Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Is there any way of opening charms bar programmatically?

  1. #1


    Posts : 6
    windows 8 pro

    Is there any way of opening charms bar programmatically?


    Hi
    Is there any way of opening the charms bar programmatically?
    I've got a simple vbs script that uses the GUID tor searching apps, which then uses "send keys" to find a specific app and open it. The app is just a photo gallery I use in place of my screensaver. The last step I want to add to the script is to open the charms bar (just so I have my app running and over the top I can see the clock.
    Any ideas? I currently just trigger the vbs on idle via task scheduler.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 22,573
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello Oriba, and welcome to Eight Forums.

    You could use "send keys" for Windows + C keys to open the Charms bar, but it will open on the desktop.

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by oriba View Post
    Hi
    Is there any way of opening the charms bar programmatically?
    I've got a simple vbs script that uses the GUID tor searching apps, which then uses "send keys" to find a specific app and open it. The app is just a photo gallery I use in place of my screensaver. The last step I want to add to the script is to open the charms bar (just so I have my app running and over the top I can see the clock.
    Any ideas? I currently just trigger the vbs on idle via task scheduler.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    Just for my own edification why would you want to open charms "problematically" i.e, with problems and difficulty when it is so elementary, simple and easy ???
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 6
    windows 8 pro


    Thanks for both posts - firstly, I want to do it for when I'm not there - the PC is in the lounge and when it would otherwise go to screensaver I want instead to trigger a slideshow Metro application. I don't want to use the normal "my pictures slideshow" because I want whoever is there to be able to continue to view the slideshow even if they nudge the mouse or keyboard.

    My vbs script will launch my chosen app on idle via the scheduler, and when it is running of course I could just press the windows key plus c to open the charms so that the clock is overlaid (it's the clock I want really, whilst the slideshow is running). I just want it to reach that state automatically, rather than requiring user intervention. So if someone wanders into the room, the slideshow is running but they can also glance at the clock ( the other solution is of course a clock on the wall!)

    Secondly, I'm struggling with "send keys" and the windows key. "^{ESC}" is all I can find for the windows key, but it isn't exactly the same. It's more of a toggle between the desktop and the Metro start screen. So if I'm already in Metro then it just flicks me back to desktop, which is not what I want. I was hoping that someone knew how to display the charms in a different way, e.g. via a GUID.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5



    The Contemplator
    (1963-2013)
    Doncaster, UK
    Posts : 638
    Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64


    I take it that your script works apart from this feature. If so, it might be helpful to post the script you have so that we can have a look and see if we can come up with the answer (if that is indeed possible in this case).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 6
    windows 8 pro


    Here's the script - it's probably crude (I'm no coder) but it does work:

    Set objShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
    'now open the apps search in Metro...
    objShell.run("%windir%\explorer.exe shell:::{2559a1f8-21d7-11d4-bdaf-00c04f60b9f0}")
    WScript.Sleep 2000
    objShell.SendKeys "Picture Frame Slideshow"
    WScript.Sleep 1000
    objShell.SendKeys "{ENTER}"
    'here's where I want to add the command to overlay the charms.
    'objShell.SendKeys "^{ESC}C" doesn't work - it just toggles me back to the desktop
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 22,573
    64-bit Windows 10


    Try this to see how it works for you. It'll open Charms on the Start screen instead of the desktop.


    Code:
    Set objShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
    
     objShell.run("%windir%\explorer.exe shell:::{2559a1f8-21d7-11d4-bdaf-00c04f60b9f0}")
     WScript.Sleep 2000
    
     objShell.SendKeys "Picture Frame Slideshow"
    
     WScript.Sleep 1000
    
     objShell.SendKeys "{ENTER}"
    
    objShell.SendKeys "^{ESC}"
    
    objShell.SendKeys "#c"

    objShell.SendKeys "^{ESC}"
    (Opens Start screen)

    objShell.SendKeys "#c" (Windows + C to open Charms)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 6
    windows 8 pro


    Thanks for the suggestion - but no joy
    I even tried with adding a couple of pauses before each line you have suggested
    Without pauses, it was as if the lines were not there. With pauses, it returns to the start screen and then just behaves as if the user started typing "#C" - i.e. it opens a search to search for "#C"

    I had wondered about "#" for the Windows key with "send keys" but it doesn't seem to work. Perhaps it is for a different scripting language. I'd read somewhere that the windows key was introduced after vbs was. I've also tried "{LWIN}" but again, no joy.

    That's why I've headed off down the route of the GUID, because it was the only way that works to get a particular part of the Metro interface to display. Basically "Send Keys" should work if only the windows key "code" could be identified.

    The other thing I was wondering when I originally posting was if there was some totally different route to what I was trying to achieve - in case I was banging my head against a brick wall for no reason other than I don't know nearly as much as I need to in order to get the results I want
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 22,573
    64-bit Windows 10


    I was using "#C" with AutoIt. You might try "^{ESC}C" instead with the last line.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 6
    windows 8 pro


    I tried "^{ESC}C" already but it doesn't do it either. Thanks though.
    I hadn't come across AutoIt before, but having just read their homepage it looks v useful. I think I ought to be able to use that to code what I want, turn that into a .exe, and then just trigger that instead of my vbs script. Thanks for the pointer to AutoIt (in advance obviously - but I'll post back the result)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Is there any way of opening charms bar programmatically?
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