In an earlier article, we became familiar with how we can make the taskbar in Windows 8.1, Windows 8 and Windows 7 work like the classic XP taskbar using 7+ Taskbar Tweaker. It also includes some extra customizations for advanced users which we will look at today.
The Advanced Options of 7+ Taskbar Tweaker can be accessed by right clicking its icon in the notification area (system tray), and then clicking Advanced Options. The following window will appear:
All options are also very well documented. If you click the Help button you can see detailed information on what each option does. Let us see some of the interesting ones:
- always_show_thumb_labels - When you set this to 1, every thumbnail you see on the Taskbar will have a caption at the top. This makes it very easy to instantly recognize the thumbnail. If you have multiple windows with many thumbnails, you will have no trouble recognizing which window is which.
- drag_towards_desktop - Values are from 0 to 6. 0 - show Jump list (default), 1 - Disabled, 2 - Switch to, 3 - Minimize, 4 - Close, 5 - New instance, 6 - Show thumbnail preview
- list_reverse_order - if enabled (1), the list order is reversed. You see the list if you enabled it instead of thumbnails from Basic options and have multiple grouped windows. You also see the list for browsers such as Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox
- multipage_wheel_scroll - When there are too many items on the taskbar, it shows them on a second page and a scrollbar appears. If you set this option to 1, then you can scroll these pages using the mouse wheel
- no_width_limit - By default, the new taskbar when it is on the left or right sides of the screen is too wide. This when set to 1 removes the minimum width restriction.
- nocheck_minimize/nocheck_maximize/nocheck_close - these 3 values check if the window supports the Minimize, Maximize and Close operations. When set to 1, you can minimize a window from Taskbar Inspector or using the Tweaker's features even if it does not have a minimize button.
- pinned_ungrouped_animate_launch - Set this option to 1 to retain the nice animation effect you see when you launch a program when grouping is disabled
- show_desktop_button_size - Allows changing the size of the Aero Peek/Show Desktop button
- tray_icons_padding - How much space you want between icons in the notification area
Mouse Button Control:
This is a powerful feature of 7+ Taskbar Tweaker. You can customize what happens when you click with various mouse buttons on taskbar buttons or an empty area of the taskbar. You can assign actions to left click, right click, left double click, right double click, middle click and middle double click. If you have a mouse with extra buttons, you can even assign button 4 and 5 single and double click actions. If you want to use mouse clicks in combination with some modifier hotkeys such as Ctrl or Shift, that is also possible.
For example, if you want Ctrl+left click in the empty space of the taskbar to show the desktop, add this value: emptyspace|ctrl+lclick and enter 1 as the value data. If you want Shift+click in the empty space to open Task Manager, add this value: emptyspace|shift+lclick and enter 3 as value data. I recommend you read the Help file to see the full set of actions that are possible and their data codes.
Similar to mouse button control, you can control the taskbar using custom hotkeys to perform various actions. Refer to 7+ Taskbar Tweaker's help file to see how exactly to use this feature because it requires you to know the virtual key code of a shortcut key. I will give just a few examples:
|0x25|ctrl+alt+norepeat||101||Press Ctrl+Shift+left arrow key to switch to the button on the left|
|0x27|ctrl+alt+norepeat||102||Press Ctrl+Shift+left arrow key to switch to the button on the right|
|0x1B|shift||4||Opens Taskbar Inspector|
That's it for now. You will realize that 7+ Taskbar Tweaker is a must-have tool, not just for power users but for anyone who wants to boost his productivity and improve the Windows desktop usability. There is abundant customization that it allows for the Taskbar, far more than Microsoft ever intended.