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Author Topic: IDEA: Add "Notes" tab to File/Folder Properties, right after Customize...  (Read 6511 times)

olamoree

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There was once a nifty proggy that did that but it has disappeared after the author abandoned it.  It added a Notes Tab to the screen when you click on Properties.  In that page I was delighted to write WHERE I found the download/file, the DATE I installed it, HOW it worked for me and why or why not it was uninstalled (and still had the Notes Tab altho in the Recycle Bin).  It was a large enough page to make NOTES, preserve any Passwords or Serial Numbers associated with the Program like even short instructions or Notes for a File where I could note names, phone numbers, email address, etc.  Yes, I KNOW I could set up a TEXT file to go along with the other file(s) and then have to make a Folder for both of them but it would be so much nicer to be able to have it in the Properties pop up Tab.  I am not a programmer but if I was, I would be on this like fast!  And even as Shareware it would go for say, $5....for up to Win7.... Thanks for reading....

MilesAhead

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Are you running 32 bit or 64 bit Windows?

If 32 bit, you can install TipOff
http://www.favessoft.com/tipoff.html

I no longer have it accessible in the menus on my page because I have moved to a hotkey based download comment program. But if you like a small edit box where you can type in comments, this supports about 4000 characters or so... at least for ANSI.

The screen shot you see on the web page shows the ToolTip behavior that gave the program its name.  But in the Comment Tab of the Properties Page you get a standard Edit Box control.

You right click a file, click Properties, and you'll see a Comment Tab.
It's an Explorer shell extension.  For that reason it does not work in 64 bit Windows.

screenshot005.png
« Last Edit: October 31, 2011, 10:08:37 PM by MilesAhead »

MilesAhead

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Here's a screen shot of the Edit Box in the Comment Tab. It's an old screen shot.  I started doing these Comment shell extensions about 10 years ago.  I have no longer any desire to redo them as 64 bit.  They worked, but Windows doesn't really serve up the comment in snappy fashion. It's just kind of a clunky way to get to it. Even with the ToolTip there was a lag between mouse hover and the tool tip display.


Comment.gif

MilesAhead

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Another approach, run TreePadGen on your download folder. It will generate a TreePad file that you can use with TreePadLite. Basically every file name is a node in that folder with an empty comment.  Click a node, type or paste a comment on the right side.

Since I've been doing this over 10 years I've come to the conclusion there's no really really good way to do it from the outside. It should really be a function of the file system.

In any case, you can download TreePadGen from this page:
http://www.favessoft.com/downloads.html


olamoree

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Thanks Miles, TipOff works just like I hoped and in fact, I have used it now in about 5 files that needed descriptions and sources!  It works in FILES but not in FOLDERS so I am going to play around with TreePadGen and see if that is what I need for FOLDERS.  Yes, I am running 32bit Win7U.  Again, thanks a lot for your help and I will return the favor...

MilesAhead

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Glad you found it useful.  :)

db90h

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Agreed on necessity for the need for such an app, but it needs to be more accessible, as in a shell (explorer) extension that allows for viewing and editing comments right there in the explorer folder view. I often make a file that contains notes in the filename, using a special char to make sure, when sorted ascending alphabetically, it is at the top.

MilesAhead

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Agreed on necessity for the need for such an app, but it needs to be more accessible, as in a shell (explorer) extension that allows for viewing and editing comments right there in the explorer folder view. I often make a file that contains notes in the filename, using a special char to make sure, when sorted ascending alphabetically, it is at the top.

That's why I abandoned the Shell Extension approach entirely.  It's too much hassle to get at the property page tab. I haven't tried file managers that have comment functionality built in.  So I don't know how it is to use one. But I know from themes and other Explorer modification things I've tried that it's not the fun way to go.  You get down to that low a level and everything will change with the next Windows flavor.  That's why themes that modify Explorer are all keyed to OS version and service pack level.

Not to mention that every compile cycle you have to kill Explorer to make it let go of the file before you can recompile. It's just a nightmare to no gain.

When I first started doing this it was for Win98.  The fact that what you suggest hasn't been done in all these years indicates there's no good way to do it.

But if someone wants to sponsor research I'd gladly take another go for a $10,000 stipend.

db90h

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But if someone wants to sponsor research I'd gladly take another go for a $10,000 stipend.

As a low-level Windows programmer myself -- So would I, lol ;). In fact, I'll take $9,000 ;p

db90h

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Joking aside, which I assume you were joking about a $10k sponsor, as I've been doing things wrong if those are common...

The explorer COM based extension interface has become increasingly robust, and I have not had a need to study it, but I did see an application that demonstrated functionality similar to what would be required here to put it in the folder view instead of properties... suggesting it might be possible, though maybe require a bit of creative thinking.

MilesAhead

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Re: IDEA: Add "Notes" tab to File/Folder Properties, right after Customize...
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2011, 11:13:30 PM »
Why would I joke about being paid for my work?

Apparently all the COM wizards out there aren't very creative.  After all, they haven't thought creatively enough to implement such a simple thing in 13 years.

When you find one let me know. I may use it myself.

« Last Edit: November 02, 2011, 11:21:41 PM by MilesAhead »

db90h

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Re: IDEA: Add "Notes" tab to File/Folder Properties, right after Customize...
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2011, 07:31:56 AM »
If you get paid for your work up front, then someone else owns that work, I assume. Except in rare cases I suppose, or if you are taking out a bank loan (which is not being paid up front, that's a loan you pay back).

And I wasn't insulting anyone. In previous post I used a lot of maybes, mights, and mays so things couldn't be taken wrong, but I guess they somehow were. Note that I recently have made a few people not so happy with my comments about how our society seems so reluctant to pay for software, if you think I was saying paying for dev was wrong. Dunno, you just seem grumpy.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2011, 08:00:33 AM by db90h »

db90h

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Re: IDEA: Add "Notes" tab to File/Folder Properties, right after Customize...
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2011, 07:45:37 AM »
Anyway, you don't really want to be that guy saying things are impossible do you? As you surely know, almost everything is possible - one way or another. The fact that nobody has gotten it done in this world where nobody likes to pay for software is not really that surprising ;).

olamoree

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Re: IDEA: Add "Notes" tab to File/Folder Properties, right after Customize...
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2011, 08:52:46 AM »
Sort of OT, but valid observations, nevertheless.  And just WHAT has happened in the past to make people reluctant to PAY for software?  Is it because some may feel that that they are being exploited?  Is it because in order to have an OS, the pricing has made someone one of the richest persons in the world?  Is it because a person may want to use an "expensive" proggy just a few times and it works out to be too expensive per use?  Then just WHAT is it that moves a person to NOT want to pay for software?  It will surely be more difficult for the programmer to figure that out.

I, for instance, was always amazed at the asking price for designing/setting up a web site... $1,000?  Get real.  Then I started dabbling in making a site of my own and WOW! what an ordeal and what a lot of time it takes and what a lot of knowledge is required to make it come out right.  I recall in the mid '90's that a guy I knew made $100/hour doing Photoshop as a freelancer and I was impressed... but his investment in study and practice was mind-boggling... he earned every penny and altho "just" a programmer, he prolly had the education investment that an engineer or doctor might require.  So unless you have been down that road, it is difficult for the average person to understand the amount of work involved in "creation" where the results are saleable.  Of course now it has evolved that you pay full retail up front for a proggy, OS's are the most obvious example, and it is like buying a car with lots "missing" parts that you are "allowed" to acquire a few pieces at a time over the ensuing years, even having to replace some of those parts time and time again because the piece you "updated" caused other problems.  And finally, while they are dishing out parts to make your car more complete (when not counting their money), they are working on a new "model" and you are STILL struggling to get your original purchase altogether in one piece... then you must abandon it, buy the NEW model and spend the next few years acquiring parts for it.  That really DOES encourage piracy.  And the more useful and easy to use and productive programs are priced for "corporate consumption" and in many cases beyond the economic reach of Joe Blow.   So the logic is like music piracy... sure, it took a LOT of effort and talent and investment to make that first CD, but jeeeeez, why does the 5th million CD cost the same as the first one when all it did was sit in a CD reproducer for a second or two?  The logic then is sure, the first one may have cost a million, but number 5 million couldn't have cost more than 50-cents with the case.... and then the logic is "I would rather steal it than pay the $18.95 for a 50 cent CD.'

So guys, we KNOW who the heroes are but it may be hard to separate them from the rest. 

Back to topic.  "TipOff" does the job and well enough that I don't mind having to R click Properties and then Comment Tab to make my Notes... true, there could be an easier and faster way to make Comments but while there is no proggy to do it, I am satisfied with TipOff even tho it doesn't work on Folders... yet.  (But I AM put off by recalling the Comments that I have already made and find them highlighted which means that if I don't click first to UNhighlight my previous Comments, they disappear with the first key stroke of additional Comments! as if Comment REPLACEMENT was the idea.)  Thanks again for the help and the discussion.

 

MilesAhead

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Re: IDEA: Add "Notes" tab to File/Folder Properties, right after Customize...
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2011, 04:54:51 PM »
@olamoree I'm glad you like TipOff.  It's been awhile since I looked at the Property Page stuff.  It may help a bit that you can highlight a file, then press Alt-Enter to open Properties instead of having to right click the mouse.

I did have some code to open to the particular tab. I'm trying to find it to see if it's adaptable to a hotkey or some easier way to open that Properties Tab.

Edit: I found the code I was using but it doesn't really do much to make it worth running as a hotkey.  Alt-Enter instead of right click is best I can do for now.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2011, 06:03:13 PM by MilesAhead »

MilesAhead

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Re: IDEA: Add "Notes" tab to File/Folder Properties, right after Customize...
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2011, 11:37:05 PM »
@olamoree I found some code on AutoIt3 forum that can open a tab in the property page for a file.  Could you try it out?

You can download AutoIt3 here:
http://www.autoitscr...te/autoit/downloads/


What should happen is the Property Page for notepad.exe should be open to the Comment Tab when you run it.  That's all it does. You'll see a black round icon in the Task Tray. Just right click and click Exit to kill the test program. As soon as the program that opened the Property Page stops running, the Property Page will close.  That's why I plan to implement it as a hotkey sitting in the Tray.  if it works you can set it up to start with Windows.


If it works you can just select file(s) in Explorer and hit the hotkey. All the selected files should open Property Page to the Comment tab.  I tried the function on my Windows 7 machine and it seems to work ok.

If you don't have or wish to download AutoIt3 to run the test script let me know and I can compile it to exe.  That's no problem.

I just want to make sure it works for you before adding hotkey stuff.

Global Const $SHOP_PRINTERNAME=1    ; $sObjName = printer friendly name
Global Const $SHOP_FILEPATH=2       ; $sObjName = full pathname to file
Global Const $SHOP_VOLUMEGUID=4     ; $sObjName = Drive Path ("C:\") or Volume GUID ("\\?\Volume\{2eca078d-5cbc-43d3-aff8-7e8511f60d0e}\)")

$notepad = @WindowsDir & "\notepad.exe"
$tab = "Comment"

If Not _FILEPropertiesDialog($notepad,$tab) Then
MsgBox(0x1010,"","Open Property Page for Notepad Failed!")
EndIf

While 1
WEnd

Func _FILEPropertiesDialog($sObjName,$sPropPage="",$iObjType=0x02,$hWnd=0)
    Local $sPropPageType="ptr"
    If IsString($sPropPage) And $sPropPage<>"" Then
        $sPropPageType="wstr"
    Else
        $sPropPage=0
    EndIf
    Local $aRet=DllCall("shell32.dll","bool","SHObjectProperties","hwnd",$hWnd,"dword",$iObjType,"wstr",$sObjName,$sPropPageType,$sPropPage)
    If @error Then Return SetError(2,@error,False)
    If Not $aRet[0] Then Return SetError(3,0,False)
    Return True
EndFunc


MilesAhead

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Re: IDEA: Add "Notes" tab to File/Folder Properties, right after Customize...
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2011, 09:17:36 PM »
I hacked together this little tray hotkey in case it comes in handy.  You can select one or more files in Explorer, then press Control F6 to display the Property Page for them all at once.  By default it tries to set the Tab to the Comment tab. You can change the tab it tries to open using the Tray Menu. If the tab specified doesn't exist there's no error. The default tab is displayed(usually General).

If you select several files give it a few seconds.  The property page dialogs will appear, then it will try to space them across the screen.  The Property dialogs may jump around a bit until it's done. :)

You can use the Tray Menu or edit the .ini file to change the hotkey.
Double click the Tray Icon to get an About Box.  That pretty much is all the usage info needed.

If you try to change the hotkey and there's an error, you'll get an error message, then it will try to go back to the previous hotkey. If that also fails, another error message then the program will quit since there's no way to use it until a valid hotkey is specified.  To revert to the defaults just delete the .ini file while the program is not running.

Here's a zip with the exe. Just unzip to and empty folder. Only thing it creates is PropPage.ini in the same folder as the exe.


MilesAhead

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Re: IDEA: Add "Notes" tab to File/Folder Properties, right after Customize...
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2011, 01:36:17 PM »
I tried Alt Enter in Windows Seven and it seems if you have several files selected in Explorer, it only opens one Property Page.  Therefore it's conceivable PropPage may be generally useful(perhaps to open several folders share settings or whatever.) For this reason I've uploaded it to my site's Hotkeys Page.

See included Readme but all info needed for usage is displayed in About Box.