Quick Access Popup ready for public release!

After close to nine months of (part-time!) work, Quick Access Popup (QAP) v7 is NOW officially released. Thanks to the beta testers who helped making this major release ready for public distribution. Thanks also to all users who sent their suggestions for improvements on Folders Popup website or on this site.

For those who love Folders Popup, QAP is still the same productivity tool but with a larger scope as it will allow not only folder switching but also application, documents, web pages and FTP sites launching with plenty of new features including, just to mention this one, the possibility to assign mouse or keyboard shortcuts to any favorite, group or submenu. Welcome to Quick Access Popup!
QAP-Settings-110-800x600

[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.

First localized version of QAP ready for beta release

It’s been a long time since the last beta release. I’ve been working on the French version of Quick Access Popup.  And it came with some additional work to make language management easier in the future. French users can download this beta release (v6.2.4) here: Beta test Home page.

I’ll let this first localized version live for some time and, if everything goes well, I’ll ask translators to update the Folders Popup translation files to Quick Access Popup. After this important work (many thanks in advance to translators!), QAP should be ready for official release!

For all users interested in the beta release, there are some interesting new features in v6.2.4. Among them, the automatic detection on Windows folder icons when you create a favorite folder. Also, as an interesting bonus, you can now use the Add favorite / Change favorite icon dialog box to also change the Windows folder icons very easily.

[Wishlist] Switch to an existing Explorer window

From Helge: an additional QAP special feature which shows the currently opened windows explorer folders like the “current folders” feature already available (renamed “Reuse an Open Folder”), but with the difference that choosing a currently opened folder in QAP doesn’t open the same folder in a new explorer window / instance. Instead I would find great if the already opened explorer window with the folder chosen in QAP would just come to the front.

[Wishlist] List of favorites from an external/shared settings files

From Helge:

“This wish is going into a more advanced usage direction: It would be nice to have the opportunity to reference external menu configuration files from the QAP settings files. Like this it would be possible to include e.g. a specific submenu folder / file structure which is being dynamically generated externally based e.g. on an XML file database, a database server or any other source from which an external tool would generate a configuration text file meeting the syntax of QAP menu configuration settings. By referencing a file isolated from the main QAP menu settings file there wouldn’t be the risk of conflicts with the QAP GUI settings dialog.”

[Wishlist] Run a background task to refresh Recent Folders menu (and Running Applications menu eventually)

Actually, the Recent Folders menu is shown in a separate menu because of the time it would take to refresh the Recent Folders menu each time the popup menu is displayed. Showing Recent Folders submenu as part of the main menu would slow down the display of the popup menu and make it less snappy.

The solution I’m think of is to write a background task that would refresh the Recent Folders submenu every x minutes. We would have to determine the best refresh frequency not to impact the PC performance (thinking here of the slowest PCs) .

This would also require much testing to make sure the background process and the popup menu process work well together (no collision or locking issues, etc.) But I’d like to work on this in a future version. The background task could also refresh the list of running applications (re: this other suggestion).

[Wishlist] Reload QuickAccessPopup.ini when it is changed without having to reload the app

Suggested by Sébastien on Folders Popup website:

I noticed that the FolderPopup.ini is only read one time (at startup time). If I manually edit the file, I have to close and restart FolderPopup to see my changes.

I would be really usefull to add a feature that verify is FolderPopup.ini has changed before showing the application. If the file has changed (check file size and modified date), then reload the configuration.

This will allow the user to edit FolderPopup.ini on the fly using a script (a logon script for example).

 

My reply: This is a good idea that would be implemented in QAP.

 

2018-07-31 (JL)

This would need to be an option because some users would prefer to decide when to reload QAP.

 

Quick Access Popup is getting ready!

qap-MASTER--512Welcome to my new project ! Quick Access Popup is the next generation of the popular Windows freeware Folders Popup. It will offer all the features in Folders Popup plus additions made possible by a complete rewrite of the application.

From your custom popup menu, Quick Access Popup will launch your most used folders, documents, applications, websites and FTP sites, plus all sort of special features to ease and accelerate your work. And it will still be freeware!

Quick Access Popup is now at the beta tests stage. Until it is ready for public release, you can:

Thank you for your support!

Note: User comments and reviews in this website’s header are for Folders Popup, current incarnation of QAP. They will apply to QAP, for sure :-).

Icons by: Visual Pharm.

[Wishlist] Display the QAP popup menu on double-right-click

From Marc W

 

2018-07-31 (JL): I did some work on it. It is possible to set mouse double-right-clicking as a trigger modifier. But this technique works and is easy to code in a standalone script when the hotkeys are saved inside the script itself. But it would be harder in QAP because it needs to save/retrieve the hotkeys selected by the user in the ini file.

[Wishlist] Multi-Monitor support option to open the favorite on the monitor where the mouse was clicked

From Mark:

Feature Request: Multi-Monitor support
Description: To open the QAP entry on the Monitor where the mouse click was initiated.
Presently when I middle click in Monitor #2 and try to open a folder, it opens in Monitor #1 (default monitor).

Done in v9.4

This is done when opening a favorite Folder in a new window with Windows Explorer and Total Commander. This could not be done reliably with applications or documents because most applications block window positioning commands coming from an external program.

[Wishlist] Option to always open the folders in the running instance

Originally suggested for Total Commander by Horst, but applicable to Explorer and other file managers.

Horst: “I would like a Total Commander option to always use the running instance (/o) even without using the Tab option. Currently I accumulate many tabs which I have to close manualy. I think this will be liked by many TC users to.”

Jean: “When you open the QAP menu in a current TC window, it change the folder to navigate inside the current window. If you open a folder using the popup menu from another window, it will open a new tab or a new TC instance. What you want is an option to always change folder the current TC window?”

Horst: “Yes, exactly. I often use the left click from the tray menu and not a pop-up from inside of a TC window.”

News from the developer’s desk

The development of Quick Access Popup is going very well! In the last four months, I completely redesigned the internal architecture of the application. This, by itself, will not be visible by the Folders Popup users. But this new platform makes it easier to add new features and to build a more flexible tool to edit your popup menu and favorites.

The “Settings” window now allow to manage nine type of favorites:

  • Folders
  • Documents
  • Applications
  • Special Folders (50 predefined Windows folders including Computer, Recycle Bin, Downloads, etc.)
  • Links (URL)
  • FTP sites (with username and password)
  • QAP Features (a dozen of special menus or commands of including Reuse an Open Folder, Recent Folders, Add This Folder, etc.)
  • Submenus
  • and Groups

Some of the changes in Quick Access Popup deserving mention:

  1. In addition to being easily accessible using the popup menu, any favorite destination (folders, applications, documents, etc.) can now be associated with a keyboard or mouse shortcut.
  2. Favorites are now be powered by advanced settings like preset window position, launching application, and working directory.
  3. The QAP features menu entries (Reuse an Open Folder, Recent Folders, Add This Folder, etc.) can now be inserted where you want, in the main menu (as in Folders Popup) or in any submenu.
  4. Management of Groups is integrated with submenus and favorites. Groups are now a special kind of submenus where the all favorites in a group are launched in one click. Favorites can be moved from regular submenus to groups and vice-versa.

There is still a lot of work to do. I could not give a target release date. But I would say that more than half of the work is done. I will soon start the alpha testing phase with invited seasoned Folders Popup users who already helped debugging Folders Popup in the last years. As soon as the app is stable and complete enough, I will move to the beta test phase. If you would like to participate to beta test, please leave a comment in this message or send me an email to support@quickaccesspopup.com.

Stay tuned!

PS: And even if all new features suggested on this site will not be in the first release, you can still vote for your preferred items on the wishlist or make a new suggestion by adding a comment to this post: Welcome to the Quick Access Popup wishlist!

[Wishlist] Dynamic submenu listing subfolders in the current folder

From: Sébastien http://code.jeanlalonde.ca/folderspopup/#comment-15332

The only missing thing is dynamic subfolders. You should add a feature to allow the user to add a dynamic folder. For example, if you add you C:\ as dynamic folder, the first submenu item under C:\ is “Open this folder” and under this, you list all the subfolders of the C:\ drive. If you select the subfolder “Windows”, the “Open this folder” option will be listed the all the subfolders under C:\Windows, etc.

This feature is present in the software “Folder Menu” (http://foldermenu.sourceforge.net/) but this software is a little buggy. If you implement this on your software, it will become the best software of that kind.

[Wishlist] When launching an application, switch to an existing instance of the app is it is already running

Suggestion from YabberYeti:

This could be a global option or defined for each favorite.

Discussion:
JL: “Yes, it is possible to detect if an application is running before launching it and re-activate it. But, just make sure I get you right, what benefit do you see to re-select a running app it in the popup menu instead of using one of the built-in ways to return to an existing instance of an app (click in the app’s window, click on the app’s taskbar icon, alt-tab, etc.) ? Thank you for your input, YabberYeti.”

YY: “We’re talking stuff like dictionaries, todo lists, auto-text and clipboard utilities, password managers, reminder software, tools that control monitor brigthness and other display settings ….. I keep running all of them 🙂 seriously, I really am, and they all run portable.

What all these programs have in common, they reside in the sys tray, the small section in the lower right of the screen. To access such a running program, you have to
1) show the taskbar
2) then aim at the tiny icon to pup up the window
3) click on the program icon

Or you can set up a hotkey – if possible, some apps feature it – and memorize all these shortcuts.
Or – and that’s what I’ve been doing – you can use a dedicated tool like Launchbar Commander – all those launch pads are are smart enough to detect running applications.

But why bother with another mouse/ key trigger, if QAP seems suited to handle this as well?”

[Wishlist] Open QAP menu when mouse over the QAP tray icon

Suggestion from RandomGuy001

Offer an option to open the to launch the FoldersPopup (or QuickAccessPopup) window upon mouse over of the icon in the system tray. This would be exactly the same as left-clicking the icon in the system tray now, only it would be launched by mouse-over instead. I have a program that I use (SE-TrayMenu) for this very purpose, shortcuts to common locations. If I could merge these two programs that would be indispensable!

2018-07-31 (JL)

I did some research on this old item in the wishlist. Solutions exits but seems quite complex for the additional user value, IMO.

[Wishlist] Custom field %CurrentTargetLocation% that can be inserted in apps favorite’s Parameter field that will be replaced with the current target window location when the app is launched

Suggestion from RandomGuy001

1) Offer a %CurrentLocation% (or something like that) variable to apps for use in the “Parameters” section. The idea behind this is to take the current Explorer path and offer it to any app to use. For instance, I have a command window replacement (ConEmu) and I’d like to middle click and use something like “Open a command window here” which would take the current Explorer path and pass it to the ConEmu program.

[Wishlist] Merge Current Folders list with Recent folders

As seen in Folder Menu (if I remember well). It makes sense to have recent and current folders to be presented in the same list since it answers the same need to find something accessed recently.

Update 2019-01-07: This request has been answered differently with the “In the works” menu setup bu default since v9.2. I will consider this request as done. Please, use the Google group if you wish to comment this.

Requests from Direct Folders users

The items tagged Direct Folders were submitted by Direct Folders users. This paying app was last updated in 2012 and, according to the comments on its last blog post, it seems that it became unreliable or unstable in its last releases.

I never used DF but, as I understand it, it used a DLL file (Windows system file) that allows to “inject” features under the hood of Explorer windows or dialog boxes. I don’t want to use this approach in order to preserve portability, one of the appreciated qualities of Quick Access Popup.

An alternative to implement these features would be to mimic keyboard events to execute the desired actions as if a user was hitting those keys (what would do a macro program). Some features of QAP are using this technique. But it must not depend on language dependent Windows hotkeys. Using function keys like F4 is OK in any Windows language but pressing Alt-F then another letter (etc.) will only work safely in one Windows locale. Because I want QAP to work in any Windows language, I’m also avoiding this approach.

Bottom line, I don’t see actually how I would implement these features with the development tools I’m using (AHK). If another AHK developer have a suggestion, it would be appreciated. Until then, these features are put “on hold”. Sorry for old Direct Folders users and thanks again for your input.

PS: You may be interested into the product Actual File Folders (20 $) that seems to do what DF was doing. I never tried it however.
PPS: What I wrote about DirectFolders seems to be also true for Filebox eXtender, not updated since 2011.

[Wishlist] Offer two hotkeys to launch the QAP menu: Launch/Navigate hotkey and Alternative hotkey

Background
First, a bit of background about Folders Popup hotkeys. in FP, two mouse/keyboard hotkeys were available:

  1. Middle Mouse Button (or Win+A): to navigate to a favorite folder (change folder in the current Explorer or dialog box), available only when the target window is a File Explorer or a dialog box.
  2. Shift+Middle Mouse Button (or Shift+Win+A): available over any target window, to open a favorite folder in a new Explorer window.

A FP user (I have to retrieve his name) one day suggested to merge the “Navigate” and “Launch” hotkeys in one key and to navigate to the favorite folder if the target window is a file Explorer or dialog box that can be “navigated”, or if not, to open the favorite folder in a new window.

Before I continue, I have to explain that all dialog boxes, all have the same signature (or “class”) whether they are “file dialog box” or another type of dialog box, for example an “option dialog box”. Because of this, I resisted the idea of merging hotkeys because there is a risk that, if the user activate the menu on a dialog box that is not a file dialog box and try to change the folder, Quick Access Popup could change some values in the dialog box inadvertently.

I would like to implement this because this risk is pretty low and, on the other hand, it is much easier for users to remember only one hotkey and to be able to activate this hotkey over any window. From comments received on FP website, I know that users wondered why the hotkey does work pop over certain window and did not read about the “Shift+Click Middle Mouse button” hotkey thing to pop the menu over non Explorer or dialog box windows.

New implementation
This long intro (that I hope is not too hard to follow) to say that the new approach being currently developed in QAP is:

Launch/Navigate hotkey (by default Middle mouse button)

  • Available over any window
  • Display the main menu and…
    • 1) If the user select a Application, Document or Link favorite, launch the application, document or link
    • 2) If the user select a Folder or a Special folder favorite…
      • 2 a) if the target window is a File Explorer, navigate to the favorite folder
      • 2 b) if the target window is of any other type, open the folder in a new Explorer window
      • 2 c) if the target window is a dialog box and the user enabled navigation in dialog box (see the option below), navigate the dialog box to the favorite folder

Alternative Menu hotkey (by default Shift+Middle mouse button)

  • Available over any window
  • First display a menu of “alternative features” such as:
    • Open in a new window (open the favorite folder in a new window even if the current window is an Explorer)
    • Copy favorite’s path or URL to Clipboard (current FP feature)
    • Edit a favorite (see this item)
  • Then, display the favorite popup menu and, when the user select a favorite, execute the previously selected “alternative feature”.

Option to change folders in dialog box with the Navigate hotkeys

As I mentioned previously, the main QAP hotkey can change a folder in a dialog box if the feature is enabled in Options. But you must use this feature only in “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 (Open, Save As, etc.).

Summary of hotkeys
The triggers for these two hotkeys can be configured with a mouse and a keyboard hotkey. Default hotkeys will be:

Hotkey Mouse hotkey Keyboard hotkey
Launch/Navigate Middle mouse button Windows-W (see footnote)
Alternative Menu Shift+Middle Mouse Button
(or Special button 2 if available)
Shift+Windows-W

Note: Default keyboards hotkeys were Windows+A and Shift+Windows+A in Folders Popup. They are changed to Windows+W and Shift+Windows+W because Windows+A is now a reserved shortcut in Windows 10.

[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] Keep localized names for special folders Pictures, Favorites, Templates, My Video and My Music when language is changed

Actually, most of Special folders names are read from Windows in its installed language. But for these exceptions (Pictures, Favorites, Templates, My Video and My Music) the name is determined by FP in the language active at the time of the Special folder creation. If user switch language later, the Special folders names are not updated to the new language. With this item is implemented, the names would be changed as QAP language is changed.

[Wishlist] Track recent items in QAP, in addition to system Recent items

In Folders Popup, the Recent Folders menu present the x most recent folders found in the Windows virtual folder “Recent items” (C:/Users/[username]/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Windows/Recent). See this discussion for more info.

In QAP, this menu could also memorize the most recent folders accessed using QAP, regardless of Window’s list. Also, I saw in Folder Menu (if I remember well) that this list also included Current Folders (folders actualy open in Windows Explorer). See this item.

Done with the SQLite database introduced in v9.2.

[Wishlist] Option to set the path of a custom browser for URLs

Actually, FP opens URLs with a command like “Run, http://www.site.com”. This command is executed using the default web browser as defined in Windows configuration.

For users who would prefer to define the browser to use with QAP, an option will allow to enter the path of the browser to use. For these users, the command would be “Run, [browser path] http://www.site.com”

This was asked by a user running FP in a portable mode. This would allow the browser to be run from on the same USB key as QAP.

[Wishlist] Automatically Add this folder without dialog box – “Add this folder Express”

This would add the current folder in an Explorer window or a file dialog box bypassing the regular Add a folder dialog box. Some default values/rules would be used. The folder would be added at the bottom (or top?) of the main menu. The favorite’s name (for the menu) would be the last folder in the favorite’s path (as suggested by default when you add a folder the regular way). If this name already exists in the main menu, a number like “Name (2)” would be added. There would be no custom icon, no shortcut, etc.

[Wishlist] When launching a folder in a new Explorer, restore initial position of the window

When the user is adding a folder from an Explorer window using the Add this folder (or Add this folder express) menu, memorize the position and size of the window.

When the user open a favorite folder using the regular Launch hotkey, the new Explorer window created to load the favorite folder is positioned and sized as it was when the favorite was created.

These attributes could also be edited in the Add/Edit Favorite dialog box, allowing user to enter position/size for favorites added with the Settings Add button.

[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.

 

Welcome to Quick Access Popup

qap-MASTER--512Welcome to my new project ! Quick Access Popup is the next generation of the popular Windows freeware Folders Popup. It will offer all the features in Folders Popup plus additions made possible by a complete rewrite of the application.

From your custom popup menu, Quick Access Popup will launch your most used folders, documents, applications, websites and FTP sites, plus all sort of special features to ease and accelerate your work. And it will still be freeware!

Until Quick Access Popup is ready, you can:

Thank you for your support!

Note: User comments and reviews in the header are for Folders Popup, current incarnation of QAP. They will apply to QAP, for sure :-).

Icons by: Visual Pharm.

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