Creating a custom Windows taskbar plugin

Posted on 2004-08-10
Last Modified: 2013-12-04
I want to create a custom toolbar plugin for the Windows system taskbar. I expect this to run on Windows XP. I'm mostly looking for a place to get started ... so does anyone have any links to some information I can read to get me started?

If you're still not clear on what I'm talking about, I'm talking about the taskbar that has the start button on it. You can have a quicklaunch toolbar with icons in it. I have also seen an internet explorer toolbar in the taskbar, and a microsoft windows media player control in the taskbar. I want to be able to make one of those myself and I don't know where to get started. :p
Question by:bspotswood
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LVL 55

Accepted Solution

Jaime Olivares earned 125 total points
ID: 11767987 and is a good starting point:

I think the trick is not to try to owner-draw on the taskbar, just obtain some handler to reduce its client area, and leave you enough room to move you **top-most** little window to this "reserved" position.

Author Comment

ID: 11768310
Well I was hoping for a way of creating an actualy taskbar toolbar item.

If you right cilck on your taskbar then you will see a menu option "Toolbars". From there you have several options, including one for Windows Media Player and one for Address. The Windows Media Player bar shows up when you have it checked from that menu and then open windows media player and minimize it.

I would like to be able to make my own toolbar which acts similar to these.
LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:Jaime Olivares
ID: 11768386
Take a look at SystemBarEx:
I guess is something like what you want.
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Expert Comment

ID: 11769950
You can also take a look at TrueLaunchBar
it has all the features you wanted.(MediaControl, Weather info, ToDo list, skinnable clocks, various monitoring plugins...), its skinnable and you can develop your own plugins for it.

Author Comment

ID: 11774208
Well let me spell out why I want to be able to put something in the taskbar...

When I'm at work I cannot sit around and run a chat client on my desktop all day because its either sitting on top of the windows that I need to see, or for fears of a boss seeing it and then they get the impression that all I do is chat, which isn't true. I mostly just want to be able to monitor a room, but not respond. So what I was planning on doing was making a little application which could connect to an IRC chat room and then just scroll messages up in a toolbar on my taskbar. This way its not in the way of anything else and I can monitor the room. I don't care about being able to respond, I just want a toolbar in my taskbar that scrolls up messages from the chat room.

I was mentioning the Windows Media Player and Address toolbars as examples to show that an application can somehow be hosted within the taskbar, as this is what I want to be able to do. I also thought it would be fun to learn how to make a toolbar for the taskbar in general. =)

Author Comment

ID: 11780486
Well I think I found all the relative links that I am likely going to need:

I found the following info from the MSDN:
Creating Custom Explorer Bars, Tool Bands, and Desk Bands:

An okay taskbar toolbar (with code) that I can use as an example:
Dave's Quick Search Taskbar Toolbar Deskbar:

...and also this excellent C# article/example:
Extending Explorer with Band Objects using .NET and Windows Forms:

I will still be willing to award the points to anyone else who can come up with a link to another quality article or example. Thanks! =)

Author Comment

ID: 11797995
Hmm ... actually, looking back at jaime_olivares' first post, he did have one relative link there. I guess I just skimmed through it too quickly to realize it.

So I'll go ahead and just give ya credit for this. For anyone else seeing this, the 3 links I posted were also very relative to what I wanted.


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