Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Why use 3rd party Menus - much more flexible way (W8/8.1)

  1. #1


    Hafnarfjörđur IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10

    Why use 3rd party Menus - much more flexible way (W8/8.1)


    Hi there
    Why on earth do people bother with 3rd party menu apps -- there's a much better way IMO straight out of the box using Windows itself -- just create custom toolbars which are much more flexible and customisable.

    I've labelled one here as an example called My progs.

    1) Create this folder anywhere you like (doesn't have to be on the main "C" OS disk either - so you don't have to re-create if you re-install the OS. Mine's actually on a different drive :F).

    2) Populate the folder with short cut links to the programs you want to see when you click on the toolbar

    3) for sub levels create a folder within the Main (in my case the My progs folder) folder.

    4) in that sub folder populate with with short cut links to the items you want.

    This can be used for up to any nesting of sub levels you want and you can have several different custom toolbars too.

    To activate it just right mouse click on the bottom quick launch toolbar and for toolbars choose new toolbar and point to your main folder (in my case the My progs folder). Move it to the left or wherever is convenient for you to access it.

    Here's a screen shot of the simple example I've done -- it has two main programs and the Ms Office suite.

    In fact I wish in W7 I could get RID of the main menu screen - I find using toolbars a much better idea anyway - my most used programs would be on the quick launch bar in any case and it's only some of the complex stuff where I'd need a menu that I would need this for but the purpose is to show how easily it can be done without messing up your system with some of these 3rd party apps which might / might not continue to work - and really do you need every .exe showing up in some of these "menu" products.

    Note - another advantage is that you can change / add links "on the fly" and they immediately will appear in the toolbar.

    This way you can test gradually and build up what you want - adding / deleting entries will appear immediately you click on the My Progs - in my case at the bottom left of the screen.

    (Those who still have Windows 7 can look at the Start Menu folder to get an idea of how the W7 menu was built and to get an idea of making short cuts if they are finding that process a bit hard).


    Cheers
    jimbo
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails w81.png  

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  2. #2


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    I can come up with numerous reasons why people want a third party menu but here's are some:
    1. People are so used to do things the old way that existed since Windows 1.0
    2. Don't want to learn new things
    3. Lack of knowledge about the new OS

    Having said that. To you, using the Quick Launch tool bar is the best and this feature does exist in previous version of Windows. However, To me it isn't and I can tell you the reasons why:
    1. I have to physically look and locate where the damn Quick launch is.
    2. Have to maneuver in the tree to get to which program I want to run
    3. I can count on my fingers how many programs that I normally use daily so my start screen won't be crowded.


    So for me, and me only since I cannot talk for any body else, the start screen is the best which:
    1. I can pin all the programs for my daily use.
    2. I don't have to locate anything, just move the mouse to the corner and click to get to start screen which I can see all my pinned programs in big icons layout.


    So different strokes for different folks my man.
    Cheers.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by topgundcp View Post
    I can come up with numerous reasons why people want a third party menu but here's are some:

    1. People are so used to do things the old way that existed since Windows 1.0
    2. Don't want to learn new things
    3. Lack of knowledge about the new OS
    Your entire first paragraph is irrelevant and could have been left out. Just another typical slam of those that dislike the Metro/Modern Start screen by a Microsoft fanboy keyboard commando.

    -jeff
    Last edited by Jf1450; 29 Sep 2013 at 13:11.
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  4. #4


    N. Calif
    Posts : 2,585
    W10 Pro (desktop), W10 (laptop), W10 Pro (tablet), W10 (laptop)


    I've been a user of toolbars for years and don't miss the Start menu at all. I started using toolbars in Win 2000 so they aren't anything new and I'm surprised they aren't more widely used.
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  5. #5


    Hafnarfjörđur IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Quote Originally Posted by Jf1450 View Post
    Your entire first paragraph is irrelevant and could have been left out. Just another typical slam of those that dislike the Metro/Modern Start screen by a Microsoft fanboy keyboard commando.

    -jeff

    Keyboard !!!! whoever said anything about a keyboard -- I don't think in my entire post I said anything about a keyboard or keyboard commands.

    In addition - Metro is totally inappropriate if you need several windows open at the same time -- for example have you ever tried translating ONE document into another (or several) languages, importing spread sheets / other data concurrently, compare data (for example airline routes and prices) from several different websites at the same time or another 10 zillion cases where one would need to have several windows open concurrently -- working in Full screen / Half screen mode would be a real pain in these cases.

    However this thread has NOTHING to do with Metro or whatever so what on earth were you trying to say.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 158
    Windows 7


    OK, I’ll bite.

    Here are just few of the many reasons why 3rd party Menus are superior to a toolbar menu.

    From functionality point of view:

    • A menu shows the combined contents of the common and the per-user start menu folders
    • You can open a menu with the keyboard
    • A menu shows the recently-used documents
    • A menu shows recently-used or frequently-used programs
    • A menu has jumplists for access to recent/frequent documents per application
    • You can search from the menu
    • You can drag shortcuts to the start button and the menu will open, so you can drop stuff in it
    • A menu (a good one) can launch Metro shortcuts, a toolbar can't



    From aesthetics point of view:

    • The start button and the menu can be skinned to match the rest of your desktop
    • At least in Classic Shell you can control the size of the icons
    • In a menu you can place separators, but you can’t in a toolbar menu



    Shameless plug: Classic Shell 4.0 is coming out next weekend. Try the Release Candidate 3.9.5 now: www.classicshell.net
    Last edited by Ivo; 29 Sep 2013 at 11:17. Reason: fix typo
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  7. #7


    Gotta love toolbars. Even tho I like the Start Screen Tiles , toolbars do keep me on the desktop. Especially since I since using the HP Launchbox sp56217 recommended by XweAponX and works on non-hp computers. (Just an icon on taskbar til you mouse over it. Then up to 8 LARGE icons appear for programs of your choice.

    Besides the regular ones (Desktop , Links etc,) that install with a checkmark , created toolbars are great help too.
    Programs & Program Files toolbars help keep you away from the Start Screen Tiles.
    Opening your Desktop folder and creating new folders with names like 'Graphics' for Photoshop , MS Paint etc. , 'Office' for MS Office , Open Office , MS Works , Wordpad , Outlook , Calculator etc.

    %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

    %UserProfile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

    C:\Program Files also makes a great toolbar


    Click image for larger version
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  8. #8


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    - Metro is totally inappropriate if you need several windows open at the same time -
    Metro can be run concurrently on more than one monitor at a time in Windows 8.1. It may not be desirable but its doable. Just saying.

    The desktop programs I use daily like IE, Outlook, Media Player, etc I have pinned to my taskbar. I have simple needs so I don't need to mess with toolbars. I also don't feel the need to install any third party start menu application. I use Windows 8.1 basically the way it comes out of the box. "Your Way" may work fine for you but everybody has their own needs and preferences.
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  9. #9


    I also don't have a great need , even for all those programs and utilities that are installed by default. I have customised the Modern screen and use it as my start menu. Much easier than navigating through "All programs". I find it hard to imagine that users actually need to have those programs, together with their own installations, all visible at all times. This is mine.

    Click image for larger version
    Last edited by davehc; 30 Sep 2013 at 11:11.
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  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jf1450 View Post
    Your entire first paragraph is irrelevant and could have been left out. Just another typical slam of those that dislike the Metro/Modern Start screen by a Microsoft fanboy keyboard commando.

    -jeff

    Keyboard !!!! whoever said anything about a keyboard -- I don't think in my entire post I said anything about a keyboard or keyboard commands.

    In addition - Metro is totally inappropriate if you need several windows open at the same time -- for example have you ever tried translating ONE document into another (or several) languages, importing spread sheets / other data concurrently, compare data (for example airline routes and prices) from several different websites at the same time or another 10 zillion cases where one would need to have several windows open concurrently -- working in Full screen / Half screen mode would be a real pain in these cases.

    However this thread has NOTHING to do with Metro or whatever so what on earth were you trying to say.

    Cheers
    jimbo
    Sorry for the misunderstanding Jimbo, I wasn't referring to you at all. It was the reply to your post that basically came across sounding like those that prefer some sort of menu button verses Metro/Modern are Neanderthals. Since my reply was immediately after that I assumed it would be taken as a response. I edited the post to make that more apparent. I respect your viewpoints and apologize again.

    -jeff
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Why use 3rd party Menus - much more flexible way (W8/8.1)
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