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Subliminal messages are an interesting beast. We’ve all heard conspiracy theories about how popular movies, songs, or other media sneak subliminal messages into their content, but any computer user can utilize them, too.
Whether you want to train your unconscious mind while you work, perform a study on whether these messages have an effect, or just play a few pranks on your friends’ computers, here’s how you can add some subliminal message text to Windows.
Mind of a Winner — Subliminal Messages
This free software, available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, comes from a site dedicated to helping people become more motivated and learning to be successful. Because of this, you’ll find that this software is more oriented towards those looking to accomplish a specific goal, like losing weight, quitting smoking, or developing a better self-image.
Note that you must enter your email address to start using this program (though nothing is stopping you from using a throwaway email account) — the company allows you to unsubscribe from their email at any time, though, so you don’t have to worry about email spam.
Once you’ve got the program installed, you’ll be greeted with its main window. It’s not much to look at, but the app does a nice job of breaking its messages into categories. On the leftmost side of this first tab, you can select a broad category for messages, like Personal Development, Skills, or Love and Relationships. These break into sub-categories and finally individual messages. If these pre-built notifications don’t fit your needs, you can also use the Custom messages category to set your own.
The second tab allows you to add Pictures to the mix. This feature doesn’t make as much sense as the text messages since images could be distracting, so unless you want to specifically train yourself using pictures, it’s probably best left disabled.
Finally, you can change how the messages work in the Settings tab. From here, you can decide how often a message flashes on the screen (every 1-8 seconds), how long each message stays on the screen, and where the message appears on the screen. If you’d like to change the font or color, that’s supported here, too. The app should work just fine on the default settings, so give it a shot before you tweak options here.
Free Subliminal Text (FST)
Free Subliminal Text by Richard Warburton is a similar program, but does enough things differently that it’s worth a look if you found Mind of a Winner’s software unsuitable to your needs. You can download the latest version of FST for free — it’s a .zip archive, not an installer, so you’ll need to extract it using a free utility like 7-Zip.
Twitter wants me to follow the NSA now. Ha. If I want to talk to those guys, I'll do it the right way: via subliminal messages in my Gmail.
— Brosephine Wires (@JoParkerBear) April 2, 2016
Note that this software requires Java to be installed, so if you’ve dumped Java due to its insecurity, you won’t be able to use this program. If you really want to use it in spite of this, you can install Java but prevent its plugin from running in your browser, which is where the problems occur.
Once you’ve opened FST, you can customize how its messages appear in the Options tab. Of course, the font, font color, and font size can all be changed, but the option to reverse words or letters inside a word is also available for some odd reason. If you’d like the messages to be less subliminal, you can edit the opacity (Alpha). In addition, you can choose how long each message will appear on the screen, and how long will pass in between message flashes.
One of the biggest differences with FST from Mind of a Winner is the ability to restrict the “random” placement of the text. By default, both the X and Y locations are random — I found this to be really distracting as “Test Message” bounced around my screen while writing these few paragraphs, so I wouldn’t recommend this.
However, you can hold one axis constant while randomizing the other — so if you want the message to always be on the left side of the screen, but don’t care if it switches between the top, center, and bottom, you can do that. If you need to, you can also change the margins of the messages.
Once you’ve done this, the only thing left to do is add some messages. You can add from some pre-filled categories like Social, Love, and Health; if these aren’t enough, you can double-click any message in your collection to edit it. If you’d like to see messages in the same order every time, you can enable the Sequential option in the drop-down box, but Random is probably better so things don’t get stale.
I'm gonna make all my students 1D fans by constantly playing their songs using low volume. It'll be like a subliminal message, right?
— emily & paige (@1D_HereToStay) April 8, 2016
Overall, FST doesn’t feel quite as polished as Mind of a Winner, and the fact that it requires Java is a shame. However, if you like the randomization of messages on your screen instead of them being in the same place every time, it’s worth a look.
Subliminal message software is worth a shot if you’re looking to improve your thoughts and be less negative. Of course, running some software for a few days isn’t going to change your life, but it could contribute to some healthy improvements. It’s not for everyone — you could find the constantly flashing text distracting (I did while writing this) or might just want to mess around with your friends by flashing stupid messages once every minute on their screen.
With free software, it’s worth a shot. By customizing your own messages, you can remind yourself of whatever you’d like. If you’d like to think outside the box, you could try using FST to show a single message for a few seconds every few minutes instead of constantly flashing stuff all over the screen. That way, it’s more intentional and you can work on one thing at a time.
Are you new to these concepts? Learn more about where to start with our beginner’s guide to self-improvement.
What do you think of subliminal messages as a training tool? Let us know if you tried either of these programs and what you think below!