Painless Custom Toolbars (No Morphine/Tourniquets Required)

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Kilmatead
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Painless Custom Toolbars (No Morphine/Tourniquets Required)

Post by Kilmatead » 2014 Dec 06, 12:15

In 1908 two men, Louis Blériot and Raymond Saulnier, sat down and designed the renowned Blériot XI aeroplane. This craft was notable for many things (which is why it had such an impact on World War I flight-design), but one unsung feature was the inventive ability to track the undercarriage a few degrees perpendicular to the direction the aircraft was pointing when taking off and landing. The reason for this was to compensate for the otherwise unbearable sheering force exerted when in a cross-wind situation - this way, the craft itself could remain facing into the wind and yet still land safely on a runway which is crossways to the wind direction.

Oddly, this wee stroke of genius was forgotten for 40 years until the designers of the daunting B-52 "Stratofortress" applied it to their amazingly monstrous machine - as shown below, note the wheels of the undercarriage are set in a right-deflection position having the nose pointed toward the incoming wind while its undercarriage is aligned with the runway:

Image

And yet again, this wee stroke of genius has been forgotten since, and never applied to another production aircraft much to the chagrin of pilots and seriously frightened passengers everywhere.

Interestingly enough, a similar theme holds true for the Windows controls known as Toolbars. Once upon a time MS created a generic and flexible way for users to add/remove their own objects to toolbars - and x2 adopted this idea. The only problem is that while every other designer in the world realised that the basic nature of the built-in toolbar customising dialog was an extremely painful experience to use...

Image

...seeing it as cramped, with a severely limited view even in "large-icons mode" where no better than 4 items may be seen at a time - they designed their own while Nikos (in his wisdom) decided that a little bit of pain was a good thing, and that x2 users should suffer the indignity of wearing underwear that is many sizes too small, as a sort of character-building exercise in humility (either that or he has a fetish about watching people walk-funny :wink:).

Anyway, I decided to fix this and wrote a very simple utility to not only expand the view-size (automatically taking DPI into account) but also adding a proper Searchbox within the dialog itself which can locate any item as you type by name - no longer are we stuck with just repeatedly hitting one letter over and over hoping to see the item we want appear. When one expands the number of custom-items available in x2's settings, you can easily end up with upwards of 500 items in the menu to choose from, and it was obvious that a better way to instantly get the item you want had to be found.

So, I snapped my fingers, et voilà - x2Toolbar32 was born:

Image

Unfortunately there is no way for me to replace x2's right-click context-menu entry to launch the customisation dialog, so I took another approach - you can just run the programme directly from within x2 (just double-click it as you would any programme), or assign it a toolbar button and/or User-Command by itself. If you only have a single toolbar available then that one is chosen by default, but if you have multiple custom toolbars (I have about 7 of them), you can select the one you want by simply mousing over it in the x2 display and clicking anywhere.

It can handle any number of toolbars, and the searchbox has innumerable keyboard accelerators for quick access - for example, pressing <Ctrl+Enter> will automatically "Add" the found (selected) item into the toolbar (see below for a complete list). If the user wants to move the searchbox under the other column, just click anywhere below it (or use <Ctrl+Tab>) and it toggles/moves accordingly, and can search/remove/relocate items within whichever column you like.

No installation is required, just run the programme from wherever you put it, or (as suggested) make a user-command for it.

Download: x2Toolbar32 Version 0.2.0.4 (Last updated 23-Jun-17)

The credit for the original idea behind this approach goes to the much heralded user Snakebyte (I just took his old 5-line script and added an extra 650 lines to it, because I especially love that kind of overkill. :D)

Anyway - enjoy!

* * *

Keyboard shortcuts (when the searchbox is in focus):

Code: Select all

<Ctrl+Left/Right> or <Ctrl+Tab> while the searchbox is focused will shift its position under the 1st or 2nd listbox column (clicking with the mouse under either column works too)

<Ctrl+Ins> or <Alt+A> or <NumPlus> or <Ctrl+Enter> or <Alt+Enter> while the searchbox is under the 1st column will "Add" the focused item into the (2nd column) toolbar

<Ctrl+Del> or <Alt+R> or <NumSub> or <Ctrl+Enter> or <Alt+Enter> while the searchbox is under the 2nd column will "Remove" the focused item from the toolbar

<Up> and <Down> in the searchbox will cycle the selection focus of whichever column it's under

<Ctrl+Up/Down> in the 2nd column will "move" the selected item's vertical position accordingly

<Tab> switches the focus back to the main customisation dialog (conversly, <Ctrl+S> switches focus to the searchbar - see /Focus=<Hotkey>)
* * *

Multiple command-line switches are available to change the behaviour of the utility if desired (none of these are necessary, they should only be used if you dislike the default settings):

Code: Select all

/Menu shows a popup-menu to select from available toolbars by their labels (otherwise direct mouse-selection of a toolbar is the default behaviour)

/Plain prevents any fancy pyrotechnics (highlighting) and only shows the popup [* Requires /Menu]

/Hidden allows even currently hidden toolbars to appear in the menu (even though they are hidden, they can still be customised - call it a "feature") [* Requires /Menu]

/Colour=0xhhhhhh (Standard prefix + 6-digit RGB hex format) sets the highlightling colour, default is a blue-ish 0x0000CC

/Frame=<Pixels> sets the highlighting framewidth, default is 4 pixels

/Focus=<Hotkey> changes the search-box focus hotkey (in case of conflicts) - for example, the default setting is <Ctrl+S>, defined as /Focus="^s" (only active when dialog is open)

/NoMove stops the mouse automatically moving to the centre of a toolbar on startup or when cycled through using keyboard

/NoFocus prevents focus being given to the Searchbox by default when the dialog opens

/Manual prevents active-searching while user is typing - a search will only occur when <Enter> is pressed (using <Ctrl+Q> within searchbox will toggle active-search)

/Select=<Label> will automatically select/open the toolbar which matches the <Label> text
Last edited by Kilmatead on 2017 Jul 19, 09:41, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Painless Custom Toolbars (No Morphine/Tourniquets Requir

Post by FrizzleFry » 2014 Dec 06, 15:47

This looks very nice. I've only done a few minor modifications so far but the larger dialog and search are very helpful. It will definitely get a toolbar button.

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Re: Painless Custom Toolbars (No Morphine/Tourniquets Requir

Post by RightPaddock » 2014 Dec 08, 23:24

Recently came across one of these that added Move to Top and Bottom buttons, one could also left button slide an item into a new position.

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Windows 10 Pro (64 bit) version 1809 - Xplorer2 version: Pro 2.5.0.4 [Unicode] x64 2014-06-21

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Re: Painless Custom Toolbars (No Morphine/Tourniquets Requir

Post by Kilmatead » 2014 Dec 09, 08:14

There's plenty of keyboard shortcuts - Top/Bottom is easy, as <Esc> clears any text in the editbox and moves to the "top" item automatically - press the <Up> key from there at you're instantly at the "bottom". :shrug:

Not sure what you mean by left-button slide... but when the searchbox is under the right-hand-column, if you hold <Ctrl> while pressing <Up> or <Down> the currently focused item itself will move its position in the list, just as if you pressed the move buttons.

Also the modal itself allows mouse-dragging stuff to positions you prefer, instead of using keys (at least within the right-hand column). Doing more would require hooking the window proper, which is not as simple as it may seem (not least because it's launched as a child-window of x2 itself), and my brain begins to turn to goo shortly after that.

This is why most developers just make their own from scratch, and "ape" the look of the original for consistency, while adding all the custom options they can think of. I did the best I could with what I had to work with. :D

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Re: Painless Custom Toolbars (No Morphine/Tourniquets Requir

Post by RightPaddock » 2014 Dec 09, 10:36

The Move to Top and Move to Bottom buttons applied to right side list.

The left button slide also applied to the right hand list, select an item in the list, hold the mouse left button down and slide the selected item into the desired position.

I don't normally show the button bar in X2 let alone configure it :lol:

I was just passing on something I happened to see in a photo album creator. The users (suspect most are mouse centric) seemed to appreciate the extra buttons and the ability to reposition items directly rather than by clicking buttons.

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Re: Painless Custom Toolbars (No Morphine/Tourniquets Requir

Post by Kilmatead » 2014 Dec 09, 11:44

RightPaddock wrote:The left button slide also applied to the right hand list, select an item in the list, hold the mouse left button down and slide the selected item into the desired position.
Well, that's what happens when you don't use something yourself :wink:, else you'd already know that the right-side listbox allows (and has always allowed!) Mouse-drag-and-drop to reposition items to people's heart's content! The buttons are just there for keyboard-centric types, which I accounted for by adding <Ctrl+Up> and <Ctrl+Down> to save the trouble of <Alt+U> or <Alt+D>. :D

I can't see much use for a specific move-to-top button because the accelerators iterate when held down, so moving something to the bottom takes about .002 seconds no matter the size of the list. Anything more is just pure unadulterated decadence.

I reckon that most people would appreciate the searchbox more, so I put all the effort into that. The revolution must start small! :wink:

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Re: Painless Custom Toolbars (No Morphine/Tourniquets Requir

Post by Gary M. Mugford » 2014 Dec 13, 21:44

Having been a little out of sorts of late, and a little discombobulated by a couple of surgeons who have opted against gutting me like a fish to fix a pair of wrongness things with me, claiming multiple organ failure as being a bad indicator of success, I have been lax monitoring this forum. Indeed my responses hereabouts have only been triggered by emails saying come see what's been done to my posts, ma.

So, I apologize for not seeing this worthy effort earlier. Indeed, I have spent a bit of time with it. My discombobulation did increase a tad on first running as it made several of the toolbars appear to go blank. Clicking in any one of them was effective. But it looked weird. And a toolbar or two has gone temporarily blank since then. I was not interested in why, so I didn't test out the error condition. I find myself less curious these days. Sigh.

And my pronouncement is: Well done milord! Well done indeed.

I had had a suggestion in my to be suggested box for months that our imperious leader would consider making the left-hand selection box a tree control, with each sub-section under customization being a branch along with x2 function family as roots. I think that would have sorted out a LOT of my issues with the process. That and allowing for a customized icon, often created in advance, such as my Irish U icon in your honour (tee hee, secret, tee hee), to be set up immediately. It's always seemed noisome to have to create the toolbar item and then go BACK to it and change the icon. At any rate, you knowing me, you shouldn't be surprised when I wondered what ELSE I could your's and Nikos' time for.

Here's my bucket list of Toolbar related things for the two of you to stop all else immediately to bring to fruition:

[1] I'd like Toolbar statistics. Nothing fancy. A function to start the recording. A function to list the results to the clipboard. The listing to appear as toolbarName.ItemNumber-tab-Caption-Times clicked/Hot Keyed. Finish off the report with date started and current date. You might finish with a flourish and add the calculated total number of days. I am of a mine to think the odometer does NOT zero out on changes to the layout or the addition of a button. I could be wrong. It IS possible. But maybe, just in case, it should become an option.

[2] I'd like toolbar items that would be state buttons, like the 1 or 2 column button sometimes referred to as DUAL. Not exactly sure what I want it for, but I know I want it. I'll think up a use for it later. No sense wasting the mental energy until the genie makes it work.

[3] I'd like to separately colour the toolbars, with delicate pastel hues. That way, I could colour bookmarks a light blue and action buttons a light gray (for agate). Receptive buttons need be light red, of course. Indicator buttons would be dark indigo blue, with reversed lettering. You could probably allow users to make colour choices, but my optional defaults are obviously perfect. And yes I know that pastel and indigo blue are mutually exclusive!

[4] I'd like to be able to put the drive bar on the word menu level. No other bars, just drives.

[5] I want a clear button to mouse down on in the filter toolbar. And for that matter, I'd like to split off the filter bar so that I could go Addressbar/Column Sets or drive bar or both/Filter because filter should always be in the upper right. Oh, and going off the board for one question/request: Anyway to make the Modified and/or Created auto-size, just like the Name column can be set to do? Moving further off the board, Extension set to Ext without the ... as an option. Please!!

[6] Clicking on the Break button should result in all toolbar items showing their hot keys, with @ for alt, ^ for shift and ~ for control on the top line with the letter or symbol on the second line, all centred. If the keypad is involved, then the letter/symbol should be enclosed in brackets. Why this rather than just hovering over the item(s)? Seeing the total map at a glance, that's all. Or as any kid would respond, "Because."

[7] I'd like to KEYBOARD shift a toolbar!!!! Ya. Really. I'd like to hit a hot key and have each toolbar identify itself with a letter from A to L, then let me hit two digits, the first indicating row to go to and the second digit to be the ordinal place. Dragging toolbars can be an adventure. Getting them into the right order might actually be best done as a keyboard action. The imagination required for this ONE suggestion boggles the mind, doesn't it? Doesn't it?

[8] I've found SOME buttons, upon being renamed to something pithy, i.e. shorter, don't squeeze their sideways dimensions. For example, I rename notepad++ to N++ and didn't get an appreciably thinner button. There should be some way to FORCE a diet on any particular button. Or them all!!

[9] How about a best-fit hotkey/menu action with evened out intervals for all toolbars in a row? (Combine THAT with request number seven above)

[10] All mouse-created toolbar changes should immediately trigger a Save Settings Now. Or at least have a choice to do so. Or an option to have it be auto, choice or not at all. The default would be auto, not none. We need to be protected from ourselves. And WE, the royal WE in this case, OFTEN forget to save the settings after creating a new item or two. This should have gotten a double 00 designation and been the FIRST THING ON THE LIST!!

I believe my imagination has run dry. Hither thee to work.

Oh, and thank you. I appreciate everything you (both) do to help me be more productive, even if it's to fritter away the time you (both) do save! [G]

GM

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Re: Painless Custom Toolbars (No Morphine/Tourniquets Requir

Post by Kilmatead » 2014 Dec 13, 23:55

Gary M. Mugford wrote:My discombobulation did increase a tad on first running as it made several of the toolbars appear to go blank. Clicking in any one of them was effective. But it looked weird. And a toolbar or two has gone temporarily blank since then.
To be clear on this (and not to frighten away the little-ones), toolbars can only temporarily go blank during the initial "toolbar selection" phase - the contents will always be unaffected during this stage. It's important to make that clear - your wording makes it sound like the contents themselves can go poof. This is not so, this is merely a graphical glitch. :D

As it is a graphical glitch, I have no idea what may be causing it for you - I tested it under the stock Aero and/or the "Classic" themes included in Win7 and XP and never saw a problem with either one. The main difference between these themes on a painting-level is whether the API's DWM-Composition (Desktop Window Manager) status is set or not (Aero = Set, Classic = Disabled). Essentially the toolbars should be highlighted (when moused-over) by a thin blue border outline of the toolbar itself, allowing the contents to remain visible, but the toolbar itself highlighed as a whole. This is accomplished in the script by manipulating Window regions via the API - perhaps you have some foreign process (such as WindowBlinds, etc) which is interfering with the normal Windows repainting mechanism. Try disabling any such things, and see if it improves the active rendering. :shrug:

If the problem becomes too distracting, you can always do away with it altogether and select the toolbar to edit by name from a menu by adding both the /Menu and /Plain command-line switches. Such as:

> x2Toolbar32.exe /Menu /Plain

This is not a very exciting selection method, but there will be no graphical glitching, guaranteed . :wink:

* * *

As to your other suggestions - the good news is that one of that long list already has happened - in the current beta of x2 the filterbar has a clickable 'x' which will clear the contents. Unfortunately for you, that's about the only suggestion that's ever likely to see the light of day. There is nothing I can do personally about the rest - it's all in Nikos' hands, and he's tied up in ribbons now and doesn't care about toolbars at all unless something is broken in them - he's not a man for adding frippery. :D

* * *

For clarity on some of your other points (in no particular order):

The maximum width of a toolbar can be expanded (to fit longer labels) within the advanced options, so long names don't get truncated, but the minimum size is pretty much defined by the space allocated for a square icon. I don't think defining a thinner-icon would amount to an appreciably thinner button, but you could always try it. :shrug:

All pane-columns can be automatically resized to fit their largest contents by using View -> Autosize Columns. Also, all the column headers can be auto-expanded by using <Ctrl+Shift+Num+Plus> (that's the '+' key on the extended numeric keypad to you and me).

If you desperately want toolbar buttons for these, just define the following:

To "Autosize Columns" use: > Menuhack 32963
To "Expand Column Headers" use: > Menuhack 32963 SHIFT

(Yes, on the second one, include the literal-text "SHIFT" as a separate parameter after the number.)

Keep in mind that the resizing of columns by content fits according to the standard font weight chosen for pane contents in the options - for example, if you use Colour Coding to define some items (such as Bold-Face for Folders), their contents may be slightly truncated due to being calculated to the normal font weight (400), not the "emboldened" width-weight of 800. If you don't have any Bold Colour Coding rules (merely well-behaved ones :wink:), then you probably won't see any issues. The outcome seems unaffected by the user's DPI settings. :D

* * *

Since you gave Olivia Munn such a hard time in your blog last year, and seriously underestimated the sublime character development of an obsessive and self-abusive personality in "Elementary" in that self-same blog, we are less inclined to go to extreme lengths to comment on your other pie-in-the-sky ideas other than to refer to them as "pie-in-the-sky" (preferably Apple, but Custard Cream will do in a pinch). :D :twisted:
Script for 'Elementary' - Season 2, Episode 9 wrote:I am not a nice man.
It is important that you understand that.
It is going to save you a great deal of time and effort.
There is not a warmer, kinder me waiting to be coaxed out into the light.
I am acerbic.
I can be cruel.
It is who I am.
Right to the bottom.
I am neither proud of this, nor ashamed of it.
It simply is.
And in my work, my nature has been an advantage far more often than it has been a hindrance.
I am not going to change.

- Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller)

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Re: Painless Custom Toolbars (No Morphine/Tourniquets Requir

Post by Gary M. Mugford » 2014 Dec 14, 03:35

Wait til you see me eviscerate Ms. Munn THIS coming annum!! She's cute. And most people profess to like working with her. But damn, if I can rag on Stephen Amell for the acting range of a pumpkin, then she gets rolled under the bus with the other tire. And yes, she ALMOST had me with the brilliant first episode of the final season of The Newsroom. Then came the second episode and Aaron Sorkin could not save her. I know she was cast and directed to BE deadpan. But there's being deadpan and then there's being expressionless. Again, it's the performance, NOT the person. Still, I expect The Newsroom to top my rankings next year, her included ... but that's just because I love Emily Mortimer or her character Mac or both.

I have been dismayed to read as I caught up that Nikos is, indeed, ribboning to shreds my dreams of happiness and well-being. Since he needs testers with an open mind, I will remain silent and not a distraction. 'Nuff said.

The wording you corrected was clear in my mind. I used the word temporarily correctly, I believe. But I stand corrected with no shame. Ever read Keigo Higashino's Malice? My top reading pick of the year and an exercise in not jumping to conclusions, not even if the killer makes a full confession a third of the way through the book.

As for my bucket list? I expected to bat a round .000. Maybe half-way to the Mendoza Line. The ability to marginally address some of the issues raised makes me want to claim something better than an oh-fer. But I take what I've got and I will be happy with it. A gaily be-ribboned future awaits those of us who haven't been naughty at all. Thank gawd I follow the tenets espoused by Mr. Miller. I certainly haven't been nice. Have I ever told you what I think of his fellow actor in the show, Lucy Liu?

If I don't get back for any more badinage, I hope you, Nikos and all of my fellow forum guests have yourselves the very best of holiday seasons. GM

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Re: Painless Custom Toolbars (No Morphine/Tourniquets Requir

Post by FrizzleFry » 2015 Aug 17, 21:53

---------------------------
AutoIt Error
---------------------------
Line 1193 (File "D:\tools\x2tools\x2Toolbar32_x64.exe"):


Error: Subscript used on non-accessible variable.
---------------------------
OK
---------------------------

I'm getting this error when I click to choose a toolbar to customize and I end up with the normal tiny customize dialog...

I do not think I've used x2Toolbar32 since I installed Windows 10 Home x64...

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Re: Painless Custom Toolbars (No Morphine/Tourniquets Requir

Post by Kilmatead » 2015 Aug 17, 22:49

<Original link updated above>

I had to rewrite a more robust window-ancestor tracker for the common dialog class #32770 (as that class is ridiculously common [even invisible] children of almost any other programme could interfere with it identifying the x2 parent-child properly).

Hopefully that'll fix it. There should be no endemic issue with Win10 specifically.
Last edited by Kilmatead on 2015 Dec 28, 11:56, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Painless Custom Toolbars (No Morphine/Tourniquets Requir

Post by FrizzleFry » 2015 Aug 17, 23:30

The new test version seems to work fine... thanks...

I had to adjust one of my scripts that used the common dialog class #32770 also...

when doing

$hWin = WinWait("[CLASS:#32770]", "", 3)

I was not getting the right handle

I was able to change it to

$hWin = WinWaitActive("Add Folder groups", "", 3)

to get the needed handle... but I might use your _WinWaitChild_32770 function for robustness :)

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Re: Painless Custom Toolbars (No Morphine/Tourniquets Requir

Post by Kilmatead » 2015 Aug 18, 06:40

Yeah, it's always the little things that can trip us up. My particular problem was coming from a Comodo Security process that kept interfering - but my personal favourite was that if the user had x2's "Daily hints" thing set to show on startup, even after that hint window was dismissed it was not actually destroyed and thus left a ghost 32770 class associated with the x2 parent window.

I figured that Nikos had done that intentionally just to mess with my head, as I could find no other practical reason behind it.

For public scripts, I try and avoid using window titles as identifiers since they'd be English OS-specific, while _WinWaitChild_32770() is language agnostic. Yes, overkill for a mere script, but robustness 'twas ever was a hard-won maiden. :wink:

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Re: Painless Custom Toolbars (No Morphine/Tourniquets Requir

Post by Enternal » 2015 Dec 28, 11:20

Nothing important to say. Just highly amused by "Rome Burned While Nikos Was Wrapped In Ribbons And Bows". :lol:

Well... I do want to say that... THIS IS AWESOME. My agon... *cough* *cough* I can finally edit the toolbar sensibly. Why did it took me so long to know about this tool. Should have looked more into all the threads in the forum.

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Re: Painless Custom Toolbars (No Morphine/Tourniquets Requir

Post by Kilmatead » 2015 Dec 28, 11:36

Enternal wrote:highly amused by "Rome Burned While Nikos Was Wrapped In Ribbons And Bows"
It was originally released around the same time as x2 gained its Ribbon thing that nobody liked, and so it seemed a logical comment... though it seems to apply to Chistmas as well. :D

For another laugh, you'll note that the names of the filters in this post are all spells from Harry Potter (hey, you never know when you might need one). :wink:

I often wonder if people notice those details or not - it's my homage to the original Playstation 1 Metal Gear Solid videogame where the game tells the player that the "codec" he needs is on the box... so the player then scurries around reading every bit of text on the box until he stupidly realises that the codec number is actually in one of the gameplay screenshots which adorn the back cover. Who would ever think to look inside the cover-art for useful info? :D

This reminds me, I should update the main link to the latest version (above), as that seems to be the happy one for now.

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