Le Dimmer helps you avoid distractions and stay focused on your PC work

If you’re working on some important PC task and want to avoid distractions, then maximizing your program window is usually a good place to start. But if you need to monitor several programs -- or the window just can’t be maximized -- then Le Dimmer may offer a more interesting approach.

The program is tiny, portable, and has just a single task: after launching, it dims everything on your desktop apart from the current window.

The effect can be quite restful on the eyes, depending on your applications, with all the usual brightness reduced by a considerable degree. (Although if you run a program with a white background then the contrast becomes greater, so it won’t work for everyone.)

It all runs entirely automatically, too. There’s nothing to do, no complex interface to navigate, the program just works. All you have to remember is to right-click the system tray and select "Quit" if you decide you don’t need the effect any more, and want to resume normal operations.

If you do need more control, though, there is a useful command line switch available. Pass the program a number between 0 and 255 ("LeDimmer.exe 150") and you’re setting the "Dim factor". 150 is the default; increasing this will darken the dimmed part of the screen even further, while reducing the value will brighten it. (Check the program’s ReadMe.txt for details.)

Le Dimmer isn’t quite bullet-proof. We changed our screen resolution while running the program, and not only did it not notice, but after a few clicks it also managed to crash Explorer. Oops.

Still, no data was lost, even with this extreme test. The rest of the time, Le Dimmer worked just fine. And if you’re looking for a way to focus your attention on one task, while not entirely losing track of some others, then the program could prove very useful.

Photo Credit: kentoh/Shutterstock

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