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Windows 7: Start menu - Keyboard accessability

21 May 2010   #1

Windows 7 64
Start menu - Keyboard accessability

Does anyone know if it is possible to get the same quick access to menu-items on the start menu as in windows XP?

In XP i had both Items and folders directly on the startmenu root.
This made it possible to access almost anything i wanted by 2-3 clicks.
1. Windows-button.
2. First letter in the menu-item name.

For example:
1. Click windows-button
2. Click W
That would open Word 2003 for me.

1. Click windows-button
2. Click V
3. Click 1
That would start my VNP

- I don't want to manually assign a short-cut combination for everything on the startmenu, that will be to many shortcuts.

Here is a screenshot that gives an idea of how it was organized:

Best Regards

Attached Images
Start menu - Keyboard accessability-temp.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2010   #2

Windows 7 Home 64, Vista Ultimate 64

The main problem is that the search box steals all keys, so you can't have one-letter shortcuts.

The only solution is to use a 3rd party start menu, like the Classic Shell developed by me:

If Classic Shell doesn't work for you for some reason, there are other programs you can try. I have listed them here:

Of course by replacing the whole start menu you will lose all of the new functionality (well, sortof. Classic Shell and some others allow you to use Shift+Click to open the the new start menu when you really need it, like for the search)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2010   #3

Windows 7 64

Thank you for your quick response and great work with ClassicShell

I downloaded ClassicShell and it worked great, the classic Explorer addressed some issues that I've not yet discovered (I have just started migrating to W7).

Now I'm torn between getting back the start-menu efficiency I'm used to and adapting to the new Windows version with its other advantages. (Searching amongst seldom used programs and documents is nice) - Edited a bit to clarify-

One trade-off I've been thinking of that would make it possible to retain some efficiency while keeping the W7-start menu would be to attach a Folder or Library on top of the Start-menu.
I have tried doing this with both folders and libraries but instead of expanding the item with subfolders, like for example Opera is expanded, the startmenu just opens a new explorer-process.

See example-image where Opera is shown expanding and Favorites is just a link to a folder.
(I understand that opera is not expanding to subfolders but uses the new W7 feature to give easy access to Frequently used documents, etc. I'm just trying to visualize the expanding part.)

Attached Thumbnails
Start menu - Keyboard accessability-startopera.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 May 2010   #4

Windows 7 Home 64, Vista Ultimate 64

I think you are talking about the jump-lists.

I am not familiar with the internals of those lists, and I wouldn't be surprised if there is no public API for manipulating them.

The other thing is that they have a very specific look and feel, and it seems to be quite a bit of work to recreate them truthfully.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2010   #5

Windows 7 64

Sorry for being unclear. I don't wan't the jump-list funktionality.
I wish to put a folder on the start-menu and have it list its content to the right instead of opening up the folder itself in a new window.
Same functionality as if you put a folder in the users start-menu in XP.

Edit: I just realized that my first screenshot visualizes this with the VPN-folder.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2010   #6

Windows 7 64

I have come to the conclusion that its not possible to achieve what I was originally aiming for.
Thanks for the feedback though!

PS. About my alternate plan, I found this thread about pinning and unpinning folders:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 May 2010   #7

Windows 7 Home 64, Vista Ultimate 64

By default shortcuts to folders do not expand. You can make them expandable by clicking "Expand Links to Folders" settings. See here: Classic Shell: Gallery

Alternatively, you can add more folders to the main menu (below the separator) by editing StartMenuItems.ini file. Read the instructions carefully, particularly the part about the semicolon.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2010   #8

Windows 7 64

I noticed that you can shift-windows click in order to get the W7-menu so Classic Shell seems to be able to give me the best of both worlds.

I will give definitely give Classic Shell a go, thank you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2010   #9

Windows 7

Microsoft want users to pin frequently used programs to the taskbar. Thus you can then use Win+1,2,3,4 to launch the programs along the taskbar. The startmenu is for everything else, which is why search is the most prominent feature.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2010   #10

Windows 7 64

I think it's great that with new good features but I don't get why there is no Classic option like in Vista or XP.

"Microsoft wants you to"- that just makes me irritated. Was it not for ClassicShell my work performance would be greatly decreased.

Thank you for your reply though. It was interesting to know that you can access programs (pinned or not) with win+1, etc.
I always have Outlook, Visual Studio, etc in the same order on the taskbar(not pinned).
Alt+tab has always worked well for me but win+1 will take me even faster to Outlook
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Start menu - Keyboard accessability

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