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Last post Author Topic: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool  (Read 9249 times)

Stef

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IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« on: April 13, 2014, 05:53:47 PM »
Hello there.

My name is Stefanos i'm a designer and i work with way too many files. I always use the desktop as the main place to temporary put my files cause it's the easiest to do and it's always at the same place.After done working with my project i clean my desktop and organize my files inside the appropriate folders.
All this is too much and i always find myself with a hell of a desktop.

I'm am trying to find a way that the desktop of windows represents a user specified folder of any of my disks and with an tray icon that i can change this folder with just a click to anything i want including the "official" /Desktop.
But i want this to be clean and fast. (ex. not copying pasting files as it uses to much resources)

1st way. The one way i think is someone with the technical skills to make a tool that just fulls windows to show any specified desktop (which as i understand is a full screen explorer window) folder.

2nd way. And the second way (a bit messier ) is to lock a full screen explorer window on the bottom of the Z order on windows

A mock up that i made (cause images are better than letters)
desktop_tool.jpgIDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool

I found those forums searching for the solution to my problem and of what i saw you might be the ones that know how to do this thing.

thank you all for your time
I posted this probably on the wrong forum so i moved it here

Target

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2014, 07:53:24 PM »
what about soemthing like fences?

2 different versions that I know of

Stardock Fences, or

Tago Fences

Stef

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2014, 08:02:58 PM »
I've tried everything from rocketdock to fences etc, but nothing seems to really work clean and great. i end up again with a messy workflow :/, Those tools allow you to make "groups" but i want the entire window to show just one folder, be stable and clean..

rgdot

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2014, 08:18:51 PM »
Is StandaloneStack http://www.chrisnsof....com/standalonestack closer to what you need?

Stef

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2014, 09:33:43 PM »
Thank you rgdot and Target for your answers but i'm searching for a way to display all the content of one specified folder to the desktop, as if it was the desktop contents displayed. Not just an app launcher or a folder launcher. Fences only gets close to what i want but its laggy and not designed for that particular use,  (easily changing the displaying folder)

Target

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2014, 10:15:35 PM »
but at least we've ruled a couple of things out :Thmbsup:

can we assume that you want something like the fences functionality, ie separating and confining the folder icons to a certain area of the desktop?

rgdot

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2014, 10:49:37 PM »
Sorry for misunderstanding, however StandaloneStack does take a user specified folder and shows its content in a 'grid' on the desktop

Target

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2014, 02:02:46 AM »
curious to know how many files we're talking here as well (10, 100, 1000?)

Stef

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2014, 08:03:40 AM »
Quote
can we assume that you want something like the fences functionality, ie separating and confining the folder icons to a certain area of the desktop?
-No i just want all the desktop to show the contents of one folder that i choose each time

Quote
Is StandaloneStack http://www.chrisnsof....com/standalonestack closer to what you need?
 however StandaloneStack does take a user specified folder and shows its content in a 'grid' on the desktop
-It's at the right direction i would say, but not at all a professional workflow tool.. i don't have the flexibility that real windows explorer gives me and i cant change the path easy.. I have to make many different launchers for each folder path but that's not what i really want (see above answer)

Again thank you for your time :)

Quote
curious to know how many files we're talking here as well (10, 100, 1000?)
-@Target As you see on my screenshot those are the files/folders (not all of them actually) produced during the last week's projects. After I reach my first milestone I organize them, but while working is easiest for me having access to all my current files/projects etc on the desktop (Tried too many times to organize them progressively as i work but no efficiency there too)

PS(The screenshot of my desktop isn't at all organised cause every time my system crashes you know... )
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 08:27:54 AM by Stef »

Stef

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2014, 08:24:10 AM »
*Bump*

AbteriX

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2014, 09:29:39 AM »
If I where you,
I would have one folder on my desktop
full of hardlinks (junctions) to these other folders.

So if I need to see the content of one special folder,
I just would click at that hardlink.
(and those folder each would have a hardlink back to desktop folder.

But in real I would just use a good file manager ;-)

MilesAhead

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2014, 10:40:41 AM »
This claims to allow desktop folder change in Windows Seven.

I didn't find the registry key in Windows Eight. I don't have W7 anymore to see if it is there as noted in the article.

Stef

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2014, 12:48:30 PM »
@MilesAhead
I found This for wndows 8, i'll be glad if this helps..

But i want a tool to easy & simple change this path whenever i want (and maybe some sort of Favorites system :) )
« Last Edit: April 17, 2014, 12:59:18 PM by Stef »

MilesAhead

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2014, 03:16:20 PM »
If that guide works then it shouldn't be difficult to have a bunch of existing folders.  The program would let you select a folder and change the Registry value to point to it.  Then it would kill all copies of Explorer. In fact I have a program that pops up a list of folders near the mouse.  When you click a folder it just opens it.  I may be able to adapt it so the chosen folder is made the desktop folder.

I'll try out the concept tomorrow.

skwire

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2014, 12:24:19 AM »
I have some working proof-of-concept code that can switch the desktop and doesn't require a logoff.  I need to play with it a bit more, though.  Stay tuned.

skwire

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2014, 01:02:09 AM »
So, I have a working script but there is at least one caveat to this desktop folder switching like you want and that is the icon positions are not saved when switching the desktop from folder to folder.  How important is this to you?

Stef

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2014, 06:41:36 AM »
Quote
If that guide works then it shouldn't be difficult to have a bunch of existing folders.  The program would let you select a folder and change the Registry value to point to it.  Then it would kill all copies of Explorer. In fact I have a program that pops up a list of folders near the mouse.  When you click a folder it just opens it.  I may be able to adapt it so the chosen folder is made the desktop folder.

I'll try out the concept tomorrow.

That's nice i'm waiting for your results..



I have some working proof-of-concept code that can switch the desktop and doesn't require a logoff.  I need to play with it a bit more, though.  Stay tuned.

Yeyyy that's realy Great

So, I have a working script but there is at least one caveat to this desktop folder switching like you want and that is the icon positions are not saved when switching the desktop from folder to folder.  How important is this to you?

If everything works i'm happy with whatever you are able to produce.. it would be cool to save the position or to select the "sort by" option but whatever you find easy and worth of producing is acceptable, Thank you all for your time spent in my project :D

IainB

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2014, 08:33:50 AM »
Have you considered using something like Windows Sysinternals Desktops?
It's quite nifty. I have used it for similar purposes in the past. I have not used the latest (2012) version 2.0 though.

Stef

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2014, 09:41:15 AM »
Have you considered using something like Windows Sysinternals Desktops?
It's quite nifty. I have used it for similar purposes in the past. I have not used the latest (2012) version 2.0 though.


All the virtual desktops that i've checked are heavy and have problems with dual monitor setup & alt-Tabing, you can create up to a number ( lets say 4 ) and the most of then don't remember the files and where put them.. If the tool crashes you will end up with a hell of a desktop combining icon of all the 4 virtual desktops.

Some of them seem great at the start but as i use them i end up getting frustrated and uninstalling them,

I'll check this one too and tell you my feedback though. 
PS(my current laptop/workstation is a beast, i7 3630QM 2.40 , 16gb Ram , GTX 670M, SSD  )


MilesAhead

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2014, 09:45:13 AM »
Skwire has the switching under control.  If your Windows is 32 bit this old Icon Position Save/Restore I did years ago may still work.  Simce it's a shell extension for 32 bit it won't work on x64.  Also it's not tested on multimonitor.



Stef

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2014, 09:51:50 AM »
Skwire has the switching under control.  If your Windows is 32 bit this old Icon Position Save/Restore I did years ago may still work.  Simce it's a shell extension for 32 bit it won't work on x64.  Also it's not tested on multimonitor.

Hmm yeap, i think something like thi one solves the problem of the unexpected moving icons.. & in combination with the upcoming Skwire's tool i'll be sooooo cool
Unfortunately i'm on a x64 PC , but i think there are many similar tools out there.. 

Stef

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2014, 09:59:03 AM »
Guys Thank you again sooo much for your efford here, If this tool works as i expect i'm willing to make the graphics/ logo and everything to spread it as a "Pro" tool, and some gifts to you like my upcoming windows phone/android/ios  game
(this tool will help me work better and faster after all :) )

MilesAhead

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2014, 10:45:24 AM »

Quote
Hmm yeap, i think something like thi one solves the problem of the unexpected moving icons.. & in combination with the upcoming Skwire's tool i'll be sooooo cool
Unfortunately i'm on a x64 PC , but i think there are many similar tools out there.. 

Yeah.  Most adapted Jeffrey Richter's code same as I did.  I would look for one that computes the positions as percentages of the resolution.  That way you are not forced to do a save for each screen resolution.  At least that technique should work going from low to high res as long as the aspect is roughly the same.

I got so fed up with desktop icons I reduced them to 3.  A folder that acts as a Toolbar.  Recycle Bin, and one for the volume mixer.  All the rest are in the toolbar/folder.  It saves a lot of grief.  I could replace the Volume Mixer shortcut with a hotkey.  But I write so many hotkey utilities I have trouble remembering all the key combinations.  :)

skwire

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2014, 01:47:59 PM »
Stef, do you have AutoHotkey installed?

skwire

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Re: IDEA: Windows desktop productivity tool
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2014, 06:20:57 PM »
Here's an alpha build:  DesktopFolderSwitcher.zip

Usage:

  • Right-click the tray icon and choose the "Edit desktop paths" entry to add your own folder paths.
  • One folder path per line.
  • Add a blank line to put a separator in the menu.
  • Click save and then right-click the menu again.
  • Your configured paths should now be in the menu.
  • Choose one to switch your desktop icons to the path selected.

Some notes:

  • Obviously, this is still mostly a proof-of-concept.  Stuff should work, mostly work, or not work at all.   :P
  • No validity checking of those folders paths is currently performed.  Make sure they're valid.
  • When the program is first run, it saves the current desktop path and adds that path at the top of the menu.  This way, you should be able to easily go back to your default desktop path at any time.
  • No icon position saving.  I'm really really NOT interested in adding this functionality.

Tested on W7/64.  If anybody tries this, please let me know how it works (or doesn't) for you.  Please include your OS as well.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2014, 07:50:43 PM by skwire »