Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Stop expansion of Toolbar icons when activated?

  1. #1


    Sunnyvale, CA USA
    Posts : 283
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center (64-bit)

    Stop expansion of Toolbar icons when activated?


    One thing that always bothered me was when the toolbar icon enlarges itself when the program becomes active.
    The reason is that I have several side by side that I use a lot. For example the first thing I do each day is click the email reader and the browser on the toolbar. The email icon alters size at the moment I click it so I sometimes end up clicking it twice instead of the browser icon that just moved. It's as if you turn the ignition on your car and the steering moves away from you. Almost as bad as modal dialogs that steal the focus just as you are about the enter a carriage return in another control and now you've just said OK to something you've never read.

    Is there anyway to prevent this? The change in taskbar icon, that is, (but if you can remove or disable modal dialogs, I'd like that, too!)

    Older versions of Windows started up a task tab on the toolbar and left the icon alone. That was when it was called Quicklaunch, I guess. That's not around anymore.

    Oh, I really have been waiting so long for voice recognition. I hope this tactile phase of GUI control doesn't last much longer.

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  2. #2


    Posts : 149
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-Bit, Ubuntu 13.04 64-Bit


    I'm not exactly sure what you're talking about? Are you using 'text labels' on your taskbar buttons? Right click taskbar > properties > taskbar buttons: always combine/hide labels. This will make the icon stay the same size, and also saves taskbar space all the while (who really needs those ugly always-truncated text labels on their taskbar buttons nowadays anyways?).
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  3. #3


    Posts : 308
    64-bit Windows 8


    Another possibility would be to make the Taskbar vertical (on the left or right side of the screen). Then the change in size of one icon won't cause the others to move.
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  4. #4


    Posts : 835
    Win 8.1 Pro


    No, there is no way to change this behavior, it is a part of the system
    The icons on the taskbar highlight when you open that app. This is normal and can not be changed
    Maybe with something like Windowblinds, if we ever get it for 8, but this has been this way since Vista.

    But, you may need to provide some screen shots as some of what you stated doesn't make since.
    Also, I have never had random dialogs come up and steal focus. not even in 7 or Vista.
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  5. #5


    Posts : 158
    Windows 7


    There is still Quicklaunch, it is just not enabled by default. I think Brink has a tutorial around here somewhere how to turn it on. Search the tutorials section for "quicklaunch". Then unpin all programs from the taskbar. This will get you the old behavior.
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  6. #6


    Sunnyvale, CA USA
    Posts : 283
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center (64-bit)


    Quote Originally Posted by Lazure View Post
    I'm not exactly sure what you're talking about? Are you using 'text labels' on your taskbar buttons? Right click taskbar > properties > taskbar buttons: always combine/hide labels. This will make the icon stay the same size, and also saves taskbar space all the while (who really needs those ugly always-truncated text labels on their taskbar buttons nowadays anyways?).
    Interesting, I had never used this setting and didn't realize what it did. I didn't want 'combine' but I do want 'hide labels'.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Sunnyvale, CA USA
    Posts : 283
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center (64-bit)


    Quote Originally Posted by Tepid View Post
    Also, I have never had random dialogs come up and steal focus. not even in 7 or Vista.
    Lucky you. This may be true nowadays. It has been a while since I saw any.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Sunnyvale, CA USA
    Posts : 283
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center (64-bit)


    Quote Originally Posted by Ivo View Post
    There is still Quicklaunch, it is just not enabled by default. I think Brink has a tutorial around here somewhere how to turn it on. Search the tutorials section for "quicklaunch". Then unpin all programs from the taskbar. This will get you the old behavior.
    The old Quicklaunch behavior really is no more as far as I can tell. Using that type of Quicklaunch you refer to is just another type of toolbar folder.

    The original Quicklaunch was implemented on the taskbar next to the start button.

    Anyway, I see that the 'combine and hide labels' gets me pretty much what I want. I guess you can't have everything.

    So many of the Win 8 complaints are about losing old functionality with no apparent reason. We just get used to our old behavior patterns and resist unwelcome change. Our tools have never been so adaptable as they are now, and often the adaptation is not in our control.

    Anyway, what I was hoping for was the old behavior with an icon on the toolbar that never changed it's appearance - it just started an application. Every application running had it's own id or label separately on the taskbar. I'll just adapt.

    I suppose the current metaphor is that these icons are just smaller active tiles.

    What bothers me, though, is that when an icon changes it size or position dynamically, it interrupts the eye-hand co-ordination. If I am thinking about a multi-step process and see a pattern of icons I need to press to accomplish that, I'd rather not have them change very much while I am attempting those steps.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 158
    Windows 7


    Quote Originally Posted by arachnaut View Post
    The old Quicklaunch behavior really is no more as far as I can tell. Using that type of Quicklaunch you refer to is just another type of toolbar folder.
    The old Quicklaunch was also just another taskbar folder. If you unlock the taskbar you can move the bands around and put them in any order, including next to the start button.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 835
    Win 8.1 Pro


    Quick launch since Vista is Pinned icons on the taskbar.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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