What hotkeys or shortcuts are set by default when QAP is installed and how can I change them?

During installation, shortcuts are created for two types of hotkeys: popup menu hotkeys and favorite hotkeys. These hotkeys are always available, regardless of the active window. If whenever they interfere with your existing hotkeys, you will see below how to change or remove them.

Note: There are also a set of hotkeys available only in the Customize window. These hotkeys are covered in the Customize help page.

Popup menu hotkeys

By default, the QAP popup menu can be triggered by the Middle Mouse Button and the keyboard shortcut Windows + W. A second popup menu called Alternative menu is triggered by default by Shift + Middle Mouse Button or Shift + Windows + W. You can change these settings in Options dialog box, Popup Hotkeys tab.

Favorite hotkeys

Mouse or keyboard hotkeys can also be assigned to any favorite in your menu. This allow you to launch a favorite without having to open the QAP popup menu and locate your favorite.

At installation time, only some QAP feature favorites are assigned to shortcuts. They are in the My QAP Essentials menu. This menu is created at installation in the Main popup menu. It includes keyboard shortcuts for the following menu and QAP features:

  • Shift-Control-Q for Quick Launch
  • Shift-Control-U for Reopen Current Folder in Dialog Box
  • Shift-Control-F for Reopen a Folder

Two other QAP features shortcuts are also inserted in the Main menu during installation:

  • Shift-Control-C for Customize
  • Shift-Control-A for Add Active Folder or Web page

You can change all these shortcuts by editing each favorite separately or you can edit all of them in the Hotkeys dialog box: select Tools, Hotkeys in the Customize window menu bar. See also Can I launch my favorites with keyboard or mouse shortcuts?


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 the following character a keyboard accelerator (or shortcut). For example, in the screen capture from Notepad on the right, the Replace command can be called by pression Atl + E (to open the Edit menu) then to launch the command. This is because, under the hood, the names of the menu and menu item are “&Edit” and “&Replace”.

The ampersand can be inserted anywhere in a menu name to enable the following character as a keyboard accelerator.

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 accelerator. In the following example, the Work menu is named “&Work” to enable W as an accelerator (the W appears as underlined if you open the menu with the keyboard shortcut).

Quick Access Popup menu

Normally, Windows will underline the menu accelerators only when you open the menu with a keyboard shortcut. To force Windows to always display the accelerators, check the Underline keyboard shortcuts option in the Ease of Access Center section of the Windows Settings (aka Windows Control Panel).

Underline keyboard shortcuts

Ease of Access Center of Control Panel (groovypost.com)

Can I launch my favorites with keyboard or mouse shortcuts?

Shortcuts addicts will feel like in a candy store 🙂 !  In Quick Access Popup, any favorite location can be associated to a keyboard or a mouse shortcut.

In the Add/Edit Favorite dialog box, second tab Menu Options, click the Change button beside the Shortcut section.

Shortcuts can be assigned to any type of favorite. Not only to folders, documents or applications, but also to submenus, groups of favorites or QAP features.

When setting a shortcut, QAP check if the shortcut is already assigned to another favorite or to one of the QAP menus triggers. If yes, it will ask for another shortcut.

You can assign a mouse button using the Mouse drop down list. You can also use any key in the Keyboard key selector (“T” in the above screen capture). You can also select special characters like space bar, tab, enter, escape or menu key (also known as “application key” or “context menu key”, and displayed “application” in the key selector) by clicking on the desired link under the key selector.

All these mouse buttons or keys can be combined with one or more of the keyboard modifiers on the left side: Shift, Alt, Ctrl and Win keys. You can create shortcuts for Left only, Right only or Any keyboard modifiers. For example, Left Alt + Space and Right Alt + Space can launch different favorites or submenus. In the hotkeys lists, left modifiers are prefixes with “<” (for example “<Alt+Space”) and right modifiers with “>” (for example, “>Alt+Space”).

You can select None to remove the shortcut or, when a default hotkey is defined for this favorite, click Reset default hotkey to choose the suggested hotkey.

Starting with v11., you can also enter a hotkey code manually by clicking the manual input link. This allows you to assign hotkeys to special keys only accessible by their scan code. For example, you can assign a favorite to the Pause hotkey using its scan code SC045. Simply enter SC045 in the manual input dialog box. You can find more info on Special keys and on the internal representation of other hotkeys in the AutoHotkey documentation.

Note: You may find that some default hotkeys set by Windows using the Windows key (like Windows + L that locks your PC) could prevent you from assigning these keys with QAP. If you wish, you can disable the Windows + L (Lock) hotkey or even disable all Windows default hotkeys by creating or editing some registry keys.

Manage Hotkeys

To get a global view of your keyboards or mouse shortcuts, click the Hotkeys button in the Settings window. In the shortcuts list of the Manage Hotkeys window, you can sort shortcuts by Menu, Favorite NameHotkey or Favorite Location.  Double click a shortcut to change or remove its assigned hotkey.


By default, the list shows only favorites with shortcuts. Check See all favorites to find the favorites for which you could assign a new shortcut.

Take note that this window has a second tab named Hotstrings. See What are hotstrings?

Blocking QAP keyboard shortcuts in some application

There may be some applications where you do not want the QAP keyboard hotkeys to interfere with the app’s normal behavior. See this: Can I block the QAP keyboard shortcuts if they interfere with one of my apps?

How do I create a Text Snippet and paste it when I need it?

Snippets are pieces of text that you can paste into the active application using the QAP popup menu, hotstrings or shortcuts. Text snippets can contain characters, end-of-lines, and tabs.

Creating a snippet

  1. In the Customize window, click the Add button and select the type Snippet.
  2. In the Add Favorite dialog box, give the snippet a name for the menu and enter the text in the Content text box. In this text box, pressing Enter will add an end-of-line and pressing Ctrl + Tab will enter a tab.

  3. If the content does not fit in the Content text zone, you can expand the text box to make editing easier by clicking the + sign. When the content is expanded (as below), use the – sign to return to normal display. You can also display the snippet content in fixed font and choose the font size.

  4. In the Menu Options tab, select the parent menu and item position as for other type of favorites. Before saving, you will find it helpful to set a Shortcut or an Hotstring for your snippet. Click one of the two Change buttons (you could set both options if you wish) and set the shortcut or the hotstring as illustrated below.

    In these examples, the selected shortcut (left side) is Shift + Control + H and the hotstring trigger (right side) is #html# (TIP: for hotstrings, use “#” or any other symbol to make the hotstring trigger unique).

  5. In the Advanced Settings tab, you can enter text in Prompt before pasting the snippet that will be displayed with a prompt to hit Enter or Space to paste the favorite, or Esc to cancel it. The prompt can include placeholders (see the tips and tricks, below).
  6. Finally, click Add to save the favorite snippet.

You can also add a Snippet using the content of the Windows Clipboard. See Can I create a Snippet using the Clipboard and define its Hotstring in one step?

Pasting snippets

You can paste snippets in three ways (as for other types of favorites) but the first one is particularly useful for snippets. First, select the keyboard insertion point in a text zone of the active window. Then, paste the snippet using one of these techniques:

  1. If you defined an hotstring (as in the example above, on the right), type the hotstring trigger, in our example: #html# and press Enter or Space. As you press the termination key, the hotstring trigger is replaced (or “expanded”) with the content of the snippet. VoilĂ  !
  2. If you defined a shortcut (as the left example above), hit the shortcut key, in our example Shift+Control+H. The snippet is immediately pasted at the keyboard insertion point in the targeted window.
  3. Or open the popup menu and select the snippet. It will be pasted at the keyboard insertion point in the targeted window.

The snippet’s content is sent to the active application at the current insertion point as you would do using the Windows Clipboard Paste command. Although, the content of the Clipboard is not impacted by this action.

Snippets tips and tricks

  • If you open the popup menu by clicking the QAP icon in the Notification zone (Windows Tray), middle-clicking in the task bar or the Desktop, the active window loses the focus (become inactive) when the popup menu is open. In order to paste its content, QAP will ask you to activate the window where you want to send the snippet. QAP will display a message asking you to select the target window and hit the Enter key when you are done. You have up to 10 seconds to select the target application, set the keyboard insertion point and press Enter.
  • When trying to paste a snippet from the popup menu, some application or control (text area) may lose focus when the QAP menu is popped up making it impossible to paste the snippet in the active window. Pasting a snippet to the Explorer address bar is one example. An alternative is to assign a hotstring trigger or a keyboard shortcut to the snippet (Edit Favorite, in Menu Options tab). When invoked from a hotstring or a keyboard hotkey, the focus stays in the active window.
  • You can use the Windows Clipboard, user input or the current date-time to insert variable pieces of text in your snippets. For example, when you launch your favorite, QAP automatically replaces the placeholder {Clipboard} with the current content of the Windows Clipboard. Placeholders can also be replaced with various file locations. See Can I insert values in favorites location, parameters or snippets using placeholders?
  • When a snippet is edited with the Automatically encode end-of-lines checked, the snippet is saved to the settings file (quickaccesspopup.ini) with end-of-lines and tabs are automatically converted to symbols `n  (new line) and `t  (tab). Backtick characters (accent grave) are saved as double-backtick (` `). If you prefer to encode these characters yourselves, uncheck the check box.
  • When pasting the content of a snippet to the active window, QAP inserts three small safety delays. By default, the total duration of these delays is 300 ms (3/10th of a second). If your system is quick enough, you can try to reduce these delays (40 ms, 80 ms and 180 ms) in the Options windowVarious Advanced Options tab.

See also:

Can I block the QAP keyboard shortcuts if they interfere with one of my apps?

Yes. There may be some applications where the user does not want the QAP favorites keyboard hotkeys to interfere with the app’s normal behavior. QAP allows to block its hotkeys based on other app’s the window title, window class or process name.

Under Options, Launch Advanced Options, you can list the applications where QAP will disable (Block) all its favorites keyboard shortcuts: favorites shortcuts and Alternative menus features shortcuts. When the shortcuts are not allowed on an application, they are sent to the target window as if QAP was not running.

Note 1: This option does not affect the Main and Alternative menus keyboard shortcuts and the Main menu mouse trigger (see this page to block the Main menu mouse trigger).

Note 2: You can also do the opposite and select the only applications where the keyboard shortcuts will be allowed by clicking the Approved radio button. In the following explanation, we assume that you kept the Blocked option.

To add an application to the list, enter any part of the its window title. You can enter multiple applications, one per line. In the example above, QAP hotkeys will be inactive in any window including the name Resolve. You can also add applications by their class name or process name (EXE file name). In the example, the application Photoshop Elements having the executable file PhotoshopElementsEditor.exe will run with QAP hotkeys disabled.

See also Can I block the QAP menu trigger (Middle Mouse Button) if it interfere with one of my other apps?

[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