gbWorldClock is an extremely easy to use freeware application for monitoring the time at any number of locations around the world. Several display modes and application settings are available, allowing you to fit gbWorldClock onto your desktop in a convenient manner and to view the data formatted in a manner of your choosing.

Display Modes

Three gbWorldClock display modes are available, giving the user control over how location information is displayed on the desktop.

Standard Mode

In this mode, the gbWorldClock window is filled with a location list. The list contains the user defined location string and the local date/time for each location.

PopUp Mode

Double-clicking the caption bar will toggle display of the location list, with the caption always remaining in view. This mode is very non-intrusive on the user's desktop while maintaining a familiar window caption for users who prefer it.

Transparency Mode

In transparency mode, the gbWorldClock window client area is not drawn, making it appear that the location information is drawn directly on the desktop. This mode is perhaps the least intrusive on the user's desktop.

The image above is of my PC desktop, which has a blue background.

gbWorldClock Window

A few aspects of the gbWorldClock window are handled differently than most standard application windows.

Drag Window to New Location
To drag the gbWorldClock window to a new location, just left-mouse click anywhere on the window or caption and drag the window. This is slightly different from most applications, where only dragging on the caption is supported. In transparency mode, a "gripper" can be displayed to as an easier target on which to click.

Window Resizing
gbWorldClock does not automatically resize to fit location content, but the user can manually resize the window as needed. If the window is resize smaller than the displayed data, scrollbars are not provided to scroll data into view.

RollUp Feature
Double-clicking on the caption causes the window to "roll up", leaving only the caption visible and hiding all location data. Double-click again to restore gbWorldClock to it's full size.

If rollup occurs near the bottom of the screen, gbWorldClock will reposition itself so that all of the window is drawn onscreen.

Closing gbWorldClock

Closing gbWorldCloc in opaque modes works like any other windows application - click on the "x" or use the System Menu (upper left corner of the caption) to close the application.

gbWorldClock can also be closed by double-clicking anywhere on the window, excluding the caption. This is particularly useful for closing gbWorldClock when in transparency mode. In that case, just double-click on an icon or on the gripper to close gbWorldClock.


With AutoDocking enabled, double-clicking on the caption will not only roll up the main window, but it will also move the rolled-up application into the lower right corner of the screen, just above the system tray.

Double-click again and gbWorldClock will return to its pre-rollup location.


gbWorldClock allows the user to select separate fonts for opaque and transparency display modes. Many, but not all, Windows fonts use dithering to provide the best display. This works well in opaque modes against the background in effect when the text is dithered. But in transparency mode, dithering uses the dialog background color, which can provide undesirable results which the text is displayed against the desktop, as this image demonstrates:

gbWorldClock uses the same font size and font style in opaque and transparency modes.

Location Data

Location data is kept in a file called "locations.txt", whose content looks like this. The icon and hyperlinks data is optional.

     Fairbanks, Alaska : -9 : usa.ico
     California : -8 : usa.ico
     Texas : -6 : texas.ico
     UK : 0 : uk.ico
     France : 1 : france.ico
     Sweden : 1 : sweden.ico
     Sydney, Australia : 10 : australia.ico
     New Zealand : 12 : newzealand.ico
     Spain : 1 : spain.ico 
     Gary Beene : -6 : texas.ico :
     ********** anything after this is ignored ***********
     Abu Dhabi : +4
     Adelaide : +9.5
     Aden : +3

Each location is kept on a single line. Each line contains a title, UTC time zone, and icon file name, each separated by a colon. UTC time zones may be fractional (i.e., 10.5 means 10 hours and 30 minutes).

When gbWorldClock loads, it reads the file up to the first line beginning with "***". Remaining content of the file is not read.

The location.txt may be edited by the user, using the context menu option "Edit Location List" while gbWorldClock is running. Notepad is used to edit the file. gbWorldClock suspends execution until Notepad is closed, at which point the location.txt file is reread and it's modified content displayed.


A limited number of location icons (flags) is provided with gbWorldClock. Feel free to add your own, but the icons must be 16x16. No special installation is required. Just place an icon in the "flags" subfolder and it is ready for use by gbWorldClock.

As noted in the discussion above on Location Data, the name of the icon is placed in at the end of each line of location data.

Context Menu

gbWorldClock uses a single context menu (right-mouse click) to display all of it's settings and actions.

Other Comments

Misecellaneous information is provided in this section.

When gbWorldClock starts, it opens to the same location and window size in effect when it was last closed. It does not reopen in minimized or maximized states.

INI File
gbWorldClock application settings are saved in an INI file, kept in the same folder as the gbWorldClock application.

Comments and suggestions are welcome!