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Windows 7: Start Menu - making All Programs a menu?


10 Oct 2010   #1

Windows 7 64bit
 
 
Start Menu - making All Programs a menu?

Just moved to Windows 7.

We're told over and over that the new start menu is better in every conceivable way, but the truth is, for a keyboard oriented power user like me, it truly sucks. At least, the default setup, and all the customizations I've attempted, truly suck swamp water.

In XP, I configured all my programs to be accessible in 3 keypresses. Eg. by putting Notepad under Start > Tools > Notepad, I could bring it up in a split second by pressing Windows Key, T, N - likewise for the ~20 other programs I have. I've had this for 8 years and it's ingrained in my style, but more importantly, it is genuinely highly efficient.

I've tried my darndest in Windows 7 to recreate this. However several things are in the way:

1) After the windows key, the Search box has the focus. So no matter what you type in, it isn't shortcutting through the programs menu, it's typing in a search query.

2) I can't seem to create my own top level menus under the start menu (like "tools", "office" etc).

3) The All Programs link doesn't open up a menu with sub menus etc - just lists them in a single list. Maybe typical users prefer this (fair enough) but it's brain damagingly irritating for a power user, as you lose all sense of hierarchy and location.

Can anyone suggest how I could recreate my old XP behavior in Windows 7?

-old-fashioned Brendan


P.S. Honestly I'm astonished that Microsoft have *forced* such a major change on their users. I think the new start menu has some great elements for a typical home users, but they shouldn't have limited the options for hard core users in the process.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Oct 2010   #2

 

It sorta annoyed me at first, but I had too many programs installed and too few shortcuts memorized so I had to adapt to the change. I tried the Windows Classic theme on another Windows 7 machine but apparently the "improved" start menu got backported to classic as well, meh.
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10 Oct 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Blowfly and Trucidation, and welcome to Seven Forums.

You might try the free program Classic Shell for this. It allows you to have the classic Start Menu for what you are wanting while still using Aero. Plus many other options. Take a look in the gallery area at this link for images of what the program does to see if that may be what you are wanting.


Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Oct 2010   #4

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Call my obsessive, but I want my use of Windows 7 to be as fine tuned and efficient as XP.

Like I said - I can open Notepad in a split second clicking Windows Key, T, N - and it's efficient for me to open pretty much any other program I use.

How can I replicate this efficiency in Windows 7?


Thanks Brink - I'll check out Classic Shell and let you know how it goes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2010   #5

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Brink - the Classic Shell was exactly what I was after, and works a treat. Thanks for the link.

I am now happy with Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2010   #6

win7 64
 
 

i dot get it what are you trying to do? I sent up keyboard shortcuts for everything i barely use the start menu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2010   #7
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by blowfly View Post
Brink - the Classic Shell was exactly what I was after, and works a treat. Thanks for the link.

I am now happy with Windows 7
You're most welcome Blowfly. I'm happy to hear that it's what you wanted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2010   #8

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by evo1087 View Post
i dot get it what are you trying to do? I sent up keyboard shortcuts for everything i barely use the start menu.

I have 33 programs accessible by quick, descriptive keyboard shortcuts. Windows + key + key is the quickest way to be able to access them all.

How do you access yours?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2010   #9

 

Thanks brink! However, I've been hanging on to the classic interface for way too long anyway. I mean, I never used the XP interface and that was like an entire decade (ouch). So when 7 came along I told myself to stop screwing around and just rolled with it.

I totally understand what blowfly feels for the shortcuts, but I've managed to just let it go. My reasoning is since I'm not getting younger and I can't remember all my shortcuts anyway since I constantly install and uninstall stuff, Windows 7's search ends up being more helpful. E.g. for opening Chrome I used to press winkey + P + G + enter. Now I go winkey then type Chrome. Yeah, it's more keys, but I type stupid fast anyway plus this way I don't have to remember arcane key combos, I just type in the program name.

I actually used this more for my IE bookmarks; I'd prefix them so instead of "forum X" it would read "A - forum X". So I could get at it by hitting alt + A (to open up favourites) then hitting A again to get to that one. Get enough bookmarks accumulated over the years and I had stuff like alt + A + A + 5 to get to one place, then alt + A + G + G to another. Didn't have to touch my mouse ever
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2010   #10
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Trucidation,

I understand that. You might also take a look at this free program Vista Start Menu. It's the same new Start Menu in Windows 7, but it allows you to customize it alot more to hopefully meet your needs better.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Start Menu - making All Programs a menu?




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