QAP 101: What should I know about Quick Access Popup before I start (and can't stop) using it?

When you run it, Quick Access Popup (QAP) adds an icon in the Notification Area and awaits your orders. When you want to open a frequently used folder, launch an application or work on a document, open the Quick Access Popup menu.

  1. There are three ways to to open the Quick Access Popup menu:
    • Click on the Quick Access Popup icon in the Notification Area (System Tray).
    • Or click the middle mouse button (MMB).
    • Or, if you are a keyboard shortcut addict, press Windows+W.
  2. In the QAP menu, select your favorite folder, application or document. Quick Access Popup will instantly launch it!

Open the QAP menu from the QAP icon in the Notification Area to launch a favorite

Open the QAP menu in Windows Explorer (middle mouse button or Windows + W) to change the folder in the current window


You are already working in a Windows Explorer and just want to change the folder in the current window?

  1. Click the middle mouse button while the mouse pointer is over the Explorer window (or press Windows+W).
  2. In the popup menu, select the desired folder. Quick Access Popup will instantly navigate your Explorer to the selected folder!
  3. Changing folders in file dialog boxes (Open, Save As, etc.) is also available if you enable this option (see  Can I change folders in file dialog boxes?).

Now, you can't resist to customize your popup menu? Adding your own folders, applications, documents, web links or FTP site is very easy.

  1. Open the QAP popup menu (middle mouse button or Windows+W) and choose the Settings menu.
  2. In the Settings window, click the Add button, select the type of favorite to add and click Continue.
  3. In the Add Favorite window, enter the menu name and the path to your favorite folder, application or document. There are plenty of options to discover in the other tabs but all you need to enter is in the first one justly named Basic Settings.
  4. Click Add when you are finished with the favorite's settings.
  5. Back in the Settings window, use the various buttons to add, reorder, remove or edit your favorites. Don't forget to click the big Save button in the Settings window to keep your changes.

There are a few alternative ways to add favorites:

  • Add folders on the fly. When you are in a favorite folder, open the QAP popup menu, select the menu Add This Folder (or press Shift+Control+A) and enter the menu name of this new favorite. See more info about the Add This Folder feature.
  • Drag & drop favorite folders, documents or applications from your file manager to the Settings window and give them a menu name. That's it!

What else should I know when I'll get familiar with the basics?

  1. What are these special folders in the My Special Folders menu?
  2. What are these options in the My QAP Essentials menu?
  3. Gather favorites in submenus.
  4. Launch groups of related favorites.
  5. Harness the Alternative features
  6. Iron the QAP icon in the Notification Area

What's new in Quick Access Popup v8?

With version 8, released 2017-01-03, Quick Access Popup can refresh your menu as the content of your folder changes. It also include a new dialog box to manage all your menu icons in one place and take the full benefits from brand new menu icons from Icons8. And much more...

Live Folder options

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Live Folder Options tab in "Add/Edit Favorite"

  • To enable a Live Folder favorite, add or edit a Folder favorite and go to the new tab Live Folders Options. In this tab you can select:
    • the checkbox Live Folder to transform this favorite into a menu (and submenus) refreshed with the current content of the folder (and its subfolders)
    • an option to set the Number of subfolders levels to include in the Live Folder menu (1 by default - keep it low for large folders)
    • an option to Include Documents in the Live Folder
    • an option to Include or Exclude documents by file extensions
    • an option to split Live Folder menu in columns of a given number of items per column (0 for no column break)
  • Add the new QAP Feature Refresh Live Folders menus to your menu to refresh Live Folder on-demand (normally, Live Folder menus are refreshed when you launch QAP of when you save changes in Settings)
  • QAP adds items to Live Folders up to a maximum of 500 items; if this number is exceeded, it displays an alert message
  • You can edit a Live Folder favorite in the Settings window or using the Alternative menu Edit a Favorite (Shift+Middle Mouse Button or Shift+Win+W) and also by clicking any item in a Live Folder menu with Shift+Ctrl menu modifiers pressed
  • More information about Live Folders.

New menu icons

  • QAP now uses new color icons from the shared file JLicons.dll installed with QAP
  • In "Easy Setup" mode, this file JLicons.dll is saved in the shared applications folder "C:ProgramDataJeanLalonde"
  • In "Portable" mode, the file JLicons.dll is included in the portable ZIP file and must be kept in the same folder as QAP executable file
  • This change frees QAP from its dependency on Windows files shell32.dll and imageres.dll
  • Using this icons library, menu icons can now be enabled on Windows Server versions.

Manage Icons

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Manage Icons dialog box

  • The new Manage Icons dialog box gives an overview of your current favorites menu icons with buttons to pick a new icon or reset the default icon for each favorite
  • Click the new button Icons in the Settings window (lower right) or add to your menu the QAP Feature named Icons
  • In Options (General tab), the numeric value Manage Icons window rows alloow to set the height of the window in case the height is calculated based on inaccurate info returned by Windows (this happens sometimes)
  • More information about the Manage Icons dialog box.

Various improvements

Settings window
  • New color buttons in Settings window and a new option (first tab) to Use classic QAP buttons (black & white) if you prefer the old style buttons
  • Stop rebuilding all menus after each add or edit favorite
  • Replace the Save button in Settings with two buttons: Save & Close and Save & Reload, the latter keeping the Settings window open after reloading the menu (this replaces holding the Shift or Alt modifier keys when clicking the Save button in previous versions)
  • When changes are unsaved in the Settings window, if the QAP menu is called or if a favorite is launched via hokey, QAP will prompt user for one of these actions: save settings, go to settings or cancel the requested action
  • Add a confirmation prompt before deleting a group in Settings
Manage Hotkeys window
  • New item order column in Hotkeys list to sort initialy favorites with hotkeys following the QAP menu order
  • Stop displaying group members in Hotkeys list (this was useless since hotkeys could not be assigned to individual group members)
  • In the Change hotkey dialog box, new links Enter and Escape allow to select Enter or Escape as hotkey (idealy associated with keyboard modifiers like Shift, Alt or Ctrl)
Shared menus
  • When saving a Shared menu settings file, compare the last modified date after saving and display an error message if the date was not updated (probably because the target file is read-only)
  • Display an error message if a new Shared menu settings file cannot be created (probably because the target folder is read-only)
  • Automatically append the .ini extension when selecting a Shared menu settings file
  • Note that Quick Access Popup still does not manage conflicts if a Shared menu is modified by different users at the same time (see Shared menu help page for more info)
Other improvements
  • New option in Options window (Menu hotkeys tab) to enable left or right double Ctrl hotkey (press left or right Control key twice) to open main QAP menu
  • Add .cmd extension to the list of supported application extensions (with .exe, .com, .bat, .ahk and .vbs) when adding a favorite by drag and drop or using Explorer context menus
  • Append .ini extension if destination export file has no extension when exporting settings
  • Replace the "QAP working" notification when rebuilding menu with a small popup message listing the updated menus, close to mouse cursor location
  • Record Windows Explorer window position when adding a folder from Windows Explorer context menu (allowing to restore this window position in the Window Options tab when launching the folder)
  • Add to QuickAccessPopup.ini the setting AlternativeTrayIcon under [Global] section to set a tray icon replacement (replacement file must be an .ico file)
  • In Options, General tab, the new checkbox Add automatically at the top of menu makes sure favorites added automatically with Add this folder, Add this folder Express or Add favorite from Windows Explorer context menus are added at the top of main menu (by default they are added at the top and, if unchecked, they are added at the bottom)
  • Support the new placeholder {CUR_LOC} in folder, document and application favorites locations allowing to create favorite with a location relative to the folder where the QAP menu is opened
  • Add up/down buttons to numeric values in various settings in Options and Add/Edit favorite windows
  • When installing an update with the Easy Setup mode, reduce the number of pages (clicks) in setup procedure from 7 to 3

For more details about changes and bug fixes in each version, see the QAP Change log.

How do I open the QAP Settings window?

The Settings window is where you add or edit your favorites. It is also where you can access the Options, Hotkeys and Icons dialog boxes. You can open the Settings window in different ways.

  • As the menu shows, you can also hit the Shift+Control+S hotkey to open the Settings window.
  • You could move the Settings... menu item up or down, to any submenu or change the menu hotkey to anything better fitting your preferences by editing the Settings... item in the favorites list.

  • If whenever you removed the Settings menu, you can always open it from the QAP system menu by right-clicking on the QAP icon in the Notification zone.

  • If you need to restore the Settings... menu item in your QAP menu, click the Add button, select the type QAP Feature and choose Settings... in the QAP Feature dropdown list.

 

Can I search inside my favorites?

Yes. As you add favorites to your main menu and your submenus, it can become tricky to find the favorite you want to edit. Since QAP v8.3, you can filter the favorites by keywords. In addition to easing favorites edition, this tool also gives you a global view of your favorites, allowing to eliminate unwanted duplicates or to better organize your menu.

To filter you favorites, simply type a few characters in the Search box just above the favorite list. You can hit Ctrl-F to move the cursor to search box. To restore the full list, delete the Search box content or simply click the X button on the right.

A few notes, for those who want to know everything:

  • filtering is done based on the existence of the search string in the favorites name (only) in all menus and submenus;
  • filtering is case insensitive;
  • filtered favorites are displayed in the order they were found, starting from top main menu;
  • in filtered favorites list, the Edit button, Enter key or double-click open the edit favorite dialog box with the selected favorite;
  • double-clicking a menu favorite in filtered favorites list opens this menu unfiltered;
  • after edition of a favorite, the regular favorites list is restored in the location of the edited favorite;
  • the Remove button or Delete key removes a favorite from the filtered list (with confirmation before deleting a menu and its submenus); after deletion, the filtered list remains active;
  • in filtered list, only single selection is available, allowing edition or deletion of only one favorite at a time;
  • in filtered list, the Add button (and its associated hotkey Ctrl-N) adds a new favorite at the top of the main menu;
  • changing menu using the dropdown list, using back or top arrows and closing and re-opening the Settings window restore the regular unfiltered list.

...

Can I copy a favorite with all its settings?

Yes. In the Settings window, you can copy favorites of types Folder, Document, Application, Special Folder, Link, FTP and QAP Feature. The Menus and Groups cannot be copied.

To copy a favorite, select it (you can copy only one favorite at a time) and click the Copy button or hit Control-C. Rename the new favorite or select another submenu using the Menu Options tab.

How can I gather numerous favorites in a clutter-free popup menu?

If your QAP menu gets too long, divide and conquer! Group your favorites by subjects or locations in submenus. To add a submenu, in the Settings window, click the Add button and, in the Add Favorite dialog box, select the Submenu radio button.

  • In the Basic Settings window, give your submenu a name.
  • In the Menu Options, select an icon for your menu or assign a shortcut that will allow to open this specific section of your menu by hitting a shortcut, without having to browse from the main menu.

Submenus can be nested in submenus at will. To move a favorite from one menu to another, click the Edit button or double-click the favorite name and, in the Menu Settings tab, select the new menu in the Favorite parent menu dropdown list.

Can I use the keyboard to navigate in the favorites list or select favorites in the Settings window?

You can move, edit or delete favorites in the Settings window using your keyboard. You can also select multiple favorites to move or remove them together.

Settings window shortcuts

  • Up: Select previous favorite
  • Down: Select next favorite
  • Enter: Edit favorite
  • Ctrl-N: Add a new favorite
  • Ctrl-C: Copy a favorite (more on this)
  • Del: Remove favorite(s)
  • Shift-Up/Down: Select contiguous favorites
  • Ctrl-Click: Select non-contiguous favorites
  • Ctrl-A: Select all favorites
  • Ctrl-Down: Move favorite(s) down
  • Ctrl-Up: Move favorite(s) up
  • Ctrl-Right: Open selected submenu or group
  • Ctrl-Left: Open parent menu

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?.

Why are buttons icons so small in the Settings window?

This is probably because you are using QAP on an HDPI-devices (like Surface Book). On these screens, icons on QAP Settings window may not scale properly. See this example: on the left, the Settings window on a standard desktop PC and, on the right, the same window on a Surface Book.

The scaling effect also impacts icon sizes in QAP popup menu. You could compensate this scaling by changing menu icons size in Options but this would not fix the buttons icon size in the Settings window.

Thanks to QAP user Jörg Giencke, you can use this tip from brianapps (the developer of Sizer 4.0): right-click the Quick Access Popup executable icon in Windows Explorer, select Properties, then Comptability, check Override high DPI scaling behavior and select System from the dropdown list. This goes for Windows 10 Creators Update (and other Windows 10 version on HDPI-devices?). After that everything displays just fine on Surface and other HDPI devices.

[Wishlist] Stay on top option for Settings window

Request received with a donation:

Hi Jean Thank you so much for developing Quick Access Popup (QAP); it is most appreciated. I find QAP does everything I need. For me it is perfect. However, I just have one request. Please can you add, say a 'switch', such that you can toggle QAP to either stay on top or act as it does now? I ask because I love the drag and drop feature QAP has. I like to set-up a lot of folders etc at any one time. If QAP could 'stay on top' then doing 'drag and drop' would be super. Otherwise, I absolutely love QAP. It answers a problem that I find with Windows. Any software that does that is to be applauded. Wishing you well in its future development Many thanks

[Wishlist] Add a Search text box at the top of Settings window

Suggestion from Rahim.

I would add the search box between the menu selection dropdown list and the top of the favorites list. The search result would appear instead of the favorites list. It would be filtered according to the content of the search text box. There would be no search button. The search result would appear automatically as the search text is entered or modified. An "X" at the end of the search text box would remove the filtering and restore the normal list. The search scope would include only the favorites name and location.

[Wishlist] Command to backup/restore favorites

Received by email, from Timothy:

"A manual backup option that places info in a specific file. And / or an option to specify which directory to backup the file. I spend a lot of time working on menus and directions – would like to be able to easily backup and restore."

Take note that QAP favorites locations are saved in the QuickAccessPopup.ini file in your QAP working folder. You can open this file from the QAP icon in the Notification zone. There is an automatic backup of this file. But the suggestion is noted to offer a more convenient backup/restore option.

Thanks for the suggestion, Timothy.