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Author Topic: IDEA: slim folder menus on taskbar (not in system tray)  (Read 9888 times)

Nod5

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IDEA: slim folder menus on taskbar (not in system tray)
« on: January 08, 2007, 06:14:15 AM »
In Win XP it is possible to add menus to the taskbar that displays any folder and all its subfolders and -files.
I use that feature a lot for very quick access to C:.

The only downside with the built in feature is that it wastes taskbar space for no good reason:
- the "arrow" that opens the menu is 1cm to the right of the label (could be above it)
- for root drives, XP forces the text "(C:)" to the right of the drive's name.

a.png

I have three harddrives and would ideally like to have a menu for each drive's root folder plus one more folder but refrain because it wastes too much taskbar space.

So my idea is this:

A tool that retains all the built in features for taskbar menus but that decreases the taskbar space for each menu.

Here's how I imagine it:

b.png



Clarification 1: there are several small apps that allow customizable menus from a tray icon. LaunchBarCommander , http://www.donationc...Commander/index.html is one example. But I very much prefer a menu on the taskbar area to the left of the tray, since the tray icons tend to rearrange themselves as new applications start and close.

Clarification 2: my idea was to only find a way to decrease the taskbar space usage. The idea does not involve any added functionality on top of the built in folder menu feature. Again, there are several apps (again, like LaunchBarCommander) with a very rich set of features. I emphasize this because more features tend to come with larger file size and slower operation. Since I use the menu feature a lot even a small delay between a click and folder display would be annoying in the long run.

Any ideas how this idea could be implemented? I know that some applications add a search field, drop spot and so on to the taskbar so it is clearly possible, but I have no idea how complicated it is.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2007, 06:16:33 AM by Nod5 »

lanux128

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Re: IDEA: slim folder menus on taskbar (not in system tray)
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2007, 07:44:36 PM »
try Free LaunchBar or its beefed-up cousin, True LaunchBar..

mouser

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Re: IDEA: slim folder menus on taskbar (not in system tray)
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2007, 09:23:45 PM »
Thanks for mentioning my LaunchBar Commander Nod5  :up:

I was going to recommend exactly what lanux128 said.  And just a reminder, in addition to being a great program, True LaunchBar is very reasonably priced as is, but as a supporting member Nod5, you can take advantage of the generous discount the TLB author made available for our members (see normal discount area).

Nod5

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Re: IDEA: slim folder menus on taskbar (not in system tray)
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2007, 11:56:20 AM »
Thanks for the feedback!

I wasn't aware of Free Launch Bar or True Launch Bar.

From the comparison table on http://www.freelaunchbar.com/ it seems that only True Launch Bar supports the feature I want: "Virtual Folders (This is menus that show the content of any folder from My Computer (Control Panel, Printers any file system folder etc.)".

I'll test True Launch Bar later this week. However, my first impression from browsing the site is that it's very complex compared to what I need. (It's smallest installation pack is 1.86 MB)

I did some more searching and found what looks like a more minimal app ShortPopUp, http://www.digitalli...co.uk/pc/ShortPopUp/ . I'll test that too and report back here afterwards.

I also found this resource on creating "Desk Bands", http://msdn.microsof.../shell_adv/bands.asp . However, that guide is way over my head so I can't implement it myself.

Nod5

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Re: IDEA: slim folder menus on taskbar (not in system tray)
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2007, 06:47:07 AM »
ShortPopUp didn't do what I wanted. It does not display a folder tree. I could get it to display a menu with links to folders. Clicking the links pops up an explorer window. But that's no good solution.

TrueLaunchBar (TLB) did just what I requested however (after fiddling around with the settings) -- see screenshots. One small drawback is that TLB displays hidden files within the folders which the built in taskbar folder system does not (even though I have explorer set to display hidden files). But that's no big problem.
edit: Never mind, it IS possible to not show hidden files: TLB settings > general options > show hidden files > never


The only other downside with TrueLaunchBar so far is that it "feels" too complex for this simple task even though I have nothing specific to complain about. I'll run the "demo version" for a while and see if it uses up a lot of system resources, causes the menu loading to lag or something like that. If not, then I'll go for it. It's only 10$ after the Donation Coder discount!

tlb1.png   tlb2.png
« Last Edit: January 16, 2007, 06:54:10 AM by Nod5 »

lanux128

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Re: IDEA: slim folder menus on taskbar (not in system tray)
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2007, 07:40:58 PM »
i also went the ShortPopUp route but the project hasn't been updated for some time, i think the author is pretty much happy with the end result.. but anyway, with LaunchBar Commander & Free LaunchBar, i've arranged my shortcuts just the way i wanted & i'm pretty much happy with the end result.. :)

app103

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Re: IDEA: slim folder menus on taskbar (not in system tray)
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2007, 06:05:45 AM »
I don't know if you ever found a solution to this, but there is a way to do what you want without installing any software to handle it.

If you right click your taskbar and go to "Toolbars" and select "Desktop" you can push it small so just the title "Desktop" shows on the taskbar, and have access to all the shortcuts on your desktop, when you click the little arrow next to that.

Anything that is a folder on your desktop will be a tree, similar to the start menu.

And the best part...the "My Computer" menu item expands to show all your drives...and all folders on those drives, and all the files in those folders...just about everything on your pc from just that single menu.

Actually, most of those special Windows desktop icons expand into menus this way, so you will be able to access a lot more that what you originally asked for...all from the space of a single arrow & caption rather than having many of them taking up your taskbar space.

This screenshot shows what I mean. Keep in mind I have a bit of a different layout going on with a vertical taskbar instead of the traditional horizontal. But it should work like this on any Windows machine.

mcmenu.pngIDEA: slim folder menus on taskbar (not in system tray)

AndyM

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Re: IDEA: slim folder menus on taskbar (not in system tray)
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2007, 11:21:06 AM »
you can push it small so just the title "Desktop" shows on the taskbar,
But look at how much room "Desktop" and ">>" take up on the taskbar!

tomos

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Re: IDEA: slim folder menus on taskbar (not in system tray)
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2007, 04:34:36 AM »
app,
how do you get the other stuff (i.e. not my docs & not drives) at top level with drives?
Tom

app103

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Re: IDEA: slim folder menus on taskbar (not in system tray)
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2007, 09:31:21 AM »
Which ones, specifically?

I think I used X-Setup Pro to add a few entries that lead to specific folders on my system (Old Computer & Downloads). It's a registry hack.  ;)

you can push it small so just the title "Desktop" shows on the taskbar,
But look at how much room "Desktop" and ">>" take up on the taskbar!

Ahhh...but it takes up less space than C: >>, D: >>, E: >>, etc, since it is all in one.

AndyM

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Re: IDEA: slim folder menus on taskbar (not in system tray)
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2007, 09:58:14 AM »
But look at how much room "Desktop" and ">>" take up on the taskbar!
Quote
Ahhh...but it takes up less space than C: >>, D: >>, E: >>, etc, since it is all in one.

But then you need extra mouse gestures each time you navigate.

I have three toolbars, of which only one is a drive (C:).  The other two are folders so each needs it's own toolbar.

How Nod5 envisions the toolbars to be (see the images in the first post) is exactly how I'd like my toolbars to be!

app103

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Re: IDEA: slim folder menus on taskbar (not in system tray)
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2007, 02:49:57 PM »
I don't worry that much about how much space a toolbar will take up on my taskbar. Those that have seen screenshots of my desktop know why.

They think it's scary.  ;D

AndyM

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Re: IDEA: slim folder menus on taskbar (not in system tray)
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2007, 11:27:05 AM »
Speaking of toolbars, does anyone know where the sort order for the toolbars is kept?

My Quicklaunch menu always stays sorted to the order I created by dragging the items.

My two subfolders usually remember their sort order, but sometimes will forget and default to alphabetical sorting after a reboot (and subsequent reboots until they decide to begin "remembering" again).

My C:\ toolbar never stays sorted - I always have to manually re-order it after a reboot.  For a while it used to remember until after a Windows update earlier this year.

I haven't been able to find the sort order for these toolbars/menus in the registry, and they seem to sort independently of the sort order selected for the folder viewed in an explorer window.

----------

maybe this should be a new thread?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2007, 11:28:43 AM by AndyM »