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Windows 8 Start Menu Modifier

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Posted

Hello everyone, I thought I'd play around with some C# in Windows 8 and came up with the idea for an app. With this you can choose which screen the start menu should appear and allows you to dock it in top or bottom configuration non-full screen on any monitor. You can toggle between full screen and docked states with the press of a button and force your start menu to appear on a certain screen if you wish (moving a metro app to another screen will push the start menu to that screen as well but using the hotkey will force it back to the screen of choice).

Also if anyone knows how to simulate the keystroke or bring up the start menu via code let me know. I tried this using a keyboard event but it didn't bring up the start menu and did the ^{ESC} send keys trick but it doesn't seen to work in Windows 8. Would be cool to allow the hot key to bring up the start menu as well.

Screenshots are attached to the post.

Download: http://www.diablocra...MModifier1b.zip

post-250262-0-56066300-1347140129_thumb.

post-250262-0-80012700-1347140147_thumb.

post-250262-0-89085400-1347140386.jpg

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Posted

Wow. Now this looks pretty cool. So, the Start menu slides down after clicking an app shortcut or moving away from it?

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Posted


	    private static void ShowStartMenu()

	    {

		    // key down event:

		    const byte keyControl = 0x11;

		    const byte keyEscape = 0x1B;

		    keybd_event(keyControl, 0, 0, UIntPtr.Zero);

		    keybd_event(keyEscape, 0, 0, UIntPtr.Zero);

		    // key up event:

		    const uint KEYEVENTF_KEYUP = 0x02;

		    keybd_event(keyControl, 0, KEYEVENTF_KEYUP, UIntPtr.Zero);

		    keybd_event(keyEscape, 0, KEYEVENTF_KEYUP, UIntPtr.Zero);

	    }

	    [DllImport("user32.dll")]

	    static extern void keybd_event(byte bVk, byte bScan, uint dwFlags,

		   UIntPtr dwExtraInfo);

Also, awesome idea. I really want to know how it works. Would you mind posting some snippets or source?

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Posted

Wow. Now this looks pretty cool. So, the Start menu slides down after clicking an app shortcut or moving away from it?

Yeah, if you click off the start screen it goes away just like if you were launching an app from the start menu. You can also toggle it and see it resize for a second when the start menu is up (so it'd be possible to do an animation/fade on the window if someone wanted to code it in, though not sure how it'd actually work in practice).


		private static void ShowStartMenu()

		{

			// key down event:

			const byte keyControl = 0x11;

			const byte keyEscape = 0x1B;

			keybd_event(keyControl, 0, 0, UIntPtr.Zero);

			keybd_event(keyEscape, 0, 0, UIntPtr.Zero);

			// key up event:

			const uint KEYEVENTF_KEYUP = 0x02;

			keybd_event(keyControl, 0, KEYEVENTF_KEYUP, UIntPtr.Zero);

			keybd_event(keyEscape, 0, KEYEVENTF_KEYUP, UIntPtr.Zero);

		}

		[DllImport("user32.dll")]

		static extern void keybd_event(byte bVk, byte bScan, uint dwFlags,

		   UIntPtr dwExtraInfo);

Also, awesome idea. I really want to know how it works. Would you mind posting some snippets or source?
Thanks, I used Spy++ to get the window handle of the start menu (had it right next to it on second monitor then toggled it and dragged really fast). From there I just played with some windows APIs to see what types of things I could do with the start menu and this is what I came up with. I'll also try that code soon and see if I can get it implemented so people can bring up the start menu simultaneously if they are using this. As for some of the code it's pretty simple (could probably leave flags null) -

UInt32 flags = SWP_SHOWWINDOW;

IntPtr hwnd = FindWindow("ImmersiveLauncher", null);

SetWindowPos(hwnd, HWND_TOP, x, y, width, height, flags);

Imports:

[DllImport("user32.dll", CharSet = CharSet.Auto)]

public static extern int SetWindowPos(IntPtr hWnd,

  IntPtr hWndInsertAfter,

  int x,

  int y,

  int cx,

  int cy,

  UInt32 uFlags);


[DllImport("user32.dll", SetLastError = true)]

static extern IntPtr FindWindow(string lpClassName, string lpWindowName);

I tried getting the class name/handle of the search bar too and got "DirectUIHWND" but can't seem to adjust or resize that just yet. The search bar will appear on the last window a metro-style app was launched. Also if you're interested the class name for the metro band (the divider between a metro app/desktop) is called "ImmersiveGutter" with "Application Arrangement Bar" as the window title. Just by having the class names/handles to these windows you can do quite a bit of manipulation. Most of the code involved in this app is taskbar positioning/screen size calculations and settings-related stuff.

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Posted

That's pretty cool. I tried to do the same, but I guess I'm just not fast enough with spy++ to do it all....can you also use this to reposition metro apps?

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Posted

That's pretty cool. I tried to do the same, but I guess I'm just not fast enough with spy++ to do it all....can you also use this to reposition metro apps?

The API is capable so it's just a matter of doing more research to see if the metro apps have classes/titles/parent windows/or other attributes that distinguish them from the rest and retrieving the handles to send the proper API calls to. I'll see what I can find but if anyone else can find out more information that'd be great too :)

Update: I also found the "ImmersiveBackgroundWindow" class with the caption "Immersive Background" which is the solid background used when snapping metro windows to the side and there is nothing in the main container. I couldn't find a lot on the metro apps yet but did notice they all have the "EdgeUiInputWndClass" class at the top point of the screen (which should be responsible for the touch gestures/closing the app). It should be possible to detect using FindWindow if that class exists and to then find the main handle to the window below it though I haven't tested this yet.

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Posted

Oops

See the end of this message for details on invoking

just-in-time (JIT) debugging instead of this dialog box.

************** Exception Text **************

System.IO.FileNotFoundException: Could not find file 'E:\My Downloads\sm.ico'.

File name: 'E:\My Downloads\sm.ico'

at System.IO.__Error.WinIOError(Int32 errorCode, String maybeFullPath)

at System.IO.FileStream.Init(String path, FileMode mode, FileAccess access, Int32 rights, Boolean useRights, FileShare share, Int32 bufferSize, FileOptions options, SECURITY_ATTRIBUTES secAttrs, String msgPath, Boolean bFromProxy, Boolean useLongPath, Boolean checkHost)

at System.IO.FileStream..ctor(String path, FileMode mode, FileAccess access, FileShare share)

at System.Drawing.Icon..ctor(String fileName, Int32 width, Int32 height)

at System.Drawing.Icon..ctor(String fileName)

at SMModifier.frmSMModifier.createTaskTray()

at SMModifier.frmSMModifier.frmMain_Load(Object sender, EventArgs e)

at System.Windows.Forms.Form.OnLoad(EventArgs e)

at System.Windows.Forms.Form.OnCreateControl()

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.CreateControl(Boolean fIgnoreVisible)

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.CreateControl()

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WmShowWindow(Message& m)

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WndProc(Message& m)

at System.Windows.Forms.ScrollableControl.WndProc(Message& m)

at System.Windows.Forms.ContainerControl.WndProc(Message& m)

at System.Windows.Forms.Form.WmShowWindow(Message& m)

at System.Windows.Forms.Form.WndProc(Message& m)

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativeWindow.OnMessage(Message& m)

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativeWindow.WndProc(Message& m)

at System.Windows.Forms.NativeWindow.Callback(IntPtr hWnd, Int32 msg, IntPtr wparam, IntPtr lparam)

************** Loaded Assemblies **************

mscorlib

Assembly Version: 4.0.0.0

Win32 Version: 4.0.30319.17929 built by: FX45RTMREL

CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/Microsoft.NET/Framework/v4.0.30319/mscorlib.dll

----------------------------------------

StartMenuModifier

Assembly Version: 1.0.0.0

Win32 Version: 1.0.0.0

CodeBase: file:///E:/My%20Downloads/StartMenuModifier.exe

----------------------------------------

System.Windows.Forms

Assembly Version: 4.0.0.0

Win32 Version: 4.0.30319.17929 built by: FX45RTMREL

CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/Microsoft.Net/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Windows.Forms/v4.0_4.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.Windows.Forms.dll

----------------------------------------

System.Drawing

Assembly Version: 4.0.0.0

Win32 Version: 4.0.30319.17929 built by: FX45RTMREL

CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/Microsoft.Net/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Drawing/v4.0_4.0.0.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a/System.Drawing.dll

----------------------------------------

System

Assembly Version: 4.0.0.0

Win32 Version: 4.0.30319.17929 built by: FX45RTMREL

CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/Microsoft.Net/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System/v4.0_4.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.dll

----------------------------------------

************** JIT Debugging **************

To enable just-in-time (JIT) debugging, the .config file for this

application or computer (machine.config) must have the

jitDebugging value set in the system.windows.forms section.

The application must also be compiled with debugging

enabled.

For example:

<configuration>

<system.windows.forms jitDebugging="true" />

</configuration>

When JIT debugging is enabled, any unhandled exception

will be sent to the JIT debugger registered on the computer

rather than be handled by this dialog box.

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Posted

^ Did you extract the icon too? Seems like that should fix it. I was a bit lazy and didn't reference it from the internal resources. I'll try and make it a single .exe the next time I update this.

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Posted

Cool idea

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Posted

Looks really good, man. Keep up the awesome work.

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Posted

MUCH better than the Start8/S-Launcher/REtroUI rubbish.

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Posted

I love how all the apps I am seeing right now for Windows 8 are Start menu apps.

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Posted

I love how all the apps I am seeing right now for Windows 8 are Start menu apps.

LMAO!!!

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Posted

I think it looks really good, but having to hack a brand new operating system to make it usable for a desktop seems wrong. I like it, don't get me wrong.

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Posted

I love how all the apps I am seeing right now for Windows 8 are Start menu apps.

But what is there to add (as a 3rd party dev)? There wasn't any 'revolutionary' application that has popped up for a while now, even for Win7, at least not that I remember of.

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Posted

I love how all the apps I am seeing right now for Windows 8 are Start menu apps.

All of the other good apps for windows 8 also work in windows 7 and usually vista.

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Posted


		private static void ShowStartMenu()

		{

			// key down event:

			const byte keyControl = 0x11;

			const byte keyEscape = 0x1B;

			keybd_event(keyControl, 0, 0, UIntPtr.Zero);

			keybd_event(keyEscape, 0, 0, UIntPtr.Zero);

			// key up event:

			const uint KEYEVENTF_KEYUP = 0x02;

			keybd_event(keyControl, 0, KEYEVENTF_KEYUP, UIntPtr.Zero);

			keybd_event(keyEscape, 0, KEYEVENTF_KEYUP, UIntPtr.Zero);

		}

		[DllImport("user32.dll")]

		static extern void keybd_event(byte bVk, byte bScan, uint dwFlags,

		   UIntPtr dwExtraInfo);

Also, awesome idea. I really want to know how it works. Would you mind posting some snippets or source?

I tried this code and it doesn't work with Windows 8 -- doesn't bring up the start menu at all. I also tried using 0x5B for the left windows key button using keybd_event and it didn't work either. Are there any other hot keys that bring up the start menu?

Also progress-wise I'll have an updated version with some bug fixes soon.

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Posted

That is just strange. I tested the keybd event I sent you as well as the one above and both worked for me.

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Posted (edited)

Won't let me update my original post but here's the updated version for anyone who's interested - http://www.diablocra...MModifier1d.zip

Bug fixes/changes include:

* Single display configurations are now supported (crashed prior due to combo box not being loaded properly)

* Single .exe (no external icon needed)

* "ImmersiveBackgroundWindow" background now positioned off screen on toggle.

* Added support for launching start menu on toggle.

That is just strange. I tested the keybd event I sent you as well as the one above and both worked for me.

I'll try it in a separate project and give it a go. Maybe there's something I'm missing in my code that is conflicting with it.

Edit: Yep it worked. I'll take a look at my code now should be able to add this in.

Edit #2: Figured it out -- pressing the hot key then invoking another hot key simultaneously was causing the conflict so I set a 60ms delay before invoking it. Updated version to 1d.

Edited by svnO.o

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Posted

Glad you figured it out at least to the point you can pinpoint what might be going wrong. I sent you a message with some other ideas as well :)

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Posted

Version 1e is now available: http://www.diablocrafts.com/uploads/SMModifier1e.zip

Updates include -

* Trimmed down dock size from 360px to 325px

* Added auto-dock option which will dock to primary screen's taskbar (thanks to KDapp for the suggestion)

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Posted

Any chance of changing the colours to a custom scheme?

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Posted

Oh god PLEASE let us choose a custom height!

I have been dreaming of allowing my taskbar to appear WHILE the windows 8 start menu is up - using your app will let me do this!

Please allow custom startmenu height! That way I can select to have a height of say - 1000px and the start menu (OR MY DOCK) will still show up in a full start screen - YES!

Please! :woot:

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Posted

Man, this is the slickest little app! svnO.o, you did a good job.

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Posted

Is it possible to have a bar running on the right edge of the screen?

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