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Windows 7: Change underlined key in Explorer Nav Pane Context Menu?

16 Oct 2012   #1

Windows 7 32 bit
Change underlined key in Explorer Nav Pane Context Menu?

Anyone know how to change the underlined key in the Context Menu? Say for example you right click a Folder Favorite in the Nav Pane in Explorer. There's a command that says MyCommand. If the current underlined key is 'M' and 'y' is not taken, how to change it to 'y' then?

In Windows Seven and Vista there are context menu commands to open the folder favorite in the Nav Pane in a new window. But for some reason they are different. I'd like to make them both the same. That way I wouldn't have to think about it. Just right click a Folder favorite and hit the key.

I've looked through the registry. The obvious menu "&" ampersand place holder for the underline is not to be found. A bit of a mystery.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2012   #2

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)

Those are called Accelerator keys and are set in the resource file and compiled into the program so I don't believe they can be altered. There are other ways to create keyboard shortcuts so maybe that could work for you. Here's a tutorial that might help: 20 of the Best of Shortcut and Hotkey Tips for Your Windows PC - How-To Geek
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2012   #3

Windows 7 32 bit

Nope. Go into regedit to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Shell

you can add keys whatever you like. If the key is named "Shlock" the context menu will contain the word Shlock. Underneath that make a key "command" and whatever you put in there will be run when "Shlock" is clicked. The secret is how to choose the underline key if it's not the first key.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Oct 2012   #4

Windows 7 32 bit

I tried using Rename in RegEdit to put an "&" before the key I wanted underlined. If I hold down Shift while right clicking on a folder, my command is shown with the key preceded by the ampersand underlined. Trouble is, hitting the key does nothing. So in some hidden place Explorer has some setting or some BS CLSID to set the accelerator key for the menu item.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2012   #5

Windows 7 32 bit

Ok. It looks like these accelerators can't be used with static context menu entries. Way back around 2001 I was programming Context Menu Handlers. With a dynamic handler, which is a COM object, you can specify accelerator keys when adding items to the context menu. Seems like forever since I did any of that Visual C++ 6.0 stuff! :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jun 2014   #6

Windows 7 Pro x64

My reply is very late and maybe obsolete, but I started just a few months ago with Win7 and that was not fully voluntarily. I like my new hardware, but the difference between XP and Win7 is a terrible and time consuming issue. One of the minor problems, were some changes of the underlined access keys in the Context menu's and I think it is one of the many annoying "improvements" of every new Windows version.
Note. My (virtual) list of complaints, annoyances and frustrations is already very long. But that's off topic.

In the folder or file Context menu of a Dutch Windows version, there is (at the bottom) 'Eigenschappen' (Properties). In XP the E is underlined and the 'e' is the access letter. In Win7 some MS developer has changed that to 'c' and used the 'e' for 'Knippen'. Well, my choice would have been the 'e' still for the first letter of 'Eigenschappen' and another letter (or none) for 'Knippen'. Btw, that means 'Cut' and I use always Ctrl-X for that.

Of course, I started with looking/searching in the Registry, but there were no hits for keywords with the '&'.
Fortunately, I use already very long 'xplorer2' as a wonderful replacement of Windows Explorer and e.g. the search function is great. I have searched for *.dll and *.mui files with the options 'contains text', 'case sensitive' and i.s.o. 'Standard' this time 'Unicode'. In my case I was looking for 'Eigens&chappen' and (knowing all this) I found easily 2 MUI's in System32\ nl-NL and 5 MUI's in SysWOW64\ nl-NL (searching for '&Eigenschappen' gave much more 'hits' than 2+5).

One of the files in both folders was shell32.dll.mui and that's the only one I have modified. And it was indeed the right one for the files and the folders Context menu. With a hex editor I locate 'E.i.g.e.n.s.&.c.h.a.p.p.e.n' (or 45006900670065006E00730026006300680061007000700065006E) and changed that to '&Eigenschappen'. I made also a few other changes, e.g. the 'p' was used for 'Openen' and for 'Plakken' too, while the 'o' was free!
Important: if you are going to do something like this, change only the characters and don't insert or delete something (some/most hex editors has that option).

This editing of both shell32.dll.mui files has been done in copies at another location, since it is rather sure that editing at the original location is not possible. But replacing the original files by the modified ones was not (easy) possible too. So, I was very glad that I found after some searching the tool 'Se7en File Replacer' and after a little exercising replacing was easy and "the job" was done.
Note. Most links to that tool are 'dead'. I found a working link at ''.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Change underlined key in Explorer Nav Pane Context Menu?

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