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What do you call that effect?

Looks like this

enter image description here

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Fade background? – Ronald Swets Oct 28 '13 at 8:45
I think "gray out" - as you already mentioned, is used a lot. – w3dk Oct 28 '13 at 15:31
up vote 1 down vote accepted

It's known as the modal backdrop where you apply a fade in opacity to the backdrop like this example demonstrates.

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Indeed, this effect often appears for the background when a modal dialog is displayed. It is called a mask. This is the action to freeze the parent window.

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Its a popup window.

There are two types of window available one is modal and modeless window.

Modal Window : A modal dialog box requires the user to supply information, or cancel the dialog box, before allowing the application to continue. Applications use modal dialog boxes in conjunction with commands that require additional information before they can proceed.

eg: alert(),confirm(),we can create custom popup as modal window etc.

Modeless Window : A modeless dialog box allows the user to supply information and return to the previous task without closing the dialog box.

eg: information messages just appears and fade or the windows do not take whole control that means you can still access the parent window when the popup appears

Hope its make sense..

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This is not answering the question. The question is about the name of background effect. I think Clay Nichols knows what is a modal window (pop-up). – Zistoloen Oct 28 '13 at 8:31

The darkening of the background is the effect of applying a black overlay at 50% Opacity (default for modal dialogues). So the effect would be called '50% opaque', I guess.

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