Tweaks and Improvements


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This is a list of useful utilities and resources which should improve your RISC OS system.

Note that, for the sake of clarity, this page refers to different versions of RISC OS as follows:

  • Castle RISC OS is versions 5.x
  • RO Ltd RISC OS is versions between 4.1 and 4.99, and versions 6.x
  • Acorn RISC OS is versions up to and including 4.0x


Backdrop Changers

  • Decor – Ultimate RISC OS backdrop changer

Configuration Utilities

These help you configure your system as you like.

  • MiscSetup – A !Boot plugin that allows easy configuration of several desktop appearance choices not configurable elsewhere
  • TaskSetup allows you to easily enable and disable parts of the Boot sequence, and highlights important components

Background Improvements

This is a list of useful items which help your system run smoothly, without any interaction from you.

  • BST automatically changes your clock to account for BST.
  • AMPlayer – Adds support for MP3 playback
  • PlayIt – Codec for most audio formats on RISC OS.
  • NetTime – Update your clock to internet time servers
  • SpecialFX – Utility that improves overall desktop appearance by anti-aliasing drawfiles and blending fonts. Also fixes printing issues which can occur when printing text from several applications.

Desktop Enhancements

These are extensions which provide tweaks or adjustments to the RISC OS user interface.

  • IcnClipBrd provides copy, paste and cut in writable icons. This is only needed on Acorn and Castle versions of RISC OS, as the RO Ltd versions have the functionality built in.
  • DoubleTake simulates a shift-double-click with a long-double-click of the mouse. Very useful for opening application directories without needing to use the keyboard.
  • AltClick / MoveWind are tools to bring a window to the front of the screen (and move it around), even if the title bar or resize icon aren't visible.
  • WinSnap helps keep your windows neatly arranged by "snapping" them to the screen edges when they get close.
  • MouseSprites changes the pointer when it is over window furniture icons that are clickable or draggable.

Resources for Third Party Programs

These are resources which are used by various other programs so are useful to install in preparation.

  • SharedUnixLibrary is used by a large number of applications from NetSurf to Cretin
  • System updates from Castle.
  • Toolbox modules from RISC OS Ltd. You should install these after the Castle updates.
  • SysLog is a logging facility used by many programs to record useful information. Note: this is only needed on Castle and Acorn versions of RISC OS.
  • ZapFonts – Bitmap font renderer. Used for Cretin and Zap, among others


RISC OS 4 introduced a number of enhancements and improvements. Some of these changes can be incorporated into old systems via third party patches and utilities.

  • Nested Window Manager. This can be softloaded by replacing an old boot sequence with the UniBoot sequence from the site or here from 4corn, or with FancyBoot. (Note: check the contents of FancyBoot - it already contains many of the items listed on this page.)
  • LongFiles allows you to seemlessly use long file names on disc formats which are restricted to 10 character filenames. No special partitions or files need setting up, just run the program at boot time. This won't remove the 77 files per directory restriction, however. (In fact it reduces it to 76 files per directory.)
  • raFS is another way of working around the restrictions of the old disc formats. By creating an "image" filing system you can create folders with large numbers of files and long filenames.
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