Are administrator rights required to install QAP?

If the Quick Access Popup setup program asks for an administrator password, you have two options: ask your system administrator to install it for you (using the setup program). Or, if you have some basic technical knowledge and prefer to get it done yourself, install Quick Access Popup in portable mode since this type of installation does not require administrative rights.

Now, for your sysadmin...

The QAP setup program requires elevated rights (via a User Account Control dialog) when the installation is started. If the setup program was started by an unprivileged user, Windows will ask for the password to an account that has administrative privileges, and the setup will then run under that account.

In order to allow installation by the admin and to set configuration files specific to end users, the setup program is executing the following steps.

  1. It creates a group Quick Access Popup in the All Users Start Menu with the Start In parameter set to the common appdata folder (for example: C:\ProgramData\Quick Access Popup).
  2. In the common appdata folder, the setup program creates file named quickaccesspopup-setup.ini where QAP stores the language selected by user during setup. This folder can also include customized templates of the files QuickAccessPopup.ini and QAPconnect.ini. This would allow the sysadmin to create a default menu and default configuration for the needs of his organization's end users.
  3. When Quick Access Popup is launched for the first time by an end user, it creates in user's appdata folder (for example: C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Quick Access Popup) the files QuickAccessPopup.ini and QAPconnect.ini from an internal template, unless templates of these files are found in the common appdata folder. In this case, these files are copied to user's appdata folder. Original files in the common appdata folder are never changed by end users.
  4. If the end user selects the Run at Startup option, the shortcut created in his/her personal Startup folder will make sure the users's config is saved in his/her personal appdata folder.

If, during setup, the option Import Folders Popup settings and favorites is selected, the imported settings are saved in the file quickaccesspopup.ini in the common appdata folder. This file would also be used as a template for en users configuration.

As seen at step #2 above, sysadmins could create or edit the quickaccesspopup.ini file in the common appdata folder to gives their users a template with favorites of interest for all users: network folders, path to shared applications or documents, intranet URLs, etc. Administrator could also edit this file to enable the Shared Menus Catalogue to facilitate the addition of shared menus by end users (see Can I create a catalogue of shared menus for my team or workgroup?).

To facilitate the creation of a new quickaccesspopup.ini file, admin can run QAP in portable mode, configure options and favorites and copy to fresh ini file the common appdata folder.

About Explorer Context Menus

When installed with in setup mode, QAP always enable its Explorer Context Menus. There are two exceptions: context menus will *not* be enabled if "ExplorerContextMenus=0" in either of the quickaccesspopup.ini file in current user's appdata folder or common appdata folder. More about Explorer context menus: Explorer Context Menus Help.

What options in the Favorites dialog box impact how the favorites are launched?

The Add/Edit favorites dialog box has three or four tabs depending on the favorite type. The last tabs determine how the favorite are launched:

  • Window Options: This tab is available only for Folder, Special Folder and FTP favorites. If you uncheck the Use default window position, you can enter the position of the window created when you open a folder in a new window. A configurable delay can be set to augment the window moving/resizing reliability.

  • Advanced Settings: You can set various options depending on favorite types.
    • Launch with this application: Select the executable to launch a folder, a special folder, a document, a link or an FTP site.
    • Start in: Set the working directory for applications. Note that not all applications take this parameter into account.
    • Parameters: Add command-line parameters to the command launching your favorite. It is available for all types of favorites. It supports the following location placeholders: {LOC} for full location, {NAME} for file name, {DIR} for directory, {EXT} for extension, {NOEXT} for file name without extension and {DRIVE} for drive letter. It also supports placeholders for the current location.
    • Encode FTP URL: Available only for FTP site favorites, determine if login name and password added to the FTP site URL are encoded or not (take note that, even when encoded, the password is not encrypted and is saved in the settings file and sent on Internet in clear text - be cautious if your password protects sensitive data!).
    • The following example shows a Document favorite that will be launched with the application Do-it.exe and the /X parameter.

Also, for Applications favorites, the check box If the application is already running, activate it instead of launching  in the Basic Settings can be used to flag if you want to bring this application to the front if is is already running instead of starting a new instance of the app.

When do I need to use the QAP menu in the Notifications Area?

The Quick Access Popup icon in the Notification Area (System Tray) has two functions.

  • Left-click on the Quick Access Popup icon in the Notification area to open your favorites menu. This menu is always available in the Tray. When you select a folder, it is always open in a new window,
  • Right-click the icon in the Notification area to open the QAP system menu:
    • open the Settings dialog box;
    • open the QuickAccesssPopup.ini file to fine tune your settings (make sure you have a safe backup before editing this file);
    • Restart Quick Access Popup after changes has been made to the ini file;
    • select the Run at Startup option to launch QAP automatically;
    • choose Suspend Hotkeys to temporarily disable all QAP hotkeys;
    • use the Check for update menu to discover if you should download a new QAP version;
    • open the Help, About and Support Freeware! windows;
    • and select Quit Quick Access Popup to unload QAP from the active memory.

What are favorites advanced settings?

Advanced Settings give more control on how favorites are launched.

  • Launch with this application: Normally, folders and FTP sites are open with Windows Explorer (or your custom file manager), documents are open with their default application and links are accessed with your default browser. With the advanced setting Launch with this application, you can choose which application will be used to launch your favorite.
  • Parameters: Add command-line parameters to the command that will launch your favorite. This option is available for all types of favorites. It supports location placeholders: for example "{LOC}" in the parameter will be replaced with the full path and file name of the favorite's location. You can also insert in the command-line only parts of the location (examples are based the the location "C:\MyFolder\MyFile.exe") :
    • {LOC} for full location ("C:\MyFolder\MyFile.exe")
    • {NAME} for file name ("MyFile.exe")
    • {DIR} for directory ("C:\MyFolder")
    • {EXT} for extension ("exe")
    • {NOEXT} for file name without extension ("MyFile")
    • and {DRIVE} for drive letter. ("C")

    See also:

  • Can I pass the current folder as parameter to an application launched with QAP?

  • How can I enter multiple parameters for an application favorite?

  • Start in: This advanced setting available for Application favorites allows to set the default working directory for the application. Take note that not all applications will use this setting.
  • Encode FTP URL: When you specify user name and password for a FTP favorite, these values are added to the URL and sent to the FTP server. When enabled, this options make sure login name and password are properly encoded. Some application (like Total Commander) may prefer the values to be sent without encoding. For these apps, uncheck the option.Take note that this encoding is not encrypting. It does not prevent the password from being saved in the settings file and sent on Internet in clear text. Be cautious if your password protects sensitive data!

How can I enter multiple parameters for an application favorite?

In favorites advanced settings, you can enter command line parameters (also called arguments) that are added to the application path when the application is launched (more info on this). If you have only one parameter, simply type it in the last tab of the Add/Edit Favorite dialog box. Usually, you would not need to enclose the parameter between double-quotes but this is something you could try if this does not work as expected.

You need to know that not all applications parse command-line parameters the same way. This is why some trial-error may be required. This is especially true if you want to enter more than one parameter. These parameters need to be separated but putting a space between them. But this may not be sufficient because spaces could be part of the parameters. The solution I found (based on my personal experience with a limited number of applications) is to enclose each parameter between double-quotes.

For example, if you want to launch Outlook with two parameters:

  • in Location (first tab) of an Application favorite, enter Outlook.exe (you don't need to enter the full path if the application is properly registered in your Windows environment);
  • in the last tab Advanced Settings, in Parameters, enter "/a c:\filename.txt" "/nopollmail" (double quotes around each parameter, one space between the two parameters).

This will launch Outlook without checking mail at startup ("/nopollmail") and will create a new mail item with the specified file attached ("/a c:\filename.txt").

But remember that this technique is not universal and may require adjutments depending on the target application.

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.

[Wishlist] Offer a Folders Popup legacy setting option when installing

This would be separate program executed on demand (at QAP installation or later) or a feature included in QAP. I don't know yet.

This feature will read the FoldersPopup.ini file (asking the user to identify this file or looking at the startup shortcut to get the FP working directory) and will rewrite the QuickAccessFolder.ini file according to its new structure.

 

[Wishlist] Add a folder, document or application to popup menu by right-clicking it in Explorer or file dialog box

This would require a script to be loaded with QAP. This script would add a context menu named "Add to Quick Access Popup menu". When user choose this menu item, the script sends a message to QAP. In QAP, a listener receives this message and opens the Add Favorite dialog box to complete the addition.

This feature would not be portable and would only be possible if QAP is installed using the the standard setup procedure. It would also be offered as an option in order to let user decide if this command should be installed in the host environment.

[Wishlist] Trigger the popup menu from the Explorer, file dialog box or Desktop context menu

This context menu is obtained when you right-click in the white zone of an Explorer or file dialog box window, or on the Desktop's background. In other words, anywhere except on icons or file lists.

This context menu named Quick Access Popup menu... would send a message to QAP. The receiver in QAP would then open the main menu. As for this item, the feature would be only for non-portable install.