Desktop Overlay Application?

Hi all –

If any of you use Steam for online gaming you know that they have this neat overlay application that shows when you press Shift+Tab. The semi-transparent screen overlays your game and there are some different features you can quickly access while playing.

I have an idea for a desktop application and I wan't to mimic that type of functionality. The idea is that while you are working within Word, Excel, QuickBooks, IE, Chrome, whatever you can press Shift+Tab and bring up this overlay.

I can accomplish the actual hotkey with global keyboard hooks, I believe. I am running into trouble figuring out how to even start with the interface portion. Is it as simple as a transparent full screen window with the top bar hidden? My Google Fu is failing me thus far so I am wondering if anyone can point me in the right direction? Is there a term for this that I don't know? Or is it such an obscure idea that only Steam has implemented it?

Thank you all in advance for any assistance.

by GoBenB via /r/csharp

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