Talisman Desktop

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Talisman Desktop
Developer(s)Lighttek Software
Stable release
3.4 (build 3400) / 15 August 2011; 10 years ago (2011-08-15)
Operating systemWindows 2000 and later
TypeWindows shell replacement

Talisman Desktop is a configurable Windows shell replacement introduced in 1997 by Lighttek Software. It is available in a number of languages including English, French, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Russian and Italian. Talisman Desktop is shareware, available as a free trial download that expires in 30 days.

The Talisman interface is freeform skinnable, and uses downloadable themes. Several themes are included with the download and more are available from the manufacturer's website and various other websites. Users can also create and edit their own themes. Customizing the Talisman interface is somewhat easier than most other shell replacements, as it uses a paged configuration dialog rather than forcing the user to edit hidden scripts. Talisman is unique in that it can also be configured as a shell extension within Windows Explorer (much like a highly configurable launcher) or as a GUI replacement within Explorer (similar to WinStep), although it is much more powerful as a shell replacement.

Lighttek's flagship application has always remained out of the limelight occupied by better known rivals like the free and open source shells LiteStep and Blackbox. However, the freeware status of those products will always promote greater distribution over commercial shells like Talisman and rival Aston Shell. Despite this obstacle, Talisman has maintained a userbase adequate to support continuous development since the software's introduction.

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