Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Supercharge Windows' context menu with Shell Tools


The context menu, the one that pops up when you right-click on your mouse, is the fastest way of executing any action. Look at your browser's context menu. It's so indispensable that we cannot imagine ourselves without using it. Most programs have used this context menu to offer loads of functionality to the user, most except Windows. The Windows context menu has so little to offer that we rarely use it except when opening files with another application, or using such options like Virus scan.

Shell Tools is a free Windows shell extension that extends the context menu by adding a number of helpful utilities. Let's see what are those:

  • Copy Filename - Copies filenames of selected items to the clipboard
  • Filenote - Allows you to add comments to files by creating text file that has the same name as selected file and opening it for editing in text editor.
  • Show Hidden Files - This is a quick way to toggle global Windows Explorer’s Show Hidden Files option, that is otherwise buried deep inside folder options window. 
  • FontLoader - Add Load/Unload/Install/Uninstall commands to context menu of font files (TrueType, OpenType and TrueType Collections supported). This is so useful.
  • CopyURL - Copy different information from one or more selected favorites items (Internet shortcuts) to the clipboard. You can customize the commands to make up your own copy strings. 
  • RegisterServer - Will add Register Server and Unregister Server commands to context menu of DLL, OCX and EXE files that export DllLoadLibrary and DllUnloadLibrary functions, allowing you to register/unregister COM servers with ease, by right-clicking.
  • Fresh Icons - Force Windows to rebuild icons. Run it when you see wrong icons displayed for your files/shortcuts.


You can choose to display only those components that you use, so that you don't have to clutter the context menu with all those options you are never going to use.

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