CyberNotes
Tutorial Thursday




The right-click menu (a.k.a. context menu) is one area in Windows that Microsoft refuses to let users customize out-of-the-box. There should be some sort of utility that lets people choose what’s included, and the order that the items are placed in. I don’t think I even use half of the options that are often located in the menu!

And then there is the command that I use the most often which is idiotically buried within a submenu, and lives without a keyboard shortcut: create a new folder. I’ve walked through ways for setting up a hotkey or context menu entry for making a new folder, but this should be an easier way to more prominently display the commands you use the most often.

What you really need is a utility so that you can customize the right-click menu to make it exactly what you want. FileMenu Tools (Download Mirror – version 5.2) might very well be exactly what you’re looking for!

FileMenu Context Menu

As you can see from the screenshot above there are several commands in the right-click menu that are not ordinarily there. That’s all because of FileMenu, which is a free utility that can help you add and remove items from the right-click menu.

–Features–

Once you get FileMenu installed it is pretty self explanatory what you have to do. In the main content area of the program you’ll see a bunch of commands that you can add or remove from the context menu. They can also be reordered by dragging and dropping them around, or by using the arrows in the left sidebar.

FileMenu Commands

The sidebar also has options to add a separator/divider and submenus, which will both help to declutter the right-click menu. In the screenshot above I have added a separator as well as a submenu to show how they work.

Tip: You won’t see any changes to the right-click menu until you hit the green “Commit” button on the top toolbar.

As you’ll find out in a moment there are a lot of different things that you can configure in FileMenu. It’s important that you use the import/export options in the File menu of the program for saving your settings. This makes it a lot easier to duplicate your settings across multiple computers, or to restore the commands in the event that you need to format your computer.

–Specialized Tools–

FileMenu comes with several specialized tools that help make it an indispensable tool. Each of the features I mention below are all accessible through the right-click menu thanks to the program. In reality each of these features are essentially their own little mini applications.

  • Split/join files – This type of thing was a little more useful back in the days of floppies, but there are still some reasons that you may want to split up files.
    FileMenu Split File 
  • Change file time – Modify the creation time, last write time, or last access time.
    FileMenu Change Time
  • Find and replace – Use this to find and replace text in files.
    FileMenu Find and Replace
  • Advanced renamer – This is actually one of my favorite parts of the program. With this you can quickly rename photos, music, and any type of file. It’s not the best file renamer, but it is super nice for quick tasks.
    FileMenu Advanced Renamer
  • Advanced delete – Recursively delete a certain type of file from a folder and subfolders. You can use it to get rid of the pesky thumbs.db files from your computer.
    FileMenu Advanced Delete
  • Synchronize – You can sync the contents of two different folders with this utility. It’s not packed with features, but it’s nice if you’re just looking to do it quickly.
    FileMenu Folder Synchronization
  • Create a new folder – A pretty straightforward way to create a new folder. It prompts you to enter the name of the folder before it is created.
    FileMenu Create Folder 

–Remove Existing Items–

One thing you may notice in Windows is that the right-click menu is different depending on what type of thing your clicking on. FileMenu takes that into account, and lets you remove existing commands based upon those parameters. For example, I can have the “BriefcaseMenu” option (pictured below) show up when I right-click on files, but turn it off for when I right-click on folders.

With FileMenu you can enable or disable several of the existing commands that have been added by Windows or by other applications:

FileMenu Remove Existing Commands 

–Roll Your Own Commands–

FileMenu Custom Command

FileMenu even lets you create customized commands that will only work for certain types of files (according to extension) or just for folders. I can think of a lot of reasons why this would be useful, and the first that comes to my mind is specifying an image editor to show up only for files that have an image-related extension. Then you won’t have to go to the “Open With” command to have a photo open up in your favorite editor.

Tip: To pass parameters to a program just click in the “Arguments” box and press the “…” button to see a list of available parameters.

Or you could use this to simply add shortcuts to your favorite programs. Why not create a submenu that has all of your most used programs in it? That’s what I just got done doing. FileMenu was able to automatically pick up the icons for all of the apps I created shortcuts for, so don’t worry about filling in the icon field. :)

FileMenu Tools Homepage for Windows (Download Mirror – version 5.2)
Thanks to PCWorld for pointing out this great app!