Ventrilo - Overlay Setup

An Overlay is a mechanism by which the program can present data to the User on the display screen that normally would not be visible during situations such as when the User is playing a game in full screen mode.

At the current time Ventrilo uses an overlay technique called Hardware Overlay that requires support in the Operating System and in the Video Card drivers. For up-to-date information about supported Operating Systems, Video cards, Games and configuration techniques please visit the Overlay section of the Ventrilo web site.

The Setup -> Overlay window of the program allows the User to configure features relating to the Overlay support and the option to turn on or off the support entirely. The Bindings section of the program also has a function dedicated to real-time manipulation of the Overlay window. You can get more information about it from the Bindings Editor help page.

The Overlay display has 4 default pages (Status, Channel clients, Events, Global Chat). Each time a private chat session is opened to you a new page is dynamically created and added to the Overlay list. This page will remain intact until you close the normal window associated with the private chat session. If more than one session is open at any given time then each one will have its own unique page in the Overlay display. The title of the page will also include the name of the User that session applies to.

In order to switch between pages you will either have to rely on one of the trigger events to occur or setup a Bindings key to perform a "Next page" or "Previous Page". You should have at least one Page key and a Toggle Key to manually show/hide the Overlay.

The bindings editor Overlay function has an option to toggle the Overlay menu system. This feature can be extremely useful for client side administration of the server via the Overlay and general User interaction.

Enable Overlay Support (currently not available on Macintosh)

When checked this option enables the hardware features for the Overlay if your system is capable of supporting it. If you suspect that the Overlay is having an adverse effect on your system you can uncheck this option which will turn off all references to Hardware Overlay. This option defaults to unchecked (disabled).

Auto Open

When checked this option instructs the program to automatically open the overlay display each time you start the program or when you exit the Setup window. If this option is not checked then you will need to rely on one of the Popup events or an Overlay Bindings key to force the Overlay to become visible.

Vista on nVidia tweak to force display of overlay (Windows only)

This option is needed at the current time when your OS is Vista or Windows 7 (32 or 64bit) and your video card is based on an nVidia chipset. There seems to be a bug in the nVidia Vista drivers that prevents the Overlay from displaying or updating properly. This option will perform a little trick to get it to display and update, however the side effect is that the Overlay will seem to "twitch" every now and then. Hopefully nVidia will be able to fix the Vista driver problem with a future driver update at which time you can uncheck this feature.

Note: This option is not needed on XP with nVidia video cards nor is it needed on Vista when using ATI video cards.

Screen Location

This option allows you to select the default location on the screen where the Overlay should appear. This is either one of the four corners, one of the sides or the middle of the screen. The position can be changed real-time via an Overlay Bindings key. The Overlay can also be manually positioned via the overlay bindings option or from the main window popup menu.

Font Point Size

This option allows you to select a different font point size (the default is 8) for the overlay text. Keep in mind the larger the point size the larger the overlay will be.

Extra width (Pixels)

This option will increase the width of the Overlay by a maximum of 128 pixels. A value of 0 indicates no additional pixels should be added to the default width. The value must be entered in increments of 4 i.e. 0, 4, 8, 12, 16, etc...

Popup Timeout (Seconds)

This is the number of seconds that a normally hidden Overlay will be visible after one of the Popup triggers events occur. After the timeout has expired the Overlay will become hidden again until the next trigger event or Overlay binding key is pressed.

Status page options (Affects total size)

Each of these options will make the vertical size of the entire overlay taller. If you do not need one or more of these status displays then turning them off will reduce the vertical size of the Overlay. However, at least one of these options must be enabled for the overlay to work properly.

Connection / Channel / Xmit

When checked a portion of the Overlay status page will be set aside to display the current channel, connection status, ping and (XMIT) indicators.

Receiving from

When checked a portion of the Overlay status page will be set aside to display the names of those people that you are receiving a voice stream from.

Recent events

When checked a portion of the Overlay status page will be set aside to display recent event notifications such as when another client connects or disconnects, comments, etc.

Commanding messages

When checked a portion of the overlay status page will be set aside to display the most recent Commanding message sent by other Users.

Popup Triggers

For those Users that would prefer not to see the Overlay unless something important occurs you can enable one or more of the following events that would cause the Overlay display to become visible (popup). The User can also manually force the display to become visible via Bindings Overlay support.

Connection State Change

When the program connects to or disconnects from the server.

Voice Stream Start

When another User on the server starts broadcasting and you are an intended recipient of the voice stream. The Users name will appear in green when they are transmitting.

Voice Stream Stop

When another User on the server stops broadcasting and you were previously a recipient of their voice stream. The Users name will appear in magenta for a moment before being removed from display completely.

Recording State Change

When you press a Binding key to start or stop recording of the voice streams.

Mute Sound

When you enable or disable Mute Sound on the main window or use a Bindings key to perform the same action.

Mute Microphone

When you enable or disable the Mute Microphone on the main window or use a Bindings key to perform the same action.

Commanding Message

When someone sends a Commanding message to a target group of which you are a member.

Global Chat

When someone sends a text message via the Global Chat window.

Note: You must have your global chat window open in advance otherwise you will not receive global chat messages.

Private Chat

When another User opens a private chat session with you, they send you a private chat message, they close their side of the private chat session or they disconnect from the server while they had a private chat session currently open with you.

Error Message - Your video card does not support hardware video overlay (Windows Vista and later)

Ventrilo will insert the following registry key in the Current_User registry every time the Overlay is enabled.

Some Microsoft updates have been known to remove this entry. If manual editing the registry is needed to add the new key then follow the instructions below:

goto Start > Run > regedit

navigate down to the following key:


then add the following keys under Microsoft (right-click in the right-hand pane > new > key)

Direct3D > Shims > EnableOverlays

the whole path should look as follows:


then right-click in the right-hand pane > new > dword 32bit value

change the value name to :

C:\Program Files\VentriloPro\ventrilo.exe
(or your specific install location)

right-click on that name > modify > change 'value data' = 1

More information on this registry entry can be found here: