Could you give me a tour of the Settings window?

Welcome aboard ūüôā

  1. Select the Main menu or the submenu displayed in the Settings window. You can also use the little arrows on the left of the drop down list to move up or back in the submenus.
  2. Filter favorites from any submenu by keyword in favorite name or in more metadata if you check Extended Search.
  3. This is the list of favorites in the current submenu or filtered by keyword. Double-click a favorite to edit it or double-click a sub menu to navigate to this menu.
  4. Use the Add, Edit, Remove, Move or Copy buttons to manage the favorites in the current submenu.
  5. Change Quick Access Popup global parameters in the Options window.
  6. Move the selected favorite(s) up or down in the current submenu.
  7. Add horizontal separator, column break or text separator in your menu.
  8. Sort the selected favorites in the current submenu. With the pin icon above, make the window Always on top to make drag and drop easier.
  9. Click the Help or About buttons to read more info about QAP.
  10. After you've made changes to your menu, click Save & Close to save your changes and close the Settings window, Save & Reload to save changes but stay in the Settings window or Cancel to forget your changes.
  11. Click the keyboard icon or the Shortcuts label to get a global view of your shortcuts and edit them, click on the Hotstrings label to edit hotstrings globally, or click Icons to manage your menu icons.
  12. Finally, click the text links Favorites Shortcuts Help (on the left) for tips on editing the menu using Settings window hotkeys, or Drag & Drop Help (on the right) for help on adding favorites from Windows Explorer using the drag-and-drop mouse technique.

Can I sort the favorites in my menu?

Yes. In the Settings window, open the menu that you want to sort and click the Sort button on the left side of the window. If no favorite is selected, all favorites are selected and sorted. Sorting stops at the first line separator or column break, if present. To sort only part of your menu, select multiple favorites using Shift-Click or Control-Click.

 

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. 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.

By default, only the favorites with the searched keyword in their name will appear in the filtered list. But you can select the check box Extended Search to extend the search to more favorites metadata: favorite type, shortcut, hotstring trigger, location (file or folder path), snippet content, FTP login name and password, and advanced settings Parameters and Start in folder.

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

  • 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.

How do I move a favorite or a submenu to another submenu?

You can edit the favorite, open the Menu Options tab and select a new submenu in the Favorite parent menu list. But a quicker way, in the Settings window, is to select the favorite (or multiple favorites with Shift-Click or Ctrl-Click) and hit the Move button or press Control-M. You can move submenus or groups as well, using the same techniques.

In the Move Favorites dialog box, select the new submenu for your favorite(s) and the position in this menu. And click the Move button.

Can I embellish my popup menu with my preferred icons?

See this YouTube video!

By default, Quick Access Popup select icons based various criteria. For documents, it shows the default icon for the document type (based on filename extension). For applications, it reads the default icon in the application executable file. For QAP features, it use a default image representing the feature's action. Finally, for folders, it use the plain basic folder icon or the folder's custom icon if one has been assigned in Windows file system.

You can assign your own custom icons to favorites in the Menu Options tab of the Add / Edit Favorite window. You can pick icons in any .EXE, .DLL or .ICO file. You can even build an .ICO file with your own images (PNG or JPG files) using your image editor or free web tools like www.iconverticons.com/online/.

See How to sync you menu folder icons and Windows folders icons.

See also this video on QAP icons.

 

Can I manage all my menu icons in one screen?

The Manage Icons dialog box lists all the favorites in your QAP menu with their current icon and the default icon for this type favorite. To open this dialog box, click the Icons button in the Settings window (lower right) or add to your menu the QAP Feature named Icons.

Manage Icons - Click to enlarge

Manage Icons - Click to enlarge

Change icon dialog box

Change icon dialog box

For each favorite or submenu, the first two columns show the favorite parent menu and the favorite name. The third column shows the favorite's current icon and a button to select a custom icon. The last column shows the default icon for this type of favorite and a button to reset the favorite to its default icon.

Some types of favorite have their own default icon. For example, Folder favorites have the classic folder icon. Others, like Application and Document favorites, use the default icon from the associated application's executable file.

To select a custom icon, click the Select icon button. In the Change icon dialog box, select the file containing the icon and select the icon. More info on how to embellish your QAP menu with icons.

Manage Icons window size

The number of rows displayed in the Manage Icons window is calculated to display as many icons as possible according to the size of your window. If the window is too large and unusable, see: The Manage Icons window is too large. How can I resize it or scroll the list?

A note for users upgrading from QAP v7

To use the new QAP icons introduced with v8, in the Manage Icons window, click on the Set default icon for every icon except for your own custom icons or for the Application and Document favorites icons. More info here: I ugraded from a pre-v8 QAP version, why don't I see the icons in my menu?

 

Can I create menu entry with a keyboard shortcut in its name? 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 change the font, size, color or behavior of the QAP popup menu items?

Yes and no. QAP is building its menus using standard Windows commands. You can change menu fonts, size or color in Windows Control panel and this will change menus appearance in all applications using standard Windows menus. But you can't change only QAP menus font.

If you want to change the font size to reduce the space because you have many entries in your menu, you can change the size of menu icons, or even completely remove them. This will allow you to have more menu entries in the same space. Open the Menu tab of the Options window change the Menu icon size. Also, you can use sub-menus to group menu entries under a single entry.

The left menu has icons size of 48 pixels, the middle one has the default size 32 pixels and the right one has the smallest 16 pixels width.

For the same reason (because QAP is relying on standard Windows menus), QAP cannot do the followings:

  • Make some menu items bold: only one "default" item, like Settings in main menu, is displayed bold;
  • Decide on what side will popup a sub menu: this is determined by Windows depending if space is available on the right side of the menu (if not, the submenu will on on the left - I know, I hate this too...)
  • Trigger an action if you right-click on a menu item: it does nothing (but you could like these options: Can I launch Alternative menu features directly from the regular popup menu?)
  • Etc...

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

You can see the list of the Settings window shortcuts by clicking the help link under the favorites list.

  • Up: Select previous favorite
  • Down: Select next favorite
  • Enter: Edit one favorite or Move multiple favorites
  • Ctrl-N: Add a new favorite
  • Ctrl-C: Copy favorite(s) (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

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 opened 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 to launch your favorite with another application. See Placeholders, below.
 
 
  • 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. See Placeholders, below.
 
  • 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!
 
  • Sound played when launching the application: (starting with v9.1) Set the file name or the codes of the sound to play. The sound is played immediately after the command to open the menu item or the group is executed. You can play a sound file, a system sound or your own custom sound sequence.See also: Can I play a sound when I launch a favorite?
Placeholders

You can use location placeholders in Launch with this applicationParameters and Start In fields. These placeholders can be replaced with the location or part of the full path and file name of the favorite's location (e.g. "{LOC}"), the folder where the QAP menu was opened (e.g. "{CUR_LOC}") and the file selected when the menu was opened (e.g. "{SEL_LOC}"). These placeholders also have variants for based the full location, for example "{NAME}", "{DIR}", etc.

You can also insert the placeholder "{Clipboard}" that will be replaced wioth the content of the Windows Clipboard.

See Can I insert values in favorites location or parameters using placeholders? for all the details.

Can I create custom user variables and use them in file paths or snippets?

Video demo

The features described in this page require QAP v9.2 or more recent.

User variables can be of great help in various situations:

  • network drive users having to enter long (and often cryptic) paths to reach their content can shorten these paths using convenient variable names;
  • if you use a Shared menu of type Personal on two different computers sharing the same cloud drive (like Dropbox), user variables like {Dropbox} allow you to have fix favorites paths in your menu even if your cloud drive is at different locations on your two systems;
  • this is the same for teams using shared menus and cloud drives; favorites in shared menus for folders or files on a cloud drive will work regardless the cloud drives location on each team member PCs;
  • if you plan to move your files to another location, you can use a variable to avoid having to edit all the favorites after you moved the files to the new location;
  • etc.

To manage your user variables, open the Options window in the More tab and click the User Variables button. In this window, enter your user variables, one by line. Each line must start with the variable name between curly brackets (e.g. {MyVariable}), followed by the equal sign = and the variable content (e.g. {MyVariable}=MyContent).

For example, if one line contains {OurSharedFolder}=S:\ThisFolder, the placeholder {OurSharedFolder} will be replaced by S:\ThisFolder in a favorite paths when launching it or in snippet's content when pasting it.

In the following example, the user variable {OneDrive} is inserted in the favorite folder {OneDrive}\Project. If the variable contains C:\Users\Standard\OneDrive as in the previous example, the Project folder will be opened in C:\Users\Standard\OneDrive\Projects.

Note 1: The first time you launch it, QAP tries to create user variables for these commonly used cloud drives if they are found on the system: {Dropbox}, {OneDrive}, {GoogleDrive} and {iCloudDrive}.

Note 2: If you need to insert a user variable "as-is" in a text snippet, precede the variable's opening bracket with a backtick, eg.: `{Dropbox}.

See also: Can I insert values in favorites location or parameters using placeholders?