Semi -transparent windows

Dave topblue at
Thu Dec 4 09:47:29 PST 2008

Alexei Babich wrote:

> Please, tell me, how to implement the following things, according to the
scheme(figure) below:

> 1). Semitransparent background of the window w3; I want to watch the
content beneath (under) it (part of the windows w1, w2, root; which
intersects with the parts of the window w3). At the same time, functions of
the Xrender on this background must work correctly.

> 2). Drawing in parts of the windows w1, w2, which intersects with the
window w3.


> I read the documentation for Xrender, Xcomposite, Xdamage, Xfixes and X
Window System basics; I am understood everything(?) about this separately,
but I can not understand, how do that things, which I described in 1) and



As one response said you can use a compositing window manager to help with
this. However, it isn't necessary. In my experience it is simpler and more
direct to use a 32-bit visual and the Render extension. Create a Picture
that encapsulates the Pixmap/Window of your destination window, (created
with a 32-bit visual so you can set ARGB values), then use XRenderComposite
to copy that Picture to the destination. I've had a lot of success with the
Composite/Render extension and performance is superb on most (typically
nvidia) graphics hardware.








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