by UGMFree
SyMenu
SyMenu Manual (version 5.02)

  1. Introduction
  2. Prerequisites
  3. Installation
  4. First execution
  5. Execution in elevated mode (UAC)
  6. Execution in read only mode
  7. Configuration
  8. Contextual Menu
    1. Native items
    2. Pinned Mode
    3. Execute SyItems
    4. Action Modifier
    5. Search Item Bar
    6. Search Item Bar - Tools integration
    7. Search Item Bar - Windows integration
    8. Search Item Bar - Search modes
    9. Search Item Bar - Large items
    10. My Computer
  9. Plugin
    1. SyMenu PAF program suite plugin
    2. Plugin blocked by Windows
  10. Configuration form
    1. SyItems
    2. SyItems Attributes
    3. Auto Execute
    4. Extension Manager
    5. One Instance Only
    6. Output Command
    7. Drag and Drop
    8. Item tree shortcuts
    9. Configuration form menus
  11. Manage Get apps form
    1. Program detail
    2. Program execution
    3. Add a program
    4. Update a program
    5. Remove a program
    6. Manage multiple programs
    7. Filters
    8. SPS folder structure
    9. SPS SyItem structure
  12. Auto Update
  13. Multi execution
  14. Configuration for expert users
    1. Customization for publishers
    2. Command line
    3. Custom program files folder
  15. Licence


Introduction

SyMenu allows you to manage portable applications resident on local or removable drives and acts as a Start Menu replacement.
SyMenu can be installed on your local disks, pen drives, Flashdrives, external USB disks, memory cards and even CDs and DVDs.
It's easy to use and to configure and it uses the power of its search-as-you-type menu in your host PC and removable media.

No more not having your preferred programs at work, in your just-installed system, or even in the old PC of your grandmother's.
You'll be ready to operate with your preferred tools anytime and everywhere.

Prerequisites

SyMenu needs the following requisites to work:
  • .NET Framework 2.0 (available at the Microsoft web site) or higher (compatibility has been extended to Frameworks 3.0, 3.5, 4.0);
  • a portable device.
Supported operating systems are the ones in which you can install .NET Framework 2.0 or higher:
  • Windows Core;
  • Windows 2000;
  • Windows XP;
  • Windows Server 2003;
  • Windows Vista;
  • Windows Server 2008;
  • Windows 7;
  • Windows 8;
  • Windows 8.1;
  • Windows 10.
It doesn't matter if your OS is a 32bit or a 64bit version.

Installation

SyMenu is very easy to install:
  • Download the last SyMenu version from http://www.ugmfree.it/SyMenuDownload.aspx;
  • Unzip downloaded file inside an empty folder of your removable device (for example: f:\SyMenu), local drive, or network folder. The exe version is a compressed package too;
  • Execute SyMenu.exe;
  • SyMenu asks you to select your preferred language;
  • SyMenu asks you to accept the licence terms;
  • SyMenu asks you to choose some important options:
    • Choose your favorite menu structure - if you are a beginner you should choose the base structure, otherwise the advanced one. The base structure shows a subset of all the features available in SyMenu, the advanced shows one almost all of them;
    • Check for a new version at startup - every time that SyMenu starts, it checks for the latest version;
  • SyMenu shows a splash screen and puts its icon, with the unit letter overlay, onto the Windows task bar.
    SyMenu task icon
  • SyMenu shows a big icon button in the center of your screen that can be moved wherever you want or even temporarily hided clicking the little minus icon located on top. The big floating icon is a Start menu replacement button that allows you to open the SyMenu contextual dialog.
N.B. In case Windows cannot execute SyMenu and returns an error, it means that your hosting PC doesn't have the .NET Framework 2.0 or upper installed.

First execution

During the first execution SyMenu configures itself creating various folders and files.
Since SyMenu is a real portable application, every operation it does against the file system concerns only its home folder and related subfolders. Indeed, SyMenu never touches the Windows registry, the system folders, nor the Start menu unless you specifically activate some features not portable (see Function to enable at Windows startup).

Execution in elevated mode (UAC)

SyMenu can run in normal mode executing SyMenu.exe or in elevated mode launching SyMenu.Admin.exe.
SyMenu elevated
The elevated mode is a way to grant SyMenu administrative privileges in your PC.
When your SyMenu runs in elevated mode, every single application launched from there, will have the same higher privilege. In that way, the Windows User Account Control (UAC) will give you a single alert the first time and after that, you won't be annoyed anymore by it.
You can elevate SyMenu, even if you launched it in normal mode, with the command Elevate SyMenu.

Anyhow you are notified that SyMenu is running in elevated mode by a little icon near the contextual menu title and with a larger shield icon on the Start menu replacement button if active.
At the same time the Action Modifier for execution in elevate mode is disabled because when SyMenu is running with administrative privileges, every launched app inherits this elevated status.
SyMenu elevated

There are some disadvantages in working in elevate mode.
The first and obvious one is that you work in a less secure environment. But this is a well known drawback for anyone who is used to working in this mode.
The second and more obscure drawback is that some interactions between normal mode programs and elevated mode programs stop to work. For example, you can't drag and drop programs anymore from Explorer to Configuration form because of a Windows security feature.

Execution in read only mode

SyMenu can even run from read only devices such as CDs, DVDs, read only network shares, local folders where the user has no write permission, remote shares such as Dropbox or Drive services.
The only condition for working properly is that SyMenu has been already configured at least one time in a write enabled context.

When SyMenu works in read only mode a lock icon is displayed near the title.
SyMenu read only mode

You can force the read only mode in a write enabled environment creating an empty file called 'READONLY' on the SyMenu root folder.
In that case the lock icon changes to show the different reasons for which the read only mode is on.
SyMenu read only mode
You can exclude a computer from the read only mode, creating a file called READONLY.MERCURY where MERCURY is the name of the PC that must be able to modify the SyMenu configurations. You can even create more than one file to exclude more than one computer.

Don't confuse this feature with a security one because in a write enabled environment the file READONLY itself will be writable and, naturally, eraseable.

Configuration

SyMenu saves its configurations in three files located inside the folder Config: SyMenuConfig.zip, SyMenuItem.zip and SyMenuRecent.zip.
Every zip file holds an xml file with the same name that is the real configuration container.
SyMenuConfig.xml contains the program configuration.
SyMenuItem.xml contains the configuration for all the configured SyItems.
SyMenuRecent.xml contains a list of the last executed SyItems.

If Backup configuration files option is active, every time that a configuration file changes, SyMenu creates a backup of it. In this way you have a chance to retrieve the last valid configuration.
Backup files are called SyMenuConfig.zip.bak and SyMenuItem.zip.bak. Naturally the file with the recent executed SyItem list is not subject to backup.

Contextual Menu

Contextual menu is activated in several ways:
  • clicking SyMenu Start menu replacer button;
  • hovering with the mouse pointer the SyMenu Start menu replacer button if the related option is active;
  • left-clicking or right-clicking SyMenu taskbar icon;
  • double clicking the SyMenu executable file again;
  • using the customizable key shortcut (see Advanced menu - Options chapter);
  • using the customizable mouse gesture (see Advanced menu - Options chapter).

The appearance of a not yet customized SyMenu is similar to the following figures.
This is the base menu:
SyMenu Empty Menu
and this is the advanced one:
SyMenu Empty Menu
this other one is a contextual menu with a larger font, easily customizable from the Advanced menu - Options form:
SyMenu Empty Menu
while a fully configured SyMenu in advanced mode looks like this one:
Configured SyMenu
Contextual Menu is navigable either with mouse or arrow keys.
ESC key closes Contextual Menu or currently opened sub menu.


Native items

SyMenu can be customized with a lot of native items. The advanced menu structure contains almost all the items.
On the top area you can find SyMenu title which can contains other native or custom items. The title could be used to pin the contextual menu (see Pinned mode).
Just below the title you can find the Action Modifier (see Action Modifier).
Search Items opens a sub menu that allows to search among all configured items and over (see Search Item Bar).
My Computer contains various resources from the local PC (see My Computer).
Plugin lists and allows to launch the installed SyMenu plugins (see Plugin).
You can find Tools item which opens a sub menu that gives access to several core functions:
  • Configuration loads the Configuration form;
  • Get new apps loads the Manage SPS apps form;
  • Enable/Disable Extension Manager changes Extension Manager current state;
  • Autoexec on start launches all programs configured for auto-execution on start even if you have been disabled Autoexec (see Auto Execute);
  • Check for Update verifies if SyMenu is updated checking latest version on this website. If version is not updated, SyMenu suggests to start the automatic update process. If SyMenu detects that you are connected to the Internet through a proxy server, it suggests to set the required configuration;
  • Elevate SyMenu re-executes SyMenu with elevated privileges in Windows Vista, 7 and newer OS, for users that have UAC enabled;
  • Reload refreshes SyMenu configured items and re-initializes the shortcut manager and gesture manager;
  • About SyMenu shows the SyMenu splash screen.
Contextual menu - Options

In the bottom area you can find the Exit entry which, of course, quits SyMenu.

Pinned mode

Contextual menu could be pinned to avoid its disappearance after every click.
To pin contextual menu you have to click on the pin icon near the title.
A pinned menu remain visible even when it loses the focus.
Click again to unpin it.
SyMenu pinned mode

Moreover, the contextual menu could be moved around the screen to position it in the best confortable location.
To move the contextual menu simply click on the title bar and drag it to wherever you want.
Move SyMenu

Execute SyItems

A SyItem is simply executed left clicking it with the mouse or confirming current selected item with Enter key on your keyboard.
A right click instead doesn't execute the SyItem but it only changes the current Action Modifier

Action Modifier

Under the title bar, Contextual Menu shows the Action modifier.
SyMenu Executor Modifier
An Action Modifier allows to change the normal execution mode for any SyItem.

All the Action Modifier can be accessed in various way:
  • clicking with mouse pointer onto the desired modifier icon;
  • pressing the CTRL key while Contextual Menu is opened and focused to select the next modifier. If you combine the CTRL with the SHIFT key, the selected modifier will be the previous one instead the next one;
  • clicking any SyItem with the mouse right button doesn't execute the item but selects the next modifier. If you combine the right click with the keyboard SHIFT key, the previous modifier will be activated;
The currently active Action Modifier has a fully visible icon, all the others have opaque icons.

The Action Modifiers currently available in SyMenu are:
Run Item, Open folder, File Properties, RunAs item, Run elevated, Configure item.

Run Item mode is the default execution action. This means that, when it is active, a left click on any SyItem will simply run it.

Open Folder mode allows to open selected SyItem container folder.

File Properties mode asks the operating system to show Windows file properties dialog of the selected SyItem.

RunAs item mode allows to execute any SyItem with different credential. Naturally, a new credential is valid only if alternative user exists on local PC or in network domain.
SyMenu stores alternative credential specified through RunAs for every item in the current working session so you have to provide user name and password once per item.

Run elevated mode asks the operating system to execute the item with administrative privileges.
If SyMenu is running in elevated mode this modifier will be disabled because every item launched by an elevated program is already elevated itself.

Configure item mode allows to open the configuration form to configure the item. This modifier is a simple shortcut to the configuration form.

Particular items such as SyWinCommand can be executed only in normal mode (Run Item) because since commands are not files, they don't have properties and they don't reside in any folder. On the other hand, execution in RunAs mode is allowed even for SyWinCommand items.
The Configure item modifier is not valid for Windows elements. At its place the normal file properties dialog will be opened.

Search Item Bar

SyMenu has a great feature which is the Search Item bar.
It works in a very similar way to Windows Start Menu because it allows to search between SyItems only writing some letters of their names or descriptions.
For example with the search in names mode active, you can write the letters "padg" to retrieve SyItem PADGen as the first item (see next figure).
Choosing the right option on the Search tab in the Option menu it is also possible to enable the "search inside the item names" mode that allows to write a text like "adge" to find PADGen.
Besides the order of items in the resulting list could depend on the alphabetical order or on the execution counter of the found items.

Search Item Bar - Tools integration

SyMenu integrates the searching result list with the built in items available on the Tools sub menu.
In that way you can search, for example, the Configuration entry using the search item bar instead of its Tools menu.
As every other element in SyMenu, the search tools are translated too. So that if you want to find the "Check for Update" feature you can write: "chec ..." if SyMenu is set in English or "véri ..." if it is in French or "auf ..." if it is in German.
Watch figure above to undestand how SyMenu works in this case

Search Item Bar - Windows integration

SyMenu can integrate the searching result list with items installed on the host PC. Besides you can access several Windows utilities located in System32 folder and in the Control Panel.
In this way you can access every local program from the SyMenu Search Item Bar in addition to the Host Programs entry.
It is very useful when you want to execute not portable programs such as Word, Excel, Photoshop, Internet Explorer, games and so on.
SyItems and Windows Start Menu items remain always separated.
Watch figure above to undestand how SyMenu works in this case: the top items are SyItems and the ones below the separator line are host PC items.
By default, integration with Windows Start Menu is enabled and limited to five items but it is possible to increase this number or completely disable the feature (for example to increase performance or to reduce memory occupation) through the Advanced menu - Options - Search tab.

Search Item Bar - Search modes

SyMenu is able to search the text supplied:
  • inside the items names (SY mode);
  • inside the items names and descriptions (DS mode);
  • in the host PC file system (FS mode).
The default starting search mode can be SY or DS and it is customizable from the Search tab in the Advanced menu - Options but you can change it whenever you want clicking on the search icon on the right of the Search Item bar or pressing the key F3.

With the search in items and description mode (DS) you can specify more than one word or portion of word and every chunk will be search in AND (every word or chunk must be present).

When you enter in Files system search mode (FS) you can:
  • search files inside SyFolder tagged as searchable (see SyFolderLink);
  • search files and folders inside current unit when your search string starts with the character "\". In this case SyMenu understands the command and starts to enumerate all files and folders currently inside the root of your unit;
  • search files and folders inside a certain unit when your string starts with the unit identifier (i.e "C:").
SyMenu updates the result list every time you add a single character on your search string.
In case you would like to auto complete a folder or file name, you simply have to highlight the desired entry (using the cursors arrow up and down) and pressing TAB key.
Finally when you reach the folder or file you were interested in, click it with the mouse or press ENTER to open it.

With some keyboards you have to press the key ALT to write the symbol "\" (backslash) and this causes contextual menu to close. To avoid that, SyMenu allows you to use the symbol "/" (slash) as a folder separator, as well.

Search Item Bar - Large items

SyMenu can show the found items in a large version that allows you to examine the item path without opening the tooltip.
Almost all items could be enabled in their large versions through the Advanced menu - Options.
The path is shown in its most significant part that was its last one.

My Computer

By default the My Computer entry includes several features related to the local PC.
  • Host Programs items comes from the list of locally installed programs as well as available in the Windows Start Menu. Moreover SyMenu explores the System folder to find useful tools.
    The Host Programs list is feed every time SyMenu starts or when it is reloaded with the corresponding command.
    You can find the same items searching for them with the Search Item Bar.
  • Control Panel contains items reachable from the host PC Control Panel.
  • Local drives SyMenu detects all the logical drives available in the host PC and creates a menu entry for each one. From these entries it is possible to navigate and explore the folders and the files available in every drive.
    The displayed folders are not clickable, because a click will simply open the dropdown container, unless the Action Modifier is currently in Open Folder or File Properties mode. In these cases it is possible to click a folder to get the expected effect.

Plugin

Since version 2.00 SyMenu is able to load third party plugins.
The SyMenu plugins will be released through the SyMenu forum by the authors or distributed directly inside the program.
To install a plugin in SyMenu you have to copy the plugin folder inside the SyMenu Plugin folder.
To uninstall it simply delete the folder while SyMenu is not running.

Example:
The Backup plugin files are released inside a folder called SyMenu.Backup.Plugin.1.0
Copy the SyMenu.Backup.Plugin.1.0 inside the folder Plugin located on the root of SyMenu
Now start SyMenu
During the startup SyMenu will detect the new folder and consequentially load the plugin.

You can find every loaded plugin in the contextual menu as shown in the picture above.
Plugin

SyMenu PAF program suite plugin

The SyMenu PAF program suite plugin allows to integrate into SyMenu the terrific program collection of PortableApps.com programs and whatever other PAF program.
The PAF format is a platform that allows to pack and deploy portable programs.
SyMenu can host PAF programs independently from this plugin but with the help of the PAF plugin it can also manage the download and installation processes, without any intervention of the user.

Open the SyMenu PAF program suite plugin from the corresponding SyMenu contextual entry and click the button Get apps Online. SyMenu will connect to the SourceForge web site, where the PortableApps.com suite is hosted, for a list of available programs. Then choose the program you like from the list and with a simple click you can download, install and have it linked inside SyMenu.

Moreover you can manually add a PAF installer to SyMenu pressing the button Install PAF from file system. SyMenu will ask for the PAF file location, install and link it.

When you install a PAF program from the PortableApps suite available online, you can subsequently monitor it and automatically check for newer versions. All these features are available always thanks to the magical button Get apps online. In fact SyMenu highlights a program when is outdated and it asks to update it with the new version.

Remarks: not every PAF program is compatible with SyMenu, for now... If you find some issue please report it to me.

Plugin blocked by Windows

When you download SyMenu.zip for the first time, Windows marks it as dangerous because it comes from the network. Well the danger is not SyMenu by itself but everything you download from the Internet... Thanks for your thoughtfulness Microsoft.
Some unzipping programs such as Winrar or the Explorer integrated extractor preserves this mark in the extracted files too and this mark is a problem for a SyMenu plugin. Indeed when you execute SyMenu you can get a message similar to that one in the picture below.
Plugin blocked error
To workaround this issue simply check the properties of the reported file.
You will probably find that it is blocked as you can see in the next image.
Plugin unblock
Then simply unblock it checking the right checkbox and your plugin will start to work.
The problem doesn't affect SyMenu if you are updating the program with the integrated update feature.

Configuration form

Clicking on 'Tools - Configuration' entries from the Contextual Menu, you can access to the configuration form.
Next picture shows a configuration form already configured.
SyMenu Main form

SyItems

On the left hand side you can see the programs tree that contains every configured SyItem.

SyItems are the various entities that SyMenu allows to configure:
  • SyContainer
  • SyWebLink
  • SyWinCommand
  • SyFolderLink
  • SyProgram
  • SyDocument
  • SySeparator
  • SyLabel

SyContainers are SyMenu logical folders that can contain every kind of SyItem.
SyWebLinks are URLs that are launched inside the predefined host browser.
SyWinCommands are items that allow to launch Windows DOS commands (such as Dir, Find, MD, Xcopy...).
SyFolderLinks are items that link to existing folders inside the removable drive.
SyPrograms are items that link to programs inside the removable drive.
SyDocuments are items that link to any file except programs inside the removable drive.
SySeparator are graphical separators for SyItems.
SyLabels are label placeholders to title a group of items.

Clicking on a SyItem you can see its properties on the right hand side of the main form.
Every kind of SyItem has its particular property set.

SyContainer

SyContainer has got four properties: Name, Icon, Description, and URL.
Name is the item label identifier.

Icon is an optional property that allows to customize the container appearance. The default icon for SyContainer is an opened folder similar to one used in Windows Explorer.

To customize SyContainers it is possible to use multi colour folder icons or any other icon that you can choose.
SyContainer Icons

Description is a custom text that describes the SyItem.

URL represents the web page Internet address that is linked by SyWebLink.
SyWebLink supports and accepts the following protocols: http://, https:// and ftp://.

SyWebLink

SyWebLink has the same properties as SyContainer.
One peculiarity of this SyItems is its ability to download its icon directly from the linked web site using the button "fav" which stands for favicon.
SyWebLink favicon
The second feature is that the SyWebLink is able to fill its description directly from the linked web site using the special button.
SyWebLink description

SyWinCommand

SyWinCommand has Name, Windows Command, Icon, and Description properties.
Windows Command property supports every command included in Windows command console.
Besides, since version 1.06, SyWinCommand can link even .cpl, .msc and .exe files. The only requirement is that linked program has to reside on one of the registered paths (ask for "path" in windows command to know registered path in your system). Otherwise a full path must be specified.
Multiple commands can be assembled in one SyWinCommand with a correct separator (semi-colon)

Examples:

main.cpl - makes Mouse properties dialog appear

main.cpl;perfmon.msc;dir c:\; - makes Mouse properties dialog and Performance monitor appear. Besides in command window, SyMenu executes dir command for C:\ unit

C:\Windows\System32\systeminfo.exe - asks that SyMenu executes in command window systeminfo program. In this case it is possible to achieve the same result with a SyProgram item.

If mapped command takes a path as parameters, please enclose it between "quotation marks".
For example if you want to list folders and files inside the Windows folder of your host PC you have to write: dir "c:\Windows".

For compatibility requirements, the entire command list consists of commands included in Windows XP shell.

N.B. SyWinCommand path parameters could be written using Universal Unit Identifier
For example dir #:\ lists all folders and files of the current unit drive in which SyMenu is executing.

SyFolderLink

SyFolderLink has got four properties: Name, Path, Icon, and Description.
Path is the physical path to the pointed folder.
From the version 3.03 a folder linked in SyMenu as a SyFolder is browsable. If you prefer to open it with Windows Explorer instead (old behavior) you have to check the Show as a link option.
If you want SyMenu to index your folder, which then becomes searchable by the Search Item Bar with the file system integration, simply check the Searchable option.

SyProgram

SyProgram is the most complex and useful SyItem. It allows to link your SyItem to executable files (.exe, .jar) residing on your removable device.
SyProgram properties are Name, Path, Icon, Description, Shortcut, Program Arguments, Home Page and Version.
Shortcut allows specifying a key combination to launch the SyProgram without searching and clicking for it.

There are other options available for SyProgram configurations into the tab Additional Params, Gesture, and Advanced.

SyProgram - Additional Params

Program Arguments allows sending parameters to launched programs. Usually program guides, list any available command line parameters. Read them to learn your favourite programs command lines list.
Home Page and Version allows more information about the program.

Parameters example:

If you want to launch Firefox (not the portable version but the normal installed one), you have to specify the profile folder in which Firefox takes and stores its profile information. Reading command line guide, you can realize that the profile folder can be specified with the -profile [path] parameter.
So if you want to retrieve your Firefox preferred customizations even when you launch it from a removable device, you have to specify this parameter property: -profile "#:\SyMenu\Profiles\Firefox"

N.B. Note that in SyProgram Parameters property it's permitted to use Universal Unit Identifier if referred folder or file resides on SyMenu removable drive.

Parameters with placeholder example:

Since 1.09 version SyMenu supports even placeholder in parameters like batch files (%1).

Let's see a complex example of using placeholder and extension manager, too.

Create a Truecrypt volume named test.tc Configure Truecrypt with extension manager to manage extension .tc
In parameters add this line: /v %1 /l T /a /p abcdefg /q background
Enable extension manager.

From now, every time you double click on a file with extension .tc (for example our test.tc), SyMenu Extension Manager intercepts this file and delivers it to Truecrypt (/v %1), mounts it on T virtual drive (/l T) and uses 'abcdefg' as password (/p abcdefg).

SyProgram - Gesture

You can choose a mouse gesture to launch any and every SyProgram.
A gesture is a combination of a mouse button click with a rapid movement of the mouse in some direction.
SyMenu detects as many as 12 different gestures.
For example by default SyMenu contextual menu could be shown with this gesture: click on the right mouse button and move the mouse down.
The mouse button to use for gesture could be chosen in the Advanced menu - Options between the right and middle mouse buttons.
The Gesture tab shows the gestures already used (and consequentially unavailable).

SyProgram - Advanced

SyProgram item allows you to customize advanced params, too. They concern the runtime parameters that programs can be instructed to follow.
So if you want to instruct your program to use a certain AppData folder or a UserProfile folder you can complete the Advanced Params box.
This feature is not so reliable because not every program is built to follow Windows environment variables: usually they ask for Windows Special Folders that are not customizable.

Working directory
This attribute, equivalent to the "Start in" parameter available among the Windows shortcuts properties, could be really important to rightly execute some programs and for this has to be well explained.
Working directory represents the folder in where the program process will execute.
Since SyMenu version 1.10, Working directory is already set by default for every program on the same folder of the executable file. Edit this parameter only if you need to specify a different Working directory than the default one.
Working directory supports both Relative Path and Universal Unit Identifier.

To properly manage the Working directory for a SyProgram keep in mind that:
  1. SyMenu lives within its container directory;
  2. SyMenu, by default, launches programs with the Working directory set to the program's container directory;
  3. parameters representing relative paths, passed to the SyProgram must be relative to the Working directory used to launch the program itself;
  4. SyMenu, when importing a Windows shortcut, ignores the Start In setting in favor of the container directory.

The environment variables managed by SyMenu and usable in a Working directory attribute are:
  • WORKING DIRECTORY
  • APPDATA, LOCALAPPLICATIONDATA, COMMONAPPLICATIONDATA
  • USERPROFILE
  • HOMEPATH
  • PROGRAMFILES, PROGRAMS

SyDocument

SyDocument is a generic container that can link any file type (except .exe and .dll).
For some file types, SyMenu provide a custom icon. Managed extensions are: url, htm, html, hlp, 7z, arj, gz, gzip, lzh, rar, tar, tgz, zip, jpg, jpeg, gif, tiff, tif, bmp, png, txt, nfo, ini, chm, doc, docx, rtf, xls, pdf, wav, mp3, and mid.
This basic list is customizable "by hand" through SyMenuConfig.xml, which is the SyMenu configuration file.
Watch out! Every manual modification of the configuration file can break SyMenu. If this happens, delete SyMenuConfig.xml and replace it with a backup version and restart SyMenu.

SySeparator

SySeparator is a graphical separator to create logical areas inside the same SyContainer or inside the root container.
It is possible to give a custom name even to separators. A named separator allows to obtain a predictable order inside a SyContainer when you use the command to sort it alphabetically.

SyLabel

SyLabel has only one property: its Name.
The label is shown in the contextual menu as a not selectable element in a very similar way as the separators. Different from a SySeparator, the label could be used to give a title to a group of elements and not only to split it from each other.

SyItems Attributes

Relative Path

It is useful to point up a fact. When SyMenu manages objects reside on removable devices, it can't store the exact path of a folder (or file) because the device logical unit letter could change between different machines.
So a linked folder (i.e. f:\Pictures) could be d:\Picture on PC at home, e:\Picture on PC at work and so on.
To avoid false paths, SyMenu supports relative path and universal unit identifier.

Support for Windows relative path is enabled for file, folder, icon paths values.
Example:
If your SyProgram Notepad++ resides on f:/Symenu/ProgramFiles/Notepad++ folder and SyMenu resides on f:/SyMenu folder you can specify as path attribute: .\ProgramFiles\Notepad++\notepad++.exe.

SyMenu uses relative path when you drag and drop a new item from file system to the application tree or when you point to the program with SyMenu path button.

Universal Unit Identifier

When SyMenu finds a universal unit identifier (#:\), it replaces it at run-time with its current execution unit (f:\, d:\, e:\) to be able to retrieve items on the file system.
Support for universal unit identifier is valid for any paths even for path included as program parameters.
The universal unit identifier works if SyMenu is available on a newtork path, too.
If SyMenu is located in a network path like \\network\SyMenu and your program is located in the sub folder \\network\SyMenu\ProgramFilse\Prog1\prog1.exe you can reach it with this path: #:\\SyMenu\ProgramFilse\Prog1\prog1.exe

Environment Variables

SyMenu support the Windows environment variables so that a path attribute like %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Notepad++\notepad++.exe points to the real path c:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++\notepad++.exe

Icons

To customize any SyItem with a particular icon, it only needs to browse to an .ico file: SyMenu will copy .ico file in its appropriate folder and make an association with current SyItem.
Another example is to browse to an .exe or .dll file. In these cases SyMenu extracts the icon from the file, the first available icon, and copies it into its appropriate folder.
Since version 2.05 it is possible to use a big file image (.png, bmp, jpg) that SyMenu processes to create an appropriate icon for use.

Auto Execute

Auto Execute is a feature that allows SyPrograms to be automatically launched at SyMenu start-up or at quit time.
So if you want that some programs are launched together with SyMenu, you have to check the Autoexec on start checkbox of each desired application.
Similarly if you want that some programs will be launched when SyMenu closes, you have to check the Autoexec on close checkbox of each desired application.
If you want that a single application is autoexecuted with higher privileges you have to check the relative button with the shield located near the textbox.
In figure you can see an autoexecuted item that'll run with normal privileges and one other that'll run in elevated mode.
Autoexecute with normally Autoexecute with elevated privileges
Remember that flagging Autoexec checkboxes is not enough. To make Auto Execute really work it is necessary to instruct SyMenu to activate this function flagging the appropriate checkbox in Advanced menu - Options. Anyway if you active an autoexecution on any item and the general option is disabled you'll see that the checkbox title will appear italicized to signify that your setting won't be effective.

Sometimes it could be useful that the auto execution for a certain item is active only on a certain PC. To achieve this result you can specify the computer name in the textbox below the Autoexecute checkbox. In this case SyMenu activates the auto execution for that item only when it is running on the PC with that name.
You can specify more than one computer name using comma, semicolon or space as a separator. For example if you want to execute a program only if SyMenu is running on computers named PC1 and PC2 you have to check che autoexecute checkbox and write in the textbox: PC1;PC2. When you run SyMenu in the PC3 the program will not automatically execute.
Naturally, if you leave the textbox empty the auto execution will be activated on every PC.
In the example below the item will be autoexecuted only in Mercury, Gaia, and Saturn PCs.
Autoexecute only in certain PCs
Autoexec on start could be configured to launch programs with a custom interval from one to each other while Autoexec on close launches all program at the same time.

To avoid the Autoexecute activation for once, you can run SyMenu or quit it by pressing the SHIFT key at the same time. In that way SyMenu understands that you don't want that Autoexecute runs and deactivates it at once. You receive a feedback on that particular condition in two different ways:
  • during the start-up SyMenu green blinking led will become red;
  • during the quit time SyMenu icon green led becomes red and the Exit button will change its label in Exit Autoexec to Disabled.

Extension Manager

SyMenu tries to mimic Windows Start menu but Extension Manager does more: it allows replacing the extension associations currently active in host PC. So when you double click on a .txt file in host PC you can configure that instead of Windows Notepad application, SyMenu launches another editor.
Naturally replacement can't be definitive but has to take place only during SyMenu activity.
To accomplish this task SyMenu watches and listens for any new process started in your host system.
If a new process try to open a file whose extension is managed by Extension Manager, SyMenu kills the process and starts its corresponding program opening the same file.
Example.
If you map your SyProgram Notepad++ with .txt extension, when Windows opens the file c:\test.txt with Notepad, SyMenu will kill Notepad and launch its SyProgram Notepad++ opening c:\test.txt file.

Extension Manager could be configured for any SyProgram but can be totally enabled or disabled with the appropriate menu entry.

Extensions managed by Extension Manager have to be unique inside SyMenu context. So if you try to configure .txt extension for your two SyPrograms Notepad++ and PSPad, SyMenu alerts you with an error message.

One Instance Only

SyPrograms with this option activated can be launched only in one session per time.
If the option Suppress notification is checked, no notification will be shown when a second program session is prevented from running.

Output Command

SyWinCommands are launched inside their own window (very similar to the Windows command shell).
But sometimes you need to launch other programs in this same window.
So you can configure your command line program as a SyProgram and check the Output Command flag. When you launch your program, the output will be shown through the SyMenu command shell window.

Drag and Drop

Item tree supports the drag and drop of any element.
You can change the position of your SyItems simply clicking with the mouse on it and dragging it away.
You can drop the dragged item inside an element container (SyContainer) or among two elements to move it in another position.
Item manager drag and drop

Clone/copy an element

If during a drag and drop operation you click and hold the CTRL key, SyMenu allows you to clone, copy in Windows language, the currently dragged element.
You can clone any element except for SyContainers.

Dragging an element from host PC

The SyMenu item tree supports the drag and drop from host file system too.
So if you want to map in SyMenu a program residing on your pen drive or in your PC, the procedure is very simple: drag it into the item tree and SyMenu will do the work for you.
Drag and drop from file system works for: program files, archive files, folders, shortcuts and web links.
Dragging an executable file from file system allows SyMenu to automatically extract from it all its metadata such as the icon, the version number and the description if available.
Dragging a shortcut from file system allows SyMenu to automatically link the related executable file with the eventual parameters configured in the shortcut.

Pay attention if you work in elevate mode because the drag and drop from host file system could stop working.
If you experience this issue, try to start your drag and drop action from a file manager different from Windows Explorer. And above all remember to elevate the alternative file manager, too.

Item tree shortcuts

Item tree supports some shortcuts to increase the productivity.
  • DEL (delete/undelete) - The DEL key deletes the current item. The item remains visible in the tree but its label name is displayed highlighted and with an italic strikethrough font. Pressing the same button again causes the item to be undeleted. The item definitely disappears when you press the Save button;
  • F2 (rename) - The focus is set in the Name textbox allowing you to fast rename the current item;
  • Enter - When the cursor is located in the textbox Name and you press Enter, the focus is set on the corresponding item on the tree;
  • F3 (hide/unhide) - The F3 key causes the current item to be hidden. An hidden item disappears from the contextual menu but remains visible in the configuration menu with a gray italic font. Pressing the same button again makes the item to be restored;
  • F8 (move item up level) - If the current item is located inside a container (a SyFolder) the F8 key moves it up a level alongside its parent;
  • F9 (sort A to Z) - If the current item is a container the F9 key sorts its own children by name from A to Z;
  • F10 (sort Z to A) - If the current item is a container the F10 key sorts its own children by name from Z to A;
  • F11 (expand folders) - F11 keys expands all folders;
  • F12 (compress folders) - F12 keys compresses all folders.


Configuration form menus

File Menu

File menu contains three commands: Reset, Save, Save & Exit.
Save and Save & Exit allows to save the current SyItems configuration.
You can configure more than one SyItem by time, order them, test the configurations with buttons Run, Open Folder, File Property, RunAs, but as long as you don't save configuration, you can rollback to the previous configuration.

To rollback to the last saved configuration you need to press the Reset button.
Saving a configuration fixes it as stable and prevents any automatic rollback.

Saving current SyMenu configuration means to save form size and position. When you re-open configuration form, SyMenu remembers its last position and size and takes this setting again.
The saved settings are connected with screen resolution, so that you can store the suitable settings for your small netbook and also for your super large desktop monitor.

SyItems configuration settings are stored on SyMenuItem.xml file.

Item Manager menu

Item Manager menu allows you to add or remove SyItems. Moreover, other commands are available to move items up level, to alphabetically order them, to expand and compress all folders.
Same functions are equally available on programs tree by clicking mouse right button on any element.

Item Manager menu - Get new apps SPS

This entry makes the SPS app manager form appears.

Item Manager menu - Hide/Show item

This function allows hiding any configured item and possibly its sub items. A hidden item will be displayed in the tree with an italic font.
Any hidden item won't be displayed on the contextual menu and as a result of the search tool. It is possible to show it again with the Show item command that takes the place of Hide item.

Item Manager menu - Emphasize/Downplay item

This feature helps to emphasize an item using a bold font.
You can remove the bold font using the opposite command, Downplay item.

Item Manager menu - Remove/Reset item

With this function it's possible to remove any configured item. A removed item will be displayed in the tree with a strikeout font.
When an item has been removed it is possible to reset it with Reset item command that takes the place of a Removed item.
Be careful in removing a SyContainer because its whole content will be marked as removed.
A removed item definitely disappears from the tree, and from SyMenu, only when you save the configuration with Save or Save and Exit commands.

Item Manager menu - Batch Import

Batch Import is very useful for a fast configuration of SyMenu. In fact with the Batch Import is possible to import an entire set of programs with a single operation.
Batch Import asks for a base folder from which it'll start to scan the disk for programs. Scanning operation concerns the base folder and every subfolder.
It's possible to specify an Ignore pattern to avoid files such as setup.exe, uninstall.exe and so on, and can be retrieved.
When SyMenu finishes the scanning operation, it'll show, in a hierarchical way, all found items.
At this point the user can select through checkboxes what programs have to be imported and what programs have to be ignored.
Batch import considers only .exe and .bat files.
Batch Import

Advanced menu - Enable Extension Manager

Advanced menu contains the activation command for Extension Manager (see Extension Manager chapter).

Advanced menu - Scan for unlinked

This tools scans all configured SyPrograms to find orphaned items. Since portable programs are often and easily moved, deleted, renamed, SyMenu helps you to find any unlinked program to fix it.

Scan for unlinked allows you to mark for deletion the files that you want to definitely remove from SyItem list.
You can make a multi-selection on this list using SHIFT or CTRL keys along with mouse click.

Advanced menu - Proxy

If you use SyMenu in a network that uses a proxy to allow outside connections, you can configure here the proxy credentials.
SyMenu will use the proxy credentials every time it goes online for example when it checks for an updated version or when it works with SPS apps.
It's necessary to configure SyMenu with the url of your proxy and related credentials. SyMenu can naturally work with several configurations because it recognizes the current available proxy, so feel free to store the proxy configuration of all your working PCs. The proxy credentials are stored into the configuration file SyMenuConfig.xml with the password value encrypted. This kind of security is weak because it is possible to retrieve the password with a brute force attack. So please use this feature carefully and not for sensitive data.

Advanced menu - Create Autorun.inf

Autorun.inf is a particular file that could reside on removable device. It informs Windows that there are some activities to accomplish when the removable device is activated.
SyMenu creates Autorun.inf to customize a removable device icon and to instruct Windows that launch of SyMenu is the preferred activity in that device. If you create Autorun.inf you'll see a new suggestion in Windows Autorun activities when you connect the device that contains SyMenu.


Unfortunately, Autorun.inf feature has been removed since the Windows Vista version for security reasons. The last Windows version in which autorun.inf works is Windows XP so the feature has been removed from SyMenu 1.13 too.

Advanced menu - Options

The Options menu contains dozens of possible customization to adapt SyMenu to your needs.
You don't have to be an expert to give it a try so test all the options with confidence.

General tab

In General tab you can find some generic options related to SyMenu.
  • Start menu button - if checked, the Start menu button replacer appears and you can drag and place it wherever you want on the screen. SyMenu remembers the last location the button takes on every pc for next executions. If you want to reset the button position on the current pc you have to click on the Reset button.
    Clicking on the Start menu button the contextual menu appears. If the Show on mouse hover checkbox is checked there is no need to click the Start menu button but it's enought to hover the it with the mouse pointer;
  • Drive letter overlay on task icon - allows you to put an overlay on SyMenu icon in which current drive letter is shown; it's also possible to specify a fixed color for overlay background or randomize it with Randomize overlay color checkbox;
  • Tooltip text on taskbar icon - allows you to customize the taskbar icon tooltip.
    You can set a fixed message but you can use SyMenu variables too. A SyMenu variable is replaced at runtime with the actual value.
    For example to show the current computer name you have to include the %ComputerName% variable.
    For an extensive list of supported variable check the information icon near the textbox.
    You can even supply some custom variables to the tooltip. For further information see the Command line paragraph;
  • Extension Manager - if checked, Extension Manager will be activated automatically;
  • Backup configuration files - allows SyMenu to backup its configuration files (SyMenuConfig.xml and SyMenuItem.xml) every time they change.
Configuration Menu Options - General

Events tab

In Events tab you can find services available at SyMenu startup and closing and some others available at Windows startup.

Function to enable at SyMenu startup
In the first group the options allow you to decide SyMenu behaviour during its startup phase.
  • Splash Screen - if checked, during SyMenu startup, you'll see for a few seconds the splash screen;
  • Autoexec - if checked, SyItems tagged with Autoexec on start will be launched automatically. It's possible to specify an interval in seconds from one launch to another;
  • Check Version - if checked, SyMenu verifies if you are using the most recent SyMenu version. You have to be online to check version.
If SHIFT key is pressed during SyMenu startup, Autoexec and Check Version don't run even if they are normally enabled. You can realize that SyMenu starts in this mode (light mode) watching the flashing led of task bar icon: it will be red instead of being green.

Function to enable at SyMenu closing
In the second group the options allow you to decide SyMenu behaviour during its closing phase.
  • Autoexec - if checked, SyItems tagged with Autoexec on close will be launched automatically during SyMenu closing. In the same way of Autoexec on start if SHIFT key is pressed during SyMenu closing, Autoexec doesn't fire even if it's enabled;
  • Confirm on close - if checked, SyItems asks for a confirmation before closing.

Function to enable at Windows startup
In the third group you can find options related to functions that are executed at Windows startup. These functions cause SyMenu to be not portable because they could leave tracks of the program in the Windows registry, in the menus, or into the file system according to their needs.
For now there is only one option not portable.
  • Launch SyMenu at Windows login - if checked, SyMenu will be automatically launched at Windows login.

Menu tab

In Menu tab you can find some options related to the SyMenu contextual menu.
  • Scroll item right - allows you to decide if the longer named items have to scroll in the contextual menu or not (Never option). In case they have to scroll, you can define if the scrolling has to take place when you focus a long item (On focus option) or when the item is not focused (Always option);
  • Enable recent - if checked forces SyMenu to remember the recent executed SyItems. You can set the number of the stored recent executed items, too. The launched host programs are always excluded from this group.
    To show the recent list you have to add the Recent element in Structure tab;
  • Show tooltip on item entries - if checked forces a tooltip to appear over each SyItem in the contextual menu. The tooltip is also highly customizable as well.
    Some tooltip information is available for every SyItem, while others are available only for some of them. For example url information is only available for SyWebLink items;
  • Show large item entries on search menu - this last section defines which kind of items must be shown in their large version inside the Search Item Bar.
Configuration Menu Options - Menu

Search tab

In Search tab you can decide how the SyMenu search has to work.
  • Search in names/descriptions - with the two options "Search for item names only" and "Search for item names and descriptions" you can instruct SyMenu to search only inside the items names or in the items names and descriptions too.
    To understand the differences between the two search modes please read Search Item Bar - Search modes;
  • Search inside the item names - if checked SyMenu Search for item name feature is able to search a string inside the item name and not only on the name start.
    For example with the string "dit" you can find the item "Music editor".
    If instead the option is unchecked and you want find the same item "Music editor" you have to write something like "edi" ("Music editor") or "musi" ("Music editor").
    This option doesn't affect the Search for description which always works searching inside the description texts;
  • Sort found items by execution counter - checking this option you can force the found item list to be sorted by the execution counter of every item: the more you execute an item, the higher in the list it appears;
  • Search entries from Windows Start Menu - if checked the search result includes the items from Windows Start Menu configured in host PC and you can also specify the maximum number of these items that SyMenu has to show per time.
Configuration Menu Options - Search

Structure tab

In Structure tab you can build your custom menu structure.
Every built-in item in SyMenu is configurable. So you can decide if you want to include it inside your personal menu and where it has to be located.
Some built-in elements must be included in any menu structure. You recognize them because they are gray colored. One of them, the SyMenu title element, must be the first element in the structure too.
To faster change your current menu organization you can select one of the default structure available pressing the corresponding button. Otherwise you can move the elements one by one dragging them with the mouse. You can remove or add an element dragging it to or from the Available elements box.
Configuration Menu Options - Structure

Language tab

In Language tab you can choose your preferred language between ones available.
If you want to add your native language on SyMenu, please contact me.

Hot Keys tab

In Hot Keys tab you can activate SyMenu with keyboard without clicking with mouse pointer onto SyMenu task icon.
You have two available shortcuts:
  • shortcut to show SyMenu (default is CTRL+F1)
  • shortcut to show search bar (default is SHIFT+CTRL+F1)
If you want to change or set up a shortcut put the cursor inside the related textbox (you'll see blinking caret) and press your favourite keys combination.
Available modifier keys are: SHIFT, ALT, CTRL, WIN.

The menu position radio buttons allows to set the location in which SyMenu has to appear on a shortcut activation.

Unchecking Enable shortcuts manager involves that every shortcut customized in SyMenu for every SyItem (not only the native ones) will be disabled.

Gesture tab

In Gesture tab you can configure the activation of SyMenu with mouse gesture.
You can completely disable this feature with the checkbox Enable gestures manager.
You can choose which mouse button SyMenu uses for the gestures between the right one and the middle one.
Finally, you can choose the master gesture to make SyMenu contextual menu pop up clicking your preferred gesture button.

Theme tab

In the Theme tab you can customize the SyMenu look. You can choose the color of any contextual menu element, the menu transparency level, the menu font size, and the menu shading. You can also choose between six preset themes (black, white, orange, olive, blue, gray).

In this section you can customize SyMenu icons, too.
Just click an icon and choose your new image source (allowed sources are .ico, .exe, .dll files). Automatically SyMenu replaces default icon with the customized one. If you want to reset a customized icon, simply make another click on that.
Configuration Menu Options - Theme

System tab

In System tab you can see some info about your host PC and some counters about configured SyItems.
Otherwise you can obtain a .csv report with a full list of every configured item with several attributes.

Help Menu

Help Menu hosts seven commands:
  • SyMenu Help opens your predefined browser and takes you to this guide (needs Internet connection);
  • SyMenu's Web Site opens your predefined browser on SyMenu Web Site (needs Internet connection);
  • SyMenu's Forum opens your predefined browser on SyMenu forum home page (needs Internet connection). In the forum you can read various post on possible configurations, new features requests, news on SyMenu, report bug and so on;
  • Changelog Web Page opens your predefined browser on SyMenu changelog page (needs Internet connection);
  • SyMenu on  facebook  visit https://www.facebook.com/symenu;
  • SyMenu on Linked in  visit https://www.linkedin.com/company/symenu;
  • Donate with Paypal if you think that SyMenu is really useful you can support the future development with a small donation;
  • Check for update verifies if your SyMenu version is up to date (needs an Internet connection);
  • About SyMenu - shows initial splash screen and program credits.

Search Menu

Search item
Search menu allows to search for a SyItem inside the program tree in the same way as Search Item Bar.

Manage Get new apps form

The SPS manager can be opened either from the contextual menu clicking on the Get new apps item, if available, and from the configuration form with the menu Item manager - Get new apps.
SPS form
SPS stands for "Standard for Portable Software" and it is a standard to document portable programs to make it possible for SyMenu to manage them in an automatic way.
For any other deeper information please go to http://www.ugmfree.it/forum/messages.aspx?TopicID=282#post704

When a program is documented with an SPS file and this one is included in the SyMenu suite, you are allowed to add this program to your configured SyMenu items with a simple click. Similarly when an updated version of a program you've already installed becomes available in the SyMenu suite, you are notified and you are allowed to update it in the same way, with a click.
Lastly with SPS manager you can remove a previously installed program from your SyItem collection.

The first time you enter in the SPS form you have to download the list of available programs from the online repository. To succede in this operation you have to be online and the unit where SyMenu executes must be write-enabled.
To download the list, click the 'Get apps online' link.
SPS form no apps
When the list is updated you can recognize the newly added programs because their own icon is overlying by a little "NEW" image. The freshly updated ones instead are overlying with an "UPD" image (
New overlying icon Update overlying icon
).
Remember to refresh your SPS program list with the button 'Get apps online' at least once a week to always have an updated and complete list.

Program detail

When your program list is fed, scroll the list and find the programs you are interested in. You can click on the grid titles to order the programs by name or by category and so on.
If you click on a row, the related program details will appear.
Among the details you have is a brief program description, the license, the original publisher, eventually the link for the program web site, etc.
SPS form add app

On the bottom left side of this form some small icons could appear.
SPS additional properties
They stand for some additional SPS properties.

The first icon shows the program download url linked to the SPS. This icon is clickable. Clicking it your browser will open and allow you to directly download the program package from the Internet.

The second icon stands for dependencies and it represents the sofware dependecies a program requires. For example some dependencies could be Java and .NET
SyMenu is not able to automatically download and install the dependencies that a program requires so it is up to you to have a suitable environment for the program execution.

The third icon is the most cryptic ones.
The black mask represents the stealth attribute. Being stealth for a portable program means that, when closed, it doesn't leave any entries in the registry or filesystem. The folders where a real stealth application can leave tracks are the user and system temp folders and its own folders. For an extensive explanation of the concept see http://www.portablefreeware.com/faq.php#stealth.
When you see the mask icon appears it means that the program is not completely stealth and it probably will leave tracks behind itself.

The last icon represents eventual note. If you see the icon appears read it carefully because they could contain really important information for a right execution of your portable program.

Right clicking any of the icons SyMenu copy the related message in the system clipboard, allowing you to paste the text wherever you want.

Program execution

It's possible to execute an installed program directly from the SPS Manager.
Click with the right mouse button on the grid in correspondance of the item row you want to execute and choose Run item entry from the contextual menu.
You can also open the folder where the app is installed clicking on the second entry.
SPS execute an app

Add a program

When you find an interesting program you can add it to your SyMenu items by clicking the button Add.
SPS form install app
SyMenu will show the progress of the various operations: download, extration, installation. Well, the concept of installation here is not the traditional one since the portable programs haven't actually been installed. Installation for SyMenu means that the program is copied inside the default folder and linked to SyMenu item list.

The Add button has two features accessible by clicking the little arrow on the right of the button.
The first one 'Add from web site' is the normal behavior. You can obtain the same effect by clicking the main button area.
The second one 'Add from local package' allows you to install a program without downloading it. It is a useful feature in case you already have the package you want to install.
SPS form install app
The two little buttons above the Add button allow to:
  • Position the new installed programs on the root level of the SyMenu items;
  • Position the new installed programs inside some folders named according to their own categories.
So if you install a program whose category is Editor and you select the second option, you'll find a new logical container inside your SyMenu called Editor and the program located there inside. If you already have a logical container called Editor in your configuration, it'll be reused has a container for the new program.
This option is valid only for the new programs.
SPS install app folder
When SyMenu finishes installing or updating a program, you'll find it among the SyMenu items and the SPS manager will highlight it changing its status.
SPS form install app succeded

Update a program

Whenever a new SPS is published for a certain program and you refresh your program list with the Get apps online link, SPS form will notify you that a new program version is available.
SPS form install app succeded
Besides the indication of the installed version => new version and the status, SyMenu guides you enabling the right buttons for the program. In this case your alternatives are to update the program or to remove it.
The update button has a similar feature as the Add button. You can update a program from online or you can supply the right installation package from a local file system.

Some programs have a built in update feature. Think about Firefox portable for example that checks for an update and, in case it finds something, it proposes the installation of the latest version. In these cases SPS doesn't come to the aid with its update ability because it leaves in charge the program built in feature. So if you want to keep all your SPS programs automatically updated please activate every program automatic update feature if present.

Remove a program

The removal of an installed program happens by selecting the program and pressing the Remove button.
Removing an SPS program involves the cancellation of any SyItem related to it.

Manage multiple programs

You can manage multiple programs at once thanks to the checkboxes available on the right hand side of every row.
In the image below you can see a multi selection that will produce:
  • The removal of '.NET Version Detector' that is the first selected program. The removal action is choosen because the program is currently installed;
  • The update of 'CCEnhancer' that is the second selected program. The update action is choosen because there is an available update;
  • The installation of '7-Zip (x64)' that is the third selected program. The installation action is choosen because the program is not already installed.
SPS form manage multiple programs
To activate your multi selection plan you have to press the Apply All button that becomes available when at least a checkbox is checked.
The button applies your multi selection plan regardless of the currently selected program.
SPS form apply multi selection

Filters

In the upper right side there is a toggle button with a magnifier icon to enable/disable the SPS filters.
SPS form install app succeded
With this tool you can filter the SPS program inside the list to easily retrieve your preferred program. You can find any word or sentence inside the program name, category, description or publisher.

If your filter is effective and actually reduces the number of programs displayed in the list, a funnel icon appears on the top of the list itself.
SPS form install app succeded

SPS folder structure

Let's have a look at how SPS works with the file system folder structure.
SPS creates its own folder, which is called SPSSuite, inside the SyMenu\ProgramFiles folder.
Into the main folder SPS creates one folder for every program suite that it is able to manage.
For now the suites available are:
  • SyMenu Suite
  • NirSoft Suite
  • Sysinternals Suite
Inside every suite folder you can find at least three other folders: _Cache, _CacheCustom and _Trash.

The _Cache folder is used to store all the SPS files downloaded from the suite web site. If you modify or delete the _Cache content simply open the SPS form and press Get apps online: SPS form will rebuild the right content inside _Cache folder.

The _CacheCustom folder is used to store the custom SPS files created by you or downloaded from other sources than the SyMenu web site. You'll find your custom SPS inside the SPS Manager program list. This folder won't be overwritten in case you ask for downloading the fresh apps from online.

The _Trash folder is a repository for old program versions uninstalled of updated and for old collection of SPS files. In case the folder rises too much you can delete it without any problem. When you open again the SPS form the folder will be created again.
To delete the _Trash folder you can use the special tool available for any suite from the SPS Manager.
SPS tool to empty the trash folder

At the same level of _Cache, _CacheCustom and _Trash folders you can find a folder for each SPS program currently installed. Take care of them, don't delete these folders, don't modify their names. These folders are under complete control of SPS and only SPS is in charge for manage them.
The folder locations and names used by SPS are not changeable. If you change something you'll risk breaking your suite - so don't ever do this!

SPS SyItem structure

Whenever you install a program with SPS, a new SyItem will be created for you.
SyMenu puts this item at the lower possible level that is inside the main container.
You can naturally move this item inside your preferred SyFolder or even create one or more clone without disturbing SPS. Everything will work perfectly.
The only thing you can't do is to delete a SyItem related to the SPS physical element. Doing that is equivalent to removing the SPS with the Remove button (uninstall that).

Auto Update

SyMenu is capable of auto-updating when a new version has been released.
To be notified about new versions, please enable "Check Version" flag on Advanced menu - Options - Startup tab

Multi Execution

SyMenu allows more than one running instance from different execution paths.
In that way you can use SyMenu from different portable drives at the same time.
Overlay unit letter on task icon (see Advanced menu - Options - Startup tab), different fixed colors and different hot keys show up so SyMenu can help you manage a multi session SyMenu system.
Multi task icons
When SyMenu is executed from the same path of an already running instances, it doesn't execute but it makes that previous instance popup its menu.
You can override this behaviour with a proper Command line.

Configuration for expert users

Warning!
If you are a super expert user, an IT Pro, a dev or someone who like hacking, you are in the right place, have a good fun.
Otherwise jump to the next chapter before messing up your configuration.

Customization for publishers

SyMenu can be used by third-party suites and programs publishers as a dedicated launcher.
The customizable elements to create a peculiar and unique launcher are: To change the built in SyMenu splash screen, simply put a splash.jpg image inside the SyMenu/config folder.
The image must be sized to a 550 pixel width and a 350 pixel height.
If SyMenu finds such a file it replaces the normal splash at run time with the customized one.

If you want to replace the big floating icon used for the Start menu replacement button, put an image file inside the SyMeny/config folder. The file must be called mainIcon.[ext] where the extension could be png, jpg, gif, bmp.
The ideal image size is 48x48 pixel.
A png image is preferable because it supports the transparent background too.

Command line

SyMenu supports a command line system that modifies the normal program execution. The command line support is extended either to SyMenu.exe and SyMenu.Admin.exe executables.

Switch Description Example
-ss[shortcut] Overrides the hot key for the search engine (the option "Enable shortcuts manager" must be activated to be effective) SyMenu.exe -ss"ALT+F9"
SyMenu.exe -ssALT+S
SyMenu.exe -ssALT+SPACE
SyMenu.admin.exe -ssALT+F9
-sm[shortcut] Overrides the hot key for the contextual menu (the option "Enable shortcuts manager" must be activated to be effective) SyMenu.exe -sm"WIN+F12"
SyMenu.exe -sm"WIN+F12"
SyMenu.admin.exe -sm"WIN+F12"
-ms[structure] Resets the contextual menu structure to one ot the available built-in configuration SyMenu.exe -msnormal -> resets the menu to normal structure
SyMenu.exe -msadvanced -> resets the menu to advanced structure
SyMenu.admin.exe -msadvanced
-cv[key=value] Supplies one or more new variables to SyMenu that shows them in the Tooltip text on taskbar icon SyMenu.exe -cvfoo=text -> replaces %foo% inside the tooltip
SyMenu.exe -cv"foo foo"=text -> replaces %foo foo% inside the tooltip
SyMenu.exe -cv"foo foo=text text"
SyMenu.admin.exe -cvfoo=text
-mi Allows a SyMenu second instance execution from the same folder of the first one. It represents a different behaviour than the usual one described on Multi Execution paragraph. SyMenu.exe -mi -> allows execution from the same folder of an already running SyMenu

Regarding the hot key switches pay attention to the allowed modifier names (CTRL ALT WIN SHIFT).
The double quotes are optional.
If you want to use a special key such as Del, Down Arrow, Home etc read the table available at this link.

Custom program files folder

Warning! Don't use this feature because it doesn't work yet. The usual SyMenu program files folder is located under the SyMenu root folder and it is called ProgramFiles.
You can force SyMenu to consider a different folder as its programs' one. Consequentially all the related subfolders, such as SPSSuite, will be considered moved to the custom new location.
The alternative program files folder is a beta feature so it is not implemented inside SyMenu. To change it you have to manually edit the main SyMenu configuration file, SyMenuConfig.xml, that is compressed in Config\SyMenuConfig.zip.
This is the full procedure.
  • quit from SyMenu
  • go to Config\SyMenuConfig.zip
  • backup it
  • now unzip the file
  • open the resulting SyMenuConfig.xml with a text editor
  • the SyMenuConfig.xml is a simple xml file. Find the tag "alternativePath" and edit its attribute programFiles="" setting the new path inside the double quotes
  • save the file
  • compress it again inside the SyMenuConfig.zip
  • restart SyMenu.
The programFiles attribute value can be: an absolute path, a relative path (relative to the main SyMenu folder), a path starting with universal unit identifier (#:\).
The new root folder has to exist otherwise SyMenu ignores the attribute.

Licence

END-USER LICENSE AGREEMENT FOR SYMENU IMPORTANT PLEASE READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIS LICENSE AGREEMENT CAREFULLY BEFORE CONTINUING WITH THIS PROGRAM INSTALL: UGMFree End-User License Agreement ("EULA") is a legal agreement between you (either an individual or a single entity) and UGMFree. for the UGMFree software product(s) identified above which may include associated software components, media, printed materials, and "online" or electronic documentation ("SOFTWARE PRODUCT"). By installing, copying, or otherwise using the SOFTWARE PRODUCT, you agree to be bound by the terms of this EULA. This license agreement represents the entire agreement concerning the program between you and UGMFree, (referred to as "licenser"), and it supersedes any prior proposal, representation, or understanding between the parties. If you do not agree to the terms of this EULA, do not install or use the SOFTWARE PRODUCT.
The SOFTWARE PRODUCT is protected by copyright laws and international copyright treaties, as well as other intellectual property laws and treaties. The SOFTWARE PRODUCT is licensed, not sold.
1. GRANT OF LICENSE.
The SOFTWARE PRODUCT is licensed as follows:
(a) Installation and Use.
UGMFree grants you the right to install and use copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT on your computer running a validly licensed copy of the operating system for which the SOFTWARE PRODUCT was designed [e.g. Windows 2003, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 2008].
(b) Backup Copies.
You may also make copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT as may be necessary for backup and archival purposes.
2. DESCRIPTION OF OTHER RIGHTS AND LIMITATIONS.
(a) Maintenance of Copyright Notices.
You must not remove or alter any copyright notices on any and all copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT.
(b) Distribution.
You may not distribute registered copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT to third parties without written permission. Official versions available for download from UGMFree’s websites may be freely distributed.
(c) Prohibition on Reverse Engineering, Decompilation, and Disassembly.
You may not reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble the SOFTWARE PRODUCT, except and only to the extent that such activity is expressly permitted by applicable law notwithstanding this limitation.
(d) Rental.
You may not rent, lease, or lend the SOFTWARE PRODUCT.
(e) Support Services.
Because this software is “as is,” UGMFree may not provide support services for it.
(f) Compliance with Applicable Laws.
You must comply with all applicable laws regarding use of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT.
3. TERMINATION
Without prejudice to any other rights, UGMFree may terminate this EULA if you fail to comply with the terms and conditions of this EULA. In such event, you must destroy all copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT in your possession.
4. COPYRIGHT
All title, including but not limited to copyrights, in and to the SOFTWARE PRODUCT and any copies thereof are owned by UGMFree or its suppliers. All title and intellectual property rights in and to the content which may be accessed through use of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT is the property of the respective content owner and may be protected by applicable copyright or other intellectual property laws and treaties. This EULA grants you no rights to use such content. All rights not expressly granted are reserved by UGMFree.
5. NO WARRANTIES
UGMFree expressly disclaims any warranty for the SOFTWARE PRODUCT. The SOFTWARE PRODUCT is provided “As Is” without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including but not limited to any warranties of merchantability, noninfringement, or fitness of a particular purpose. UGMFree does not warrant or assume responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any information, text, graphics, links or other items contained within the SOFTWARE PRODUCT. UGMFree makes no warranties respecting any harm that may be caused by the transmission of a computer virus, worm, time bomb, logic bomb, or other such computer program. UGMFree further expressly disclaims any warranty or representation to Authorized Users or to any third party.
6. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
In no event shall UGMFree be liable for any damages (including, without limitation, lost profits, business interruption, or lost information) rising out of ‘Authorized Users' use of or inability to use the SOFTWARE PRODUCT, even if UGMFree has been advised of the possibility of such damages. In no event will UGMFree be liable for loss of data or for indirect, special, incidental, consequential (including lost profit), or other damages based in contract, tort or otherwise. UGMFree shall have no liability with respect to the content of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT or any part thereof, including but not limited to errors or omissions contained therein, libel, infringements of rights of publicity, privacy, trademark rights, business interruption, personal injury, loss of privacy, moral rights or the disclosure of confidential information.


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