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Author Topic: N.A.N.Y 2021: Incipitor  (Read 1304 times)

BGM

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N.A.N.Y 2021: Incipitor
« on: October 03, 2020, 10:59 AM »
NANY 2021 Entry Information

Application Name Incipitor
Version 1.2
Short Description A handy, dandy tool to add shortcuts to your Start Menu
Supported OSes Windows 7 and Windows 10
Web Page DC Members: bgmCoder
Version History
  • 1.0 First Release - October 23, 2020
  • For complete history, view the program's help file[/]
Author Link to Author's Profile page


Description
At my workstation I like to use Open Shell (revamp of Classic Shell) and to manually organize my Start Menu so it works as an effective and efficient program launcher.  Since I often need to add items to the Start Menu's folder structure, I wrote Incipitor (incipit is Latin for "start").  This allows me to add those not-installed applications to the menu.

Features
  • Settings for adding and removing Incipitor in the Windows context menu for all files.
  • Drag-n-drop onto the main window.
  • Customizations for the context menu.
  • Allows for renaming of the shortcut file before creation.
  • Maybe I'll make an installer so that the context menu can be added/removed without the user having to do it manually from the application.



Planned Features
Cleanup task to remove invalid shortcuts
Backup Start Menu

Screenshots
FoldersTab.pngN.A.N.Y 2021: Incipitor SettingsTab.pngN.A.N.Y 2021: Incipitor  InfoTab.pngN.A.N.Y 2021: Incipitor

Here is the Context Menu entry
ContextMenu.pngN.A.N.Y 2021: Incipitor

Here is what my Start Menu looks like, using Open Shell and all organized.
mystartmenu.pngN.A.N.Y 2021: Incipitor

Usage
Installation
Unzip the package and run Incipitor.exe.  Then click the "Install" button to add to the context menu.

Using the Application
Once installed, you can use the Windows context menu on files to add them to the start menu.  Incipitor's window will appear allowing to you choose what folder to place the shortcut into, and allow for you to name it whatever you like.

You need to run Incipitor as Administrator to install it to the context menu. After that you can run it with normal rights.

Uninstallation
Push the uninstall button to remove it from the context menu, then just delete the application folder.  It will not do anything to the Start Menu folder.

Version History
version 1.1: 
Fixed missing version info in the executable's Resource Table.
Added icons
Added ability to rename the folders
Added a "Save Settings" button

Tips
Use it with Open Shell.  It's not so useful when used with the normal Windows 10 Start Menu.  However, it would work great on Windows 7.

Known Issues
Just remember to use the "uninstall" button in the main window to remove the context menu entry if you decide to delete Incipitor.  Also, the folder structure only dives 2 directories deep.  You get all the folders in the Start Menu folder and one level of sub-folders below that, but no further.  This isn't so much an issue as a limitation, though.  I could change that if anyone really wants it.

« Last Edit: October 29, 2020, 10:49 AM by BGM »

cranioscopical

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Re: Incipitor
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2020, 03:09 PM »
I could see this being handy if/when setting up a new machine.

BGM

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Re: Incipitor
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2020, 04:00 PM »
One of the uses I find for it is that I like to install lots of programs that don't have installers.  I use Incipitor to add them to my Start Menu.  Eh, it's one of those particular case-use apps, for sure.  I think I will work up the basics of it in time to be in the NANY though.  I want that 07 next to my profile picture.

Shades

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Re: Incipitor
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2020, 06:13 PM »
One of the uses I find for it is that I like to install lots of programs that don't have installers.  I use Incipitor to add them to my Start Menu.

Sounds like another portable application enthusiast...  :Thmbsup:

Your idea sounds interesting enough to me.

hornet

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Re: Incipitor
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2020, 06:30 PM »
I have a folder on my desktop called "shortcuts" . I place shortcuts to any program I want to use regularly in it.

(I also use sub-folders in the "shorcuts" folder to sort different types of programs).

Then I select the "shorcuts" folder as a toolbar.... so that all the shortcuts are readily available to me at all times.

BGM

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Re: Incipitor
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2020, 10:53 PM »
Ah, well, that works, too, and sounds alot like the way the old Windows 7 Quicklaunch works.  (I am thinking of letting Incipitor do things with that folder too - I use it all the time).

The point of Incipitor is that you can click on the things you want to make shortcuts for.
I was planning on an option to specify what folder you wanted to use.  So Incipitor could work for your custom folder, too.  That would not be hard to do at all and is more or less what the Windows Start Menu [used to] does, and exactly how Incipitor works.  Incipitor would let you add things to that folder from the context menu of the items you wish to add and you don't have to deal with two explorer windows (or two panels in FreeCommander like I would do) which means less navigation.

Okay, so I'm working on a first version at the moment.  As soon as I have one, I'll add the official NANY entry stuff into the first post (Hi, Mouser).
« Last Edit: October 03, 2020, 11:11 PM by BGM »

wraith808

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Re: Incipitor
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2020, 10:57 PM »
This sounds really useful!  Especially since they're taking away my ability to install things on the new laptop they're sending me  :-\

BGM

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Re: Incipitor
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2020, 11:00 PM »
Uh, for that not-being-able-to-install things - you can fix that and make Windows normal again, you know.  I've done it once so far - there is a Windows Store app that you download, and after you run it, it disables that silly Windows "Safe Mode" and makes everything normal.  I did this on an hp recently and everything works just fine now.

I think it's called "S Mode"; How-to-Geek tells how to disable it.
https://www.howtogee...indows-10-in-s-mode/


Now, Incipitor will need to add a registry entry for the context menu.  I can put an install/uninstall button in the program's GUI, but if folks want to delete Incipitor, most of them won't remember to uninstall it from the context menu before deleting the program, so I'm thinking of actually making an installer for the application so that when it gets uninstalled it can remove the registry entry and therefore the context menu entry.  But I think that might just be optional.  I don't like making installers because it's more work  ;D but for this purpose it does sort of make sense to create one.  Maybe I'll include it in the download, but specify the reason for it in the readme file and on my website's page (or something like that).  However, the program itself will come first, with the install-context-menu item in the GUI, and if I feel froggy enough, I'll make the installer to go with it.  But I dont' think this program will be so popular due to it's exclusive nature (for power users, really), so I'm not sure if it's worth the effort of creating an installer.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2020, 11:10 PM by BGM »

wraith808

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Re: Incipitor
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2020, 12:19 AM »
It's not windows S mode.  It's that they're removing our admin privileges.  I might be able to install things as a non-admin if they don't need the privileges, but they will also probably be scanning to see what's installed if the past is any indication.  So because of that, can you make it completely non-intrusive if need be?  I might be able to access HKCU, but I'm not counting on it.

BGM

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Re: Incipitor
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2020, 10:46 AM »
Hmmm...  adding a context menu entry requires access to HKCU for sure.  You would need admin privileges to install the program then, I guess.  I never considered how it would work for a non-admin user wanting to install things...  I've never used a non-admin account before (hee hee)

BGM

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Re: Incipitor
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2020, 11:27 AM »
I'm working on it!  I have a GUI now for the options, and it will install its context menu entry now - although you have to be an administrator, of course, for that to work, because the * key is in HKCR (not HKCU).

However, it would also work if you had the app open and you drag items onto it's window, or if you drag items onto it's program icon.  That could be a workaround for a non-admin with no way to install it to the context menu.  Although I doubt the practicality of that.

Right now you can change the icon displayed in the context menu, the text displayed there, general position of the entry in the context menu, and the path to the Start Menu folder.  There is an option to use a tray icon as well.

Anyway, just an update.  As soon as I get a version that is ready to try out, I'll post it up.

BGM

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Re: Incipitor
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2020, 02:46 PM »
Okay, folks, I've posted a working application now, and have updated my initial post to a proper NANY post.  I'm using Incipitor now on my own computer.

BGM

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Re: Incipitor
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2020, 01:54 PM »
Working on version 1.1 with fixes, refinements and new features.

Deozaan

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Re: Incipitor
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2020, 04:56 PM »
I know you recommend using it with Open Shell, but I decided to try it out with the default Windows 10 shell, since it's not clear to me from the description whether or not it works at all with the default shell.

I downloaded it and ran it and... nothing happened. It won't open. No errors, no flashing windows. No icon hiding in the tray. Nothing. I don't even see a process start up and disappear in the Task Manager (though I may not be looking in the right place for that).

Thinking maybe it was getting caught by Windows Defender, I right-clicked the zip file and told Defender to scan it. It found no issues. I also uploaded it to Jotti and VirusTotal. Jotti had no warnings on the zip file, the exe, or the dll. VirusTotal did have some warnings on each.

Considering what it does, I assumed VirusTotal's warnings were false positives, and I disabled Windows Defender and tried to run it again. Still nothing. I even tried running it as Administrator and nothing happens. :-\
« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 10:33 PM by Deozaan »

BGM

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Re: Incipitor
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2020, 07:13 PM »
Well, thanks for trying it out.  That' funny, because it runs fine on my Windows 10. 

The window should open when you run it.  It doesn't have a tray icon, though.

On the first run, it should produce a small messagebox saying it is creating a Settings File - but you should see that in the taskbar.  When you click okay, it should just run.  I just downloaded it again and tried it again and have no problem.  VirusTotal is probably just objecting to Autohotkey.

Other than add it's own registry key, the only thing it does is to add shortcuts to the Start Menu folder.  It's one of my less elaborate applications, in fact.

To actually use it, you'll need administrator priveleges in order for it to add itself to your Context Menu (modifies HKCR/shell/* to add it's own key there).  But you should be able to run it just fine.

You don't need Open Shell, really.  It will still manage folders you create in the Windows 10 Start Menu.  It just isn't so useful in the default shell, is all.

Anyone else have this problem?

I'll be posting version 1.1 soon enough.


wraith808

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Re: Incipitor
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2020, 09:12 PM »
I'll wait until 1.1. and try it.

BGM

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Re: Incipitor
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2020, 12:26 PM »
All right - I've uploaded Version 1.1.

@Deozzan, I had forgotten to embed the resource version options in the original executable file.  They are there now - maybe that will help it to run.  I also removed the popup that reports that it is creating it's settings file (nobody needs to know that anyway).
« Last Edit: October 29, 2020, 10:29 AM by BGM »

Deozaan

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Re: N.A.N.Y 2021: Incipitor
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2020, 08:29 PM »
I tried the new version and it still doesn't do anything for me. :(

BGM

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Re: N.A.N.Y 2021: Incipitor
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2020, 09:48 AM »
@Deozaan,  Aaaah, I tried running it on another computer (running Windows 7) and the gui didn't open for me either.  I think I know what is the matter.  I was trying to make it so a user could not open two copies of the GUI - if it finds one window open then it would not open a second copy - but would still allow commandline usage. I wonder if that has something to do with it. 

So, basically, it is quitting as soon as you launch it, thinking that it is already running.  I'll figure out another way to do things.

If you drag a file onto the program icon it *will* open the window, placing the program in "add shortcut" mode.

Funny thing is that it works just fine on my own Windows 10.  I'll see if I can fix things here.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2020, 10:03 AM by BGM »

BGM

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Re: N.A.N.Y 2021: Incipitor
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2020, 10:39 AM »
Okay!  I've uploaded version 1.2 now.

https://www.dcmember.../download/incipitor/

I removed the test to see if other instances were running. Now it ought to run just fine.

Deozaan

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Re: N.A.N.Y 2021: Incipitor
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2020, 02:39 AM »
It works! :Thmbsup:

Deozaan

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Re: N.A.N.Y 2021: Incipitor
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2020, 05:34 PM »
I just used it to create an item in the Start Menu. I disagree that "it's not so useful" with Vanilla Windows 10. I don't care so much about the organization of my Start Menu, but being able to press the Win key and start typing the name of what I want to run and then press Enter to launch it is made so much easier for those portable apps now that I have Incipitor.

Before, I would create a shortcut in the app's directory, then right-click it and select "Pin to Start" which didn't just put it in the list of apps in the Start Menu, but also made it show up as a tile on the start menu, quickly adding to clutter.

Now I can just right-click, select Add to Start Menu, customize the name of what it appears as(!) and it's done. I like it a lot!

wraith808

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Re: N.A.N.Y 2021: Incipitor
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2020, 08:44 PM »
Same here.  I used to have to add shortcuts to a special folder so that FARR would pick them up- a lot easier just using the start menu, and less directories for FARR to search.

BGM

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Re: N.A.N.Y 2021: Incipitor
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2020, 10:07 PM »
Yaay!  You all make me feel all warm inside!  I'm glad you like it!

I also use it to add shortcuts from the Start Menu's "Programs" folder into my own folders.

It doesn't work for Windows Store apps though - apparently, the registry key for HKCR\shell\* doesn't work for those shortcuts.  And Autohotkey's filegetshortcut does not work for those either (returns blank for the target).  Funny thing is, that MS Store app shortcuts *look* like shortcuts, but don't even have extensions.

I'm planning on adding two features: one button to open the Start Menu folder, and another to back it up.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2020, 10:13 PM by BGM »