DOpus as a Windows 8 Start Menu Replacement


I’m not sure how you like to handle multiple items like this; as a single thread or as separate threads. As all four items are related to one setup of DOpus I will (for now) put them together until otherwise told differently.

I am using DOpus in Windows 8 in place of the missing Start menu. It works pretty well except for a few long-time irritations that I would really like to see resolved.

  1. I have DOus loading from one of my Logitech G700 mouse buttons which is much easier then double-clicking on the Desktop. The main problem with this approach is that every time I click the mouse button I get another copy of my default Lister opening on the Taskbar; after awhile, the Taskbar becomes full of duplicate Listers. This command used to work in a shortcut in DOpus 9 but I can’t get it to work in DOpus 10…. "C:\Program Files\Directory Opus\dopusrt.exe" /cmd GO NEW LASTACTIVELISTER. Any ideas?

What I want is a command that will work in a shortcut similar to the… From the Desktop/Double-click on the Desktop/Bring the last active Lister to the front (New Default Lister is no Listers open).

  1. I have 8 custom buttons set up for my Start Menu which shows the various programs, files and favorites in Windows. I can find nothing other than the normal text & background colors for these 8 buttons.

I want the selected button background to change color like I was able to do for the Tree, Thumb, Details, Tile, Flat, Normal, Dual, Viewer and Find buttons (the background changes to red until I make another selection such as changing from Detail to List view). The 8 buttons in question are all Standard functions (Opus or External) whereas the other buttons are all Set commands. I have been able to make Set command buttons change background color (when selected) but see no way to do this with Standard Function buttons. Any ideas?

  1. I have set my Default DOPus Windows Start menu for…
    a. No tree.
    b. Tiles.
    c. No Tile Frames.
    Problem I am encountering is two-fold with the Tiles Preferences…
  2. Size & Layout\Tile Spacing… 0 does not = zero space. There is ALWAYS a minimum space between tiles regardless of the Tile Spacing setting. I want 0 to = NO space so the tiles will look more like a drop-down menu rather than separate tiles.
  3. Frame & Fill\Fill tile Interior… very bright colors are way off; bright red is a dull brownish red. Bright yellow is a very dark yellow. I don’t understand why these colors when applied to a Tile background do not match the color selected whereas most other DOpus colors are a perfect match on various buttons.

If these four items can be resolved, DOpus will become a boon to Windows 8 users for a fully customizable Start Menu replacement.

Looking forward to greater things;

Found that this site likes to see single items per thread to help keep things in better order. so I am breaking out the items above into single items per thread.

Sorry about the mix up (have been awhile since I've been here and forgot about that).


Hi Doc,

Neat idea you have there. I was just wondering. Would it work better to float that toolbar and then dock it to the edge? That why you don't have to sync the two backgrounds all the time and the Dopus window frame won't show up all the time. That would then also leave your dopus window to stay a standard look.

Or I'm completely wrong and don't understand how you did it? :slight_smile:

VERY INTERESTING IDEA there, Ktbcrash. I will try it and get back with you.

No, you are not wrong. I am ALWAYS looking for new ideas for better ways to use Opus.

Thanks again for the suggestion;

I did a really quick mokeup of it using a floating toolbar with the toolbar Type set to "taskbar" so the toolbar matches the taskbar. (Sorry for the large size, I wanted to show the full desktop and 7's taskbar)(yes, my Windows color is Black and it is transparent, just not that evident with that background) :slight_smile:

and just a FYI, Stardock makes a free program called Start8 that still uses the Windows 8 start screen look, but shrinks it into a start menu size. there is another out there that looks like 7's but didn't find it to be all that stable.

I just tried it too; gives me a LOT to think about.

I think I like it (with a little tweaking).

It does have one major problem (see the two attached jpegs... below)...
1: When not floating... the bar has my custom wood background.
2: When floating... it turns to a plain solid brown.

This may simply be a setting somewhere.. any ideas?

Now this is weird; I just noticed that both JPEGS show the wood grain background yet the actual floating bar on screen does not. It will, for a few milliseconds show the wood grain as the bar retracts. What is with that?

Thanks again;

Sorry, I'm not sure. Someone else might know :slight_smile: Good Luck!

Your idea about making the toolbar floating has great merit; it completely resolved two other problems...

1: Multiple Listers cluttering up the Windows Taskbar. I set the floating bar to Keep on top and now it loads once at Windows start up and even when I close Opus the floating toolbar stays active. Not sure why is stays active with Opus closed down but... I REALLY LIKE IT... A LOT!!!
2: I no longer have to find a way to load Opus from my mouse key as it only needs to be loaded at Windows Start up... once.

Thanks again, Ktbcrash for a GREAT idea. It goes a long way in resolving some of the problems using Opus as a Windows Start menu.

It is looking better & better all the time.

Maybe in a week or two it will have some real polish to it.


Forgot to add the PopUp on top of other programs.jpg.\


That is configurable per floating toolbar by clicking the Keep on top option. You can cycle between keep on top always, keep on top if Opus is active, or do not keep on top.

Regards, AB

Found it, thanks;


Yeah, that's very similar to what I'm using on Windows 7 because I really don't like it's Start Menu. It completely replaces ObjectDock which I used with Windows XP. My floating-autohide-allways on top Toolbar uses a lot of Go Foldercontent buttons combined with Links to Applications.

I am a long time StarDock user myself. Finally dropped my annual subscription last year as much of what they are doing can be done in a similar manor in Windows and other programs like Opus.

Have tried three so-called Windows 8 Start add-ins including StarDock's Start8 but did not like it so I decided to see if I could do better and with you guys help, PRESTO done better with Opus.

Opus is simply one amazing program for sure. The learning curve is tough but well worth it if you are determined enough.


One little outstanding thing to resolve; I have Opus Preferences set to auto load Opus on Windows start up (which it does). Problem is it also loads ALL of Opus... Menu (which I want), Title bar, Tiles, tree (if so selected), etc.

I have noticed that if I close the Opus icon in the Windows task bar that the Opus docked menu stays active which is simply wonderful & exactly what I want. All the other Opus items like the title bar and Opus screens all go away leaving ONLY the docked menu. This is how I want Opus to load at Windows start up. Any ideas how to achieve this clean Opus menu only on Windows boot?


Forget that last post; I found the answer myself...
Don't open any Listers in the Preferences\Start up Settings.

Things are starting to look really, really good now. Just think what a few more days will bring.

Hurah for me.


Inspired by Ktbcrash, I have changed my menu to Windows Task Bar look (semi-transparent). SEE: the attached New Taskbar-type Menu.jpg (below).

Jesh, I've been up most of the night on this project; every time I try to go to sleep something else comes into my head (wish I was in my twenties again).


New Transparent Menu with icons.


Uh oh, he can't stop :wink: I've spent many nights where I just didn't want to stop because I was on a roll :wink:

It's looking good! I like the new changes. Keep it up :slight_smile:

Here's 'ol sleepy-eyes with a new update...
1: Dual-size Icons
2: New Fonts
3: Custom Line Spacing

Think I'll take a short nap!


I messed around with something like this a while back, but it was a top menu bar that was always visible.
It didn't last long. These days, i just use an indexed search tool called Everything as my launcher. I bring it up with a global hotkey (CTRL-ALT-F), start typing the name of the app I want to run, then hit enter. Bingo.