What are these special folders in the "My Special Folders" menu?

When Windows is installed, many system folders are created. Quick Access Popup knows more than 50 of these system folders called "special folders". The My Special folders menu gives access to the most known and used:

  • Desktop
  • Document
  • Pictures
  • Downloads
  • My Computer
  • Network Neighborhood
  • Control Panel
  • Recycle Bin.

There are plenty of other special folders that you can add using the Add Favorite button, for example: Libraries, Recent items, Startup folder, History, Favorites, Quick Launch, Cookies, Temporary files, etc. Special folders can be inserted in any QAP menu or submenu. For your convenience, the My Special Folders menu is built when you installed QAP. Feel free to add special folders to this menu or to move them around.

What are the different types of favorites?

Quick Access Popup can manage seven types of favorites and offer two ways to group them. The types of favorites are:

  • Folder: Add your most frequently used local or network directories to reach them in a snap in a Windows Explorer, a file dialog box or a custom file manager.
  • Document: Insert your day-to-day documents in you menu and launch them in their native application from any window.
  • Application: Add your favorite applications and get full control on their execution (with command line parameters and working directory).
  • Special Folder: Add Windows system folders from a list of more than 50 special folders, for example: Libraries, Recent items, Recycle Bin, Startup folder, History, Favorites, Quick Launch, Downloads, Cookies, Temporary files, etc.
  • Link (URL): Add your preferred web pages and open them in your default browser at any time or in a specific browser if specified in advanced settings.
  • FTP Site: Open FTP sites in Explorer, Directory Opus or Total Commander, with login name and password inserted in site address (take note that the password is not encrypted, is saved in the settings file and sent on Internet in clear text - be cautious if your password protects sensitive data!).
  • Snippet: Record a sequence of characters that can be typed in a flash when you need to inser them in any application (snippets help).
  • QAP Feature: Insert Quick Access Popup features like Switch, Reopen a Folder, Drives, Add This Folder, etc. in any submenu and assign them the shortcuts and icons of you choice.

In addition to these favorite types, the Add Favorite dialog box offer two special types that allow you to group your favorites:

  • Submenu: Gather related favorites in a submenu; submenus can be nested at will and each of them can be assigned shortcuts or icons.
  • Group: Launch a group of favorites of any type in one click or one shortcut.
  • Shared Menu: Manage the content of a submenu in an external file that can be saved on a network drive or a shared folder (like Dropbox) and used on different PCs. Shared menu can be used in three flavors:
    • Personal shared menu;
    • Collaborative shared menu for team or workgroup;
    • Centralized shared menu.
    • See shared menus help.

Can I add on the fly the folder I am already in?

The QAP Features Add This Folder and Add This Folder Express allows to quickly add the current folder to your menu. This feature can be called in Explorer windows or in file dialog box windows (if this option is enabled). When you are in the folder that you want to add to your menu, select one of these features.

  • If you choose Add This Folder, in the Add Favorite dialog box, enter the menu name of this new favorite and select the desired options in the various tabs.
  • If you choose Add this Folder Express, the favorite is instantly added at the top of the main menu with the normal default settings and the folder’s name as menu name. No question asked. If this name is already used, “[!]” is appended to the menu name. If you want to change some settings, open the Settings window.

These QAP Features record the current position of the window in the Window Options tab. Unless you check the Use default window position, this position will be automatically restored when you will open this folder in a new window.

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 is built the Switch menu?

The Switch menu is built in two sections. This first part shows the folders already open in the Explorer windows and, if you use this file manager, the Directory Opus listers.

The second part lists running applications (starting with the most recently activated window). Only applications having "visible" windows are listed. System-hidden windows and zero-width/height windows are excluded. Most of the apps in the System Tray could not be listed unless their window is already visible in the task bar.

When you select an item in this menu, its window is automatically activated (bring to the "front"). This menu is refreshed every time you open the QAP menu.

Can I change folders in file dialog boxes (Open, Save As, etc.)?

Yes, the main QAP triggers (middle mouse button or Windows+W) can change folders in all software that use the standard Windows file dialog boxes (Open, Save As, etc.). Most software do.

However, this feature must be enabled in Options (first tab General, first option of left column).

If you enable this option, you understand that this feature is reserved to "file dialog boxes" (Open, Save As, etc.). If you use it in other types of dialog box, for example a Preferences dialog box, trying to change folder in this dialog box could modify and save values in the dialog box without any notification.

In order to enable Change folders in dialog box, you must confirm in the QAP Options that you understand the consequence of misusing the change folder feature in "non-file dialog boxes" and that you will only use it the proper dialog boxes.

When should I use the Reopen a Folder menu?

The Reopen a Folder shows the folders already open in the Explorer windows and the Directory Opus listers if you use this file manager. It is refreshed every time you open the QAP menu.

The Reopen a Folder is particularly useful when you are in a file dialog box and want to open a file in a folder already open in another Explorer window. Just select one of these folders in the QAP menu and the dialog box will be moved to it. Change folder in dialog boxes must be enabled in Options.

What is in the Clipboard menu?

The Clipboard menu in the My QAP Essentials menu reflects the content of you current Windows clipboard. If the clipboard contains documents, applications or folders file path, QAP shows this list in the menu, allowing you to open a document, launch an application or navigate to a folder found in the clipboard.

For example, if you select and copy a group of files in Windows Explorer, the list of file paths resides in the Windows clipboard. Quick Access Popup scans this content and adds the files that exists in your system to the Clipboard menu. You can also copy a list of files from a text editor (or any other source) and QAP will display these files in the menu (each line of text must contain a file name/path alone). Relative paths and environment variables are supported.

QAP also scans the Windows clipboard for URLs and displays them as Link entries in the Clipboard menu. In the case of URLs, an address can stands anywhere on a line of text copied to the Clipboard. However, if one line contains more than one URL, only the last one will included in the menu.

If you open the Clipboard menu when the Windows clipboard contains no file or URL, it keeps its previous content until you open the Clipboard menu again or exit QAP.

 

Can I change to a folder relatively to the folder I am in?

This feature requires Quick Access Popup v7.9.2.3 (BETA) or more recent.

Let's say you have various folders with the same subfolders structure, for example:

C:Client-1
C:Client-1Contract
C:Client-1ContractDraft
C:Client-1ContractSigned
C:Client-2
C:Client-2Contract
C:Client-2ContractDraft
C:Client-2ContractSigned
etc.

You can create a favorite folder that will open a given subfolder under the current folder (the folder inside the active Windows Explorer window). For example, a favorite named Current Client's Signed Contract would open the Signed subfolder for Client-1 if you are in the C:Client-1 folder, or for the second client if you are in C:Client-2, etc.

Create a favorite folder with the Folder (path) {CUR_LOC}ContractSigned in the Basic Settings tab:

When you will launch this favorite, QAP will get the current folder (in Windows Explorer, Directory Opus or Total Commander) and will replace the placeholder {CUR_LOC} with the current location. To avoid "folder not found" errors, make sure you have a strictly constant subfolders structure and that you always use this favorite in the appropriate folder (a "root" client folder in our example).

Current location placeholders can also be inserted in location for favorites of types Document and Application.

See also this page for more info about the Start In and Parameters settings: Can I pass the current folder as parameter to an application launched with QAP?.

Can I sync menu icons with custom Windows folder icons?

QAP can read the current Windows folders custom icons and even set new custom icons to Windows folders .

When you create a favorite folder, if the folder already has a custom icon (configured in the hidden system file desktop.ini), this icon will automatically be associated to your new favorite and shown in your QAP menu.

If the folder has no icon, you can use the Add/Edit favorite dialog box link Set Windows folder icon to change the icon in the folder's desktop.ini files to the image selected for your favorite. That way, your QAP menu and your Windows file system will show the same icons for your favorite folders. QAP can also Remove Windows folder icon if you want to revert your changes.

See this YouTube video!

Users running QAP on Windows Server, please read the note at the end of this entry.

From where comes the content of the Recent folders menu?

The Recent folders menu lists the recent places memorized by Windows. An option in the General tab of the Options window determines the number of recent folders displayed in the menu (default is 10).

Quick Access Popup Recent folders are taken from the Windows virtual folder Recent items (C:Users[username]AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsRecent or, using the appdata variable, %appdata%MicrosoftWindowsRecent).

This Windows system folder lists the files and folders recently accessed by the user. Windows is using this list to populate the Recent Places virtual folder found in Explorer left pane. Recent Places is a subset of the Recent Items, showing only folders. Recent items are also used to populate the applications Jump Lists.

How can I delete the list of folders found in the Recent Folders menu?

The Recent folders menu is a subset of the recent places memorized by Windows. You can reset the whole list of recent items:

  1. Open this folder:
    C:Users[username]AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsRecent
    or use this shortcut:
    %appdata%MicrosoftWindowsRecent
  2. Make sure the navigation pane is visible. If required, use the Organize menu.
  3. Right-click the Recent places in the navigation pane and select Clear Recent Items List. Recent items are now gone and Recent Folders menu in Quick Access Popup is now empty.

Can I create favorites on network drives?

Yes. Quick Access Popup supports regular file system folders and UNC locations like network folders or WebDAV folders (Sharepoint libraries, etc.).

HTTP locations (URL format) will be automaticaly transformed to network path (UNC format) for compatibility with Windows Explorer. For example, http://abc.server.com/folder/subfolder/My Name.doc will be replaced by \abc.server.comfoldersubfolderMy%20Name.doc

In a file Explorer, if a location is password protected, you may need to be logged in manually *before* navigating to it using Quick Access Popup.

Can I use system environment variables in favorite paths?

Yes. Tech support, sysadmin and other power users love it!

In any file path (folder, document or application), the system environment variables like %appdata%, %public%, %temp% or %userprofile% (etc.) are supported in favorite location (for example: "%appdata%MicrosoftTemplates" will take you to the folder "C:Users[username]AppDataRoamingMicrosoftTemplates").

System variables can also be inserted in favorite advanced settings Parameters, Launch with this application and Start in. See What are favorites advanced settings?

You can also enter a location without path. In this case, the file is searched in the PATH environment variable directories or in app paths in the Windows registry. In these examples, the folders in the resolved path column are assumed to be in the PATH variable. If you enter an application location without a file extension, it is searched for all executable extensions in the PATHEXT variable: .COM; .EXE; .BAT; .CMD; .VBS; etc.

File without path Resolved path
Shell32.dll C:WindowsSystem32Shell32.dll
Notepad.exe C:WindowsNotepad.exe
Notepad C:WindowsNotepad.exe

Can I use relative paths in favorite settings?

Yes.You can enter path such using the ".." (parent directory) and "" (root directory) symbols in favorite locations or advanced settings. Relative paths are "expanded" based on the current QAP working directory (see What's the QAP working directory?). In the following table, the relative paths are expanded as if the working directory was "M:MyToolsQAP".

Relative path Expanded path
..EditorMyNotepad.exe M:MyToolsEditorMyNotepad.exe
....setup.ini M:setup.ini
MyToolsMyDocs M:MyToolsMyDocs

That way, a user having to run various tools on a host PC can carry a set of apps on a USB drive or key and use Quick Access Popup to easily launch his tools regardless of the drive letter assigned to the USB device by the host system. Combined with the use of system environment variables and special folders to easily access host PC's system folders and user's data, this make QAP the perfect tool for tech support users.

Relative paths can be used in favorite locations,  advanced settings Parameters, Launch with this application and Start in. It can also be used for icons with the Edit icon resource link in the Menu Options tab of the Add/Edit favorite dialog box.

You can also enter a location without path. In this case, the file is searched in the PATH environment variable directories or in app paths in the Windows registry. In these examples, the folders in the resolved path column are assumed to be in the PATH variable. If you enter a location without a file extension, it is searched with all executable extensions in the PATHEXT variable: .COM; .EXE; .BAT; .CMD; .VBS; etc.

File without path Resolved path
Shell32.dll C:WindowsSystem32Shell32.dll
Notepad.exe C:WindowsNotepad.exe
Notepad C:WindowsNotepad.exe

 

[Wishlist] Support current location placeholders in favorite folders location

From Lukas:

Use {CUR_DIR} for opening a folder relative to the current one.

I was searching the help everywhere but couldn't find a way to handle this.

I have a lot of project folders and all of them have the same structure. As an example:

Project1
- 3D
- Post
- Output

Project2
- 3D
- Post
- Output

I would like to have a menu entry saying "Post" and by clicking it it opens the folder relative to my currently opened folder.
Maybe that's already possible since there is the {CUR_DIR} variable for running applications.
I just can't get it to work.

[Wishlist] Add favorite type for recursively browsable directories

From Shane Bowman on FP page:

At the moment one can only add folder links. It would be great if there was support for adding browsable directories. Another program called LaunchbarCommander allows this and it’s very efficient. I’m aware that one can add submenus, but there isn’t recursive support, which means a lot of manual labour. My folders are arranged in such a way that adding only one or two directory links will give me quick access to almost all my files.

One thing I don’t like about LC is that you can’t click folder links directly in the recursive menus, only files, which means making a right-click and left click instead of only one left-click.