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It's been long enough since I started looking for a solution, so I post this with a clear conscious. I am developing an application that would render keystrokes and click on the screen, much like KeyCastr on Mac OS. I did this once in the past. Back then I faced with the same problem - making a nice semitransparent window. I solved it by using Adobe AIR for the interface and Visual Basic for the data. VB was the server capturing the keystrokes and mouse events and passing them via TCP over localhost to Adobe AIR (compiled to exe). This solution worked quite ok. I even tried reviving it few hours before posting it with no success. Important note - this is NOT a keylogger, though it shares some core functionality with such application. I do not ask for tips on capturing keyboards events (though if someone could post something useful I'd be grateful). These are some posts that I've found on the forum: https://www.autoitscript.com/forum/topic/137618-two-questions-about-layered-gui/#comment-963975 https://www.autoitscript.com/forum/topic/102961-multiple-png-images-as-gui-elements/ https://www.autoitscript.com/forum/topic/47651-png-as-gui-drop-shadows-curved-edges-you-name-it/ https://www.autoitscript.com/forum/topic/102920-advanced-gui-udf-design/ https://www.autoitscript.com/forum/topic/157841-gui-fun/#comment-1144334 https://www.autoitscript.com/forum/topic/140053-just-the-text/#comment-983400 and even more... The reason for not using an existing application is that there aren't many for windows, they look ugly, and they do not behave the way I need them too. I've tried these approaches, but I'm either to stupid to understand them fully or I'm simply missing something. The main problem that I'm having is having the window transparent and displaying a label with text on top of it. As you know regular controls will not be transparent. I figured out that making a child window (transparent) on top of the parent transparent window might be the solution (I figured it out myself before finding some posts about it so I'm pretty proud of myself :)). Still... even if I do so the text is not anti-aliased and simply looks ugly. I could really use an example code that creates a window that has a PNG as a background with a nice label on top that has drop shadow (two labels? one black for the shadow and one white for the text). The window should also be dragable with a mouse. Here's a video with my old app running (start watching from 0:50): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7fSpZntpfA Here's a similar application called KeyPose: http://jungsbluth.de/magnus/blog/keypose/keypose.html At some point I thought I'd just create a flash object on my window and make it transparent (I've seen this done even back in Windows 98). The difficulty here is that it's not a binary transparency, but a 32bpc one - real, smooth alpha channel like in a PNG, which is what most of the code I've seen is doing. Unfortunately I wasn't able to check that code, because I fail to create the Shockwave.Shockwave.11 object. I've installed the Flash player and the Shockwave player manually, registered the OCX, but no success. TL;DR Honestly - the solution to all my problems and problems other users are having would be replicating the behavior of such apps, that take an SWF and make a windowless EXE out of them. Just take a look at the attached file. Please note that the BG is semi-transparent, the labels are anti-aliased with a drop shadow. This is my old solution using Adobe AIR (Flash). I'd like to replicate that as closely as possible. I really hope some good soul will help me with this. Thank you.