a new email to 7th software in your email editor. You can copy the template fault report into the email and add your comments.

If, for whatever reason, you cannot get MoreDesk to run, simply send details of your problem to with details about:

I keep getting warnings about unreachable windows

Some windows cannot be moved by MoreDesk - often these are the very windows which it is complaining about. When you see the error “One or more windows have been left in an unreachable position” you can click on the ‘Advise’ button to open a list of windows which are causing the problem. These can then be added to the ‘ignore’ list.

When you change screen mode, edit the MoreDesk choices or quit MoreDesk, it will also warn you about any windows which have been left in an unreachable position. You can fetch them back by clicking on the ‘Recall’ button in the warning box, or click on the ‘Advise’ button to open a list of the problem windows.

Alternatively, open the MoreDesk main window and choose “Recall windows” from the menu. Any windows which are currently outside the desk space will be moved onto the nearest edge and selected (highlighted in yellow). You can then see which windows were causing MoreDesk to complain.

If these are windows which you aren't interested in (e.g. the type that some applications leave open off-screen to trap hot key events) you can add the window to the list of those to ignore. See the customisation guide for more information on making MoreDesk ignore these windows in future.

Some applications leave windows in unreachable positions which MoreDesk is unable to do anything about (such as Eureka - its windows don't even have a title). As a last resort, you can set the option in the Main Window choices to disable the warning message.

Main window choices
Disable unreachable window warning

A window has the wrong task sprite

See the customisation guide.

This toolbar doesn't go off screen

Some applications (for example: ArtWorks and Thump) create windows and toolbars which have a flag set in a particular way which tells the Wimp that it isn't allowed to go off-screen. When MoreDesk switches desktop, it tries to move windows on- and off-screen but this bit will stop that from working properly.

The only real fix I can think of is to trap when every window is created and manually clear that flag. This would only work for applications loaded after MoreDesk. The downside of that is that people often set that flag for a reason - e.g. if you click on the toggle size icon in the ArtWorks window, you might find that the toolbars are lost off the edges of the screen with my ‘fix’ in place.

Another work-around (which isn't particularly nice) would be to have MoreDesk iconise the ArtWorks window (and toolbars) when you move it into another desktop but this is fraught with problems: it would vanish from the main window view at that point, for one thing.

If you know what you're doing, you might be able to fix the problem program by editing its templates file (if it has one) and setting the “Allow off-screen” window flag bit.

Update: There is a third-party module available which implements the first fix which I describe above: load the “NoBorder” module from Stefan Bellon's home page. This needs to be put somewhere in your boot sequence (e.g. !Boot.Choices.Boot.PreDesk) so that the behaviour of any applications which create these problem windows will be patched.

The ArtWorks Toolbox and Info Bar appear on every desktop

This fault is related to the issue above about toolbars not going off-screen. However, in the case of ArtWorks, an ArtWorks configuration change can solve the problem.

In order to stop this happening you need to alter the relevant settings within Artworks. To do this, click with Menu over the ArtWorks iconbar icon and select Choices. Next, click on ‘ArtWorks 2’ in the Global Choices window. Then untick the options “Keep Info Bar on screen” and “Keep Toolbox on screen”. Finally, click on Save. This will resolve the issue with the Toolbox and should stop the Info Bar appearing too.

Please note, however, that when an ArtWorks document has the input focus, switching desktops using Alt and an arrow key will mean that the ArtWorks Info Bar will appear in the next desktop. In order to avoid this, you can use another method to switch desktop when ArtWorks has the input focus (e.g. click with Adjust on the MoreDesk icon and click on one of the squares to switch your workspace or hold down the alt key and move the mouse pointer off the edge of the screen).

Thanks to Stewart Brookes for this one.

WinEd keeps saying my file has been modified

Whenever you move a window which you are editing in WinEd, it will notice the change in position and indicate that the templates file has been modified (by putting an asterisk in the title bar of its templates file window).

In order to change desktop, MoreDesk has to move all open windows - pushing those currently on the desktop into a new position and those required for the new desktop into the right place. This is what causes WinEd to mark the templates file as having been modified.

There isn't really a work-around to this but don't worry too much about it; the file hasn't really been modified!

Pinboard association options don't work (option is greyed-out)

MoreDesk uses the standard pinboard configuration files, as supplied with newer versions of RISC OS. This file is called ‘Pinboard’ and is created when you open a menu over the pinboard and select “Save”. You should save the pinboard file into your boot sequence, into the Boot$ToBeTasks directory (usually, !Boot.Choices.Boot.Tasks).

If MoreDesk cannot find this file in the boot sequence when it starts, the pinboard association options will be disabled.

Backdrop association options don't work (option is greyed-out)

MoreDesk uses the standard backdrop configuration files, as supplied with newer versions of RISC OS. This file is called ‘PinSetup’ and is created when you run the “Pinboard Setup” !Configure plug-in, then save the configuration.

If MoreDesk cannot find this file in the boot sequence when it starts, the backdrop association options will be disabled.

My backdrop doesn't match the MoreDesk window

When backdrop image association is enabled, MoreDesk watches for when the backdrop is changed and updates the backdrop in its desk space view to match. However, if you change your backdrop when MoreDesk isn't running, it will become out-of-step.

The simple fix is to change the backdrop image again, this time while MoreDesk is running and things will get back into sync.

You may also have to do this the first time you enable backdrop association in MoreDesk. Simply open the menu over the MoreDesk main window, select “Backdrop setup...” and click “Set” in the setup window. Your backdrop image should then appear in the MoreDesk main window at the position of the current desktop.

MoreDesk failed to parse a *Backdrop command

See the customisation guide.

Backdrop association works but I don’t see them in the main window

This sounds like a symptom of MoreDesk failing to parse the Backdrop command from the ‘PinSetup’ file (see above). If you look in your !Boot.Choices.Boot.Tasks.PinSetup file (or similar), you should find the “Backdrop” command.

MoreDesk complains that it needs “ChangeFSI”

When you change the backdrop for a desktop, MoreDesk creates a small version of the backdrop image which it can use in the main window. It uses the ChangeFSI program to do this, which is supplied with all versions of RISC OS.

If you see this error message, you will need to make sure that the Filer has ‘seen’ ChangeFSI before you start changing backdrops with MoreDesk. The simple way to do this is to open the directory where you have !ChangeFSI. The more complete way is to use the Boot configuration plug-in to ensure that the system “looks at” !ChangeFSI when booting.

My backdrop image is an odd colour in MoreDesk's main window

MoreDesk uses ChangeFSI to convert your backdrop images into a format which it can use in the main window display. There is a known issue with ChangeFSI when supplied with a 256-colour “new format” sprite which has a palette - the colours come out all wrong in the image it generates.

At present, you will have to avoid using this type of image for your backdrops. If you generated the sprite using the InterGIF program, it's worth noting that there is an option in the “Sprite options” section to “Force new format sprite” which you can switch off in order to produce a sprite which doesn't cause a problem for ChangeFSI.

MoreDesk said there are too many open windows

To improve performance, MoreDesk sets a fixed limit on the maximum number of open windows that it can deal with. This can be changed in the configuration settings but you will need to re-start MoreDesk in order for the change to take effect.

Iconised window doesn't stay with desktop

It is not possible for iconised windows to be associated with a particular desktop. So, if you iconise a window in one desktop and then move to another, you will still have the iconised window on your pinboard.

I get strange redraw effects when I drag this window

Some users have seen an odd effect in the following circumstances:

The bug is related to select drags (or resizes) of windows with panes soaking up all available processor time (when you drag, the window and its pane are constantly fighting about who is at the top of the window stack) and stopping other things from getting a chance to do anything - such as your pinboard window being able to redraw.

This is due to a WindowManager (Wimp) bug which was fixed in version 4.65. My VirtualAcorn installation used for testing has 4.15 so it exhibits this fault but my Iyonix has 4.94 so it doesn't. (All version numbers are from the Castle RISC OS source tree - RISC OS Ltd versions of the Wimp will no doubt differ.)

Unfortunately, there is nothing which can be done to MoreDesk to address this issue.

Error seen when starting a drag operation

“The area reserved for relocatable modules is full...”. This error message (or one like it) may be seen when starting a drag operation, usually on a selection of windows. It is caused by DragAnObject attempting to claim memory for a large sprite from the RMA and the call failing. The system will sometimes not recover from this error.

The most likely cause for this error is that the selection of windows to drag includes one or more windows which are a long way off the desk space. Certain applications, like the Task Manager and Thump, create windows which are placed off-screen and only exist so that those applications can see key presses which no other application claimed. These may be accidentally selected when the “Select all” option is used.

It is safer to select all windows by starting a drag box in the bottom corner of the MoreDesk main window and ending the drag in the opposite corner. Arguably, the DragAnObject module should deal with memory more carefully and not crash so badly if the claim fails.

Error seen when finishing a drag operation

“SWI number out of range in module DragAnObject”. This error message might be seen when finishing a drag operation on a window or selection of windows. It is caused by a broken version of the DragAnObject module. This is known to have been fixed in versions 0.08 and later. It is also known not to be an issue in version 0.03.

The Task Manager was killed by moving a window

Ever since support for interactive help for menu items was added to the Wimp, the old system for spotting when a window is a menu has been broken. This means that MoreDesk has no way to know if a window is a menu. This is unfortunate because if you manage to select a menu in the MoreDesk main window (which is not as easy as it sounds!) and then try to send it to the back of the window stack (for example) you will probably crash the desktop. There is no known work-around other than for you to not select a menu and then perform an operation upon it!

Some non-menu windows have also been seen to cause this problem (usually a data abort in the Wimp which then goes on to crash a number of other applications). This is being investigated but it is a very rare event. If you do see this crash, please report it, along with details of what window you were dealing with, to

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