What's new in Quick Access Popup v8.4 and v8.5?

In my view, every QAP user should upgrade to v8.5! This page tells you why. The v8.5 release fixes some annoying bugs. It makes available new features that I wonder why I did not code them before and it takes the recent Snippets feature to a more mature development stage!

Reopen Current Folder in Dialog Box

First, a new feature often requested: the Reopen Current Folder in Dialog Box. This new QAP Feature will instantly take your File Open or File Save (etc.) dialog box to the folder currently displayed in the active (or last active) Windows Explorer window (Directory Opus and Total Commander are also supported). This is so convenient! Before, you had to use the Reopen a Folder and select the active folder in the submenu. Now, it is a one click action!

This new QAP feature can be added to any menu: Add favorite, select the QAP Feature type and, in the features dropdown list, select Reopen Current Folder in Dialog Box. This menu item will be added automatically to the My QAP Essentials menu (as shown beside) for new installations ONLY. Existing users must add it themselves. I assigned the default keyboard shortcut Shift + Ctrl + C to this QAP feature (and reassigned the Clipboard menu shortcut to Shift + Ctrl + V).

New hotkey Menu key

QAP v8.5 now makes good use of the Menu key (also known as Context menu key or Application key) that can serve as keyboard trigger to popup the QAP menu or to launch any other favorite. Not all keyboard have this key (normally, it is somewhere to the right of the space bar). If all keyboards had this key, I would make it the default QAP menu keyboard trigger instead of Win + W. But I will let you decide if you want to use it for this menu or for other favorites. Note that this hotkey can be combined with one or more keyboard modifiers (Shift, Ctrl, Alt or Win).

To select the Menu key, in the Select Hotkey dialog box, click on the menu key (application) link below the key selector (as shown beside) and take note that this key is shown as "Application" in the key selector.

Snippets user interface improved

Text and macro snippets were introduced in QAP v7.2. I made some adjustment to this feature in the subsequent releases but, in my opinion, it was still at "first generation" stage. Now, with the improvements in release v8.5, this feature got some maturity.

The main areas of improvement is in the user interface by allowing you to choose the font size of the snippet content, giving to it a better readability. Developers using snippets to store pieces of code will also like the option to display the content in fixed width.

Finally, for snippets longer that a line or two, the possibility to enlarge the text box with the + sign (next to the font size selector) will give more screen real estate to your snippet content. Of course, the - sign will revert this and show the help text again.

Since each snippet is different, display options are saved with each snippet. Also, you can configure the default values for snippets in Options, general tab.

More info about snippets in these new FAQ pages:

Changes in prevsion version (v8.4)

For those who missed v8.4, you will appreciate the Always on top option if you use frequently drag-and-drop to add favorites in the Settings window. Also, info was added about Shared menus in the Help window and help balloons now appear when you mouse over left column buttons in the Settings window.

Change log

Many other small improvements were introduced and bugs fixed in these releases. Here is the complete list of changes.

Version: 8.5 (2017-09-04)
  
Menu key
- you can now use the Menu key (also called Context menu key or Application key) to pop up the QAP menu or launch any favorite
- to select the Menu key, in the "Select Hotkey" dialog box, click on the "menu key (application)" link below the hotkey selector
- this hotkey can be combined with any modifiers (Shift, Alt, Ctrl or Win)
  
Snippets
- major improvements to make Snippets easier to create and edit
- a button in snippet add/edit favorite dialog box to enlarge the snippet content text box
- font size selector for snippet text box
- check box to display a snippet with fixed font (useful for code snippets)
- display preferences saved with each snippet
- default preferences for snippets can be selected in Options, General tab
- when launching a snippet with the "Prompt before" option, QAP also accepts Space to kick-off a snippet (in addition to Enter)
- change help link to new FAQ page about snippets (see improved FAQ content about Snippets)
  
Reopen Current Folder in dialog box
- a feature I should have included much earlier... Warning: to take advantage of it, existing users must add themselves this new feature to their menu
- new QAP feature "Reopen Current Folder in dialog box" allowing to reopen in a dialog box the current location in Windows Explorer
- the current location is the folder currently displayed in the active (or in the last active) Windows Explorer window
- current location is also detected in Directory Opus or Total Commander if one of these file magagers is enabled
  
Hotkeys
- set QAP feature default hotkeys for "Reopen Current Folder" to Shift + Ctrl + C  (of course, you can change it at any time)
- change QAP feature "Clipboard" default hotkeys from Shift + Ctrl + C to Shift + Ctrl + V
- this change is only for new installations - exising users must do this change themselves, if they wish
  
Various
- the "Ctrl + Ctrl" option has been moved to the "Alternative menu" tab in Options dialog box, and its presentation has been improved
- add a link beside the "Check for update" checkbox in the Options dialog box to check for update immediately
- check if the "Start in" folder location exists before launching a favorite and do not launch it if the location is not found
- offer to edit the favorite when one of these folder locations is not found: folder, document or application location, "Launch with" application location or "Start in" folder location
  
Language
- new! Dutch language is now available, thanks to Ric Roggeveen
- German translation update for changes since v8
- updates for Spanish, Italian and French language files, thanks to translators
  
Bug fixes
- fix an error in QAP 32-bit executable file preventing the Windows Explorer context menus to work with QAP installed in portable mode
- allow favorite location to be a UNC root path (like \\127.0.0.1\ or \\MyDomain\) assuming the location is online because Windows does not allow to check if an UNC root location is available (on my system, Windows 10 defaults to the "Documents" folder if the UNC drive is not mounted)
- fix bug when adding a QAP feature and when its default hotkey is already in use for another favorite
- fix bug when processing backtick (accent grave) in snippets (used for code snippets) and add help about backticks in add/edit dialog box
- fix bug Alternative menu hotkey reappearing after delete when returning to Options dialog box until QAP is restarted
- fix bug && displayed in Drag & Drop help window title instead of &
- add diagnostic code to track the "71 hotkeys limit" bug - if someone encounter this error message, please contact me
Version: 8.4.2 (2017-08-18)
- stop creating Windows Explorer context menu for Windows Shortcuts (.lnk files) because of potential security issue
- if you need to remove this context menu see the FAQ (http://www.quickaccesspopup.com/how-can-i-remove-the-windows-explorer-contextual-menu-for-windows-shortcuts-lnk-files/)
 
Version: 8.4.1 (2017-08-05)
- fix bug maximum of Live Folders items exceeded (500 items limit) by error
- fix bug last Live folder item duplicated when numeric shortcuts are enabled
 
Version: 8.4 (2017-08-01)
- add "Always on top" option to Settings window to ease drag and drop
- update drag & drop help message
- remember window location when drag & drop a folder favorite to Settings window
- add a tab about Shared Menus in Help window
- add tooltips over left column buttons in Settings window
- fix bug when icon resource filename includes a coma
- fix links in Options tabs and fix links to Shared menu FAQ page on website
- Spanish, Brazilian-Portuguese, Italian and French language updates

[Wishlist] Add the Context menu key to trigger the QAP main menu

From Jörg.

"On notebooks one hardly ever finds a middle mouse button. So you have to compensate for that by using a keyboard shortcut to open QAP. I wonder if it would be possible to use the context menu key (the one between Alt Gr and Ctrl)? I can't remember that I ever used that key and I bet I'm not alone. That key would be perfect as a middle mouse replacement. It's code is E05D."

This key is called AppsKey in AHK. Also called "Menu key" or "Context menu key". This is the key that invokes the right-click context menu.

What hotkeys are set by default when QAP is installed and how can I change them?

During installation, shortcuts are created for two types of hotkeys: popup menu hotkeys and favorite hotkeys.

Popup menu hotkeys

By default, the QAP popup menu can be triggered by the Middle Mouse Button and the keyboard shortcut Windows+W. A second popup menu called Alternative menu is triggered by default by Shift+Middle Mouse Button or Shift+Windows+W. You can change these settings in Options, second tab Menu hotkeys.

Favorite hotkeys

Mouse or keyboard hotkeys can also be assigned to any favorite in your menu. This allow you to launch a favorite without having to open the QAP popup menu and locate your favorite.

At installation time, only some QAP feature favorites are assigned shortcuts. Four of them are in the menu called My QAP Essentials created at installation in the main popup menu. It includes keyboard shortcuts for the following QAP features:

  • Shift-Control-W for Switch
  • Shift-Control-F for Reopen a Folder
  • Shift-Control-R for Recent folders
  • Shift-Control-C for the Clipboard menu.

Another QAP feature is inserted in the main menu during installation:

  • Shift-Control-S for Settings.

You can change all these shortcuts by editing each favorite separately or you can edit all of them in the Hotkeys dialog box: click the Hotkeys button in the Settings window.

How do I display the Quick Access Popup menu?

QAP has two types of triggers to open two different menus. Each menu can be open with a mouse button and a keyboard hotkey.

  1. QAP menu triggers: mouse default is middle mouse button and keyboard default is Windows+W.
    • These triggers show the QAP popup menu over any window (except those excluded, more info about exclusion list).
    • In the QAP menu, the favorite you choose is launched in a new window.
    • But, if the favorite is a folder and the target window supports folder navigation (Windows Explorer, Console or other file managers), the window location is changed to the favorite folder.
    • Folder navigation is also available for file dialog boxes (Open, Save As, etc.) but this has to be enabled in Options window (see the Options window first tab named General, first checkbox).

  2. 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 favorites (see the list of Alternative menu features in: What are the Alternative menu features?).
    • Then, in the QAP menu, select the target favorite on which the Alternative menu feature will be executed.

Using Explorer Context menus

You can also show the popup menu from the Explorer context menu (right-click menu). On the Desktop, right-click the Desktop (anywhere except on icons) and select Show Quick Access Popup menu. To use the Alternative menu, hold Shift while you right-click the Desktop and select Show Quick Access Popup Alternative menu.

Using the Ctrl+Ctrl hotkey

Since QAP v8, you can also open the main QAP menu by pressing twice the left or right Control key. Enable this feature in the Options window (Hotkeys tab).

Can I create menu entry with a keyboard shortcut in its name? or Why is the "&" hidden in my menu name?

First, the quick answer to the second question: To display an ampersand in a menu you have to type it twice, for example: "Sweet && Sour".

Why? The ampersand character in Windows menu is used to make a keyboard shortcut with the following character. For example, in the screen capture from Notepad on the right, the Replace command can be called by pression Atl + E then R. This is because, under the hood, the menu name is "&Edit" and the menu command is "&Replace".

The ampersand can be inserted anywhere in a menu name to enable the following character as a keyboard shortcut.

And what about Quick Access Popup? If you open the QAP menu using the keyboard shortcut (Win + W), it is easy to fire a favorite by pressing its menu shortcut. In the following example, the Work menu is named "&Work" to enable W as a shortcut (the W appears as underlined if you open the menu with the keyboard shortcut).

Quick Access Popup menu

Normally, Windows will underline the menu shortcuts only when you open the menu with a keyboard shortcut. To force Windows to always display the menu shortcut, check the Underline keyboard shortcuts option in the Ease of Access Center section of the Windows Control Panel.

Underline keyboard shortcuts

Ease of Access Center of Control Panel (groovypost.com)

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 launch my favorites with keyboard or mouse shortcuts?

Shortcuts addicts will feel like in a candy store 🙂 !  In Quick Access Popup, any favorite location can be associated to a keyboard or a mouse shortcut. Use the Menu Options tab in the Add/Edit Favorite  dialog box to assign hotkeys.

Shortcuts can be assigned to any type of favorite. Not only to folders, documents or applications, but also to submenus, groups of favorites or QAP features.

When setting a shortcut, QAP check if the shortcut is already assigned to another favorite or to one of the QAP menus triggers. If yes, it will ask for another shortcut.

You can assign a mouse button using the Mouse drop down list. You can also use any key in the Keyboard key selector ("T" in the above screen capture). You can also select special characters like space bar, tab, enter, escape or menu key (also known as "application key" or "context menu key", and displayed "application" in the key selector) by clicking on the desired link under the key selector.

All these mouse buttons or keys can be combined with one or more of the keyboard modifiers on the left side: Shift, Alt, Ctrl and Win keys. You can create shortcuts for Left only, Right only or Any keyboard modifiers. For example, Left Alt + Space and Right Alt + Space can launch different favorites or submenus. In the hotkeys lists, left modifiers are prefixes with "<" (for example "<Alt+Space") and right modifiers with ">" (for example, ">Alt+Space").

You can select None to remove the shortcut or, when a default hotkey is defined for this favorite, click Reset default hotkey to choose the suggested hotkey.

Manage Hotkeys

To get a global view of your keyboards or mouse shortcuts, click the Hotkeys button in the Settings window. In the shortcuts list of the Manage Hotkeys window, you can sort shortcuts by Menu, Favorite NameHotkey or Favorite Location.  Double click a shortcut to change or remove its assigned hotkey.

By default, the list shows only favorites with shortcuts. Check See all favorites to find the favorites for which you could assign a new shortcut.

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.

[Wishlist] Support hotkeys for various favorites with the same location but different parameters

Request from Michael.

Michael:

An obscure one I guess... when you define a hotkey (say Ctrl+F9) for an application Favorite it gets saved in the settings file against the application's EXE path. This makes sense, however if you have several favorites defined using the same EXE path - except that each have different command-line params - they automatically all get associated with the same hotkey.

For example I have defined several scheduled tasks in Windows, each with different command line params, e.g.:
C:\Windows\system32\schtasks.exe /run /TN "NoUAC\UAC Revo Uninstaller Pro"

As it stands I don't think QAP supports this approach (hotkeys against an EXE that has multiple matches but different params).

Granted, this one's a bit out of the ordinary, and QAP does work fine if you define these as menu popups alone (no shortkey).

Jean:

Obscure but interesting one... Actually, favorite hotkeys are associated to "location", regardless of other settings (Advanced setting, Live Folder settings, etc.). This is a limitation of the current design.

The solution would be to associate hotkeys to a combination (concatenation) of the location and parameters (and maybe of other settings like "Start In" or "Live Folder" settings), for example:

Hotkey1=C:\Windows\system32\schtasks.exe /run /TN "NoUAC\UAC Revo Uninstaller Pro"|+^x
Hotkey2=C:\Windows\system32\schtasks.exe /run /TN "SomethingElse"|+^y

This may not be so hard. But backward compatibility may be an issue...

[Wishlist] Distinguish left and right keyboard modifiers (Shift, Alt, Control) when creating shortcut hotkeys

From Jim:

I have a feature request. With hotkeys I’d like to be able to specify Left and Right side for Shift, Ctrl, Windows, and Alt (e.g., LCtrl).

As I have QAP configured now, I display my “application” QAP menu using Ctrl+space, my “folder” QAP menu using Alt+space, my “connections” QAP menu using Shift+space, and the main QAP menu using Win+space. I’d like to launch some other frequently used QAP menus using the modifiers on the right side.

[Wishlist] Supporting Mouse-modified hotkeys (combining two mouse buttons to show the menu)

Comments from joby_toss on Portable Freeware forum

I'm also facing a small issue: I'm a "mouse only" guy and Middle Click hotkey to show the menu interferes with my internet browser (close tab, open link in new tab) and my files browser (open folder in new tab), so QAP is stealing it from those apps.
Would it be possible to combine 2 mouse buttons to show the menu (e.g. Middle Click while Right Button is pressed) ?
Thank you!

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