Can I embellish my popup menu with my preferred icons?

Video – Beautiful and efficients menu with icons (12 min.)

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 also load icons from image files (*.PNG, *.BMP, *.GIF, *.JPG). These images must be square and between 16×16 and 64×64 pixels.

In the Menu Options tab, click the current icon or the Change icon link to select a new icon. Click No icon if you prefer no icon for this favorite or click Edit icon resource if you want to edit the icon file and index manually. In this example, QAP selected the default icon for Excel documents in an Excel .EXE file.

In the Select Icon dialog box, you see all the icons in this file. If the number of icons in this file exceed one page, click Next or Previous to see other pages. You can double click an icon to select it. Or you can use the keyboard arrows to select an icon and select it with the OK button.

You can select an icon from another file with he Browse button. You can open an icons file (*.DLL, *.EXE, *.ICO, *.OCX, *.CPL) or, since v11.3, an image files (*.PNG, *.BMP, *.GIF, *.JPG). Image files must be square and between 16×16 and 64×64 pixels. If you select an image file or an icon file with only one icon, this icon is selected immediately.

You can also select an icon from the JLicons.dll file included with QAP or one of the Windows DLL files by clicking the links JLicons.dll, Shell32.dll or ImageRes.dll.

See how to manage the icons of all your favorite’s icons in a single dialog box: Can I manage all my menu icons in one screen?. See also: How to sync your menu folder icons and Windows folders icons. And don’t miss 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, select the Tools, Icons in the menu bar 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 (captured here on a French Windows)

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 with Next and Previous buttons to change page. If the window is too large and unusable (if you do not see the buttons at the bottom), read: The Manage Icons window is too large. How can I resize it or scroll the list?

A note for users upgrading from Folders Popup or QAP v7

New QAP icons were introduced with v8. To reset your icons from a previous version, 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 upgraded from a pre-v8 QAP version, why don’t I see the icons in my menu?


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. Depending on your Windows version, you may be able to change menu fonts, size or color in Windows Settings (aka Windows Control Panel). But you can’t change the menu font only in QAP menus.

If you want to reduce the space occupied by 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 Appearance 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 Customize in the Main menu is displayed bold.
  • Decide on what side will popup a sub menu: this is determined by Windows depending on the space available on the right side of the menu (if not, the submenu will on on the left – I know, I hate this too…).
  • Have a Live Folder submenu entry to be clickable to open the Live folder itself. In Windows menus, submenu entries are not clickable.
  • Trigger an action if you right-click on a menu item: the right-click on a menu cannot be catched to trigger an action. It just does nothing (but you could be interested by these options: Can I launch Alternative menu features directly from the regular popup menu?)
  • Scroll inside the popup menu using the mouse wheel.
  • Etc…

The alternative would be to completely rewrite the QAP menu (using the AHK platform and much advanced libraries) but this would be way too much work and would open the door to a whole new set of bugs and issues. Sorry but this is not on the QAP roadmap.

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!


How can I make the QAP icon always stay in the Notification Area?

When you run it, Quick Access Popup (QAP) adds an icon in the Notification Area (System Tray) and await your orders. You can click this icon to open the QAP menu.

But icons in the Notification zone have a tendency to fidget and disappear in an obscure sub menu… There is a method to iron the QAP icon in the Notification zone. Follow the instructions for your Windows version:

See also: When do I need to use the QAP icon in the Notifications Area?

Can I use my own documents icons instead of those configured in Windows?

Default document icons shown in QAP menus are normally those configured in Windows. But, starting with QAP v11.5.7, you can override these default icons with your own custom icons. These icons will be displayed in QAP dynamic menus (like Recent Files) and will be suggested as default icons for your new Document favorites.

Each line must start with the type extension (e.g. docx for Microsoft Word), followed by the equal sign “=” and the “file,index” or image file of the default icon. The “file,index” is the path to the file (.ico, .dll or .exe) containing the icon, and the index is the position of the icon in this file, e.g. “C:\Icons\MyFile.dll,1”. You can also use square image files (.png, .bmp, .gif, .jpg) as long as their size is between 16×16 and 64×64 pixels.

You can set the same icon for multiple extensions by joining the extensions using the “+” character. For example:

Note: Replacing a custom icon will be immediately reflected in QAP dynamic menus but not in regular favorite documents. To replace the previous custom icon in existing favorites, you can use the Tools, Manage Icons to quickly select the new default icons.

Can I replace the QAP standard menu icons with my own custom icons?

You can replace the standard QAP menu icons with your own custom icons. Open the Options, Menu Icons tab where you can enter a list of custom menu icons replacements. See the list of icon codes below.

In this section of the Options dialog box, you can also set a custom icon for Link favorites that will be used instead of your default browser’s icon.

In the icons replacements text box, enter the QAP menu icon replacements in the text box, one by line. Each line must start with the QAP icon name (e.g. iconFolderLive, as found in the table below), followed by the equal sign “=” and the “file,index” of the replacement icon. The “file,index” is the path to the file containing the icon (.ico, .dll or .exe) and the index is the position of the icon in this file, e.g. “C:\Icons\MyFile.dll,1”. You can also use square image files (.png, .bmp, .gif, .jpg) between 16×16 and 64×64 pixels.

Here is the list of the icons you can replace.

IconPositionQAP icon codeDefault icon

Icons by: Icons8

The Manage Icons window is too large. How can I resize it or scroll the list?

Manage Icons – Click to enlarge

The tools I am using to develop QAP does not allow to add a scroll bar to a dialog box list when it contains multiple images per row as this one. This is why the Manage Icons window is presenting the icons page by page.

Each page contains as many icons as possible according to the size of your screen. The number of rows displayed in each page is calculated based on the screen size reported by Windows. If, for any reason, Windows returns an incorrect size value to QAP or if QAP misinterprets this info (which seems to be the case when screen scaling is active), the window could be too small or, more frequently, too large. This could make the window unusable because the Previous, Next and Close buttons could be “outside” of the screen.

The solution to this is to manually set the number of rows of this window. To do it, open the Options dialog box, Menu Icons tab (or Various Advanced Options tab starting with v11.5.7) , and enter a small number of rows in the Manage Icons window row zone. After testing it, increase the value up to the maximum that works on your screen.

More info about managing icons: Can I manage all my menu icons in one screen?

I upgraded from a pre-v8 QAP version, why don’t I see the icons in my menu?

2016-12-30-18_03_19-manage-icons-quick-access-popup-v8NOTE: The following info is for users who upgraded to QAP from a version before v8.

Icons management has been greatly improved when QAP v8 was introduced. To make sure QAP won’t overwrite the custom icons you have added to your menu, QAP will not update your icons automatically to the new icons. I prefer to let you oversee the replacement of old icons using the new Manage Icons dialog box.

A bit of background…

If you started using QAP before v8, your menu includes icons taken from Windows system files shell32.dll and imageres.dll. These icons library files are installed with every Windows version. To use one of these icons, QAP had to specify their positions (numeric index) in the library.  The issue with these files is that, from one Windows version to the other, icons were added, removed or moved in the library. This caused me headaches and a lot of tedious work to keep track with these always changing index numbers for the various Windows version of QAP users.

In addition, if you upgraded to a new Windows version, chances are that some of your icons were replaced with an image not related to the favorite.

With QAP v8+, this headache is behind us. I decided to invest some money to buy a licence to include the nice icons from Icons8 (you can help me share this expense, if you wish). With my own icons library, I now rely on stable library file named JLicons.dll. If you installed QAP with the “Easy Setup” mode, this file JLicons.dll is saved in the shared applications folder C:\Program\Data\JeanLalonde\. If you preferred the “Portable” mode, the file is included in the portable ZIP file and must be kept in the same folder as QAP executable file.

Now, to see these new icons, please use the Manage Icons dialog box and click on the default icons on the right side of the screen to select them.



[Tips] Create a favorite for your temporary folder

We all have a folder where we put files that just need to be checked once or that need to be extracted before saving them in their final location. Some people use their Desktop for this. Personally, I prefer to keep my Desktop clean and I’m using the subfolder C:\TEMP. You could also use the temporary folder created by Windows. It is hidden deep under the surface but Windows created the variable %TEMP% to make it easy to access.

Whatever your preference is, let’s see how to make it easy to access this folder in different ways using Quick Access Popup.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to

  • create a favorite for a folder;
  • give this favorite a distinct icon;
  • give your folder a shortcut to access it instantly;
  • sync this icon with the Windows folder.

Read more