Can I search inside my favorites?

Yes, you can filter the favorites by keywords. As you add favorites to your main menu and your submenus, it can become tricky to find the favorite you want to edit. 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.

Using the Search tool

First, to reveal the Search box, click the Magnifier icon, select the menu ToolsSearch for favorites or hit Ctrl-F.

To filter you favorites, simply type a few characters in the Search box just above the favorite list. To restore the full list, simply click the X button on the right.

By default, only the favorites with the searched string 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 properties: favorite submenu, type, shortcut, hotstring trigger, location (file or folder path), snippet content, FTP login name and password, and advanced settings Parameters and Start in folder.

You can now search one or more sequence of characters. For example, searching “qui” list find items with this sequence of characters in their name (or other properties). You could also search “qui pop” to find items containing both “qui” AND “pop”.

On the left column, the Sort button sorts the search result by any column, ascending or descending if you select again the current sort column. You can also sort using the context menu that you open by right-clicking inside the list.

Just above, the View button (eye icon) shows a popup menu with the items currently in the search result (see an example, below). This allows you to review the content of these favorites in addition to editing them. If multiple search result items have the same name, the [!] suffix is used to differentiate them. More info: What is the “eye” icon on the left side of the Customize window?.

And above again is the Open the submenu button that opens the submenu containing the item currently selected in the search result.

With the Tools menu, you can open the Search box and select the Extended Search option. In addition, the Special Searches  menu offer very powerful search results. See: What are the Special Searches?

Editing favorites from the search result

To edit your favorites, select one or multiple items in the list (using Click, Shift+Click or Ctrl+Click) and hit one of the buttons in the right column.

  • Edit: edit the selected favorite or submenu (you can also double-click to edit an item).
  • Remove: remove one or multiple favorites or submenus (and all the submenus content).
  • Copy: copy one or multiple favorites, or copy one submenu and its content (submenus, groups and shared menus can only be copied or moved individually).
  • Move: move one or multiple favorites, or move one submenu and its content.
  • Add: close the search result and add a new favorite.

Search options

Various options under the Customize Windows section of the Options dialog box will affect hot the Search tool works.

  • Search scope: by default, the search result includes all menu items, from the Main menu down to the last submenus but you can select the second radio button to search only in the menu (or group) currently displayed in the Customize window and its submenu.
  • Search result with edit dates and stats columns: by default, only the NameMenuTypeHotkey (or Hotstring) and Location or content columns are displayed in search results but enabling this options allows to add the Last ModifiedCreated and Last Used dates and the Usage columns are added. See an example below.The Usage column is shown only if the QAP database is enabled in the Database section of the Options dialog box. It displays the number of times an item was launched using the QAP menu or appeared in the Windows Recent Items special folder during the period covered by the database (see: How can I control how the Frequent Items database works?).
  • Search with language settings: by default, the search filter uses the Windows locale language settings (aka regional settings) when handling accentuated characters (for example, searching for “école” and “ecole” will return the same result) but, by disabling this option, accentuated letters will be treated as specific characters.

The following screen capture shows an example of the search result with additional columns.

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 the current menu;
  • changing menu using the dropdown list or the navigation arrows restore the regular unfiltered list;
  • the back and forward arrows allows to return to the previously closed search results as well as to previously opened submenus.

Can I find broken favorites or list all favorites in all submenus?

Under the Tools menu, the Special Searches submenu allows to list all favorites in one window where you can sort them by any column. Other entries in this menu allows to identify “not found” favorites or broken links.

Selecting Search All Favorites insert the code {All} in the search box and list all favorites in all submenus. To sort favorites in any the search result, click the Sort icon in the left column and select the sort order. You can also open this menu by right-clicking in the search result itself.

Selecting the Search Folders, Documents or Applications not found menu will insert the code {BrokenLocations} inside the search box and list favorites having a location that cannot be found. Take note that locations including {…} placeholders are not checked. You can edit these entries as you would do in any list of favorites.

Selecting the Search Broken Favorites Links (404) menu will insert the code {BrokenLinks} inside the search box and list favorites of type Link having an invalid URL (therefore, producing an error 404). Take note that some broken links could take time to respond, that password protected links may be wrongly identified as broken and that links including {…} placeholders are not checked.

What is the “eye” icon on the left side of the Customize window?

This “eye” icon opens a popup menu containing the favorites currently displayed in the Customize window. The favorites do not need to be saved to be viewed in this menu. It can be used as a preview of the menu you are editing.

This popup menu can also be used to see the favorites found in the Search window. If some favorites in the search result have the same name, duplicates name in the popup menu will have the [!] suffix in order to make each name temporarily unique. 

Can I quickly search QAP to launch one of my favorites?

If you know the first letters of the favorite or a recent file/folder you want to open, save more time! Instead of opening the QAP menu and look for the favorite in one of your submenus, just open the Quick Launch box, type a few letters and press Enter or select the favorite you want to launch in the list.

Opening the Quick Launch box

If you installed QAP for the first time with version 11.6 or more recent, this feature is already included in your QAP menu. Open it under the My QAP Essentials submenu or hit the keyboard shortcut Shift+Ctrl+Q.

IMPORTANT: If, on the other hand, you upgraded QAP from a version earlier that v11.6, you have to add the feature to your QAP menu. Add a favorite of type QAP Feature and select Quick Launch under the Various Utilities section.

In both case, you can change the keyboard shortcut in the Edit favorite dialog box’s Menu Options tab. For example, you could prefer the Middle Mouse Button with the Alt or Ctrl modifier key. Finally, it is always possible to open the box from the Customize window menu bar Tools, Quick Launch menu.

Launching favorites

To launch a favorite with the Quick Launch box, simply type a few letters. Favorites and recent items with these letters in their name will be listed sorted by usage, the most frequently used first. The more letters you type the more precise is the search result.

At any time, you can launch the highlighted item by pressing Enter. By default, the first item is already selected. You can use Down/Up arrows to select another item and press Enter. You can also double-click on an item to launch it. If it is a folder or a document, QAP will open it. If it is a menu, it will display the menu.

If you have a lot of favorites in your QAP menu, to be more specific in your search, type multiple sequences separated by space. For example, type qui pop to search items having “qui” AND “pop” in their name.

Quick Launch options

There are a few Options that you can set to change the way the Quick Launch box behaves. Under Options, Customize Window, you can enable the Extended Search (search all properties). That way, you query will return more results because the search is done not only in the favorites and files name but also in all favorites properties (location, parameters, snippet content, etc.).

By default, Recent and Frequent menus are included in the Quick Launch result. This means that not only the favorites in your menu are included in the search result but also the folders or files you used recently or frequently. By default, the option Include Recent and Frequent menus items is enabled. If you prefer, you can turn this option off to exclude these folders and files.

By default the Quick Launch box shows 10 search results. You can always resize this window manually. If you prefer, you can change the default height by setting a different Number of rows of search result.

Finally, you can set the sort order of the Quick Launch box. By default, the most frequently used favorites will be shown first. This works only if your database is enabled in the Options, Database. If you prefer, you can Sort by: Favorite name or by the Menu order following the natural order of the favorites in your menu.

Using Quick Launch with the Alternative menu

The QAP Alternative menu gives access to actions that can be taken on items from your menu. Normally, you would open the Alternative menu with Shift+Middle Mouse Button and afterwards select a favorite in your QAP menu. With Alternative menu features, you can Edit a Favorite, Copy a Favorite’s Path or URL (or event a snippet content), Run as administrator for an application and Open the Containing Folder of the favorite. See What are the Alternative menu features? for more details.

You can use these commands in the Quick Launch search result. Right-click on an item to open the Alternative menu and select the action you want to take on this item.

You can also call the Alternative menu features with keyboard keys. For example, if you press the Right Shift key while you double-click on a favorite or press Enter, this will open the folder containing a favorite. You can review the Alternative menu hotkeys in Options, Alternative Menu Hotkeys.

Can I launch a favorite from the Customize window? Can I preview the current content of the Customize window?

The Eye icon on the left side of the Customize window allow you to open a temporary menu showing the current content of the favorites list. This menu can be open and these favorites can be launched as in the regular menu. Your menu does not need to be saved to be previewed.

This preview menu can also be shown in search results. In this example, the search result shows items containing “My”. The temporary menu shows the five items in the search result.