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Req: Win7 Search programs and files box

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  • Anonymous

    Firstly thanks for an absolutely brilliant program. I've hated the new style
    start menu since it was first introduced on XP and the inability to turn of
    off in Win7 was painful.
    Classic Shell resolves that problem brilliantly and the price is good too :)

    One request though, while I hate the new style Start menu there times when the
    "Search programs and files" box comes in handy, so is there any chance that it
    could be incorporated as an option into a future version (with an additional
    option for the cursor to default to starting in there, so you just start
    typing as you can in the defaukt Start menu) ?

    Finally have you considered puttting up a link for donations ? Software this
    useful deserves some reward :)

  • Ivo Beltchev
    Ivo Beltchev

    What you are saying is to turn the classic start menu into a Windows 7 start
    menu. We already have that. Just press Shift+click :)

    But seriously, adding search (especially for "programs and files") is not an
    easy task. The Windows 7 start menu has access to internal Windows data like
    recent programs, recent websites, indexing results, etc. and it is a huge
    undertaking to collect all that data to produce meaningful search results.

    As for donations: http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/faq.html#general_donate

  • stangbat

    Bummer, the "Search programs and files" option on the Win 7 start menu is the
    only thing I miss. But I can live with shift-clicking on the start button when
    I need it. Thanks for all the work ibeltchev.

  • Tom Goessi
    Tom Goessi

    It's sad you don't want to implement that program search box. Are you sure,
    it's a huge work to do this? I think there could be plugins or an api function
    in windows, that does this. However, other programs like ClassicStartMenu or
    Aston Startmenu also implement that search box and it works. So I think
    implementing it to Classic Shell should not be a big issue.

    Thanks for your cool program.


  • Tom Goessi
    Tom Goessi

    However, there are internal functions, that might help you and do the search
    for you.
    Please visit the following links:
    OLE-DB: (queries the indexer directly, gives you the results in the form of a

    Shell Data Model (this is significantly more involved, but you can generate
    the same UI that Explorer uses)
    The latter has also example code.

    Kind regards,

  • xpclient

    The question is is the search box really required when you can enable the
    cascading menu in the Windows Start menu by going to Classic Start menu
    settings -> All settings -> Windows Start menu tab -> Enable cascading menu.
    You get the search box as well as cascading menu for all programs.

  • Ivo Beltchev
    Ivo Beltchev

    One of the main things I don't like about the start menu search is indeed the
    results it finds. So why would I use the same search engine? :)
    Seriously, if I ever do a search it will just look at the files in the two
    start menu folders and that's it. I don't need to look for documents. I don't
    need to look for recently visited websites. I don't need a search that looks
    at the metadata.

  • kilmatead

    Unfortunately there is a burgeoning trend on many forums where people give
    instructions to other (less experienced users) that usually follow along the
    lines of "Click Start, Type 'msconfig' and hit Enter". Any of the "less
    experienced users" may occasionally forget they aren't actually using the
    normal Start Menu (say, a family member installed it, but they can't tell the
    difference), and the result is a reasonable type of confusion.

    I'm merely postulating a possible scenario, as devils' advocates tend to do.

    The question is is the search box really required when you can enable the
    cascading menu...

    Unfortunately this removes one of the greatest benefits of CS - the ability to
    completely reorder every aspect of the Start menu. It doesn't seem
    completely unreasonable for people to request it as an added option for
    CS, even if it goes against the grain of the creator's vision.

    Or, I could just be suffering from nicotine withdrawal, and it is indeed
    unreasonable after all. :)

    I will add that I see it as CS's only real failing (even though I'm fully
    aware it's technically still available). Just my tuppence. It would be nice
    to never have any reason to use the windows menu - and as an option, the
    purists can always just remove it.

  • Ivo Beltchev
    Ivo Beltchev

    I don't think it is an unreasonable request. However the technical challenges
    of doing a decent search (and I mean - better than the default one) are quite
    sizable. For example most of the implementations I've seen only search the
    start menu items. Since msconfig is not in the start menu you are out of luck.

  • kilmatead

    Since msconfig is not in the start menu you are out of luck.

    Hence the usefulness of the regular Start Menu searchbox. :)

    Just out of interest, when you say "One of the main things I don't like about
    the start menu search is indeed the results it finds
    " could you be more
    specific? I find it rather useful (for the rare times I need it), and it
    definitely seems designed to be different from a normal "Search", specifically
    given the results it provides. What "don't" you like about it?

  • Ivo Beltchev
    Ivo Beltchev

    Few examples:
    1) It shows you documents, recent websites, even emails from Outlook. That's
    noise and is useless. If I want to find documents I'll go to Explorer. If I
    want websites I will go to my web browser.

    1a) It searches the metadata. That's useful for finding a song by some author,
    but for programs it just adds to the false results

    2) It does word search but not substring search. So if I type "rar" it finds
    "Console RAR manual", but not WinRAR

    3) It is not very responsive, probably because of all the crap it has to
    search though

    4) It is not very reliable. On a new machine I type "inter" and it doesn't
    find "Internet Explorer" (I get no results). Only after I've used it for a bit
    it learns what I mean. This is a search, not a neural network. I shouldn't
    have to teach it and rely on emergent behavior

  • kilmatead

    Hah, fair enough - I like that answer (my other point was going to be that
    people aren't asking for an "improved" search - just the default one - but you
    put the kibosh to that idea!). Though I think that's the first time I've ever
    seen anyone refer to "emergent behaviour" in Windows as anything that might be
    indicative of an improvement!

    Thanks for the clarity.

  • Tuyen

    I fail to understand why people are asking for a "search" function for the
    Start menu. I mean...my god...how disorganized is your Start menu if you need
    to SEARCH for things??
    Rather than wasting Ivo's time in implementing stupidity, why not take a few
    minutes of your OWN time and go cleanup your mess in your Start menu?
    Rather than allowing EVERY stupid program you install to create its own
    folder, why not consolidate your applications into one main "Applications"
    folder, and all your games into one main "Games" folder? And then inside each
    of those folders, sort them alphabetically, and you could FIND everything just
    using your eyes, without having to "search".

    Honestly, sometimes it scares me that these people are using computers on a
    daily basis and are completely okay with living in such a disorganized mess
    that they can't even find their own crap.

  • xpclient

    What I don't understand for those who like the Windows Start Search but also
    want cascading menus is: What is the difference between Windows Start menu
    with cascading All Programs menu enabled+integrated search box (which is
    already available) vs Classic Start menu with added search box (future

  • xpclient

    Also in defense of Windows Search, I would like to say:

    1) You can remove locations like Favorites, History, Outlook that you don't
    want indexed from Indexing Options and keep only Start menu. Turning off
    indexing won't affect real time search in Explorer. You can turn off indexing
    contents per file type or turn off indexing of file properties as well by
    unchecking the file type in Indexing options.

    2) They didn't implement substring search on purpose I remember reading on the
    E7 blog because they felt it would impact performance. Instead of RAR just
    type *rar e.g. to do partial word searches.

    3) It is quite responsive and reliable for me on a fresh install and even
    after more than a year of Windows 7 installed, finds everything I want. Vista
    Start search wasn't as responsive for me but Windows 7 Start search is.

  • kilmatead

    What is the difference between Windows Start menu with cascading All
    Programs menu enabled+integrated search box (which is already available) vs
    Classic Start menu with added search box?

    As I mentioned above, CS allows you to completely personalise the start menu
    (custom commands, layout, et al) - windows merely lets add or remove the
    pedestrian nonsense like "My Pictures". So it begs the question why use 2
    menus (to get everything) when CS is able to do far more with 1? (except,
    obviously, the Search box). I know what you're thinking: "But most people
    probably don't go to extremes to create a wholly bespoke menu..." True, they
    probably don't - but they might think more about it if they knew they wouldn't
    be losing any functionality from the old menu. Though if the number of users
    who seem fascinated with playing with the Shutdown menu is anything to go
    by... :)

  • xpclient

    Yes that was what I was thinking keeping most users in mind. : ) But you're
    right, Classic Start Menu is far superior and more customizable, except for
    the search box. I have personally preferred the Windows menu when using the
    keyboard because of the search box (I can't remember the keyboard
    accelerators) and preferred CSM when using the mouse to launch apps.

  • Bob Schuchman
    Bob Schuchman

    My Windows Start Menu search is missing. At my age (?) I need that option.
    I've noticed references in the forum to a Windows Search service, but I don't
    see that service in my list of services. Windows Remote Management is followed
    by Windows Time.

  • Ivo Beltchev
    Ivo Beltchev

    Please elaborate. Is it:
    1) You open the Windows Start Menu (not the classic menu), and the search box
    at the bottom is missing?
    2) You are using the Classic Start Menu and you want it to have a search box?
    3) You are using the Classic Start Menu, and you don't see a Search submenu,
    with "For Files and Folders", and so on?

  • Bob Schuchman
    Bob Schuchman

    It's the Windows Start Menu (not the Classic), and the search box at the
    bottom is missing.

    I also see that I've lost the Status Bar on Firefox even though it's selected
    in Firefox's Menu! How could that relate?

  • Ivo Beltchev
    Ivo Beltchev

    Sorry, you do not appear to have a problem with Classic Shell (which this
    forum is about).

    Try asking in a more general forum like www.sevenforums.com. There are a lot
    of knowledgeable people there, and maybe they can help. There is a very good
    chance somebody else had experienced similar symptoms and the question was
    asked and answered already. So do a search first.

  • Ivo Beltchev
    Ivo Beltchev

    Classic Shell version 2.9.3 was just released. It adds a search box to the
    start menu. It searches the Start Menu folders, the Control Panel, and the
    directories in the PATH environment variable.

  • kilmatead

    Excellent - and thank you. One detail... for the minimalists in the world, is
    there a means a giving it a blank label? If one erases the label text under
    Edit Menu Item, ironically you end up with "<No Text="">" as the label, which
    seems like a bug. I even tried the usual tricks of <Alt-255> etc. - but still
    end up with <No Text="">.

  • Ivo Beltchev
    Ivo Beltchev

    Hmm... Looks like my code is too smart for you :P
    But I found a way to trick it - go to StartMenuL10N.ini, find the
    Menu.SearchBox string for your language, and make the value Alt+0160. Or if
    you don't want to mess up the existing strings, do this:
    Set the label to $Menu.Blank
    In the section of StartMenuL10N.ini add this after Menu.SettingsTip:
    Menu.Blank = <Alt+0160>

  • kilmatead

    Ah, ok - second suggestion worked (first one did not, for some weird reason).
    Thanks. I understand why <No Text=""> is there (ironically it may have been
    myself that suggested it in the first place for new empty command items), but
    it was incongruous in this context. Not that it's likely to bother too many
    users - but there always has to be one awkward one, doesn't there? :)


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