Korvar -> How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed (Borderless Windowed) Mode (5/26/2019 2:26:59 AM)
WitP:AE can run in two display modes: fullscreen and windowed.
Fullscreen is when the game automatically maximizes its size to the full size of your monitor. This sounds ideal, but for WitP:AE it can cause graphics issues, sluggishness, and in any case makes Alt-Tab'ing to other programs more difficult. The graphics issues seemed to increase dramatically right around the 1803 "April Update" (2018) of Windows 10.
Windowed mode is when WitP:AE runs showing the title bar and window frame. See this picture:
The title bar is the light blue bar at the top which you can use to click and drag the game window around. It also contains the game's title, version number, and includes the standard minimize, restore, and exit buttons at the top-right corner. The window frame isn't visible in this picture, but it is typically the same color as the title bar and it's what you use to resize windows by clicking and dragging with the mouse.
The title bar in particular takes up a bit of screen space when playing the game. It's not a huge deal - the game is certainly still playable with it there, yet it remains a nuisance.
More modern games typically have what's called a "borderless window" mode. The game still runs as a window (not fullscreen), but the game removes both the title bar and window frame. Then the game is set to run in a window set at the full resolution of the monitor and is centered to the top-left corner of the screen and *BOOM* - the game appears to be fullscreen while still offering the benefits (quick alt-tab'ing, moving the mouse outside the game when necessary to other secondary monitors, etc.) of running in windowed mode.
Since there is no built-in "borderless window" mode for WitP:AE, I experimented with forcing the removal of the title bar and window frame. To make a long story short, I successfully removed them, but it screwed up the mouse alignment in the game, making it just about unplayable.
Running WitP:AE as a Fullscreen Window (a la "borderless window" mode):
The trick, then, is to keep WitP:AE running as a window, but to nudge the game window just enough to push the title bar offscreen. It's still there, it's just floating up in the ether of your monitor's frame. It also gets nudged a little to the left to remove the tiny window frame at the left edge. Then, when the game is also set to display at the full resolution of your monitor, the result is a fullscreen experience while still enjoying the performance and stability benefits of windowed mode. Plus it makes using Tracker, Combat Reporter, Intel Monkey, etc. much easier to use on a second monitor (or alt-tab'ing back and forth on a single screen).
There are two ways to do this, each with their own benefits.
The first is to use the free WinExplorer utility. It's primary pro is that it's free. The primary con is that you'll need to run it and make a quick adjustment every time you run WitP:AE. It's the option I'll be describing how to use in this post.
The second option is to purchase DisplayFusion Pro. It typically runs for $29 USD, but it just so happens that they're selling it for 50% off ($14.50 USD). You can also sometimes find it on sale on Steam (typically during the big seasonal sales there) if you prefer to go that route. The con obviously is the cost. The benefit is it will automate the process so that WitP:AE is automatically adjusted when you launch it. This is how I've been playing the game for quite some time, and it works great.
Disclaimer: I don't have any connection to or financial interest in DisplayFusion - I'm just a customer, so I have no preference which direction you decide to go. I would advise to try WinExplorer UNLESS you are running multiple monitors... then the value proposition of DisplayFusion begins to shine and you'll need to think more carefully about the decision. Besides WitP:AE, I use it all the time to switch between running between one and three monitors at a time, keeping games/applications in focus (so they don't minimize unexpectedly), and for automating things like this.
That said, I'm not going to write the DisplayFusion guide unless I hear feedback from others that they are very interested in purchasing it for the automation feature.
For now, here's how to use WinExplorer:
1. Download it HERE.
2. Extract the .zip file to a folder of your choice.
3. Right-click the "winexp.exe" file in that folder, and left-click "Properties".
4. In the "winexp.exe Properties" window that pops up, click the "Compatibility" tab.
5. Click the "Run this program as an administrator" checkbox:
6. Click on the "OK" button at the bottom.
7. Double-click winexp.exe to run it and click "Yes" if you're prompted to confirm running it.
8. If you haven't already, download and run my app SeaBee (available in the first post of this thread).
9. Even if you've used SeaBee before, you'll want to use it to re-configure the WitP:AE display settings to the following:
Note: you'll enter your actual monitor resolution in the 'pxf' and 'pyf' boxes, but if you're running a 1080 monitor, then the numbers in the picture are the ones you want. You'll also want to make the other configuration choices as you normally would. For reference, the image above shows my own configuration running an Intel based Windows 10 machine, so you can use it as a starting guide if you don't know where to begin. Depending on your exact hardware configuration, your ideal settings may be different.
10. With WinExplorer running, use the shortcut you created with SeaBee (it is placed on your desktop by default) to run WitP:AE in windowed mode.
11. Let the game load into the main menu - you can skip the intro video to speed things up, if applicable. You may want to load a game so that you'll be looking at the actual game screen when making upcoming adjustments.
12. Use the Alt-Tab key combination to switch to WinExplorer.
13. Find the War in the Pacific process by using this picture as a guide:
14. With the War in the Pacific process highlighted, click on the 'Size & Position' tab and make adjustments according to this picture (apologies for the large size, but I wanted to make sure it was readable):
15. Each time you hit the 'Modify' button, switch back to War in the Pacific to see the alignment. Keep making adjustments until it looks right. FYI, my settings happened to be -4 and -27.
16. An easy way to test whether you have the right vertical (or "top") settings is to open up a ship information screen in the game. If you see a section of extra-thick highlighting at the top, and if the ship art 'wiggles' (for lack of a better term) when you mouse over any of the yellow text, then the settings are NOT correct:
17. When you're able to put your cursor on/off the yellow text in a ship's information screen, and if the game looks right to you, then you're DONE! Enjoy the game in a "fullscreen windowed" mode!
Note: If you're using multiple monitors, there will be a slight amount of the window frame which bleeds over on the other monitor (at least it does for me). Also, for me I have two lines of pixels at the bottom of the screen which are cut off, but they're barely even noticeable and have no effect on gameplay. They're minor inconveniences though for the benefits of fullscreen windowed mode.