Windows 7 Open With menu customizaton / OpenExpert Alternative?

#1
Hello everyone,

In Windows XP (32-bit), I used a great program called OpenExpert (link) to add an "Open With" submenu to Explorer's right-click context menu. You could add any number of programs to this menu for each file type. (Example: for videos, I could open with Windows Media Player or VLC; for PNGs I could choose the default picture/fax viewer or Fireworks.)
The utility hasn't been updated since 2002, though, and it is not compatible with 64-bit Windows 7 (I have Windows 7 build 7600).

So, I have two questions:
(1) How can I better customize the existing Open With submenu? I see there's a "set default program" option, but I just want to add things to the list, not set an association.
(2) Does anyone know of any similar software that is compatible with Windows 7 64-bit?

Any tips are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 


RAK

Extraordinary Member
#2
You can do it manually, if you are happy with using the registry.
If you mess with the registry back it up first.
You can construct a reg file with this. Change Open with Notepad to anything you like and at the same time change notepad.EXE %1 to the exe you wish to add. paste the file in Notepad and save as. Go to the bottom of notepad and select unicode from the small window options "encoding". Save it as a .reg file. when you run the reg file it will put the appropriate heading in the right clcic menu.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\Open with Notepad]
@=â€Â￾"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\Open with Notepad\command]
@=â€Â￾notepad.Exe %1
Replacing the bold print with whatever and the red print with the location of whatever's exe file.
 


#3
I can deal with that. Exploring in the Registry a little bit, it looks like I could replace the * with a file extension to make this take effect for only a specific extension. I will have time to mess with this a little bit later today; I'll report back with any interesting results.

Thanks!
 


#4
Hello everyone,

In Windows XP (32-bit), I used a great program called OpenExpert (link) to add an \"Open With\" submenu to Explorer's right-click context menu. You could add any number of programs to this menu for each file type. (Example: for videos, I could open with Windows Media Player or VLC; for PNGs I could choose the default picture/fax viewer or Fireworks.)
The utility hasn't been updated since 2002, though, and it is not compatible with 64-bit Windows 7 (I have Windows 7 build 7600).

So, I have two questions:
(1) How can I better customize the existing Open With submenu? I see there's a \"set default program\" option, but I just want to add things to the list, not set an association.
(2) Does anyone know of any similar software that is compatible with Windows 7 64-bit?

Any tips are greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Answer: sendtotoys

http://www.gabrieleponti.com/downloads/sendtotoys.exe
 


RAK

Extraordinary Member
#5
I think that only puts "send to's" in the drop down. I am not sure if that is what the OP is looking for.
 


#6
You are right

I think that only puts "send to's" in the drop down. I am not sure if that is what the OP is looking for.
yes.. but you can add anything to the "sendto" menu... it is one more click away from what he wanted.
 


reghakr

Essential Member
#7
Use the Shift key as you right-click on the video file and you;ll get the Open With entry on the right-click context menu.
 


#8
I believe I've found an adequate solution which does not require Registry editing. Thank you all for your suggestions. [I may still use the Registry-editing approach to add certain items which I would like faster access to (eg. without using a submenu).]

Adding items to the Send To menu would not completely fulfill my requirements because I want to maintain a specific set of software in the open-with menu on a per-file-extension basis as I could with OpenExpert. (For example, if I right-click on a video file, I don't need to see options to open it with Photoshop or Fireworks.) I will keep SendToToys around, though, as it will be a useful tool.

My solution uses the built-in Windows Open With menu. There's an option in that menu to "Choose Default Program". However, in the Choose Default Program window, you can uncheck the "Always use this program to open this type of file" box. This will result in the chosen application being added to the Open With menu for that file extension, but the extension's default association is not changed. This behavior is an adequate replacement for what I did with OpenExpert.

Again, thanks for all your suggestions. I hope this thread is a resource for others looking for a replacement of OpenExpert.
 


#9
Use the Shift key as you right-click on the video file and you;ll get the Open With entry on the right-click context menu.
This will help with my solution, posted above.
 


RAK

Extraordinary Member
#10
My solution uses the built-in Windows Open With menu. There's an option in that menu to "Choose Default Program". However, in the Choose Default Program window, you can uncheck the "Always use this program to open this type of file" box. This will result in the chosen application being added to the Open With menu for that file extension, but the extension's default association is not changed. This behavior is an adequate replacement for what I did with OpenExpert.

.
Hmm. I thought you had tried that in your first post and found it inadequate.! Anyway, congrats on finding a solution which suits you.
 


#11
Some 'tweak' programs have context menu managers like Windows 7 Manager. I have used it before to add preset and custom context menu handlers, easy to use without fiddling around in the registry.
 


#12
Hmm. I thought you had tried that in your first post and found it inadequate.! Anyway, congrats on finding a solution which suits you.
I'll (sheepishly) admit that I hadn't tried this before posting...I assumed that "Choose Default Program" would just change the default association for that file type, not let me add items to the menu.

In my defense, I think that that name is sort of misleading - a better name for that option might be "Choose Different Program." But yeah, I should have tried that sooner.
 


#13
I just want to point out about Windows 7 Manager (which is not free) - (or any program that claims the following).....

Duplicate Files Finder can scan your computer for files with the same size, name and modification time; Registry Cleaner can easily checks your registry and repair incorrectly linked registry entries, automatically remove invalid entries; Registry Defrag rebuilds and re-indexs your registry to reduce application response time and registry access time.

Be very careful with these types of tools,,,, they can eradicate data you don't want to get rid of and screw your registry to all hell, rendering your system useless. You have been warned.
 


#17
I'm also looking for a replacement for "OpenExpert". I really liked that program. The problem is not all programs have the "open with" in the right click menu. Like the "exe" extension for example. Sometimes that file is actually a zip and can be opened with either winzip or winrar. Problem is there is no "open with" option in the right click to point it to either of the two programs. That openwithview is not getting to what I want.
 


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reghakr

Essential Member
#18
Try downloading this utility for modofying the contect Menu:

ShellMenuView v1.12

If you could tell me the name of the the program and exact path and executable name, I can create the context entry by editting the registry. Then I could upload that file to you.
 


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#19
That link doesn't work. I'm not really sure what you are asking as far as programs cause it would change depending on what you wanted to open with what.

The way OpenExpert worked was to put the "open with" option in EVERY right click menu of any file. Then when clicking on the "open with" for that file, you could point it to any program you wanted to open that file with. You also had the option to keep that said program permanently in the "open with" options or not. A pretty basic and useful option and I'm pretty surprised someone over at Microsoft didn't think it was or didn't think of the function.
 


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reghakr

Essential Member
#20
OK,

I understand...on EVERY right-click menu of any file.

Sorry, I can't help you out with that one.
 


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