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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    While I am warming to Windows 7 in many ways, I am developing a deep and meaningful loathing for its Start Menu. When compared to Windows XP, it has become an intensely mouse-centric activity, and this offends me greatly. I am accustomed to driving Start from the keyboard, and it seems impossible to do that. For instance, if in the middle of writing this post, I wanted to consult information that was in, say an Excel worksheet, I could do it in four keystrokes and less than five seconds with XP:

    Start | P(rograms) | O(ffice) | E(xcel)

    I can't come anywhere close to that efficiency with Win 7's Start menu and that concerns me from not only a pragmatic point of view, but a philosophical one. I want to be efficient with my actions and I want to minimize risk of repetitive-stress injury; I also don't want Microsoft deciding what is best for me.

    Someone please tell me that I have overlooked a setting / option / configuration choice / tweak / backdoor maneuver that might address this. Thanks...




    Rick A.
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    Rick Altman
    Author, "Why Most PowerPoint Presentations Suck...and how you can make them better"
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    Pleasanton CA

  2. #2
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    Suggest you "Google" to "Classic Menu Pro" for Win7 and check it out. You can download a free 30 day trial and if you like it, purchase for about $20.00 Well worth it to get that classic menu that allows you to have nesting menus.
    Gus P

  3. #3
    3 Star Lounger jockmullin's Avatar
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    Hi Rick

    Try this: Click on Start. Type "excel" hit enter.

    That feature alone convinced me to live with the new start menu.

    The other thing you can do is pin your favorite programs to the start menu. You can make the start menu taller by increasing the number of recently used/pinned programs it displays. Once you've put your frequent programs and folders on the visible pane its much less of a pain, and keyboard access is very easy (Winkey, uparrow ... uparrow, enter).

    Go into help and type in start menu for an overview and instructions. I think ultimately you will like it better than XP.

    Jock

  4. #4
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    Thanks, Jock -- Typing Excel is three characters too many, and while I know that sounds anal, it becomes quite unweildy with PowerPoint, Dreamweaver, and Premiere Elements! As for pinning, I am a big fan and pin about eight or nine items there. Ultimately, that translates to way too much "up-arrowing".

    But I will consult Help to make sure I am not overlooking anything. I just hope that whatever I learn can co-exist with my non-negotiable demand for efficient keyboard access to my programs.



    RA
    Rick Altman
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  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    It appears that without buying a 3rd party program, the classic start menu is gone. Sorry. Acouple of these are here and here
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Altman View Post
    Thanks, Jock -- Typing Excel is three characters too many, and while I know that sounds anal, it becomes quite unweildy with PowerPoint, Dreamweaver, and Premiere Elements! As for pinning, I am a big fan and pin about eight or nine items there. Ultimately, that translates to way too much "up-arrowing".

    But I will consult Help to make sure I am not overlooking anything. I just hope that whatever I learn can co-exist with my non-negotiable demand for efficient keyboard access to my programs.
    As you type in the Start Menu Windows starts to return a list that matches what you have typed. You do not have to type "excel" you can probably type "ex" and get excel in the list. I encourage you to experiment with the Start Menu and also with

    Here are four helpful keyboard shortcuts:

    Windows logo key +number
    Start the program pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number. If the program is already running, switch to that program.

    Shift+Windows logo key +number
    Start a new instance of the program pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.

    Ctrl+Windows logo key +number
    Switch to the last active window of the program pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.

    Alt+Windows logo key +number
    Open the Jump List for the program pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.


    See Keyboard shortcuts for a complete list.

    Joe
    Joe

  7. #7
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    Ted: I have been hunting down programs right and left, including the two that you suggest. Astoundingly, neither program includes keystroke functionality, which, as you know, is my sole objective in this mission.

    Joe: Many thanks for the suggestions and list of shortcuts. I will perform due diligence with all of them...
    Rick Altman
    Author, "Why Most PowerPoint Presentations Suck...and how you can make them better"
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  8. #8
    3 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Altman View Post
    Start | P(rograms) | O(ffice) | E(xcel)
    I can't come anywhere close to that efficiency with Win 7's Start menu and that concerns me from not only a pragmatic point of view, but a philosophical one. I want to be efficient with my actions and I want to minimize risk of repetitive-stress injury; I also don't want Microsoft deciding what is best for me.

    Someone please tell me that I have overlooked a setting / option / configuration choice / tweak / backdoor maneuver that might address this. Thanks...
    My way is to bypass the Start Menu by creating a shortcut to Excel on the desktop and assign it a shortcut Key of Ctrl+Alt+X, similarly Word starts with Ctrl+Alt+W, Calculator starts with Ctrl+Alt+C, Notepad with Ctrl+Alt+N

    That does most of the day-to-day stuff for me.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Mullin View Post
    Hi Rick

    Once you've put your frequent programs and folders on the visible pane its much less of a pain, and keyboard access is very easy (Winkey, uparrow... enter ... uparrow/side arrow, enter).

    Go into help and type in start menu for an overview and instructions. I think ultimately you will like it better than XP.

    Jock

    This works really well with just scrolling the keyboard. Just a different way is all.
    Rick Altman, you can achieve the same end, but with alittle more key strokes...no mouce.
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  10. #10
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gfamily View Post
    My way is to bypass the Start Menu by creating a shortcut to Excel on the desktop and assign it a shortcut Key of Ctrl+Alt+X, similarly Word starts with Ctrl+Alt+W, Calculator starts with Ctrl+Alt+C, Notepad with Ctrl+Alt+N

    That does most of the day-to-day stuff for me.

    This seems to be the easiest option. Initally it may take a little more effort, but ultimately it appears it will fulfill your needs.

    Since I actually do not use either of the programs I pointed out to you I was unsure if they included the keyboard functionallity you wish to acquire. I realize Win 7 takes a little getting used to but have found that much of what I want to do can be done as easily and quickly, but just with a slightly different routine. I think the extra speed and security with Win 7 was worth the learning curve in my case. I hope you find what you need.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  11. #11
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    The Start menu shows that list of recently opened programs, which I find to be pretty useless. I eliminated that list by right-clicking the Start button, selecting Properties, then Customize on the Start Menu tab. At the bottom of that screen, I changed the "Number of recent programs to display" to 0. That provided additional space for pinned programs, which gives very fast access to my favs.

  12. #12
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    Yes, I too remove all of recent programs. I don't need my computer reminding me what I just used and if I opened it once, I think I could do it again!

    I am trying very hard to make peace with the Start Menu. Some of the workarounds are minor (I can get to my Run line by pressing and holding Win while I type R instead of Win and then R as it used to be), some are a bit tedious but I'll live (I can get up to Favorites with Win | Right | Up), and some will require diligent management (like organizing the Start Menu so that all will show without scrolling -- scrolling my list of Programs is unacceptable).

    All of the third-party tools I looked at for addressing this introduced compromises that were unsatisfactory. So I will try to make peace with the native implementation.

    I will say that the Aero Flip 3D is killer and my macro program can program the otherwise arcane keystrokes to activate it. So now I just press the ScrLk key and it immediately pops up. For the first time in 25 years, ScrLk fills a useful purpose. Imagine that...



    Rick A.
    Rick Altman
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  13. #13
    5 Star Lounger PaulB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Altman View Post
    ...(I can get to my Run line by pressing and holding Win while I type R instead of Win and then R as it used to be)...

    ...I will say that the Aero Flip 3D is killer and my macro program can program the otherwise arcane keystrokes to activate it. So now I just press the ScrLk key and it immediately pops up. For the first time in 25 years, ScrLk fills a useful purpose. Imagine that...



    Rick A.
    There are ways to restore the 'Run' command to the Start menu, if that is what you require. I may be on shaky ground here, but I can't remember a time when you could press the WinKey THEN another key to accomplish something. I remember always having to press the WinKey AND another key. But then I am having more and more senior's moments...

    'Killer' as in good? Do you really find WinKey + Tab arcane? Seems so much easier than trying to find that key you haven't used in 25 years!
    Regards,
    PaulB

  14. #14
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Altman View Post
    (I can get to my Run line by pressing and holding Win while I type R instead of Win and then R as it used to be), Rick A.

    Right click start button, choose properties,choose customize button, check Run box. Will bring the Run command to the top level. I'm not sure if this is what you needed or not. If not sorry for the confusion.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  15. #15
    Silver Lounger t8ntlikly's Avatar
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    Just my $.02 worth Rick, but yesterday I was out at a job site to pick up a contract, and noticed that the gal was using Office 2007 and Windows 7. She was also cursing each. Saying she wished that they had stayed with XP and Office 2003, because now she couldn't find anything. Now being the helpful person that I am and of course the document she couldn't find was my contract I asked if she minded it I showed her a quick tip. She said sure. I typed in the first few letters from the name of the contract and voila, it popped up. She looked at me and shook her head, then asked me if I would do that again so she could see what I had done. Of course I was more than happy to because she signed my contract and I already had it in hand, and no my contract had nothing to do with any type of computer or application.
    Just as a side note she asked where I learned that stuff and of course this lounge was mentioned.
    Thanks John
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