GP SoftwareTwitter
Opus FAQsManualCommandsObjects

Context Menus

As this is my first post - I'll give a bit of background

I'm considering using Directory Opus as my primary file manager. I've been using a competitor product for about 7 years. For various reasons I'm looking to replace it, one reason is that in order to get its latest features I have to pay almost twice as much for an upgrade as I would pay for Dopus-Lite which has those same features.

I cannot imagine I will ever replace Windows Explorer (WE) with any 3rd party file manager. I prefer and I actually like having WE as a secondary lightweight file manager. And its what other application expect - e.g. the Calibre eBook manager has a Path : Click to Open on its Book details panel, which opens the book's folder. These are not locations in which one would spend and time and WE is more than adequate to do what I might want to do - e.g. edit the cover with The Gimp. And if anything were to go awry then Calibre and/or The Gimp developers would ask - what happens with Windows Explorer.

And finally by way of introduction, I am addicted to context menus - not via mouse right clicks - but via the keyboard menu key.

Is there some way to have exactly the same context menu in Directory Opus that I get in Windows Explorer - in particular Shelltoys Menu Customisation (SCM) - which is covered at some length in this thread ShellToys - so I wont repeat all that here.

My references to SCM sub menus are not related to the Shelltoys functions,that all works fine, SCM refers to the feature in Shelltoys that allows the grouping of context menu entries from other programs (eg MalwareBytes, VLC, WMP, FastPictureViewer etc) into sub menus. Without the SCM sub menus my context menu has up to 60+ items, which is too long to fit on my 1200 pixel high monitor.

I appreciate that Dopus has its own menu customisation facilities. But I assume they would only be available from within Dopus itself, and not from within WE nor the standard file/folder dialogues used by many applications. I often use the context menu on file/folders listed in these dialogues, I appreciate most other people never do that. However I've been doing it for probably closer to 30 years than 20 - old habits die hard, and IMO its a good habit.

I could live with Dopus not being compatible with SCM, provided the Shift/Menu Key(Shift/Right Click) feature delivered the context menu I see Windows Explorer - with the SCM sub menus. But what I get is the same long menu I see in Dopus, with the addition of the extra items from Explorer (print directory, open in another process etc), but no SCM sub menus.

I also use the idImager software (Digital image Manager), it has its own context menu's, and it uses Shift/Menu Key(Shift/Right Click) to invoke the native Windows context menu, But when I use Shift/Menu Key in idImager I get the the standard Windows context menu including the SCM sub-menus, i.e. exactly what I see in WE.

I have just uninstalled another file manager that I was 'evaluating' it too had context menu issues, amongst other things. One of the things I learned is that having very long context menu is a real pain if your keyboard centric (its is one of the reasons I purchased Shelltoys) and having different context menus in my main file manager and WE is a a darn nuisance.

Ideally what I'd like is a Directory Opus submenu within the native context menu into which I could put any Dopus specific context menu customisations. I would only expect the sub menu to be be available when I'm in Dopus. Interestingly one of the 'new' features of the file manager I'm currently using implements this approach.

There's a context menu organiser called Mmm+ (from Hace) that I used before I got Shelltoys, it provides very similar functionality to SCM and via a similar drag/drop UI; sadly it never made it beyond XP. If anyone knows of anything similar that works with Windows 7, i.e. is easy to use and compatible with Dopus I'd be happy to ditch SCM in its favour. I estimate that I use the SCM configuration dialogue at least 1 or 2 times a month - so for me this is not a set and forget issue.

I tried some other context menu utilities. Glary Utilities, Moo0 Right Clicker and Context Menu Organiser. But they are all awkward to use (ie they rely on Guid cut & paste etc), cost too much or carry too much baggage. Essentially they're all Nirsoft Shellmenu utility clones - nothing wrong with Nirsoft, they do good stuff - but why would I pay for a clone when Nirsoft is free. And it grieves me that after almost 10 years of having a drag/drop solution (Mmm+ and then SCM) that I might have to resort to cut & paste of GUIDs etc and I'm not even sure that these things can create flyout sub menus.

Sorry this is so long - in every other respect I think Directory Opus would be more than I need. But for this one issue, which is, pardon my language - bloody annoying.

BR

Opus does not replace the File Open dialogs, even when in Explorer Replacement mode.

Opus always builds its own context menus for files, there is no way to tell it to make the shell build the menu for it.

I did not mean to imply that Opus did that, as I said I wouldn't replace Explorer with a 3rd party product anyway. I like having WE as my secondary file manager. I was reinforcing why it is that I like to have a consistent context menu for the file system, where ever I happen be.

I understand that Opus builds its own context menus, and that they can be customised, and I'm cool with that.

In that long thread from last year I got the impression that Shift/Right Click would show the same context menu that I get in Windows Explorer. If that included the Shelltoys flyout sub menus I've set up then that would do me nicely. That's what the idImager Digital Image Asset Manager does. so that's where my expectations came from. I must have interpreted that post to say what I wanted it to say rather than what was written.

The Help CHM :thumbsup: has references to Windows Integration Preferences - I have installed Opus Lite, but I can't see those preferences - I'll try installing Opus Pro.

I'm thinking I may have to give up on drag/drop context menu customisation. I find that sad, given I've had it for almost a decade, via Mmm+ & then Shelltoys.

Thanks BR

You can customize the menus using Opus itself (but that only affects Opus, of course).

I have no idea how ShellToys works so I don't know whether it could work with Opus. I suspect it is hooking/patching the way the shell builds its menus as I don't know of any documented API for doing what it appears to be doing. But that is just a guess. You would have to ask the author of ShellToys what it does.

I'll contact Cfi tomorrow, Shelltoys is a backburner project for Cfi so they may take a little while to respond.

I'll also contact the author of idImager and ask him what he does to bring up the native context menu - with the Shelltoys flyout submenus. And I have a felling that iMatch (another DAM package) also uses Shift/Right click to do the same thing if so then I'll contact the IMatch author. And I'll check the latest versions of those packages, the copies I have are more than a year old, I got them for a project that I finished in February. I doubt the idImager or Imatch authors do anything special to accommodate Shelltoys. If whatever they do could be done in Opus then that would be excellent.

But I still have that sinking feeling that its all down hill to the GUID factory from hereon :frowning:

Thanks BR

We know how to display the native context menu (we use that in some cases that we didn't see value in customizing, e.g. when you right-click a drive).

What we don't know is how ShellToys is customizing what's displayed in those menus.

[quote="BetterRed"]
I cannot imagine I will ever replace Windows Explorer (WE) with any 3rd party file manager. I prefer and I actually like having WE as a secondary lightweight file manager. [/quote]

Maybe I'm reading too much into this and maybe my observation doesn't have too much to do with the larger point of this thread, but I don't really understand the comment regarding not replacing Windows Explorer because you like Windows Explorer as a secondary file manager.

In explorer replacement mode, Opus takes precedence over Explorer for many routine functions such as (double) clicking a file or folder. It doesn't "replace" Windows Explorer such that Windows Explorer is no longer available to use.

[quote="rcoleman1943"][quote="BetterRed"]
I cannot imagine I will ever replace Windows Explorer (WE) with any 3rd party file manager. I prefer and I actually like having WE as a secondary lightweight file manager. [/quote]

Maybe I'm reading too much into this and maybe my observation doesn't have too much to do with the larger point of this thread, but I don't really understand the comment regarding not replacing Windows Explorer because you like Windows Explorer as a secondary file manager.

In explorer replacement mode, Opus takes precedence over Explorer for many routine functions such as (double) clicking a file or folder. It doesn't "replace" Windows Explorer such that Windows Explorer is no longer available to use.[/quote]
I use several applications that offer "Open the Folder" features (eg Calibre), they expect to open an Explorer window, and I prefer that they do - its a process issue, not a software issue.

But back to my main issue - context menus.

If I use Nirsoft's shexview and shmnview.exe to disable Windows Context menu items then I don't see them in Windows Explorer, nor in Opus. So I have written to Nir Soper asking if he thinks it's possible to move an item to a submenu rather than disabling it, and if so whether he would be interested in doing it.

Thanks BR

ShellExView sets flags in the registry which tell programs to ignore shell extensions. Opus checks for that flag (the same as Explorer checks for it) when building the menus.

There isn't a similar flag to move items around (at least not that I know of), so ShellExView won't be able to do that.

Have you tried it and found problems? Very few apps actually care which file manager opens when they launch a folder, and those that do care can run Explorer.exe explicitly if they need to.

(As before, I'm not talking about things like File->Open or File->Save As dialogs, which Opus does not get involved with at all. I mean when programs have things like "Go To Containing Folder" to let you open a file manager in the same place as some file the program is showing.)

Either way, it's completely optional whether or not Opus should be the default handler for folders (or for certain types of folders or even specific folder paths). Similar to how you can have multiple web browsers installed and choose which one handles URLs by default.

[quote="leo"]ShellExView sets flags in the registry which tell programs to ignore shell extensions. Opus checks for that flag (the same as Explorer checks for it) when building the menus.

There isn't a similar flag to move items around (at least not that I know of), so ShellExView won't be able to do that.

Have you tried it and found problems? [/quote]
Yes leo I did - I tried it with Calibre, and an Image Cataloging program I wrote nearly 20 years ago for OS/2 PM, that I converted to NT3.1, which now runs on my Windows 7 box. Opus works fine with both of them, and its as fast as or faster than Explorer. But my reasons for not using it are not technical, they are business process, work pattern related. It suits me to have a different program in this context - there isn't a problem.

On the issue of context menu's. I'm resigned to the fact that I probably wont be able to have a 'unified' context menu across Opus & Explorer. But I am hoping that I'll be able to 'functionally clone' what Shelltoys is doing in Explorer within Opus using its customisation facilities.

Thanks BR