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I just sent the message below to the Publisher of the program ShellToys. I am also using XP Pro SP3. I was wondering if you might know why I am having an issue here?

I use a replacement for Windows Explorer called Directory Opus. It actually completely takes the place of Windows Explorer for a file viewer, file manager and also handles FTP. It is considered and "Advanced Windows File Manager." I was trying to set up a "Customize Menu" in Opus and it was not working. When I opened up Windows Explorer I noticed it was working there as well as on the desktop.

I would really like to be able to use this function in Opus because as a program I am in love with Opus and not willing to get rid of it...Is there any way around this or a way to make it work within Opus. The website for the program is so you can check it out if you'd like.

If you have any suggestions or ideas I would definitely like to hear them!

Bob Snow

What does the tool/menu you are trying to set up do? You might be able to do it in Opus directly.

I've just started to evaluate Opus as a potential replacement for xPlorer2 pro, and I'm a long time ShellToys user

One of the first things I've noticed is that ShellToys context menu customisation isn't honoured in Opus.

The ShellToys Context Menu Customisation function provides the ability to move context menu items into sub menus.

I am attaching two images

[ul][li]one is is what I see in the context menu for a folder when using xplorer2, I see exactly the same thing in Windows Explorer[/li]
[li]the other is what I see in Opus version 10 for the same folder, as can been seen he sub menus have disappeared and everything is at the top level resulting in a very long context menu [/li][/ul]
I couldn't see any equivalent functionality in Opus, but I only just started using it. My OS is Win7-SP1 64bit Pro

I don't know how ShellToys works (you'd have to ask the authors of ShellToys) so I'm not sure if what it does should apply to Opus or not. Opus builds its own context menus so if ShellToys somehow hooks the shell context menu code then it would not affect Opus. But if ShellToys works as a shell extension it should work with Opus.

Make sure you have the 64-bit ShellToys if you are on a 64-bit OS.

The ShellToys authors seem to be aware of Opus (see this thread), but I don't know if that fix was for the context menu part of their tool or some other part. (I'm not very familiar with the tool at all, as you can probably tell.)

FWIW, you can modify the context menus within Opus by itself: Tip: Organise and Speed-Up Context Menus

Yep its the 64bit ShellToys and I just checked, again, to make sure I have the latest version of everything

ShellToy's context menu customisation feature works with MIcrosoft's Windows Explorer, zabkat's xPlorer2 and with XYPlorer. So in my opinion the problem is with Opus rather than ShellToys, unless of course Windows Explorer and xPlorer2 and XYplorer are also wrongly implemented

I looked at Tip: Organise and Speed-Up Context Menus,

I'm not enamoured with the idea of having to implement something with a long complex set of definitions involving locating & cutting GUIDs in the registry and pasting them into the Opus File Types Context Menu editing dialogues. And I would have to go through the same rigmarole whenever I added a new tool.

I currently customise the menus via a simple drag & drop dialogue - sample attached. I'm sure I could do do all sorts of things with with Opus's File Type editing facility that I can't do with ShellToys drag & drop approach - but I'm not looking to replace Shelltoys, I'm evaluating Opus as a potential alternative for xPlorer2.

I do most of my work via keyboard shortcuts or the context menu, I don't use the mouse, instead I use the context menu and the arrow keys. So this is an important issue for me.

The purple arrow indicates what I'd have to do to move the "Directory Opus Archive" item from the main context menu to the File Folder submenu that I have already created (via the Add Menu Item button on the right).

Most (if not all) of those programs delegate building and/or displaying of the context menus to the Windows shell.

Opus builds and displays the menus by itself (which allows it to do things that you cannot do with the Windows shell menus).

So if ShellToys works by hooking the Windows shell code for building and/or displaying context menus, it won't affect Opus.

That isn't a fault of ShellToys or Opus; it's just the result of how the two things work.

Of course, I don't know how ShellToys actually works, so this is just an educated guess about what it does.

and prevents you from doing the things that you have been doing for the past several years, without offering a viable alternative.

I only downloaded Opus today, and I've already found what is, for me at least, a significant "deficiency". As I previously wrote I do most things via the context menu, I'm wondering what other context menu related issues I'll find either during the trial period, or after I pay the 80 odd bucks.

and prevents you from doing the things that you have been doing for the past several years, without offering a viable alternative.[/quote]

Have you noticed possibility of composing your own menus, which can include such 3rd party items?

and prevents you from doing the things that you have been doing for the past several years, without offering a viable alternative.[/quote]

Have you noticed possibility of composing your own menus, which can include such 3rd party items?[/quote]
Hi Xyzzy

Well I have looked at this Tip: Organise and Speed-Up Context Menus

That looks like a lot of work to replicate what I've already done with Shelltoys using a simple drag & drop dialogue. If you know of another, and easier, way to construct sub menu's then I'd like to find out about it.

A couple of weeks ago I replaced Inzomnia with Faststone's MaxView - they're image viewers that read archives. I liked MaxView so much that I decided to make it my main image browser, rather than FastPictureViewer. Shuffling items between the main and Image Processing context menus took a couple of seconds via a few drag & drops in the dialogue I posted here.

As far as I can see it would take a lot longer using the file type context menu handler in Opus, and I'd probably get it wrong 50% of the time. I've no idea what the GUID's are for MaxView & FastPictureViewer. Such information is never available in user documentation, so I would have to dig it out of the registry, and if the author of MaxView or FPV changed their GUIDs then things would stop working.


FWIW, you can get Opus to print the GUIDs without having to find them in the registry:

[ul][li]Go to Preferences - Miscellaneous - Advanced and turn on context_menu_debug.
[li]Download the small DebugView tool from Microsoft and run it. If you see an error message about extracting Dbgv.sys you can ignore it as we are not interested in debugging device drivers.
[li]DebugView will now display messages from Opus when you right-click on files. Note that other programs may also send messages to DebugView and not everything that you see printed by the program comes from Opus.[/li][/ul]

The GUIDs almost never change, unless a component is completely re-written or (sometimes) when switching from 32-bit to 64-bit versions of a component.

Also, none of this is needed for tools that have command-line interfaces (which is most tools, but not all), where it's easier to just make menu items which send files to them.

The fact that no one has suggested the usual trick with Explorer menus means that I am probably hopelessly off beam here, but has anyone done a "Right click" in DOpus to check if those wondrous ShellToys options are there?

I have a couple of right click options that are invisible in DOpus, but there in Explorer. That's because I have told DOpus to behave like that.

One day I will find time to work out how to get the few I need to show in DOpus.

leo - I have the little blue bug, it comes with VS, which I also have.

I've had ShellToys since early 2005, a prime reason I bought the pro version was for its menu customisation. Previously I'd used send to and command lines, IMO its a pain. A good example is WinRAR, I can either select the options I want to see in the context menus in its preferences (and maybe juggle them around with ShellToys) or I can deselect all of them, then write equivalents as send to commands that I put into yet another folder hierarchy, maybe in my user account folder or maybe in the default user account folder - IMO that's all a complete waste of time.

Just because a thing can be done doesn't mean it should be done or that its the best way of doing it :wink:

Maybe I'll write something myself that will coexist with Opus and Windows Explorer - give me something to do at smoko :slight_smile:


Hi michaelkenward

In the attached screen scrape the things I've underlined in purple are native ShellToys features, apart from Shell Toys itself, I've moved Copy Path, Folder Color etc from Shell Toys sub menu to the main menu, there's a whole bunch more things in the ShellToys submenu, I assume they all work, although I don't use many of them. So the basic functionality of Shelltoys is fine.

The issue is the items I've underlined in orange

ShellToys has a feature that allows one to move items from the main context menu to sub menus via a simple drag/drop interface that you see in this post ShellToys.

The [RarelyUsed] and [Hidden] submenus are predefined, the others [Audio Visual], [File Folder], [Image Processing] and [Search and Scan] were defined by me.

In Windows Explorer and in xPlorer2 the items underlined orange are squirreled away in the submenus, which are positioned at the bottom of main context menu.
You can see the result in the first screen scrape in this post ShellToys.

Search, Scan with MSE and Scan with MBAM are in the [Search and Scan] submenu, Browse with FastStone, Browse with IrfanView and Browse with FastPictureViewer are in the [Image Processing] submenu etc, etc.

So the issue is that the ShellToys context menu customisation facility does not operate under Opus, i.e. I've lost my sub menus. But it does operate under at least 3 other widely used file manglers - namely Windows Explorer, xPlorer2 Pro and XYPlorer.

BTW : I should have orange underlined WinMerge, which lives in the [File Folder] submenu, and not underlined WinRAR which lives in the main menu


There is a mistake in my message. Obviously right click doeds not work for you.

I should have said "Shift+RightClick" in DOPus.

That will usually show all that you see in Explorer in DOpus.

So, I tell DOpus to hide the Explorer context menus, but they arfe there when I want them.

[quote="michaelkenward"]There is a mistake in my message. Obviously right click doeds not work for you.

I should have said "Shift+RightClick" in DOPus.

That will usually show all that you see in Explorer in DOpus.

So, I tell DOpus to hide the Explorer context menus, but they arfe there when I want them.[/quote]
With Shift/Right Click I see exactly what I see with vanilla Right Click - i.e. as per my previous post.


I was never considering ShellToys for a replacement to Opus. I do like the way ShellToys approaches and offers different solutions for issues. My concern was weather or not it might have a conflict with Opus.

In time, I found Opus in it's own classification. Being new to Opus the best thing I can tell you about the product is don't give it a 30 trial. After years of use I still find items that would get me to the check book. Opus is the first program I load on my computer, on a fresh install. But there is a warning I have to give you. It is adictive. You will not want to be with out. If that sounds heavy, wait a few months.

Here is my solution for the RightClick - Recent Location
1. First I create a button Called "File" see top left of image.
Now as far as calling the menu I can do one of the following. In my case I also use other programs, Dragon - Speak, that can work seamlessly with Opus.
a. Opus - Click on menu "File".
a. Dragon - Say "ClickFile" or "ClickLocation" what ever makes since to me.

Many cures for ever issue. Every one has there own. But it's Opus that is the core of all my solutions.

That looks like a lot of work to replicate what I've already done with Shelltoys using a simple drag & drop dialogue. If you know of another, and easier, way to construct sub menu's then I'd like to find out about it.<<

SubMenus are not a not of work! In the time to do the above replay I could have built a Basic menu. All you do is go to "Custom ToolBars" which I have at the bottom of all my menus and drag the functions needed. I use a lot of menus not because there needed but because there. Oh well.

We are talking about menus when that is such a small part of Opus.
a. Flat Files - Unbelievable.
b. Synchronize - I've tried the best
c. Duplication - Cleaned years of sloppy drive upkeep
d. Video Control - Finding photo's & Art and more (What do people do that don't have Opus?)
Every week I find something new. Forget about what it can do. When you find you have a need just go to the forum. The forum in it's self... Check out the messages from amerifax, me, and you will see a lot of help.

Sorry If I seem heavy on Opos. Someone did the same for me in the past.

Hmmm... well, "sub-menus" themselves aren't alot of work - but some of the items generated from shell extensions that you might want to put IN the su-menus can be a fair bit of work. Mind you - I have no issues at all with building my menu's and tweaking shell extension items in Opus. But........

I think it's going to be quite a HARD sell to get anyone to believe that being able to do it via an interactive drag and drop method isn't just plain "better" and "faster" for most users and use-cases. It would be alot simpler for many ppl if you could just 'look' at the Windows context menu items in Opus FileType editor, and drag and/or copy them around your custom Opus menus... assuming that Opus could be made to resolve an item from the Windows context menu into the Opus equivalent button (FileType CONTEXTMENU command, etc)... Even "knowing how to do it" manually, I'd rather do it this way (interactive drag and drop) myself. Determining the correct CLSID to use for custom shell extension placement is just way more clicking through different screens... though I'd say being ABLE to do it at all is also a power that Opus has which other general context menu handlers do not necessarily have.

That said, going the other way - there are some usability tweaks that Opus could benefit from that might make it easier to work with the current system...

[ul][li]support ALT+Click (like the Prefs option to edit toolbar buttons) to edit individual context menu items...[/li]
[li]support a FileType EDIT=all command or something similar that would open ALL of the various FileType items that are contributing to the currently displayed menu. I.E - I think the format lock icon in the status bar was a really helpful hint to people as to how the current displayed folder format is being generated - this would be a similar thing for context menus to help people who can't find where an item might be getting generated from.[/li]
[li]the filetype editor itself could use a few tweaks... when creating a "new" item, it would be a lot more helpful if that item were to be created above or below the currently selected item (especially if right clicking to create a new item)... instead of at the very bottom of the menu, where dragging it up to the top can be a bit cumbersome.[/li]
[li]copying/cutting a context menu item is still a bit buggy, it doesn't get pasted as the same type of menu item as the original... some "Standard Function (Opus or External)" items cane get pasted as "Run an application (supported in Opus and Explorer)" items if they are in fact running an app instead of just an Opus command.[/li][/ul]

Opus context menu feature may not be the absolute fastest and most flexible via customizing in the pack...but it ain't to far behind. And what it lacks therein, it surely makes up for in every other aspect you can imagine. It's not what can it do, but "jeez-what-can't-Opus-do" that I hear accross the plethora of user forums. I've personally tried and experienced just about every other shell replacement or efficiency add-in tool available; including ShellToys. I used ShellToys for two years with Commander and XYPlorer. I admit, it's easier with drag-n-drop, but there are other ways coming very close to this functionality once get your "zen-thing" going with Opus; and believe me, you will get your zen-thing going if you start using Opus every day. First, take a good look at the feedback and user support of this forum; it speaks for itself "the best I've ever experienced"; and it comes with a complementary free Leo!!!

But I think it's getting past that initial hump in order to "get your zen-thing going" that's probably a bit of a turn-off for some ppl. If you've already done a significant amount of menu customization with something like ShellToys, then having to do it all over again at "all" is bound to be a bit time consuming "up front". And then realizing you have to do it with CSLID sleuthing using external debug apps instead of simpler drag-n-drop probably seems daunting. Once you're done though - most folks probably don't make too significant modifications for awhile; more likely minor tweaks here and there. No way around it really...