7Stacks -- Taskbar Stack/Menu
RandallS - Wed, 2010-02-03 12:49
As I find the Windows Start Menu too crowded for easy use, I've been using True Launch Bar and Powerpro on Windows XP to modify the taskbar to start programs the way I like. Unfortunately, the Windows 7 task bar works much differently than in any other version of windows and my old reliables just don't work very well on my new Windows 7 box. After looking around, I found a freeware program that both looks nice and does the basic job I need done, even if it does not have all the bells and whistles I'm used to: 7stacks.
From the 7stacks homepage:
7stacks is an easy to use, free app that lets Windows 7 (and Vista and XP) users have "stacks" of icons in their Taskbar (in 7) or QuickLaunch Toolbar (in Vista and XP). By using stacks, users can reduce icon clutter, and combine a group of related icons into a single icon. For instance, if you use application suites such as Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, or Adobe CS4, you can have all the suite's icons combined into one icon!
You can also use it to browse and access documents within a folder very quickly. Usually, when you want to edit a series of frequently used documents, you'd have to either launch the app, and go to File|Open, or open the (My) Computer icon and go into your (My) Documents folder and pick the file you want. With 7stacks, just create a stack to that document's folder, and open that document in a couple of clicks.
7stacks was created because of my own frustrations with Windows 7, as great an OS as Win7 is. Because Windows 7's new taskbar, called the SuperBar is very similar to the Mac OS X Dock, many comparisons are going to be made. But Windows 7 seemed to have one glaring omission of OSX: stacks. Now, with 7stacks, you get almost the same functionality as the OS X stacks, but with a more "Windows 7" appearance.
7stacks is incredibly easy to use, and has a variety of looks and features, allowing anyone to customize the look of their stack however they'd like. And using Windows 7, its easy to create new stacks by right-clicking on any stack, and selecting "Create New Stack" in the JumpList. 7stacks will place an shortcut icon on your desktop to this new stack, which you can then pin to your Windows 7 taskbar, or Vista or XP QuickLaunch bar.
7stacks can use subfolders as nested menus so that when you click on a folder in the menu, the items in the subfolder appear in 7stacks under the folder name. 7stacks has allowed me to create my own "start" menu with just the programs I want organized the way I want them -- in a package that looks like it is native to Windows 7. While 7stacks isn't perfect, it will does the minimum I need and does it well.
Operating System: Windows 7, Vista or XP
Version Tested: 1.5 beta 1
Web Site: http://www.alastria.com/index.php?p=software-7s