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How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed (Borderless Windowed) Mode

 
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How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed (Borderless W... - 5/26/2019 2:26:59 AM   
Korvar


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Background:

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.

< Message edited by Korvar -- 8/26/2019 4:51:02 AM >


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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 6/9/2019 8:55:27 PM   
Korvar


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It has been requested that I include the guide to automate the 'fullscreen windowed' process using DisplayFusion.

This guide assumes that you've already installed DisplayFusion and are now ready to configure it.


Begin by right-clicking the DisplayFusion icon in your task tray / system tray (in the lower-right corner of your screen, typically where the clock is found):






Once in the DisplayFusion Settings menu, make sure that the 'Start with Windows' box is ticked, then click on the 'Triggers' menu as shown:






Click the 'Add' button:






There are numbered steps to this part:

Step 1 - make sure the 'Trigger is enabled' box is ticked.

Step 2 - Use the 'Event' drop-down box to pick the 'Window Focused' option.

Step 3 - Under 'Match Conditions', tick the 'Process Filename' box (note: it is shown unticked in the picture).

Step 4 - Click the 'Select Application' button, browse to the 'War in the Pacific Admiral Edition.exe' file in your WitP:AE directory.

Step 5 - Use the 'Add' button to add the 'Move Window to Specific Size and Location' action as shown two images below. Other actions such as 'Move Window to Selected Monitor' or 'Keep Window Focused' are optional depending upon your preferred setup and particular system needs.






This is how the Edit Trigger screen should look when you're finished (plus or minus any optional actions). You can use the below 'X', 'Y', 'W', and 'H' numbers as a reference for a 1920 x 1080 screen setup, but note that your system may require different settings. Experimentation is the best policy; just keep tweaking things until you are satisfied with the result. Note, in my particular case, I use 'W' and 'H' settings which are larger than my actual screen size. That said, you should always configure your WitP:AE .exe file switches to use your actual screen resolution unless you have a reason not to do so.






Please reply to this thread with any questions. Thanks!

< Message edited by Korvar -- 6/9/2019 9:10:56 PM >


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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 6/9/2019 9:08:55 PM   
Moltrey


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Thanks a bunch Korvar, you have saved me a lot of thrashing about.

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 6/16/2019 12:16:51 PM   
Moltrey


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So I am having issues with getting DisplayFusionPro configured.

Getting a "not responding" message (freezing) at the moment I try to select your #3 Process Filename.
Do you have to have NVidia Surround Spanning options enabled first for DFP to work correctly? I do not have it enabled right now.


Currently I am getting by with playing fullscreen at 2560x1440 on a 4K 3840x2160 (21x9) LG monitor. The second monitor is my older NEC at 2560x1600 (16x10), both 32".
It works fine- just takes a couple seconds to ALT-TAB over to the setup Excel spreadsheet and game map on the smaller monitor.

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 6/16/2019 12:27:54 PM   
Korvar


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No, I don't use nVidia Surround - just DisplayFusion Pro. I've never had any crashing issues with DisplayFusion that I can recall. One thing to check is to make sure you have the latest .NET framework installed (4.8 .NET Framework Runtime is what you want). FYI, I'm currently running ver 4.8.03761.0.

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 6/16/2019 2:28:37 PM   
Moltrey


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From: Virginia
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No joy, still getting the freeze of the app. I may have to do some digging on the DFP forum to see if there are items that I may have disabled in Windows 10 (like services, etc.) that are keeping DFP from working correctly.
Obviously it CAN work based on your config, I just need to take some time to look into it.
I did update the .net framework to the latest, which I probably needed to anyway.
Thanks for taking the time Korvar, it is much appreciated!

Onward and seaward!
... or something like that.

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 6/16/2019 4:46:21 PM   
Korvar


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Keith over at the DFP Discussion section of their website is very helpful. I believe the software will also generate logs to help diagnose the issue - there is quite a bit of info in the 'Troubleshooting' tab alone. I believe they keep 'regular' business hours... so you may not get a response until tomorrow.

In the meantime, you may also want to try temporarily disabling any security software you have running in the background. Security applications are usually top candidates for interfering with other software. You can also ask anything that comes to mind here. Looking at Event Viewer may also reveal some clues about what's happening (open the Start menu and without clicking on anything type in 'Event Viewer').

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 6/16/2019 5:08:50 PM   
Zorch

 

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This is very useful - it should be pinned.

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 6/16/2019 5:29:13 PM   
Nowi Ribak

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

This is very useful - it should be pinned.


Second that - pin it.

Thanks for the detailed post

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 6/28/2019 8:43:15 PM   
JPFisher55

 

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Does this work for the beta version? How do I center the intro screen?

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 6/29/2019 12:49:19 AM   
Moltrey


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JPFisher55

Does this work for the beta version? How do I center the intro screen?


The beta version(s) don't change anything with regard to the resolution configuration that I know of- just make sure you use the beta shortcut, not the main game shortcut, they look different btw. Also, don't make the mistake of pointing the source files in the shortcut to the beta folder, it will flag an error. It needs to point to the original WITP:AE main directory.

As far as your second concern:
The only time I ever see the intro screen "off center" is when I have improperly typed in my X and Y sizes OR the monitor you are trying that particular resolution on does not support it without some fiddling with scaling, etc.

You didn't mention whether you are using -f or -w for fullscreen or windowed mode. It also makes a difference.
Please refer to the Beta v2.6 manual update for the guide to setting up extended resolutions. It is in the first few pages.

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 7/2/2019 1:57:22 PM   
Moltrey


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Korvar:

Finally, success!
Quite by accident I discovered that the DisplayFusion Pro "Not Responding" message in step #3 is only due to the file lookup in DisplayFusion Pro taking so long. Not sure why it does this on my PC, but just last weekend I upgraded from older Samsung SSD SATA drives (550-600mbs max) to SSD nvme drives (3500mbs read) with a Corsair 960MB boot drive and Addlink 2TB data drive.

After reloading WITP:AE and DisplayFusion Pro I tried the process again and after about 2-3 seconds the file list popped up! Huzzah!

After much trial and error I have found the following settings work for me:

PC Config: Win 10 Pro on X99-Deluxe w/ i7 5930K CPU and NVIDIA GTX1080 gpu
Dual monitor setup: NEC 2560x1600 > [2][1*] < LG* 3840x2160
WITP Target line: "D:\Matrix Games\War in the Pacific Admiral's Edition\Beta2\War in the Pacific Admiral Edition.exe" -w -px2560 -py1440 -SingleCpuOrders -cpu3 -multiaudio -dd_sw -deepColor -altFont -archive -skipVideo

Observations:
- Under the WITP icon properties your -px and -py resolution must match what your monitor and GPU can handle or you get a small game screen on launch in my experience.
- For me, choosing a larger game window size in DFP didn't really help or make much of a difference I could see, so trial and error is key. I stuck with 2560x1440 in DFP although larger settings worked as well.
- I chose "Window Created" rather than Focused as it executes the game window move when WITP:AE starts. In practice I think either will work fine.
- I did away with the "Move window to selected monitor #1" entry, as the game launches on my primary #1 LG 32" 4K monitor.
- I noted that WITP:AE will not work if you quick-swap it to the second monitor, the game locks up for me.

For the longest time I was having an issue with the game window not wanting to line up flush with the left side of my main monitor when launching with DFP and the trigger enabled. The window was close the the edge, but still about 8 pixels to the right. As I have my displays set to "extend" under Windows 10 so I can use the left monitor with spreadsheets and strategy maps while playing, the end result was the window would only go so far unless I really overdid the "left" (x) setting to -2000 or so; then it popped over to the second monitor and locked up.

This was playable as only a couple pixels on the right edge were cut off, however, I discovered using the WITP Beta properties and enabling Compatibility Mode for Windows 7 helped make the "gap" close to only 2-3 pixels. It still has the same habit of not moving left from 0, but the starting point is fine now and nothing is cut off on the right edge.

So, there you go... it was a PC-specific issue. Glad I got it sorted.
I will get all my mods set up and monitor the situation and report back if I have any other issues while playing. So far nothing.

< Message edited by Moltrey -- 7/2/2019 4:54:48 PM >

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 7/11/2019 7:56:15 AM   
Korvar


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I'm glad you got everything sorted!

Some notes:
1. Use the -pyf and -pxf switches in lieu of the standard -py / -px switches. This will allow you to use resolutions which are not 'recognized' by your graphics card.
2. Window Created or Focused modes are fine. I also began with Created mode, but I switched because Focused mode allows you to re-center the game if you should ever manage to accidentally move the game window while playing (usually accomplished while transiting between the game and Tracker, etc.).
3. The game does not like being "snapped" to different locations (including different monitors), nor does it like monitor resolution changes nor switches between the number of monitors used, in my experience.

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 7/15/2019 12:37:47 AM   
Moltrey


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Korvar
Some notes:
1. Use the -pyf and -pxf switches in lieu of the standard -py / -px switches. This will allow you to use resolutions which are not 'recognized' by your graphics card.


Well crap. Somehow I didn't get that particular memo. I must have misinterpreted the patch notes explaining widescreen resolution configuration. I might play around with it again when I get the time. Thanks.

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 7/15/2019 4:37:40 AM   
Korvar


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Don't feel bad - it was buried in one of the later patch notes, I believe. After a quick search through the documents, I can't even find it at the moment. There really isn't any reason to use the -py and -px switches which is why I programmed SeaBee to use -pyf and -pxf exclusively.

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 7/16/2019 12:41:38 AM   
USSAmerica


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Moltrey


quote:

ORIGINAL: Korvar
Some notes:
1. Use the -pyf and -pxf switches in lieu of the standard -py / -px switches. This will allow you to use resolutions which are not 'recognized' by your graphics card.


Well crap. Somehow I didn't get that particular memo. I must have misinterpreted the patch notes explaining widescreen resolution configuration. I might play around with it again when I get the time. Thanks.



I just played around with this and can set any window size I want now! News to me and very welcome news. Thanks, Korvar!

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 7/16/2019 1:24:42 AM   
Korvar


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You're welcome!

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 8/26/2019 12:34:18 AM   
BillBrown


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For some reason the WinExplorer will not let me change the top setting( the only one I tried ). I put a new value in, hit modify, then refresh and the value goes back to the original.

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 8/26/2019 3:20:36 AM   
Korvar


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When you run WinExplorer, instead of double-clicking on it as usual - right click and then use the "Run as Administrator" option.

If that ends up being the culprit, I'll also explain how to make that change permanent (if you don't already know); I may also need to update the instructions in the OP as well.

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 8/26/2019 3:42:31 AM   
Hanzberger


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yes how do you make it permanent?

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 8/26/2019 4:02:28 AM   
BillBrown


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Korvar

When you run WinExplorer, instead of double-clicking on it as usual - right click and then use the "Run as Administrator" option.

If that ends up being the culprit, I'll also explain how to make that change permanent (if you don't already know); I may also need to update the instructions in the OP as well.


Yes, that is the solution. Now if I can figure out how to not get the bottom cut off

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 8/26/2019 4:49:34 AM   
Korvar


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To make the "Run as Administrator" permanent, right click the WinExplorer .exe file (winexp.exe) and click on "Properties".

Check the "Run this program as administrator" option (circled below) and then click "Ok".




Note - if you meant making the window move permanent/automated, then using DisplayFusion is the way to go. It is not free, but they do run sales on it from time to time.


As for the bottom getting cut off... make sure you are using a negative value in the "Top" field. I've found that -27 does the trick to hide the title bar (picture shown in the OP). In the AE shortcut, also make sure you're using a resolution which matches your monitor resolution. Not to imply you're using incorrect settings, but those should be the two factors at play.

So - 1) make sure your game shortcut is set to run the game at your monitor's current resolution, then 2) use negative "top" and "left" values in WinExplorer to move the game window's title bar and frame offscreen. Once the game appears to be positioned correctly, verify by opening a ship detail window in game and hover your cursor on/off any of the yellow text. If the animated ship art "wiggles", there is still some fine adjustment to do with the top/left WinExplorer settings. Keep experimenting until you can hover over any yellow text in a ship detail window without the art moving at all. Then you know your game is centered.

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 8/26/2019 11:30:34 PM   
BillBrown


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The bottom gets cut off because I do not like to have the taskbar auto hide. Anyway I really do not lose that much space. I run my games in a
window 2540 x 1540 on my 2560 x 1600 monitor. I can see enough.

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 10/26/2019 12:14:13 PM   
Pharnakes

 

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Thanks you soooo much for this, this has been bugging me for years. As long as I've owned the game in fact, which is far longer than I want to think about.

If I may a add a little that might help anyone with the specific issue I had.

SO I've found a way with winexp to have the taskbar show and have the industry buttons & New zealand on the minimap, but it's a little involved. Sorry I can't include screenshots as apparently I don't have enough posts and the forums just ate my effort guide on how to do this and I can't be bothered recreating it. Seriously why the hell does the you can't include links page not have a button to take you back to your post so you can remove the links rather than just outright deleting it??

Anyway, 20 minutes down the drain but it's not like I'm bitter or anything so here's a quick text only version. I am on win10 latest and using winexp to do this.

Edit: After failing to reproduce my own results on restarting the game, I've added an apparently vital step.

Start by dragging your taskbar to the top and setting it to hide, then proceed as described above.

Once you raise witp to hide the top bar you will be left with a strip of desktop at the bottom, because winexp can't seem to make the window be taller than the native height of your monitor. You can use the height box to shrink witp fine, but not to expand beyond your native resolution.

However, due to god only knows what computer wizardry bullshit, if, rather than raising witp you instead lower it using the top value until the bottom edge of witp touches the bottom of your monitor, it will "stick", for me this happens at -11. In order for this to happen your taskbar must be hidden!

Now raise witp again, for me to -29, and tada, you have witp showing the full bottom edge of the screen, with the industry buttons and the full minimap shown. This will result in a value in the height box of winexp greater than your native resolution, which I can't find any other way to achieve. You can now set your taskbar to not be hidden. This will result in witp resetting and you will have to go through the sticking procedure again. God only knows why it will work this time with the taskbar showing, but it seems to be replicatable to me so it just does, ok. The price you pay for this is of course loosing the top of the screen instead, however I'd imagine most players are like me and use shortcuts for the intel screen ect rather than clicking the buttons, whilst having the full minimap is nice, or you can emit the last step and keep the taskbar in hide mode to get the top row to show.

< Message edited by Pharnakes -- 10/26/2019 12:30:48 PM >

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RE: How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed Mode - 11/4/2019 2:00:50 PM   
Moltrey


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Korvar:

Thought I'd write a follow-up as I have changed videocards out and things got... difficult.

I just replaced my trusty Nvidia GTX1080 (roughly 4yrs old) with a PowerColor Red Devil 5700XT AMD videocard. No real issues with the game running, but it threw all my DisplayFusion Pro settings awry. After MUCH thrashing about and changing settings I discovered that that with the AMD doing any sort of compatibility mode in the game shortcut causes the dreaded ship graphic "hippity-hop" issue. Run as Administrator doesn't seem to affect it either way.

For reasons I haven't been able to figure out AE now sits about 5 pixels right of the left monitor edge (which isn't a real problem) and DFP will not move it. I can move it up and down, so the important part of concealing the border tab is done.

At the end of the day I think I can say for certain that solving this whole borderless window situation is VERY particular to each individual's PC. If you are lucky the settings won't be too hard to find the sweet spot; but in my experience it took many, many game launches and scenario starts to get things close to being correct. For instance, my new LG monitor had a program that ran in the background all the time that was interfering with DisplayFusion's ability to move windows. You never really know what is going to be a complication until you set aside a few hours to wrestle with it all.

Perhaps this can help someone else.

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All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> War in the Pacific: Admiral's Edition >> Tech Support >> How to Run WitP:AE in Fullscreen Windowed (Borderless Windowed) Mode Page: [1]
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