When Windows 7 was released it came with several enhancements to the desktop interface, and one major areas of change was to the taskbar. Along came features such as the advanced preview window, a progress meter on a taskbar icon and Aero Peek to name a few. Something else to appear was an application’s icon on the taskbar also had the ability to display quick access options like some of the associate programs functions, recent history or favourites.
These options are available by right clicking on the icon on the taskbar or left clicking and dragging the icon upward. And if you didn’t already know, this useful feature is called a Jump list. The Jump list feature has proved to be quite popular because it provides convenient shortcuts to several different functions at the click of a mouse.
While Jump lists are being used to their full extent with a number of applications these days, there is still a lot which don’t take advantage of it effectively or even at all. This is where a handy piece of software called Jumplist Extender could prove to be useful because it can create a custom Jump list for just about any icon that gets pinned to the Windows 7 taskbar.
A standard Chrome Jump List
Jumplist Extender can perform a simple task of just opening a program with a command line argument such as opening a web browser with your favourite website as the argument. The program can also send keystrokes to the application window so you either enter simple commands or keyboard shortcuts to open the program and perform an action. And if that’s not enough, because Jumplist Extender is programmed using the AutoHotkey scripting language, it also supports the creation and running of AutoHotkey scripts, if you know how to use AutoHotkey of course.
Jumplist Extender is open source software so is completely free to use. Although it comes with a setup installer, I was able to extract the Jumplist Extender setup with Universal Extractor and run it via the T7EPreferences.exe. Although I was able to create a jump list successfully, I can’t guarantee it will work perfectly this way, so it’s your choice.
Something to note about this program is when you create a new jump list, any jump list already connected with the icon will be lost, and you can’t add to or edit an existing default jump list. In short, be careful about which icon you’re creating a new list for.
On running the program, the first window to pop up will ask what you want to do. Obviously, if you haven’t already set up or saved any lists you need to start a new jump list. A file requester will then ask you to select an executable or shortcut file which the jump list is going to be created for.
After that another window will ask to run the related application if it isn’t already open. When the program is open click on it and Jumplist Extender will recognise it’s the correct one. The next window is simply to verify the selection is correct, and if not you can try to reselect it. Click OK when you’re sure.
The main window is where the list is created and is split into two, the left for the jump list layout and the right to create the entry. Entries can be added, removed or moved up and down the list using the buttons provided.
To configure an entry, firstly give it a name and choose the icon if you want one. There are four different types of entry that can be created; Task, File/Folder Shortcut, Category and Separator. The File/Folder option will simply allow you to open a folder or execute an external file from the jump list. Category and Separator makes the list more readable if there are to be several entries.
The task option is the most powerful as it offers three actions; Send keystrokes to window, Run command line or program and the Run AutoHotkey script action. The keystroke action is useful for sending things like hotkey combinations or entering text into a text box etc. In the above window I’m sending ‘ipconfig /all’ to the command prompt window which will run ipconfig when I select the entry in the pinned icon’s jump list. There are a number of possibilities here as you could also send blocks of text into a text editor or set it up to ‘Ctrl+V’ and paste clipboard content straight into a program.
Custom Jump List for a Command Prompt pinned icon
The Run command line or program action allows the running of the connected application or a different one with command line options. For example executing a browser with a website as the argument will open the related webpage. Eg; ‘C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe’ Raymond.cc. When you have finished creating the jump list press Ctrl+S or go to File -> ‘Save and apply to Taskbar’ to apply the changes.
One minor gripe I have with the program is after a few hours of testing it popped up a nag asking to donate. Not too much of an issue if it only does it once, but every xx amount of hours would be a major pain in the neck. A workaround is to simply exit the application in the tray, it didn’t appear to affect the jump lists I had created although it might possibly cause problems with using custom scripts or something more advanced. A case of try it and see.
Compatible with Windows 7