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Program shortcuts

Posted on 2015-02-16
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Last Modified: 2015-02-19
ShortcutsHi, I'm wondering if from visual studio it's possible to create an app that has various "pinned" shortcuts to the taskbar in windows 7, exactly like in the picture, when right clicking a program pinned to the task bar, it gives you a list of forms or options within the program you can open?

Thank you
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Question by:FCapo
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LVL 40
ID: 40612840
Note that all the shortcuts you see are used to launch an application and send it a parameter, not to pass information to an already running application (unless it is a filename, in which case it can be trapped by an application that is registered as the default for the file extension).

What you could do is use a NotifyIcon control in the main form of your application so that it appears in the notification area at the right of the taskbar. You will then be able to link the NotifyIcon to a menu that will show through the NotifyIcon and simply react to the Click on each of the entries in the menu.
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by:it_saige
it_saige earned 1000 total points
ID: 40612955
I answered another EE PAQ that dealt with sort of the same type of question (although the asker was wanting to know how to create a menu).  In the other question I do touch upon the TaskList:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Programming/Languages/.NET/Visual_Basic.NET/Q_28600426.html

Edit:  However, James is correct.  The TaskList is not used to capture an option click (as one might expect), instead it is used to start another application (there are resources on the internet that discuss launching both external and internal tasks using the TaskList).

If you need it to perform a command within your application then my example will show you how.

-saige-
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Accepted Solution

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Jacques Bourgeois (James Burger) earned 1000 total points
ID: 40613390
You can do almost anything in Windows, as the clever code by it_saige shows. This kind of code is always informative, because you learn about how the system works, and it brings you knowledge that can be useful in different circumstances.

But it is not because you can do something that it is good. Your first concern should always be the usability of your application.

In my centuries (it seems so, and it is partly the case) of working with Windows, I have learned the hard way (and more than once) that even if you can find ways to make the OS interface do things it was not primarily designed to do, you always end up shooting a bullet in your own foot if you do not follow the standards.

As a user, I would never have the reflex to control a currently running application through the ""pinned" shortcuts", because no application do that. This is done either through a menu or a command bar as you have in Oultook for applications that the user is currently working in, or through the system tray icons (nowadays called the notification area) for background applications.

And always as a user, I dislike and even refuse to use applications that forces me to work differently than the Windows standard that come naturally to me. Or applications that clutter my OS environment with things I do not use.

Finally, as a programmer, following the standards is almost always easier to code than trying to do non standard stuff. The user is happy because he knows intuitively how to work with his application, and because it standard interface is not littered with stuff that he does not have the reflex to use. And the programmer is happy, because his job is easier.

This was only an editorial. You do as you want.
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