If you have a multimedia keyboard with separate keys for controlling the system volume, then you would be disappointed with Windows 7 because it does not display volume level like Windows 8 or Ubuntu Linux does, when you control volume using your keyboard. This feature can be added in Windows 7 using a third party application called 3VRX. It is a free program that can display volume level as you press the volume up, volume down or volume mute keys on your keyboard.
You can download 3VRX from the website of its developer Matthew Malensek. The download is available in form of a setup installer. The downloaded file is of around 2 megabytes in size. The program is written using Microsoft .NET 2.0 which is already present in Windows 7. After the installation of 3VRX is over, it automatically launches the program and adds a notification area icon.
You can right-click on the 3VRX notification area (system tray) icon and select Settings to open its settings. You need to configure it to respond to the volume up, volume down and volume mute keys of your keyboard. To do so, select the Hotkeys tab, select an action from the list and then click on the button next to Key Combination. Then press the volume control key on your keyboard for that action. For example, press volume mute key on your keyboard for Mute action, volume up key for Volume Up action, etc.
Both Ubuntu Linux and Windows 8 display the volume level near the top-right corner of your screen. If you want 3VRX to imitate that behavior, then select the Display tab in the Settings window. Under the Position section, choose Custom Position and type the value of Y to be 50. Type value of X to be approximately your screen resolution width minus 250. For example, my screen resolution is 1368×768, so I set X to be 1100. This would display the volume indicator near the top-right corner of your screen.
That’s it, you do not have to change any other settings. You can click on the Save button to save the settings. Now you can press the volume control keys on your keyboard and see the volume level indicator popup on your screen. Although, you can change the skins for 3VRX in the settings, but I suggest you to keep the default skin as it is more elegant and mixes well with the Windows 7 look.
The 3VRX project brings on-screen volume level indicator to Windows 7 (also to Windows Vista and XP). It allows you to add multiple hotkeys to control the volume either through your keyboard (even if it is not multimedia keyboard) or through your mouse. It has many skins if you want to customize the look and feel of the indicator.
You can download 3VRX from http://matthew.malensek.net/projects/.