StartOrbz is a lightweight and portable application that enables users to create their own Start orbs to apply to Windows 7. It features intuitive options that can be easily configured.
As there is no setup pack involved, you can put the program files in any part of the hard disk and just click the executable to run.
There is also the possibility to save StartOrbz to a USB flash disk or similar storage unit, in order to run it on any PC with minimum effort and no previous installers. An important aspect to keep in mind is that the tool does not modify Windows registry settings.
As far as the GUI is concerned, StartOrbz contains three separate modules dedicated to creating Start orbs, applying them, and managing them, respectively.
Create Start orbs easily
Building a new Start orb is very simple. All you have to do is point out an image file (PNG or GIF format) for the normal image, when the mouse hovers over it, and when the Start button is pressed. StartOrbz offers to insert the same picture into all three slots.
For the hover image it is possible to enable a drop shadow and set the color, opacity, depth, direction and softness, while an outer glow can be applied to the pressed button image with a customizable color, opacity and size. A name, artist and genre can be specified when saving the Start orb.
Apply and manage Start orbs
All Start orbs created with this app can be found in the secondary module when applying one to the OS. It is also possible to export saved projects to file and import them at a later time (.StartOrb format). Last but not least, you can manage the projects by deleting Start orbs.
Evaluation and conclusion
The tool is undemanding when it comes to CPU and RAM, so it does not affect the PC's overall performance. We have not come across any stability issues during our tests, since StartOrbz did not hang, crash or pop up error messages. However, the tool does not automatically resize images or let users crop them before applying the Start buttons, which means than a photo editor must be used before working with it.
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