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Author Topic: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system  (Read 4035 times)

lifespurpose

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Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« on: May 12, 2012, 10:27:20 PM »
Idea for desktop menu
I had too many icons on my desktop so I created folders with names like "Writing" "Design" "Graphics" "Explore" etc, and threw the relevant icons into the folders. So now to open a program I open the folder and double-click on the app icon. (My most-used apps are on the QuickLaunch bar; these are less often used.) Still, double-clicking twice is more than I'd rather do, and the explorer windows are white background and spaced-out icons and a toolbar, and if I add anything I have to resize the folder window. Not very elegant. Therefore, if anyone can design the following, I would appreciate it: (or if it already exists, let me know)

The proposed app would allow, by rightclicking on the desktop, creation of "New App Group." This would place a new default App Group icon on the desktop (among those already there, if any), and open a box for defining the first app for the new group. An new group would just show a text box, an App... button, an Icon... button, and a Done button. Enter the group name in the box and browse for an app's exe file or a document associated with an app. Once selected, a new app button would appear above the edit box, with the app icon on the left and the app or file name on the right. Keep adding buttons until you have all you want, new ones pushing the stack up. Use the Icon... button to give the group a different icon if you want, then click Done. (Create your own icons in a different program.) The group icon will appear on the desktop with its name below it like a regular desktop item.

While in edit mode, if you want a different button appearance, right-click it and select "edit" (or "delete" if removing) which will open a screen with a text box, font selection, switch and background parameter areas, and a 'browse for icon' button. Put the new button name in the text box. Names can be at least 20 characters width and two lines height (perhaps automatically broken at the delimiter nearest to 20 characters). Button width would fit to the text plus the icon. The default button would have a white or gray background, but it can be made any color available and at least three levels of transparency: opaque, 50%, and transparent (=only the icon and the name will show above the desktop background). The text default would be whatever the standard desktop icons are using, but you can select a bigger or smaller font: whatever is available on the machine. If no icon is specified, only the text will show. Perhaps the background could use an image file, crammed into the button shape if not created to fit beforehand. If the background is an image then even the text could be omitted, but the button would not be allowed past a limited size, and the program would not allow blank transparent (invisible) buttons. Default to no border, but a sculpted border as an option.

The width of the buttons in a group would all be the same, fitted to the one with the most text. The height would be set by the icon size (usually all the same as well). Most groups should not contain more than 10 buttons for practical reasons, but if there are too many to fit on the screen vertically, they will roll over to another column. You could also specify a column break, so as to have say a 4x2 grid of buttons instead of a single column of 8. To move a button, drag it up or down; to send to another group, drag it to the other group icon. If the other group is open, you can drag it to the place in the stack you want, otherwise it adds to the bottom.

To use: at the desktop, double-click a group icon. A vertical stack of buttons will appear in the last position assigned (to reposition, grab a handle or corner and drag it, limited to visible desktop). Single click a button to invoke the app. The button stack will remain up behind the open app. To close the group click the small red X on the top button (there would be no border area outside the buttons). Right-click a button to edit it.

Since this resembles standard Windows menus in some ways, surely this can be done. I am not a programmer, so have no clue how. Also, I'd rather not have a huge and complex launch system with many features, just the simple one-purpose app-organizing system. Anybody like this idea?

MilesAhead

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2012, 01:03:26 AM »
I did roughly what you are doing now. Execpt eventually I got the icon folder off my desktop entirely. My folder of categorized shortcuts I named Apps and I moved it to Documents to hide it.

Apps.png

AppsFolders.png

I added the folders with customized icons to RocketDock

RDock.jpg


A subset of these shortcuts that I use very often I put in folders to make Taskbar stacks using StandAlone Stacks 2.  The screen shot below is the File Stack open to show the icons. One click launches in StandAlone Stacks.  Also if you prefer a single stack sticking up to Grid Mode it's just a checkbox to change the option.

Stack_File.jpg

When I click the left most yellow folder icon on the taskbar, I get the above grid of my file/folder utilities.

By having no icons on the desktop you avoid all that hassle of icons moving around when you change screen resolution or happen to hit Auto Arrange accidentally etc.. It's much less frustrating when the icons are not located on the desktop.  Also by doing it this way I can easily move my shortcut/folder setup to any system where the OS is on C:.  If Windows is on another drive letter it takes a bit of editing.  1/2 hour maybe to change the shortcut drive letters.


« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 01:11:25 AM by MilesAhead »

iphigenie

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2012, 02:36:49 AM »
My solution to this has been Stardock's Fences. Neat little app worth looking up

dmd7978

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2015, 06:35:44 AM »
Idea for desktop menu
I had too many icons on my desktop so I created folders with names like "Writing" "Design" "Graphics" "Explore" etc, and threw the relevant icons into the folders. So now to open a program I open the folder and double-click on the app icon. (My most-used apps are on the QuickLaunch bar; these are less often used.) Still, double-clicking twice is more than I'd rather do, and the explorer windows are white background and spaced-out icons and a toolbar, and if I add anything I have to resize the folder window. Not very elegant. Therefore, if anyone can design the following, I would appreciate it: (or if it already exists, let me know)

The proposed app would allow, by rightclicking on the desktop, creation of "New App Group." This would place a new default App Group icon on the desktop (among those already there, if any), and open a box for defining the first app for the new group. An new group would just show a text box, an App... button, an Icon... button, and a Done button. Enter the group name in the box and browse for an app's exe file or a document associated with an app. Once selected, a new app button would appear above the edit box, with the app icon on the left and the app or file name on the right. Keep adding buttons until you have all you want, new ones pushing the stack up. Use the Icon... button to give the group a different icon if you want, then click Done. (Create your own icons in a different program.) The group icon will appear on the desktop with its name below it like a regular desktop item.

While in edit mode, if you want a different button appearance, right-click it and select "edit" (or "delete" if removing) which will open a screen with a text box, font selection, switch and background parameter areas, and a 'browse for icon' button. Put the new button name in the text box. Names can be at least 20 characters width and two lines height (perhaps automatically broken at the delimiter nearest to 20 characters). Button width would fit to the text plus the icon. The default button would have a white or gray background, but it can be made any color available and at least three levels of transparency: opaque, 50%, and transparent (=only the icon and the name will show above the desktop background). The text default would be whatever the standard desktop icons are using, but you can select a bigger or smaller font: whatever is available on the machine. If no icon is specified, only the text will show. Perhaps the background could use an image file, crammed into the button shape if not created to fit beforehand. If the background is an image then even the text could be omitted, but the button would not be allowed past a limited size, and the program would not allow blank transparent (invisible) buttons. Default to no border, but a sculpted border as an option.

The width of the buttons in a group would all be the same, fitted to the one with the most text. The height would be set by the icon size (usually all the same as well). Most groups should not contain more than 10 buttons for practical reasons, but if there are too many to fit on the screen vertically, they will roll over to another column. You could also specify a column break, so as to have say a 4x2 grid of buttons instead of a single column of 8. To move a button, drag it up or down; to send to another group, drag it to the other group icon. If the other group is open, you can drag it to the place in the stack you want, otherwise it adds to the bottom.

To use: at the desktop, double-click a group icon. A vertical stack of buttons will appear in the last position assigned (to reposition, grab a handle or corner and drag it, limited to visible desktop). Single click a button to invoke the app. The button stack will remain up behind the open app. To close the group click the small red X on the top button (there would be no border area outside the buttons). Right-click a button to edit it.

Since this resembles standard Windows menus in some ways, surely this can be done. I am not a programmer, so have no clue how. Also, I'd rather not have a huge and complex launch system with many features, just the simple one-purpose app-organizing system. Anybody like this idea?

Everything you request can easily be done with Splinter... http://www.youtube.c...sM1K2GfM&t=3m43s

wraith808

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2015, 10:44:03 AM »
My solution to this has been Stardock's Fences. Neat little app worth looking up

+1

Find it at Stardock's Fences Site

Quote
Key Features

  • Create shaded areas to organize your desktop
  • Double click the desktop to hide or show icons
  • Define rules to organize your desktop icons
  • Swipe between multiple pages of fences
  • Create a desktop portal from any folder

FencesExample.pngWanted: better desktop icon grouping system

The fences on the left are actual icons.  The Newly Installed fence puts anything I install into that fence by default.  The fences on the right are portals into folders I have set up (I do it that way because I use it for quick launch bar also).  It can do more complicated things... but that's good enough for me.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2015, 11:12:33 AM by wraith808 »

app103

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2015, 12:47:54 PM »
I loaded the folders on my taskbar, and have been doing this since the Win98 days:

(Win7, classic theme)

Screenshot - 8_16_2015 , 1_44_54 PM.pngWanted: better desktop icon grouping system

wraith808

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2015, 01:43:44 PM »
^ but not everyone wants to be scared of their task bar :)

app103

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2015, 01:56:20 PM »
^ but not everyone wants to be scared of their task bar :)

It's for people that don't want to be scared of their desktop.  :)

Curt

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2015, 05:13:33 PM »
Everything you request can easily be done with Splinter... http://www.youtube.c...sM1K2GfM&t=3m43s
Quote from: YouTube
Content Warning

If the owner of this video has granted you access, please sign in

[This video is private]
2015-08-17_000052.png

 :tellme:

Curt

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2015, 05:48:47 PM »
I have no icons on the desktop, I keep them all in True Launch Bar [TLB].

TLB for Win 10 is in Beta. It's not yet pretty to look at on Win 10, but what is. An example: I had to make the Windows Taskbar icons smaller (in order to match the icons in TLB), but I would much prefer, if I could make the TLB icons just a little larger instead. Other than that, I have found no bugs / errors.

 
Quote from: TLB
beta version: 7.1.3 beta August 12, 2015

Jibz

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2015, 11:38:07 PM »
I have no icons on the desktop, I keep them all in True Launch Bar [TLB].

I stopped having icons on the desktop a couple of years ago as well, and started using FARR for launching programs.

4wd

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2015, 12:01:47 AM »
Everything you request can easily be done with Splinter... http://www.youtube.c...sM1K2GfM&t=3m43s
Quote from: YouTube
Content Warning

If the owner of this video has granted you access, please sign in

[This video is private]
(see attachment in previous post)
 :tellme:


 
CrystalXP.net forum post with some videos that don't require you to sign in to Youtube: Splinter - Anything can be Anything

wraith808

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2015, 10:00:03 AM »
Can someone explain it?  I'm not going to look at a video just to see about software...

lifespurpose

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2015, 11:12:24 AM »
From the original poster, lifespurpose: I was hoping for something dead simple to use and very clean/compact in appearance, with a desktop not entirely empty (it would still have the icons/buttons to invoke the grouped launch buttons/icons) but uncluttered. Unlike a task bar, the group icons/buttons could be positioned anywhere, like program icons.
I could do a crude version, I think, using Stickies (which can be rolled up to just a title bar), with each stickie having a list of links to the programs in it. But the links would be ugly text-only and likely quite long. If Stickies allowed links to be a descriptive short name (hiding the actual address) that would come closer.

wraith808

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2015, 12:30:26 PM »
I'm not sure whom that last post was aimed at.  I was asking for an explanation of Splinter.

As far as your specifications, fences does that.  Right click on desktop, drag the area to the desired size, and in the right click menu, create fence.  Then drop your icons there.

lifespurpose

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2015, 01:14:55 PM »
I was returning to the first post of the thread. I don't know anything about Splinter, went to their page and it looks complicated, far more than I need. As for fences, correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears to leave all your program icons showing, it just corrals them into groups set apart by shading. I want ONLY the group icons to show. Then when one is clicked, a compact pick list of PROGRAM (or document) icons and/or labelled buttons appears. Not an entire window of icons spaced far apart on a white background, as Windows explorer does. Really not a radical idea.

wraith808

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2015, 01:46:57 PM »
I was returning to the first post of the thread. I don't know anything about Splinter, went to their page and it looks complicated, far more than I need. As for fences, correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears to leave all your program icons showing, it just corrals them into groups set apart by shading. I want ONLY the group icons to show. Then when one is clicked, a compact pick list of PROGRAM (or document) icons and/or labelled buttons appears. Not an entire window of icons spaced far apart on a white background, as Windows explorer does. Really not a radical idea.

That is incorrect- you can see that from my simple use that it doesn't just space them apart, but allows you to set them where you wish.  You can create your own fences to show icons which can be clicked to launch said icon.  You can also use the fences to show a portal into a folder, or many folders.  You can hide them at will or show them by double clicking on the desktop.  You can also scroll the fences so that you scroll between pages, and auto organize or hide icons as they are created.  Quite a bit more than what you say; my uses were just not that complicated.  It, however, does not show folders as menus, other than in the actual fence in the case of a desktop portal, i.e. it drills down.  You can however, pair it with something like 7stacks or StandaloneStack so that each one invokes one of your stacks.

FencesExample2.pngWanted: better desktop icon grouping system

FencesExample3.pngWanted: better desktop icon grouping system

7StackDialog.pngWanted: better desktop icon grouping system

Some examples I whipped up quickly.  The only things that I've noticed is that (a) with 7stacks, it constrains the location of the popup to the bottom of the screen, and (b) with standalone stack, it actually runs a new version of the application for each stack opened.  They're small... but that's messy IMO>

Also for future reference, if you think the thread has gone off of what you want to ask or you want to add more, it might be clearer to just make a comment to add to the thread stating that you'd tried the options and what your results are and how they failed in that capacity.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2015, 02:30:27 PM by wraith808 »

Curt

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2015, 04:50:09 PM »
Can someone explain it?  I'm not going to look at a video just to see about software...

^seriously?

 :-[  

This is from dmd7978's first post about Splinter:

Quote from: dmd7978
Splinter is a real-time still imagery in motion desktop interface / super simple imagery based programming language, and the ultimate desktop customizer. It turns your desktop into Wonderland, where the impossible becomes possible, and it is only limited by the imagination.

It combines the 5 most commonly used desktop application functionality genres:

File Launcher, Icon Docking Station, Stack Docklet, Wallpaper Flipper, Visual Style Editor

in a unique way, giving it uniquely amazing abilities that have never been seen
Quote from: deviantart
http://deema78.deviantart.com/
... many people still haven't realized that NOTHING you see within a splinterface is "animation" There is no animation with Splinter. There is ONLY a STILL PNG IMAGE OPENING. It opens from one set of variables to another. It is called "splanime". Using the three sets of variables, you are able to make a still image opening appear as though it is pre-recorded / frame by frame animation.

This is key for two reasons. One, it means that everything is always and forever editable, simply by changing out the image or adjusting how it opens. Two, because since they are "just" still images, they are no different than any other "icon" (either standard desktop icons or a 3rd party dock icon). Meaning that they are able to be hotlinked just like any other "image"/icon
Quote from: dmd7978
Hi. Thanks again for the reply. Yes, absolutely, splinter can do exactly what you ask, it just does it "differently". I would gladly create/show how/or anything else for ANY specific request or question, it just needs to be asked.
Quote
Re: Splinter go here to read dmd7978's thorough and enthusiastic answer to me.
I genuinely don't know what to make of this (Splinter).

Splinter claims to be a revolutionary new way to interact with Windows. It's a visually rich launcher, I guess, with a massive amount of (allegedly) simple ways to customise things.

I've been trying to persuade the author to add some words to the many, many pictures on his site but he seems to be struggling to clearly communicate the features, benefits and so forth of Splinter without getting, well, so deep into what you can do and how easy it is that you lose track fast.

oh no, videos just about software!

All About Splinter




Splinter Icon Dock Tutorial



wraith808

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2015, 08:24:27 PM »
Can someone explain it?  I'm not going to look at a video just to see about software...

^seriously?

 :-[ 


Seriously.  When someone just drops a video, says this satisfies your needs, doesn't include a link to the software site.... yeah, I skip it.  The only reason I even asked was that it came up again.

Curt

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2015, 01:52:41 AM »
half of my "seriously?" was because I found it unlikely that you didn't remember Splinter. The author got quite some attention 3 years ago when he launched Splinter here on DonationCoder's forum - some of it because he talked like an lifestyle advert, instead of a pedagogic instructor - and some of it because it was (is!) very difficult for him to explain what the program actually does. His homepage: http://spli-stuff.blogspot.co.uk/

modified:
Oh, of course: His program is a system for grouping the desktop icons.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2015, 01:58:44 AM by Curt »

wraith808

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2015, 10:55:18 AM »
half of my "seriously?" was because I found it unlikely that you didn't remember Splinter. The author got quite some attention 3 years ago when he launched Splinter here on DonationCoder's forum - some of it because he talked like an lifestyle advert, instead of a pedagogic instructor - and some of it because it was (is!) very difficult for him to explain what the program actually does. His homepage: http://spli-stuff.blogspot.co.uk/

modified:
Oh, of course: His program is a system for grouping the desktop icons.


Unlikely as it is, I didn't, and even with your prompting, still don't.  I don't read everything on the forums.  I go to the show unread posts view... and if there's too many, in many cases just blindly mark them read.  I figure if it's something i want to see, it will come up again.  And I just don't have the time to read everything.

Ath

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2015, 12:09:32 PM »
it was (is!) very difficult for him to explain what the program actually does. His homepage: http://spli-stuff.blogspot.co.uk/
All I can find on that site is a cr#$@load of videos. Not even a simple feature-list :o
I'm also in that camp of ppl that shy away "if there's no text describing what it does, it must be unworthy looking any further" :down:

MilesAhead

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Re: Wanted: better desktop icon grouping system
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2015, 01:01:16 PM »
it was (is!) very difficult for him to explain what the program actually does. His homepage: http://spli-stuff.blogspot.co.uk/
All I can find on that site is a cr#$@load of videos. Not even a simple feature-list :o
I'm also in that camp of ppl that shy away "if there's no text describing what it does, it must be unworthy looking any further" :down:

What I hate are those videos that claim to tell you how to get the Pro version of some software.  You watch the video and the guy goes to the web site of the software and downloads the free trial.  Gee I would have never thought of that!   :down: