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.

What is the "Current Windows" menu and how is it built?

The Current Windows (aka "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.

By default, the Switch feature is found under the In the Works menu (before v9.2, it was under the My QAP Essentials menu). You can add it to your menu by adding a favorite of type QAP Feature and select Current Windows under the Dynamic Menus section.

Can I create a favorite for an internal command (also called DOS commands) like DIR or XCOPY?

Yes. But creating an application favorite for a Windows/DOS built-in command (like dir, copy, rd, start, etc.) is a bit tricky. You have to create an Application favorite and insert as the application path:

%COMSPEC%

This is an environment variable containing the path to the Console (or CMD) executable. Then, in the Advanced Settings tab, enter the following Parameters:

/k command param1 "param 2"
or
/c command param1 "param 2"

With "/k" the Console window remain open after the command is executed. With "/c", it will be closed. "command" is the command you want to launch ("DIR" in the following example. And "param1" (etc.) are the parameters for the command. Enclose each of them in double-quotes if they include spaces.

In the following example, the DIR command is called to list the .EXE files in the current folder ("{cur_loc}" is replaced with the path of the folder on which you middle-clicked to open the QAP popup menu):

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.com\folder\subfolder\My%20Name.doc

In Windows 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%\Microsoft\Templates" will take you to the folder "C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates").

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. See Can I use relative paths in favorite settings?.

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:\MyTools\QAP\".

Relative path Expanded path
..\Editor\MyNotepad.exe M:\MyTools\Editor\MyNotepad.exe
..\..\setup.ini M:\setup.ini
\MyTools\MyDocs M:\MyTools\MyDocs

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 these 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:\Windows\System32\Shell32.dll
Notepad.exe C:\Windows\Notepad.exe
Notepad C:\Windows\Notepad.exe

 

Can QAP launch an application with administrator privileges?

Yes. If QAP is running with administrator permission, all applications it will launch will automatically inherit the admin level. But you should not run QAP with admin privileges unless you have good reasons to do so.

Check the option Elevate application with administration privileges in the Advanced Settings of the Edit Favorite dialog box. Of course, before launching the application, Windows will display the usual approval dialog box or ask for the admin password.

See more information about Windows ACL (Access Control List) and QAP.

What are the different types of favorites?

Types of favorites proposed when you click the Add button

An example menu with one favorite of each type

In your Quick Access Popup menu, you can add favorites of any of these twelve types:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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: Insert sequences of characters that can be typed in a flash when you need to insert them in any application (snippets help).
  • QAP Feature: Insert Quick Access Popup features like Switch, Reopen a Folder, Drives, Add This Folder or Link, etc. in any submenu and assign them the shortcuts and icons of you choice.
  • Submenu: Gather related favorites in a submenu; submenus can be nested at will and each of them can be assigned shortcuts or icons.
  • 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.
  • Group: Launch a group of favorites of any type in one click or one shortcut; the menu label shows the number of items in the group.
  • Text Separator: Insert a text menu separator at the current menu position.

To add these types of favorites, see How do I add a favorite to my menu?

How do I add an application or script to my menu?

QAP can launch applications (.EXE or .COM) files, scripts (like .BAT batch files, .VBS or .AHK scripts, etc.). To add a favorite application or script, as for documents and folders, you can click the Browse button in the Basic Settings tab to select the application file. But, if the target application is already running, it is much easier to select it in the drop down list of running applications.

When you choose the application, the Short name for menu is automatically filled if it is not already entered.

Still in the Basic Settings tab, you can click the checkbox If the application is already running, activate it instead of launching. This will avoid launching multiple instances of the same application.

 

In the Advanced Settings tab, you can run the application "as Administrator" by clicking the checkbox Elevate application with administration privileges. When launching this favorite, you may be prompted with the elevation alert or asked for the administrator password.

Also in the Advanced Settings tab, in the Start in zone, you can set the default directory for the application.

In this example, the ExamDiff application will open its Select file dialog boxes in the Music Docs folder. Take note that, unfortunately, not all application comply with the Start in setting when launched.

The last setting in the Advanced Settings tab, Parameters, is described with an example in the FTP FAQ page.

How do I add Windows Apps (also called "Windows Store", "Universal" or "Metro" apps) to my menu?

Starting with v9.1, QAP supports these apps known as: Windows Apps (under Windows 10), Universal Applications, Metro Apps (under Windows 8) or Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps. This new Windows application type doesn't use the traditional executable (.exe) files anymore. These apps are pre-installed in Windows 8 and 10 or downloaded from Windows Store.

This family of applications has the advantage of being available in a very similar way under various Microsoft devices. But, technically, their architecture and behavior differs in many ways from regular applications. This is why a specific favorite type is required to configure and launch them.

Default "My Windows Apps"

The "My Windows Apps" submenu

The first time you run a QAP version supporting Windows Apps with Windows 10, QAP creates automatically a new sub menu named My Widows Apps at the bottom of your main menu. This menu contains a sample of the most common Windows Apps normally installed with Windows 10. You can edit, move or remove this menu as for other submenus.

Adding a Windows App to your menu

Click the Add button and select the favorite type Windows Apps. In the Basic Settings tab, see the dropdown list of Windows Apps installed on your system. This list is loaded when you launched QAP. If you just downloaded an app from the Windows Store, click the Refresh button to add it to the list.

Select a Windows App in the list. This list is built with Windows App "code names" as they are registered in Windows. Some of these names a unfriendly codes but, at this time, QAP could not retrieve more friendly or localized names from Windows (still doing research on this). When you select an app in the list, its name is loaded in the Short name for menu text box. Also, QAP could not currently retrieve the default icon for a Windows App. Fortunately, you can change the app's name for a more user friendly name and select your preferred icon in the Menu Options tab.

If whenever you need to add an app not in the list, you can select the Custom Windows App identifier (Application User Model ID - AUMID) entry at the end of the list. However, you will have to fill the Application User Model ID (AUMID or Windows Apps identifiers) code for this app (for example "Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe!MicrosoftEdge" for Microsoft Edge).

Finally, when you will install Windows updates, it may happen that the Windows App ID for a given app changes. If whenever this happens, you will only have to select the Windows App again in the list and save your favorite.

[Tips] Pass the current folder as parameter to an application launched with QAP

In this tutorial, you will see how to launch an Application favorite with its working directory set to the current folder open in Windows Explorer. You will see that this can be done in two ways:

  • you can pass this folder as the Start In folder (take note that not all applications will use this setting);
  • or you can pass the current folder (or any part of it) as a command-line parameter.

Read more