Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
Menu Editor for Windows 8
8 has a split personality. Theres the old familiar
desktop, and the new Metro interface now
officially known as the Modern UI. Whether you
like it or not, you will use both.
desktop is where all non-Metro apps run. This means
pretty much all the apps I use, such as Corel PaintShop
Pro, Total Commander, Google Earth, FotoSketcher,
Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Foxit Reader,
Irfanview, etc. And it includes millions of other Windows
apps run full screen in the Metro interface. You
cant run them in arbitrarily-sized windows. You
cant overlap windows a feature
last seen in Windows 1.0. In a nod (I guess) to the fact
that for over 27 years people have worked with multiple
Windows applications visible at once, Microsoft allows
two applications to be visible at once, but only
side-by-side in a strict ¼ - ¾ division, even if you
are on a desktop computer with a 26 screen.
Ive seen Microsoft demos where they monitor an app
such as email, weather, or stock quotes in the ¼ screen
while working on a document in the ¾ window. They showed
how easy it is to quickly switch the monitored window to
full screen or ¾ size so you can more easily interact
with it. Want to see three apps at once? Sorry, you are
out of luck in Metro.
the Metro interface on a desktop computer is just dumb
and inefficient. Same goes for any computer with a
keyboard, mouse, and a screen over 10. For the
foreseeable future, I see almost all my time being spent
with desktop applications, which by definition only run
on the Windows desktop, not the Metro interface.
would be fine
if Microsoft hadnt neutered
the desktop. I would have much preferred if Windows 8
allowed full Windows functions from both Metro and the
desktop. Theres no reason why they couldnt
have designed both Metros PC Settings, and
the desktops Control Panel to have complete
and identical functionality. There is no reason why they
couldnt have left a Start button on the desktop. A
button that could have optionally synchronized with the
contents of the Metro Start screen.
did implement a very nice feature in both the Metro and
desktop environments the Quick Link menu, which
gives easy access to many admin tools. From the Metro
interface or the desktop, press the Windows logo key+X
and the Quick Link menu will pop up. With a mouse
in either interface point to the bottom-left
corner. When the little Start square appears, right click
and the Quick Link menu will appear. Interestingly, it
doesnt appear possible to use a touch gesture to
access the Quick Link menu in either Metro or desktop
menu in Metro (left)
and on the desktop (right)
clear from the list of items on the Quick Link menu that
its intended as a power users tool. I think
power user tools are great! They bypass clutter and
round-about ways of doing things and let you cut to the
some of the choices Microsoft put on the Quick Link menu,
but not all. I can get a run dialog box by pressing
Win+R. I can get File Explorer by pressing Win+E. I can
start a search by typing at the Start screen. Of course,
being a power user tool, the Quick Link menu is highly
customizable so I can remove entries I dont want
and add my own.
no. Oddly, it is completely un-customizable!
company called WinAero figured out how to do it. Enter Win+X
Menu Editor for Windows 8 (what a mouthful!). This
great little free app allows you to customize the Quick
Menu Editor is very simple to use. Some presets for
Windows tools that power users often use are available
with a couple of clicks. Its easy to add any other
executable you would like on the menu. Up and down arrows
let you re-order items. One click will delete entries you
there is no undo option and there is no save
option (saving is immediate and automatic). There is an
option to reset to the default menu. You have to restart
Explorer in order to see changes you have made to the
Quick Link menu. Win+X provides a handy button to do
are a few enhancements I would like to see: the ability
to save a particular configuration; drag & drop of a
shortcut or program to have Win+X create a menu entry;
and the ability to re-order menu groups.
these are minor quibbles. For me, Win+X Menu Editor
is a great way to make up for the missing Start button on
the Windows 8 desktop and makes Windows 8 more useable.
Kudos to WinAero for making this great utility available
modified Quick Link menu
Program: Win+X Menu Editor for Windows 8
Publisher: WinAero http://winaero.com/comment.php?comment.news.30
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Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street, Ottawa, ON K2G 1S6
opinions expressed in these reviews do not necessarily
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