ToolBox v2.97j - PUBLIC BETA TRIAL

WARNING!!!This page contains information and downloads for ToolBox III PUBLIC BETA TRIAL. For the stable version of ToolBox please visit this page.

ToolBox v3.0 ToolBox is getting a face-lift, a ton of new features and this page allows you to download and participate in the Beta Trial phase of ToolBox III.

Fourteen years in the making and ToolBox is still going strong. ToolBox III promises full pixel-perfect customisation of its user interface, albeit with a complex workflow. Power-users will feel at home and once they get accustomed to the new controls they should be able to create ToolBoxes so diverse in appearance as the screenshots below.

This beta version has been on active development since the end of January 2010 and it's getting ready for a full release in the next few weeks.


Your feedback is most welcome. Please raise issues and bugs using our contact form.

[IMPORTANT!!!] Upgrading from version 2.85 or 2.89b

ToolBox v3.0 To upgrade from a stable release the following are recommended:

  • Go to the ToolBox application folder (where you unzipped the original ZIP)
  • Close ToolBox
  • Make a copy of toolbox.exe to let's say toolbox_285.exe
  • Make a copy of the settings folder, to let's say settings_285
  • Unzip the BETA version on the ToolBox application folder (icons, help and wallpapers will be overwritten but your settings are safely backed up)
  • Run the application!!!

When you run ToolBox III for the first time, the application will automatically upgrade your XML settings (inquisitive minds can have a look at the XML with a text editor) and everything should be back to normal. Explore the new ToolBox Settings and Icon Shortcut Settings dialogs and experiment with the new customizations.

To revert back to the original stable version:

  • Delete toolbox.exe and rename back toolbox_285.exe to toolbox.exe
  • Delete the settings folder, and rename back the settings_285 folder to settings.

Limitations and known-bugs of ToolBox III PUBLIC BETA TRIAL

  • Alignment of overlay text may be different after the upgrade
  • Shortcuts may be hidden outside the window area if the Toolbox is resized to a smaller size. (i.e. no automatic arrangement of shortcuts is taking place, you shrink the window, things will disappear.

Features of ToolBox III

A few of the features we have added to the beta version so far
  • Full control of Icon and Text alignment in the tile
  • Move ToolBoxes with arrow keys
  • Resize ToolBoxes with the mouse
  • Full drag-and-drop support for URL linking, Browser
  • Activate ToolBox on hot-key press
  • Colored border
  • Opacity control of 3D bevels, highlight control of button surfaces
  • Secondary Text
  • Refactoring of code
  • Full control of borders, cell spacing, title/status bar spacing
  • Tile size 16-256 px
  • Icon/Text Orientation within a tile: Top, Bottom, Left, Right
  • Icon and text alignment: 9 navigation points
  • Text alignment: 9 navigation points, micro-adjustment
  • Visual effects to apply to bitmap backgrounds
  • Wallpapers
  • Themes for fully customizing visual elements of toolboxes
  • Button highlight (brightness level of button surface) controllable
  • Visual preview of settings as they are modified
  • Create shortcut to current drive, useful when ToolBox runs on USB sticks
  • New Memory Commit Charge monitors
  • The Windows Up-Time monitor shortcut opens up the System Properties dialog box when clicked
  • Three new graphics algorithms for background effects: Min, Max and Average – 2.97c
  • Improved performance on existing graphics algorithms for background effects – 2.97c
  • Support for JPG and PNG wallpapers – 2.97d
  • Pin ToolBox to desktop - Toolboxes stay at the bottom of the Z-Order – 2.97f


Screenshots below highlight ToolBox III's features. Some of the icons featured in the screenshots below are designs and copyright by Dave Brasgalla ( or David Lanham ( Application icons are copyrighted by the individual application vendors.

  • ToolBox
  • ToolBox
  • ToolBox
  • ToolBox
  • ToolBox
  • ToolBox

Version History

2.97h 25.May.2011 - Fixed alignement of certain controls for Windows 7
                  - Better error dialogs on start-up dir not found and file not found

2.97g 15.Jun.2010 - Fixed bug: caching of image behind window when changing background types
2.97f 13.May.2010 - Experimental Sending of Toolboxes to Back after launching a shortcut
                    (aka "Pin To Desktop")
2.97e 12.May.2010 - Used latest clBMPGraphicsCommon library supporting BevelStyle = bvNone
                    (Unreleased Version)
2.97d 08.May.2010 - Added "Command Prompt Here" for Drives, Folders and Applications
                  - Support for PNG, JPG files as wallpapers. Relative paths for Wallpapers
                  - Bug fix: right-click on empty tile now highlights the tile clicked
2.97c 03.May.2010 - Fixed bug with Commit Charge not displaying correctly
                  - Debug Mode for graphics
2.97b 02.May.2010 - New optimal TextOut truncates text that doesn't fit in a certain space
                  - Fixed bug with Secondary and Primary Text boxes calculation
2.96b 29.Apr.2010 - Implemented new Displace, Times from 1219ms -> 4328ms (when slow) -> 953ms
                  - Added Min, Max, Average algorithms
2.95l 25.Apr.2010 - Fixed floating hint no refresh error
                  - New Blur algorithm 20% faster! Uses GetDIBits24
2.95k 15.Apr.2010 - Experimental Minimizing on Double-Click on TitleBar
2.95j 13.Apr.2010 - Removed debug code
2.95i 11.Apr.2010 - Experimental Hiding of Toolboxes
2.95h 10.Apr.2010 - Quick Settings in ToolBox Properties window
                  - Better Hint display without flicker
2.95g 02.Apr.2010 - Added Hint Opacity Setting
                  - Completely changed the Graphics Engine to use scanline property
                  - Investigating better ways to implement Blur and Displace Algorithm as with
                  - GetDIBits was faster. Everything else is

2.95f 23.Mar.2010 - More work on GetDIBits bug, fix log window top panel not displaying
                  - Removed some logging. Fixed progress bar on icon cache rebuild

2.95e 21.Mar.2010 - Windows Up-Time monitor opens "System Properties" when clicked
                  - New Shortcut Type: Memory Commit Charge
                  - More progress on the Help file
2.95d 20.Mar.2010 - Bug fix with New Folder Shortcut not correctly assigning primary text
                  - Button state no longer part of IconShortcut, Fixed Mouse hover highlight
                  - New Tray Icons
2.95c 19.Mar.2010 - Button Highlight not properly populating properties form, About box
                  - New Icon and IconLibraries included in distribution
2.95b 18.Mar.2010 - Bug fixes with Properties Dialog
2.95a 17.Mar.2010 - Bug fixes around exceptions mostly (GetDIBItsd more logging,
                    mbRightDown.Defined if FALSE when coords are -1
                  - Remaining bug, F2 key doesn't always work on toolboxes to bring the Panel
2.94z 10.Mar.2010 - Compatibility mode activation, tests with old settings files, font align
                  - Tried tests with Get DI Bits but to no avail
                  - A few visibility rules on the Icon properties
                  - Commented out code for reposition of shortcuts
2.94y 08.Mar.2010 - New Icons, More logging on Graphics Engine, fix for override of sec.text on
                    drive monitors
2.94x 07.Mar.2010 - Better handling of Drive Letters
                  - Bug fixes with secondary text on Drive Monitors
2.94w 06.Mar.2010 - Finalized IconShortcut properties, remain: remove old props from form
                  - Brand new Message Dialogs rendered in full color
                  - Shortcut to Current Drive
                  - Refactoring of XML icon shortcut save
                  - Rendering Engine dev complete - only bugs from now on
                  - Welcome Screen
2.94v 05.Mar.2010 - Drag&Drop of Files and URLs supported, fixed bug with Status/Title Bar chk
                  - Secondary Text display and capture from Icon Properties
2.94u 04.Mar.2010 - Bitmap filenames now follow the XML config filename
                  - Some work on getting the IconShortcut setting refactoring right
                    (lost all toolbox settings :-\ due to bug in clXMLReader)
2.94t 03.Mar.2010 - New About box using clBMPGraphics32, new Panels in TBProperties
2.94s 02.Mar.2010 - A bit more progress on IconShortcut attributes on form. Started Frame
2.94r 26.Feb.2010 - Started refactoring of IconShortcut Attributes, UI cosmetics, Welcome scr
2.94q 24.Feb.2010 - Caching of background BMP while redrawing. Modified TextArea width to const
2.94p 23.Feb.2010 - Fully using new rendering engine. A couple of problems with the Drive Size
                    monitor on centered primary text, but will fix it
                  - Major bug with Bold text in the smooth shadow algorithm found and fixed
2.94o 22.Feb.2010 - Toolboxes now use the new rendering engine. A few things are still drawn
                  - by the old engine.
2.94n 21.Feb.2010 - Changed the overriding of fonts and finalised the text drawing.
                  - Ready to make the big step and start using the GE for toolboxes
2.94m 18.Feb.2010 - A lot of work on Icon alignment, font alignment not finished yet
                  - New IconAreaWidth and Height properties for TS
2.94l 17.Feb.2010 - Implemented Icon Alignment and Margins. Icon drawing not complete yet
                  - Bug fix with Emboss exception
2.94k 16.Feb.2010 - More progress on TBProperties incl. UI changes, TitleBar font display
                  - Added spacings in TBSettings, refactoring
2.94j 14.Feb.2010 - Completed Border and Tile Spacing on TBProperties
                  - Helptext for wallpapers, numerous UI improvements on TBProperties
                  - Implemented effects in TBGE, Most Image stretching patterns
2.94i 12.Feb.2010 - TBGraphicsEngine now points to the actual form, uses new way of obtaining
                    desktop wallpaper copies
2.94h 11.Feb.2010 - Added Border controls on TB Properties, but not quite there yet
2.94g 08.Feb.2010 - Better Exception Handling
2.94f 07.Feb.2010 - New Graphics Engine used for previewing Toolbox Properties
                  - (only titlebar, bevel, border and resize lines are drawn so far)
2.94e 06.Feb.2010 - Added controls for IconText orientation
                  - Added new IconLibraries, wallpapers, empty themes directory
2.94d 03.Feb.2010 - HotKey activation, minor mouse-over bug fixed, Logging form more clever
2.94c 02.Feb.2010 - Fixed and reorganised the mouse events for frmToolbox, better dragging
2.94b 01.Feb.2010 - Resizing lines displayed, minor enhancements, bug fixes
      31.Jan.2010 - Added management of all font properties in TB Properties dialog
                  - Now fully using new XML settings file to load/save
      30.Jan.2010 - Added toolbox resizing (MILESTONE)
2.94  29.Jan.2010 - Optimised drawing, most of application works

2.93  15.Jan.2010 to 25.Jan.2010
                  - Added Border Color, sort by name on Load Toolboxes, memory free
                  - New BoxController, better snap to other windows
                  - Removed compatibility with 1.0 DAT files
                  - Refactored Toolbox settings, new XML file v3.0
                  - Removed Appearance from right-click menu
                  - Transparent Hint Window with Shadow on XP
                  - New Logger window and DEBUG version of Toolbox
2.92  30.Dec.2009 - Added TToolboxFont  ...