How can I remove the Windows Explorer contextual menu for Windows Shortcuts (.lnk files)?

It has been reported that the Windows Explorer context menu for Windows Shortcuts (when you right click on shortcut's icon) added in v8.3 labeled "Import Windows shortcut to Quick Access Popup menu" could lead to some potential issue with security software (anti-virus/anti-malware). I preferred to play safe and removed that context menu that was far from being critical to the application (it only saved users a few seconds by allowing to import the parameters when creating a favorite folder from a shortcut).

If you installed or updated QAP between v8.3 and 8.4.1, and if this context menu is causing you an issue, you can remove it by executing the following steps:

  1. Create text file containing (all on one line):
    REG DELETE "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\lnkfile\shell\Import Windows shortcut to Quick Access Popup menu" /f
  2. Save this file as a batch file, giving it the extension .bat.
  3. Run this batch with administrator privileges (right click on the batch file icon and select Run as administrator).

If you do not have the credentials to execute a batch with this level of privilege, ask for help from your system administrator.

What global options are essential to know?

In the Settings dialog box, click the Options button to open the Options dialog box.

  • To enable folders navigation in file dialog boxes (Open, Save As, etc.), check the Change folders in dialog boxes with the main QAP hotkeys.
  • Select your working Language.
  • Select Run at Startup option to launch Quick Access Popup automatically when you boot Windows.
  • Enable or disable QAP Explorer Context menus.
  • Automatically add favorites at top (or bottom if unchecked) of main menu when added with Add this folder, Add this folder Express and Add favorite from Explorer context menus.
  • Display Startup Tray tip in the Notification zone.
  • Select the Check for updates to be informed when new QAP versions become available.
  • Remember Settings window position.
  • Set the number of items in the Recent folders menu.
  • Choose the colors Theme of QAP Settings and other windows.
  • Display classic black and white buttons in QAP Settings window instead of new color buttons of QAP v8 (option removed in v8.1.1 but still supported if variable UseClassicButtons=1 is present in settings file).
  • Display the popup menu near the mouse pointer, in the active window or at a fix position.
  • Display hotkey reminders in menu in short or long format.
  • Select the option to use Display Numeric Menu Shortcuts to launch favorites with your keyboard.
  • Open the menu when hitting the QAP menu trigger on the Windows taskbar.
  • Add Close to menus created by QAP allowing to dismiss them if clicking elsewhere does not dismiss the menu.
  • Display or hide menu icons, and choose menu icons size (available on Windows workstations only).
  • In the File managers tab, enable Directory OpusTotal Commander or Universal file manager support.

Configurable triggers

  • In the Options dialog box, Menu hotkeys tab, change the mouse triggers to open the folders menu (by default, middle mouse button and Shift+MMB).
  • Choose the keyboard triggers to open the QAP main menu (by default, Windows+W and Shift+Windows+W).

What are the Alternative menu features?

Alternative menu features are actions to be executed on one of the favorites in your QAP menu. After you click one of the options in the Alternative menu, the full QAP menu is displayed to let you choose on what favorite you want to execute the Alternative menu feature.

Alternative  menu triggers (mouse default is Shift+middle mouse button and keyboard default is Shift+Windows+W).

  • These triggers show the Alternative menu over any windows.
  • In the Alternative menu, you select the actions to apply to one of your favorite (see the list of Alternative menu features below).
  • Then, in the QAP menu, select the target favorite on which the Alternative menu feature will be executed.

Alternative menu features

The Alternative menu offers the following features:

  • Open in new window: open the favorite in a new window instead of changing the folder in the target window.
  • Edit a Favorite: change a favorite settings directly from the QAP menu (without having to open the Settings window).
  • Copy a Favorite's Path or URL: copy the file path or the URL of a favorite to your clipboard in order to paste it in any other window.
  • Run as administrator (starting with v8.1): run the application with administrator access (elevated privileges).
  • Open the Containing Folder in the Current Window (starting with v8.1.1): open in the current Explorer window the parent folder of the selected favorite document, application or folder.
  • Open the Containing Folder in a New Window (starting with v8.1.1): open the parent folder of the selected favorite in a new window (even if the menu is opened in an existing Explorer window or in a file dialog box).

Three Alternative menu features are also available directly from the regular menu by using keyboard modifiers when clicking a favorite in the popup menu:

  • Shift + Click:  Open in new window.
  • Control + Click: Copy a Favorite's Path or URL.
  • Shift + Control + Click: Edit a Favorite.

 

Can a menu be updated as the content of a folder changes?

Yes, with QAP v8, a Folder favorites can be turned into a Live Folder!

2016-12-30-17_57_14-edit-favorite_-folder-quick-access-popup-v8To enable a Live Folder favorite, add or edit a Folder favorite and go to the Live Folders Options tab. In this tab you click the checkbox Live Folder to transform this favorite into a submenu that reflects the current content of the folder. By default, a Live Folder menu only includes the subfolders and is refreshed as folders are added or removed from the folder (see below when Live Folder's content is refreshed).

To include one or more levels of subfolders under the Live Folder, increase the Number of subfolders levels. Keep it low for large folders or you could reach the maximum number of items allowed in Live Folders (see below).

To include the documents in a Live Folder, click the checkbox Include documents. By default, all documents are included. You can select which files are includes or excluded using the Include or Exclude radio buttons and the text box below to list file extensions to include or exclude (separated by spaces).

After you saved the Live Folder, the favorite appears in the Settings window enclosed by exclamation marks. In the QAP menu, a Live Folder menu starts with a special menu entry to open the Live Folder itself. Below, the folders, documents and/or subfolders are listed, sorted alphabetically.

live-folders-helpIf a Live Folder menu has many entries, you can split its content in columns. Enter the number of items to display per column. Keep the value 0 if you want to display the menu in only one column.

Live Folder menus are refreshed when QAP is launched and each time the menu is saved in Settings. To refresh Live Folder menus on-demand, add to your menu the QAP Feature Refresh Live Folders .

QAP adds items to Live Folders up to a maximum of 500 items (for all Live Folders in the QAP menu). If this number is exceeded, QAP displays an alert message. If you want to increase this limit, add the value NbLiveFolderItemsMax= (and the new limit) under the [Global] section of QuickAccessPopup.ini file. See How can I edit the file QuickAccessPopup.ini?

Be cautious because adding many items to a menu slows down menu refresh. And, more implantant, adding too many items (the threshold depends on your system capacity) can produce unexpected results, including hanging QAP.

In addition to editing a Live Folder favorite in the Settings window, you can also do it using the Alternative menu Edit a Favorite (Shift+Middle Mouse Button or Shift+Win+W) or by clicking any item in a Live Folder menu with Shift+Ctrl menu modifiers pressed.

 

How do I create a macro Snippet to send special keys to applications or insert pauses when pasting?

The Macro snippets, are for users with some experience with scripting language. To create a macro snippet, open the snippet's Advanced Settings tab in the Add/Edit favorite dialog box and select Macro mode. Instead of pasting the snippet, QAP sends its content to the active application as keystrokes that you would type at the keyboard.

Macro snippets support the AHK special characters allowing to send special keystrokes like Backspace, Home, Control, etc.

Here are some QAP special commands supported in macro snippets:

  • {&Sleep:n} or {&n}: pause sending the snippet for n milliseconds (see AHK Sleep documentation)
    For example: {&Sleep:1000} or {&1000} to insert a one second pause while sending the snippet
  • {&SetKeyDelay:n, option}: slow down the execution of the snippet (see AHK SetKeyDelay documentation)
    For example: {&SetKeyDelay:50} to insert a 50 ms delay between each keystroke in the snippet
  • {&KeyWait:keyname, options}: pause sending the snippet until user press the specified key (see AHK KeyWait documentation, option D is set by default, additional option B available to sound "Beep" when snippet is suspended)
    For example: {&KeyWait:Space,B} to stop the macro snippet execution, sound "beep" and wait until user pushes down the space bar

Here is a full working macro snippet example. This macro snippet will launch Notepad, beep and wait for the space bar keypress, type some text, wait for the Shift keypress, add some text and open the Notepad Save dialog box:

{&SetKeyDelay:50}#r{&500}notepad{Enter}{&KeyWait:Space,B}{Backspace}You are
in {&KeyWait:Shift}Notepad{!}`nChoose a location to save this file...{&500}^s

 

  • {&SetKeyDelay:50} : slow down the snippet execution with a 50 ms delay between each keystroke
  • #r : press Windows + R to open the Windows Run dialog box
  • {&500} : insert an half-second pause
  • notepad{Enter} : type notepad and press Enter to launch Notepad
  • {&KeyWait:Space,B} : beep and wait for the space bar keypress
  • {Backspace} : erase the space inserted in the previous step
  • You are in : type this text
  • {&KeyWait:Shift} : wait for the Shift keypress
  • Notepad : type this text
  • {!} : type the exclamation mark (enclosed because ! is an AHK special character, see AHK doc)
  • `n : insert an end-of-line character (see AHK doc about "escaped characters")
  • Choose a location to save this file... : type this text
  • {&500} : wait for another half-second
  • ^s : press Control + S to open the Notepad Save dialog box

Macro programming experience is strongly recommended before using this feature. If you need help writing AHK macro, I recommend searching answers or asking question in the "Ask for help" section of the AHK forum where you will find plenty of knowledgeable people who love helping new macro programmers. You can also learn it with these books.

Can I insert command from the AHK programming language in a snippet of type macro? A QAP macro snippet favorite can send pieces of text and basic commands to your keyboard using the SendInput AHK command. However, it is not the place for full-fledge AHK macro language. Variables, conditional expressions (if), loops, etc. are not supported in macro snippet. But you can easily write a macro using a text editor, save it in a file with .ahk extension and launch your AHK macro from QAP. Create a QAP favorite of type Application and enter the location of your script (for example c:\AHKscripts\myscript.ahk) in the Application (path and file name).

See also:

Can QAP launch an application with administrator privileges?

Yes. If QAP is running with administrator permission, all applications it will launch will automatically inherit the admin level. But you should not run QAP with admin privileges unless you have good reasons to do so.

If QAP is running with standard permission, you can start a given application in admin mode only if required. Check the option Elevate application with administration privileges in the Advanced Settings of the Edit Favorite dialog box. When start it, QAP will ask Windows to launch the app with admin privileges. Of course, before launching it, Windows will display the usual approval dialog box or ask for the admin password.

 

See more information about Windows ACL (Access Control List) and QAP.

What is the "close menu issue"?

What I call the "close menu issue" is an intermittent issue (probably caused by Windows) preventing users from closing the QAP popup menu by clicking outside of the menu or by hitting the Escape key as they would do normally. As a result, users have to click an item to close the menu. This is annoying when a user open the menu but changes its mind and does not want to launch any favorite.

This issue occurs intermittently under Windows 7 and Windows 10 (probably also with 8/8.1). Some user are facing it frequently. Other, like me (on both Win 7 and 10), see it only occasionally. There are probably others that never see it.

Programmers hate intermittent bugs!

I tried various methods to get around this issue but, in the end, the changes I made in my code had side-effects worst than the initial issue. For this reason, in QAP v7.1.9, I reverted some of the changes made in v7.1.5 to 7.1.8 and introduced the QAP Feature Close this menu that you can insert in the menu to close the menu by clicking this item.

Also, starting with v7.1.10, I added the option Add "Close" to menus (in the Options window, second tab, right column). If this option is turned on (checked), the Close this menu entry is automatically added to the main QAP popup menu, to the Alternative menu and to all dynamic menus. This option is turned on by default.

What if you never encounter this issue?

If you are always able to close the QAP popup menu bu clicking outside of the menu or by hitting the Escape key, you can save the space taken by the Close this menu entries. Go to Options and, in the second tab, deselect the Add "Close" to menu check box.

Can I set the QAP settings file location from the command line?

Yes. You can set the settings from command-line using the parameter "/Settings:". For example: QuickAccessPopup.exe "/Settings:C:/My Folder/My Settings.ini" (I'm using forward slashes in this example because WordPress tend to remove backslashes from posts - so after the C:, use backslashes), using the double-quotes if the location includes one or more spaces.

The Settings file name can include environment variable (like %userprofile%) and supports relative paths based on the QAP working directory. See Can I use system environment variables in favorite paths? and Can I use relative paths in favorite settings?

QAP stops loading with an error message. Can I restore a backup of my settings?

Two reasons can explain this error message:

The easiest way to solve this issue is to restore your latest settings backup. You can do it by renaming your current QuickAccessPopup.ini to QuickAccessPopup-broken.ini and renaming your latest backup to QuickAccessPopup.ini.

  1. Close QAP before renaming playing with the settings file: right-click the Quick Access Popup icon in the System Tray menu and choose Exit Quick Access Popup.
  2. Open the QAP working directory in your file manager. See What’s the QAP working directory?
  3. Rename QuickAccessPopup.ini to QuickAccessPopup-broken.ini.
  4. Rename your latest backup, someting like QuickAccessPopup-backup-20171006.ini (the last part of the file name is the backup date in "YYYYMMDD" format) to QuickAccessPopup.ini.
  5. Restart QAP.

How can I edit the file QuickAccessPopup.ini?

Normally, the QAP settings can be modified using the QAP Settings and Options window and you don't need to edit the .ini file containing your favorites and your preferred configuration.

For some specific operation, you may need to edit this file named QuickAccessPopup.ini that can be found in the QAP working directory. You can open this file using any text editor.

But the easiest way to open the settings file is to use the QAP system menu: right-click on the QAP icon in the Notification zone select Edit QuickAccessPopup.ini.

The file will be open in your default text editor for ini files (Notepad if you did not change it in Windows).

For more information about the settings file, see What is the structure of QAP settings (ini) file? and What are the values in the QAP settings (ini) file?.

 

What is the structure of QAP settings (ini) file?

The following information is for advanced users who need to change the QAP settings by editing the QuickAccessPopup.ini file saved in the QAP working directory. See How can I edit the file QuickAccessPopup.ini? The ini file format described in this page also applies to shared menus, exported settings file and to import settings files. See also What are the values in the QAP settings (ini) file? for detailed reference info.

Regular users should not be required to edit these files except in rare situations described in the FAQ or in the Support page.

[Global] Section

This section contains settings managed in the Options dialog box or managed internally by QAP.

[Global]
LanguageCode=EN
NavigateOrLaunchHotkeyMouse=MButton
NavigateOrLaunchHotkeyKeyboard=#w
PowerHotkeyMouseDefault=+MButton
PowerHotkeyKeyboardDefault=+#A
Check4Update=1
DisplayIcons=1
DisplayMenuShortcuts=0
IconSize=32
...

See the description of these QuickAccessPopup.ini variables.

See also the special [Global] values for Shared menus below.

[Favorites] Section

This section contains the favorites found in your QAP menu. It starts with the first item in your main menu ("Favorite1=...") and ends with a line with a favorite of type "Z" ("Favorite7=Z" in the following example). When a submenu is added to your menu, it starts with a line of type "Menu" and ends with a line of type "Z" ("Favorite5=Z" below) and it continues with the content of the previous menu. Submenus can be nested at will. FavoriteN numbers must be consecutive. Menu loading stops at first missing N.

For example:

[Favorites]
Favorite1=Folder|Name of folder in main menu|...
Favorite2=Document|Name of document in main menu|...
Favorite3=Menu|Submenu name|...
Favorite4=Folder|Name of folder in submenu|...
Favorite5=Z
Favorite6=Folder|Name of next folder in main menu|...
Favorite7=Z

Format of each line:

[Favorites]
FavoriteN=FavoriteType|FavoriteName|FavoriteLocation|FavoriteIconResource|FavoriteArguments|FavoriteAppWorkingDir|FavoriteWindowPosition|FavoriteLaunchWith|FavoriteLoginName|FavoritePassword|FavoriteGroupSettings

FavoriteN= where N is a number starting at 1. One favorite line contains infos delimited by | (pipe), real pipes in values being replaced with the sequence "Сþ€" in ini file for all values except fields 1, 7 and 8.

Favorite fields order an names:
1 FavoriteType
2 FavoriteName
3 FavoriteLocation
4 FavoriteIconResource
5 FavoriteArguments
6 FavoriteAppWorkingDir
7 FavoriteWindowPosition
8 FavoriteLaunchWith
9 FavoriteLoginName
10 FavoritePassword
11 FavoriteGroupSettings

Example

[Favorites]
Favorite1=Folder|Windows|C:Windows|C:WindowsSystem32shell32.dll,298|||||||
Favorite2=Document|My Notes|C:Docsnotes.txt||||||||

Info on the internal data structure of each element and on special uses of some items can be found on QAP's wiki (section Favorite Object Model).

[Favorites-backup] section

Each time the favorites are saved using QAP, a [Favorites-backup] section is created with the current content of the [Favorites] section. Be careful to edit the current [Favorites] section and not its backup.

Themes settings

[Gui-Grey] and other sections starting with "Gui-" are theme descriptions. More info on themes in this page: Quick Access Popup Color Themes.

[AlternativeMenuHotkeys] section

This section contains the hotkey (shortcuts) settings managed in the Alternative Menu Hotkeys tab of the Options dialog box.

[LocationHotkeys] section

This section contains the favorites hotkey (shortcuts) settings managed in Change hotkey dialog box. You can open this dialog box in the Shortcut section of the Menu Options tab in the Add/Edit Favorite dialog box or in the the Manage Hotkeys dialog box.

Import and Export ini files

The files created when your export settings comply to the format described in this page. Files imported must also comply with this format. However, they could include any or all of these settings sections: Favorites, Hotkeys, Alternative menu hotkeys, Global settings and Themes. More info on import/export commands here: Can I backup, import or export my favorites and settings?

Shared menus

Shared menu are saved in ini files complying to the format described in this page. But they contain only a [Favorites] section as described earlier and a special [Global] section with shared menu specific variables. More information about shared menu settings file: What is the content of a shared menus settings file (for advanced users)?

What are the values in the QAP settings (ini) file?

Normally, the QAP settings can be modified using the QAP Settings and Options windows and you don't need to edit the .ini file containing your favorites and your preferred configuration. But if, for some specific operation, you need to edit this file named QuickAccessPopup.ini, see How can I edit the file QuickAccessPopup.ini? in the FAQ. See also What is the structure of QAP settings (ini) file? for an explanation of the settings files organization.

The following list describe all variables found in the QuickAccessPopup.ini file with a reference to the FAQ page about the related feature.

This info is reserved to QAP advanced users who know what they do and do it at their own risk. QAP does not always validate the info entered directly in the settings file before using it, which could lead to unpredictable results. Handle with care...
 

NameDefaultDescriptionLink
ActiveFileManager1File manager used when opening a folder in a new window
1: WindowsExplorer
2: DirectoryOpus
3: TotalCommander
4: QAPconnect (about 50 other file managers)
Help
AddAutoAtTop1 (true)Add new favorite at the top (if true) or bottom (if false) when adding with commands "Add This Folder", "Add This Folder Express" or with QAP Explorer Context menus.Help
AddCloseToDynamicMenus1 (true)Add a close menu allowing to dismiss the QAP menu. This menu entry can be turned off if user prefer to dismiss the menu by click elsewhere (but this is known as not working 100% of times)Help
AlternativeHotkeyKeyboard+#WKeyboard hotkey to open the QAP Alternative menu ("+" stands for Shift and "#" for Windows)Help
AlternativeHotkeyMouse+MButtonMouse button to open the QAP Alternative menu ("+" stands for Shift and "MButton" for middle mouse button)Help
AlternativeTrayIcon(none)File path of an image to use as a replacement for standard QAP icon in the Notification zoneHelp
AvailableThemesWindows|Grey|Light Blue|Light Green|Light Red|YellowList of themes described in this settings fileHelp
ChangeFolderInDialog0 (false)Allow QAP to change folder in file dialog boxesHelp
ChangeFolderInDialogAlertRead0 (false)Confirm that user read the info about risk of trying to change folder in a "non-file" dialog boxHelp
Check4Update0 (false, for portable) / 1 (true, for setup)Allow QAP to check on QAP website if a new version is availableHelp
DefaultMenuBuilt0 (false)Informs QAP that the default menu "My QAP Esssentials" and "My Special Folders" were built (normally at first QAP execution)Help
DiagMode0 (false)Enable diagnostic mode for debugging purpose (collecting data in the file QuickAccessPopup-DIAG.txt while executing specific functions)
DirectoryOpusNewTabOrWindow(none)Parameter sent to Directory Opus when opening a folder in a new window or tab ("NEW" or "NEWTAB")Help
DirectoryOpusPath(none)Path to the executable file of the file manager Directory OpusHelp
DirectoryOpusUseTabs1 (true)Instructs QAP to open folders in a new tab (if true) or in a new instance of Directory Opus (if false)Help
DisplayIcons1 (true)Instructs QAP to display menu iconsHelp
DisplayMenuShortcuts0 (false)Instructs QAP to display menu shortcuts (numbers or letters allowing to select menu item by hitting its number or letter)Help
DisplayTrayTip1 (true)Instructs QAP to display the popup in the Notification zone when menu is ready after startupHelp
DynamicMenusRefreshRate10000Number of milliseconds between background refresh of dynamic menus (not used at this time)Help
ExclusionMouseList(none)List of applications or windows where the QAP main menu mouse trigger will be ignored; part of the window title or window class name, separated by vertical bar (|); if prefixed by "*", the exclusion also apply to app's dialog boxesHelp
ExplorerContextMenus1Indicate if Explorer context menu were enabled by setup program or by QAP in Options, or disabled in QAP Options. Chaging this value in setings file have no effect and should be avoided.Help
ExternalMenusCataloguePath(none)Path to the catalogue root on a shared driveHelp
ExternalMenusCataloguePathReadOnly0 (false)When set to "1" prevent user from enabling/disabling the catalogue or changing its path in the Options dialog boxHelp
HotkeyReminders3Display hotkey reminders in menu in short or long format
1: Do not display
2: Display abbreviated names
3: Display full names
Help
IconSize32Size of icons in QAP menu, in pixelsHelp
IconsManageRows(none)Number of rows to display in the Manage Icons windowHelp
LanguageCode ENCode of the active language ("FR", "PT-BR", etc.)Help
LastExportFile(none)File of the last Export settings action, proposed as default for next exportHelp
LastExportFolder(working directory)Folder used for the last Export settings actionHelp
LastImportFolder(working directory)Folder used for the last Import settings actionHelp
LastModified(none)(Used in shared menus settings file only) Last file modification date-time of the shared menu ini file, taken from the file system and is be independent from various user's clocks or time zones. It is stored in the "yyyymmddhh24miss" formatUsed to detect if a shared menu file was modified by another user since QAP was loaded,
LastVersionUsedAlpha 0.0Last alpha version used (for internal use)
LastVersionUsedBeta 0.0Last beta version used (for internal use)
LastVersionUsedProd 0.0Last version used (for internal use)
LatestVersionSkipped 0.0Last version skipped using the Check for update command (for internal use)
LatestVersionSkippedBeta 0.0Last beta version skipped using the Check for update command (for internal use)
LeftControlDoublePressed0 (false)Open the QAP main menu by pressing the Left Control key twice within 400 ms (if 1)Help
MenuName(none)(Used in shared menus settings file only) Name of a shared menu shown in various dialog boxes and used as default name when user adds the shared menu from the Shared Menus Catalogue
MenuReservedBy(none)(Used in shared menus settings file only) Windows logon name and computer name of the user currently editing the shared menu, menu is not reserved if empty
MenuType1(Used in shared menus settings file only) Type of shared menu: 1 (Personal), 2 (Collaborative) or 3 (Centralized)
NavigateOrLaunchHotkeyKeyboard#WKeyboard shortcut showing the QAP main menuHelp
NavigateOrLaunchHotkeyMouseMButtonMouse button/keyboard combination showing the QAP main menuHelp
NbLiveFolderItemsMax500Maximum number of items in a menu (including submenus) for a Live Folder favoriteHelp
OpenMenuOnTaskbar1 (true)Allow the popup menu mouse hotkey to open the QAP menu when clicked over the Windows taskbarHelp
PopupFixPosition20,20Coordinate where the QAP popup menu is shown (x, y) when the PopupMenuPosition is set to "At fix position" (3) or as close as possible to it; x can be greater than the first screen limit to display the menu on a second screenHelp
PopupMenuPosition1Display the popup menu near the mouse position (1), at top-left of the active window (2) or at a fix positionHelp
QAPconnectFileManager(none)Name of the selected external file manager as it appears between square brackets in the QAPconnect.ini fileHelp
QAPconnectNewTabOrWindow(none)Instructs QAP to open folders in a new tab (if true) or in a new instance of the file manager selected in the QAPconnect list (if false)Help
QAPconnectPath(none)Path to the executable file of the file manager selected in the QAPconnect listHelp
RecentFoldersMax10Number of items to show in the Recent Folders menuHelp
RememberSettingsPosition1 (true)Remember the QAP Settings position when QAP is closed open the Settings at this location at next launchHelp
RightControlDoublePressed0 (false)Open the QAP main menu by pressing the Right Control key twice within 400 ms (if 1)Help
SettingsPosition-1 (center at minimal size)Position where Settings window will be displayed if RememberSettingsPosition option is 1 (true); X,Y,W,H (left, top, width and height)Help
Startups1Number of startups since the ini file was created (for internal use)
SwitchSettingsFolder(working directory)Folder of the last switched settings file, used as default for next switch actionHelp
Theme WindowsCurrent theme used for Settings, various dialog boxes and popup menu colors, one of the themes in AvailableThemesHelp
TotalCommanderNewTabOrWindow(none)Parameter sent to Total Commander when opening a folder in a new window or tab ("/O /T" or "/N")Help
TotalCommanderPath(none)Path to the executable file of the file manager Total CommanderHelp
TotalCommanderUseTabs1 (true)Instructs QAP to open folders in a new tab (if true) or in a new instance of Total Commander (if false)Help
TotalCommanderWinCmd(none)Location of the wincmd.ini file whre are read the Total Commander hotlistHelp
UnderstandChangeFoldersInDialogRisk0 (false)Flag that uer read and accepted the caution note about trying to change forler in a non-file dialog boxHelp
UseClassicButtons0 (false)Display old back and white buttons in Settings windowHelp
UserBanner(none)Optional text added to the app name in the Settings window header, no validation of lenght, keep short
WaitDelayInDialogBox100delay in milliseconds when changing folder in dialog box to help with an intermittent issue in in some apps like Firefox Help
WriteAccessMessage(none)(Used in shared menus settings file only) Message displayed to user having only read-only access to a centralized menu when they try to edit the menu. It can be used to direct the user to the menu administrator.
WriteAccessUsers(none)(Used in shared menus settings file only) Users who can edit a centralized shared menu, one or multiple Windows logon names, separated by coma or semi-colon

Can a submenu be used by the same user on different system using a personal shared folder?

Yes. Personal shared menus allow you to keep some of your favorites in a menu setting file that could be accessed on different PCs using file synchronization tool (like Dropbox) or a network drive.

Note: See notes and other types of shared menus: Can a submenu be shared on different PCs or by different users?

Adding a Personal Shared Menu

  1. To create or add a shared menu, in the Add Favorite dialog box, select Shared Menu and press Continue.
  2. In the Shared menu settings file location, enter the path and file name of the external settings file. File extension must be .ini. If the settings file already exists, its content will be added to your popup menu. If it does not exist, it is created as an empty submenu.
  3. In the Short name for menu text zone, enter or edit the name of the new submenu if required.
  4. Set Menu Options as usual and save the new favorite.
  5. In the Shared Menu tab, select Personal.


Conflicts management
In Personal mode, Quick Access Popup alerts you if:

  • changes to your shared menu were left unchanged on another of your computers;
  • your menu was updated on another of your computers since you loaded QAP on the current computer.

Can a submenu be shared as a team or workgroup collaborative tool?

Yes. Shared menus is an easy and convient way for teams and workgroups to share links to documents, applications, folders or any other resource. Designed for collaboration, any user having access to the shared menu can add or update favorites or submenus. The shared menu file can be saved on a network drive or a shared folder using a file synchronization tool (like Dropbox). QAP fully supports collaborative work avoiding modification conflicts.

Note: See notes and other types of shared menus: Can a submenu be shared on different PCs or by different users?

Adding a Collaborative Shared Menu

  1. To create or add a shared menu, in the Add Favorite dialog box, select Shared Menu and press Continue. If the Shared Menus Catalogue is enabled, user is offered to add a menu from the catalogue (user can also add a shared menu or create a new shared menu regardless of the catalogue).
  2. In the Shared menu settings file location, enter the path and file name of the external settings file. File extension must be .ini. If the settings file already exists, its content will be added to your popup menu. If it does not exist, it is created as an empty submenu.
  3. In the Short name for menu text zone, enter or edit the name of the new submenu if required.
  4. Set Menu Options as usual and save the new favorite.
  5. For a new shared menu, in the Shared Menu tab, select Collaborative and enter the shared menu name (this info is saved in the shared menu file itself).


Quick Access Popup offer teams and groups of users collaborative features allowing to benefits from the favorites found and maintained by co-workers. Quick Access Popup prevents the current user to overwrite changes done by another user since its QAP menu was loaded. To avoid Collaborative Shared menu files modifications conflicts, Quick Access Popup alerts you if:

  • another user is making changes to the menu;
  • your menu was updated by another user since you loaded QAP.

Can a submenu be managed by a menu administrator for the benefit of read-only users?

Yes. Shared menus is an easy and convient way for a person or group in managing information for their colleagues to distribute links to documents, applications, folders or any other resource. Designed for controled management, a centralized shared menu is read-only for all users except those configured as menu administrators. The shared menu file can be saved on a network drive or a shared folder using a file synchronization tool (like Dropbox). Of course, users having write-access to the shared menu settings file could edit it using a text editor.

Note: See notes and other types of shared menus: Can a submenu be shared on different PCs or by different users?

Adding a Centralized Shared Menu

  1. To create or add a shared menu, in the Add Favorite dialog box, select Shared Menu and press Continue. If the Shared Menus Catalogue is enabled, user is offered to add a menu from the catalogue (user can also add a shared menu or create a new shared menu regardless of the catalogue).
  2. In the Shared menu settings file location, enter the path and file name of the external settings file. File extension must be .ini. If the settings file already exists, its content will be added to your popup menu. If it does not exist, it is created as an empty submenu.
  3. In the Short name for menu text zone, enter or edit the name of the new submenu if required.
  4. Set Menu Options as usual and save the new favorite.
  5. For a new shared menu, in the Shared Menu tab, select Centralized and enter the shared menu settings (this info is saved in the shared menu file itself):
    • Shared menu name;
    • Users with write access to this shared menu: enter one or multiple Windows logon names separated by coma;
    • Shared menu write access message: message displayed to read-only users when they try to edit the shared menu.


When read-only users when they try to edit a centralized shared menu, the write access message is displayed. Here is an example:

Only menu administrators named in the Users with write access to this shared menu text box can edit the content of the shared menu. If more than one user have this privilege, Quick Access Popup prevents the current user to overwrite changes done by another administrator since its QAP menu was loaded. It avoids files modifications conflicts and alerts you if:

  • another administrator is making changes to the menu;
  • the centralized menu was updated by another administrator since you loaded QAP.

Generating an shared menu

If you want to generate a Shared menu settings file from an external application, see the structure of the favorites in a settings file: What is the structure of QAP settings (ini) file?

Advanced user notes: The last file modification date-time is stored in the shared ini file in the [Global] value LastModified in "yyyymmddhh24miss" format (for example "20170309224941"). The file modification date-time in the ini file is updated only when changes are done to the content itself (shared favorites or shared menu values like name, write access, etc.), preventing reservation/release actions (modifying the file's date-time without real modifications in the content) to update the date and prompt for an unrequired reload. This value should be updated if the content of a centralized shared menu file is changed outside QAP by an administrator or by an automatic process.

 

What is the content of a shared menus settings file (for advanced users)?

Note (March 2017): This FAQ page is actually evolving since the shared menu feature is evolving from one beta version to the other. To fully use the new features, please see the beta users page. If you use the latest regular version v8.1.1 (or before), see the section "Shared Menus for v8.1 (or before)".

Each shared menu settings file is saved in a separate .ini files stored on a shared drive or folder. Each user can add a shared menu as for other menus using the Add Favorite button. The info about the added shared menu is stored in the user's QuickAccessPopup.ini file in a line like this:

Favorite1=External|HR Menu|> HR Menu|C:IconsJLicons.dll,42||C:SharedMenusHR_Menu.ini||||||||0||||||

Anatomy of a shared menu settings file

Users having access to the shared menu ini file on a network drive or shared folder (Dropbox, etc.) can manage the shared menu in a text editor. They can also be generated from an external data source. If you edit or generate a settings file, make sure its content is fully compliant with the QAP structure because little or no validation is done when QAP loads a settings file. QAP assumes that the settings file contains valid data as if it was saved by itself.

The shared menu settings file itself is composed of three sections:

  • [Global]: information about the menu
  • [Favorites]: the list of favorites shared in this menu
  • [Favorites-backup]: a backup of the favorites as they were before the last time the shared menu was saved

Here is an example of a shared menu. Its content is detailed below.

[Global]
MenuName=HR Resources Menu
WriteAccessUsers=Mary,Jean
WriteAccessMessage=Please contact Mary at HR for suggestions about the HR shared menu.
MenuReservedBy=
MenuType=3
LastModified=20170316093906
[Favorites-backup]
Favorite1=...
Favorite2=...
Favorite3=Z
[Favorites]
Favorite1=...
Favorite2=...
Favorite3=...
Favorite4=Z

[Favorites] section

The shared favorites are listed in the [Favorites] section in the order they are saved and loaded by QAP. The details of the favorites structure is the same as for the user's QuickAccessPopup.ini file. You can find more info about the favorites in a settings file here: What is the structure of QAP settings (ini) file?

[Global] section

The content of the [Global] section depends on the type of shared menu. The four first values are common to all types of shared menus:

MenuType=

  1. Personal (default)
  2. Collaborative
  3. Centralized

MenuName=
The shared menu name is shown in various dialog boxes and used as default name when user adds the shared menu from the Shared Menus Catalogue.

LastModified=
The last modified date-time is used to detect if a shared menu file was modified by another user since QAP was loaded. This prevents the user to edit the menu based on an older version of its content. Last file modification date-time of the shared menu ini file is taken from the file system and is be independent from various user's clocks or time zones. It is stored in the  "yyyymmddhh24miss" format (more info in AHK documentation). Of course, the date-time being written to the file right after its modification, the real file's date-time can be a few milliseconds after the value saved in the file without impacting the conflict protection. The file modification date-time in the ini file is updated only when changes are done to the content itself (shared favorites), preventing reservation/release actions modifying the file's date-time without real modifications in the content to prompt for an unrequired reload. This value should be updated if the content of the shared menu file is changed outside QAP by an administrator using a text editor or by an automatic process.

MenuReservedBy=
This value is used to track current editing of a shared menu. It contains the Windows logon name and computer name of the user currently editing the shared menu (you can find the current user's logon name in the QAP About dialog box). If this value is empty, the menu is not currently reserved. When the user who reserved the menu saves or cancels his changes to the Settings, or quits QAP, the value of MenuReservedBy is erased, releasing the shared menu. This value can be erased manually by an administrator if, for any reason, a file is locked by a user who could not access the file using QAP. This value is critical to collaborative shared menus where the risk of simultaneous editing is more likely to occur. But is it also used to alert a personal shared menu user if the menu was left unsaved on another PC and to alert administrator of a centralized menu if another administrator is currently editing the menu.

The last two values are specific to Centralized shared menus:

WriteAccessUsers=
Only users listed in this value can edit a centralized shared menu. Enter one or multiple Windows logon names, separated by coma. Note: of course, any user having write-access to the shared menu settings file itself could edit it using a text editor.

WriteAccessMessage=
This is the message displayed to user having only read-only access to a centralized menu when they try to edit the menu. It can be used to direct the user to the menu administrator.

Personal shared menu example

[Global]
MenuType=1
MenuName=My Personal Menu
LastModified=20170309224941

Collaborative shared menu example

[Global]
MenuType=2
MenuName=Team Shared Menu
MenuReservedBy=
LastModified=20170309224941

Centralized shared menu example

[Global]
MenuType=3
MenuName=HR Toolkit Menu
WriteAccessUsers=Peter,Paul,Mary
WriteAccessMessage=Please forward suggestions to Peter, Paul or Mary.
MenuReservedBy=
LastModified=20170309224941

Can I create a catalogue of shared menus for my team or workgroup?

Note (March 2017): This FAQ page is actually evolving since the shared menu feature is evolving from one beta version to the other. To fully use the new features, please see the beta users page. If you use the latest regular version v8.1.1 (or before), see the section "Shared Menus for v8.1 (or before)".

The Shared Menus Catalogue is a repository of settings files managed by menu administrators or by other workgroup members. It is designed to facilitate the addition of shared menus by users.  The settings files (.ini files) are located on a shared network drive, in one root folder (or in various subfolders in order to manage different write access).

If the Shared Menus Catalogue is enabled (see below how to enable it) when user adds a Shared menu, user is offered to select an existing Shared menu file from the repository and click the button Add selected shared menu(s). User can click list headers to sort the catalogue by menu name or by menu settings file path. User can also add any other shared menu or create a new shared menu regardless of the Catalogue by clicking on the button Add another shared menu.

User can double-click on a catalogue line to view the clicked shared menu info (menu name, type, owners, etc). Users having write access to the shared menu file (Mary and Jean, in this example) see the Open shared menu file? prompt with Yes and No buttons, allowing them to edit the shared menu properties in the ini file (of course, users also need network write access to the containing folder).

Enabling the Shared Menus Catalogue

The catalogue can be enabled in the Options dialog box (General tab) by checking Enable Shared Menus Catalogue checkbox and by entering the path of the Catalogue root folder.

System administrator could also edit the users' QuickAccessPopup.ini files (see How can I edit the file QuickAccessPopup.ini?) and, for each user, enter these values under the [Global] section:

ExternalMenusCataloguePath=
Path to the catalogue root on a shared drive (as entered in the Options dialog box).

ExternalMenusCataloguePathReadOnly=1
This variable set to "1" can prevent the user from enabling/disabling the catalogue or changing its path in the Options dialog box (of course, user could still change it in its own personal QuickAccessPopup.ini file).

For future users, the admin can also add these values in the ini file template used to create new users settings file. More info here: Are administrator rights required to install QAP?

 

Can I backup, import or export my favorites and settings?

The Import/Export Settings QAP feature can be uses for two reasons:

  • create a backup of your favorites and other settings in a file that you can save where you want;
  • exchange favorites and settings between different PCs or different users.

To open the Import/Export Settings dialog box, right-click the QAP icon in the Notification zone and click Import/Export Settings. If you use this command often, you can also add the Import/Export Settings command to your QAP menu by adding a QAP Feature.

In the Import/Export Settings dialog box:

  1. Click the Export or Import buttons.
  2. Choose the Source file to import or the Destination file that will be created (if it does not exist) to store your exported data. The last source and destination files are remembered and displayed as default
  3. Choose to import or export any or all of these settings groups: favorites, hotkeys, alternative menu hotkeys, global settings and themes.
  4. Click the Export or Import button.
  5. Alerts will inform you if existing settings are to be overwritten in the destination file and a report will summarize the completed actions.

Export Tips

  • Starting with v8.1.1, when exporting settings, you can use the following placeholders in the file name, allowing you to save different export files without having to give new file names:
    • %A_Now% will be translated to the current local date-time of your computer and
    • %A_NowUTC% to the current Coordinated Universal Time (still based on you computer time),
    • using YYYYMMDDHH24MISS format,
    • for example, as I write this, the file name my-export-%A_Now%.ini would be converted to my-export-20170228193600.ini.

Import Tips

  • When importing favorites, you can choose to:
    • replace the favorites currently in your QuickAccessPopup.ini file
    • or append the favorite to the existing one.
    • IMPORTANT NOTE: If you choose to append favorites, make sure that there are no duplicates names in the favorites (or submenus) in your existing Main menu and in the favorites in your imported Main menu. Currently, QAP does not check for name duplicates and if a name conflict occurs, your menu could become offset depending on the position (and number) of duplicates.
  • To import settings, the source file content must comply with QuickAccessPopup.ini structure. More info about ini file anatomy here: What is the structure of QAP settings (ini) file?.

Can I block the QAP menu trigger (middle mouse button) if it interfere with one of my other apps?

Yes. There may be some applications where the user does not want the QAP menu mouse trigger (by default, Middle Mouse Button) to interfere with the app's normal behavior. QAP allows to block the QAP mouse menu based on the window title or window class identification.

But, before considering blocking hotkeys, you could first see if another hotkey would best fit your needs. If yes, use the Options window, tab Menu hotkeys to select different triggers for the QAP menu.

If you prefer the exclusion approach, open the Exclusions list in the Options dialog box (tab Exclusions list). In the text zone, enter any part of the window title of the application to exclude (the window title is what appear in the top horizontal bar of the window). You can enter multiple exclusions, one per line.

For example, to exclude Google Chrome and Microsoft Word applications, enter the following two lines in the exclusion list:

Google Chrome
Microsoft Word

Click Save and try the to open the menu again in these windows. The menu won't show up. The QAP hotkey is disabled and the middle mouse button click is sent to the target window as if QAP was not running.

Excluding dialog boxes

By default, QAP will only block the mouse hotkey in the app's main window. Starting with v8.1, you can disable the mouse hotkey also in app's dialog boxes by adding the prefix * (asterisk) to the title or the class name, for example:

*3D Studio

In this example, the mouse hotkey will be blocked in both the 3D Studio Max main window and in its dialog boxes.

To be more specific

Using this technique, there may be situation where a window title in another app could include one of the exclusion strings you entered. For example, if you save a file in Notepad under the name "My Microsoft Word tips and tricks.txt", this window would be excluded because it includes the string "Microsoft Word". But you can be more specific with this:

- Microsoft Word

Adding the dash and space at the beginning of the string will exclude Word windows because the app name in the Word's title bar is always preceded by the document name and a dash between spaces.

To be a bit more technical

Another way to be more specific is to enter part of the app's "window class name". For example, Word's windows class name is "OpusApp" and Chrome' windows class name is "Chrome_WidgetWin". So, these two exclusion lines could be:

Chrome_WidgetWin
OpusApp

How can I find a window class name or a window title if the app has no title bar?

To identify the window you want to exclude, use the Get window Title and Class button at the bottom of the Exclusions list in the Options dialog box. It will prompt you to click in the target window with the QAP menu hotkey (middle mouse button) and will copy the window title and class name in your Clipboard. Paste this info in the exclusion list and edit it to remove unnecessary parts as described above.

There are other tools to gather more info about windows. I recommend this freeware utility: WinLister by NirSoft.

Why does dialog boxes sometimes refuse to change folder?

First, make sure the change folder in dialog box option is enabled. See: Can I change folders in file dialog boxes (Open, Save As, etc.)?

There seems to be an intermittent issue noted in Firefox (and possibly other apps) that interrupt the change folder action initated by QAP.

Normally, QAP introduces a 100 ms delay at a given step when changing folder in dialog boxes. Making this delay longer may help. In my tests, it increased success rate in Firefox dialog boxes (without resolving the issue completely, unfortunately). Add this value in QuickAccessPopup.ini file under section [Global]:

WaitDelayInDialogBox=200

If the line is not in the settings file, just add it under [Global]. 100 is the default value (in milliseconds). Increase it to 200 (or more) to see how it improves changing folders in Firefox or orher app.

Fell free to use the comment box below to give feedback on this issue.

 

Can I call the Quick Access Popup menu from an AutoHotkey macro?

Yes, but there is small trick you need to know.

First, for those not familiar with AutoHotkey (AHK): this is the programming language used to develop Quick Access Popup. It is also a macro scripting tool. AHK developers could write scripts in which they could integrate a call to open QAP menu by "sending" the QAP menu hotkey (by default Middle mouse button) as if it was pressed by the user.

To call an AHK hotkey in one script from another script using the Send command, in some situations, you must insert the SendLevel, 1 command before the Send command. For example, the script below will call the QAP menu (assuming the mouse trigger for QAP is the default Middle Mouse Button).

#NoEnv
#NoTrayIcon
#SingleInstance Off
SendLevel, 1
Send, {MButton}

If you remove the SendLevel, 1 line, the call will not work. For more info about SendLevel, see AHK doc.

Why converting the settings file to Unicode and what to do if I encounter issues after conversion?

From its beginning, Quick Access Popup is built with an Unicode architecture. This allows QAP to handle any type of characters and to be translated to any language, including two variations of Chinese.

However, last summer, thanks to a bug report from Doğan, a Turkish user, I realized that the QuickAccessPopup.ini settings file was created using the ANSI encoding instead of Unicode. In his example, Doğan found that a favorite folder including an "i without dot" like "D:\Yazılar\" was saved to the settings file as "D:\Yazilar\". The favorite was working well just after he created it. But as soon as the favorite was saved to settings and reloaded, the "ı" was converted to an "i" with a dot, making his favorite unusable.

"What makes Unicode so beneficial? Arguably that it, in essence, enables any character, letter or symbol to be represented using one single standard."

To know more about Unicode, read this very good post: Unicode 101: An Introduction to the Unicode Standard. For a more technical reference, see this Wikipedia page.

Many QAP users coming from everywhere around the world, it is important to take advantage of Unicode standard. This is why, starting with QAP v8.5.9.1 BETA (to become official release v8.6), at startup, QAP prompts the user to convert its QuickAccessPopup.ini file to Unicode. This dialog box will be shown to the user only one time, anod only if the QAP settings file is encoded with ANSI.

User can click:

  • Yes convert to Unicode to do the conversion;
  • No keep ANSI encoding to keep its actual file (a flag is added to the settings file to remember not to prompt the user again with this dialog box);
  • Ask me next time to be prompted again at next QAP launch.

The only reason for choosing No would be if you encounter an issue after the conversion. From my tests, errors would occur only if you did some unusual manipulations of your settings file (see note 2). For the majority of users, the conversion should be done seamlessly.

This being said, if, after the Unicode conversion, you find QAP giving error messages at startup or displaying strange characters in your menu, here is how to revert the conversion and return to the previous version:

  1. Make sure QAP is closed
  2. Go to the QAP working directory.
  3. Delete or rename the converted QuickAccessPopup.ini file.
  4. Rename QuickAccessPopup.ini-ANSI-BK to QuickAccessPopup.ini.
  5. Restart QAP and select No keep ANSI encoding.

Note 1: If Unicode encoding is important to you and you get errors, send me you setting files (original and converted) in a ZIP file to keep their original encoding at support@quickaccesspopup.com.

Note 2: If your settings file was saved at some point using the UTF-8 No BOM encoding, this could be a reason for the issues (because this type of encoding cannot be distinguished from the ANSI encoding). But in normal use, Windows .ini settings file should always be saved as ANSI or Unicode UTF-16 (Big Endian).