[APP] Better StartMenu - Create custom tiles

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karliyo

Senior Member
Nov 3, 2013
152
14
Any possibilities of getting it outside of Windows Store? Some people have Metro apps uninstalled.
 

kerimka

Member
Jan 28, 2008
36
38
Sorry but only a metro (store) app is able to pin custom tiles (with custom images) to start menu on Windows 10. This is why it's a store app.
 
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JorgitoUribe

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2013
74
5
Hey man! Nice app really! But I have a problem, the helper does not let me tick the "Run at startup" option... Can you help me? I'm in the 1.5 Version

---------- Post added at 02:08 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:03 AM ----------

If anyone has feature requests please tell me here or email [email protected] and I hope I can implement it in the next update(s).

And what about the ability to create live tiles? might be a cool feature or a useless thing? I mean a tile with two different images (or an image and a text) and animates like other store app live tiles? If you don't find that one a useless feature, I plan to implement it soon. What do you think?

But it is a nice idea. Don't throw it away so fast! I had even seen at other forums people asking for this option in this kind of programs... So I think it could be an added value for your app...
Think about it...
 

kerimka

Member
Jan 28, 2008
36
38
Hey man! Nice app really! But I have a problem, the helper does not let me tick the "Run at startup" option... Can you help me? I'm in the 1.5 Version

---------- Post added at 02:08 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:03 AM ----------



But it is a nice idea. Don't throw it away so fast! I had even seen at other forums people asking for this option in this kind of programs... So I think it could be an added value for your app...
Think about it...

Thank you very much for your suggestion. I'll continue to think about it :)
About the run at startup checkbox... What happens when you try to tick? It doesn't tick at all or it doesn't run at startup even if you can tick?
 

JorgitoUribe

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2013
74
5
Thank you very much for your suggestion. I'll continue to think about it :)
About the run at startup checkbox... What happens when you try to tick? It doesn't tick at all or it doesn't run at startup even if you can tick?


Haha no, there's no problem, the box doesn't tick but it runs at the startup.
Thanks!
 

SoostheMoos

New member
Nov 13, 2015
4
1
The transparency appears to be broken with the new Windows update. The colored squares are back to spoil the aesthetics of my carefully arranged menu.
 

JorgitoUribe

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2013
74
5
The transparency appears to be broken with the new Windows update. The colored squares are back to spoil the aesthetics of my carefully arranged menu.
Hey, you mean the Threshold 2 update? Is it safe to install the update without losing the better start menu capabilities? Does this program keep working with this windows 10 update?
 

ablev

New member
Jul 29, 2013
2
1
Leverkusen
The transparency appears to be broken with the new Windows update.
I have the same problem since update to Threshold 2 (build 10586).
The transparency of my tile backgrounds are gone, looks terrible.
I can choose transparency for the tiles background in better start menu helper, but without a result.
What can i do?
Sorry for my bad english, ablev
 

Thibor69

Senior Member
Great application !! I been using it and enjoying it for many weeks. All of a sudden now it has stopped working. I have changed nothing here, but now each time I try to Generate Tile Data the program crashes and just says:

BetterStartHelp has stopped working.
Close program.


Any idea why ?? I have had no troubles until now.

Thanks

PS. I am running Windows 10 Pro.

*** UPDATE ***
I just uninstalled and re-installed both the helper app and the main app but still getting the crash .....

Help ???
 
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SoostheMoos

New member
Nov 13, 2015
4
1
Great application !! I been using it and enjoying it for many weeks. All of a sudden now it has stopped working. I have changed nothing here, but now each time I try to Generate Tile Data the program crashes and just says:

BetterStartHelp has stopped working.
Close program.

I have that problem too, and the only thing I can think of is that the app can't handle more than 32 tiles. If that's how many you have, then my suspicions will be confirmed. The app worked when I deleted one and generated a new one.
 

Thibor69

Senior Member
I have that problem too, and the only thing I can think of is that the app can't handle more than 32 tiles. If that's how many you have, then my suspicions will be confirmed. The app worked when I deleted one and generated a new one.


Well I count 20 tiles. I also deleted a couple tiles and tried to add new ones but still I get that error. See the picture bellow.

Thanks for any info ... this is a great app, are there any other apps like this for windows 10 ?
 

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Dayanto

Member
Oct 8, 2015
9
1
I’ve tried a bunch of different tile programs and it’s really nice to have one that can launch applications without a pop up. Haven’t seen that since OblyTile.

I thought I’d drop some feedback. Apologies for the wall of text.

General suggestions:

  • I’d suggest changing the current minimize / close behavior, because it’s very easy to accidentally close the background process when closing the window. Normally in applications that stay in the tray, the buttons at the top of the window only affect the window itself. If you minize the window, it goes to the taskbar, and if you close the window, the background process remains unaffected. You’d then shut down the background process by right-clicking the taskbar (edit: meant tray) and selecting ‘exit’, or by pressing an exit button in the application.
  • The ability to switch between Stretch / Fit / Fill modes for tile images - Fit and Fill are very useful if you want to create square images from wide images, or wide images from square ones. For example, if you have a tile with a transparent background, fill enables you to add more transparent space to the sides without affecting the icon. With Fit mode, you can crop down wide images to use in square tiles, or crop down large square images for wide tiles. (edit: fill crops, fit expands, got it backwards) OblyTile actually accidentally supported both of these modes depending on how you input the image. Taking it to the extreme, it’s also possible to do what PinMore is doing and allow the user to customize where the image is cropped, however, cropping towards the middle work very well too.
  • HSL is a rather intuitive color selection mode. (If you haven’t tried it, check out http://hslpicker.com/) Having the ability to switch between RGB / HSL mode in the color picker could be useful.
  • [Minor issue] Color hex field doesn’t currently accept input without a leading #.

Regarding the title text / advanced editor:

  • An option to disable image shrinking in the advanced title editor. For transparent images that look like icons, shrinking the image to make room for text below can be nice, however for opaque images that are supposed to fill the whole tile, it doesn’t work very well.
  • Saving the advanced title settings automatically instead of doing it manually - This is partially a suggestion to improve convenience, but also prevents the situation where you accidentally close the window and have to redo all the text settings.
  • Synchronizing the title text between the simple and advanced title text fields. This makes it easier to quickly switch between the two.
  • Preview for simple titles perhaps (not sure how difficult this would be)
  • Currently, the advanced text editor defaults to the font that comes first alphabetically. To keep things consistent with the simple title, I’d suggest using Segoe UI as the default font.
  • [Bug] Lowering the font size below 1 causes a crash.

In the universal app:

  • Being able to filter out pinned tiles would make it easier to quickly pin multiple new tiles.
  • As a slight convenience improvement, focus could be automatically moved to the searchbox when the user starts typing. If universal apps work similar to WPF, this could be accomplished by adding a keylistener to the window.
  • Clearing the search field when ‘escape’ is pressed would also be a small convenience improvement.
  • I support maxaon09’s idea of making the middle section wider, so that more tiles can be seen at once.
  • Opening the helper window from the universal app. The helper program is portable, so launching the application itself would be difficult, however, being able to open the window while it’s running would be useful.


Application list

  • One of the greatest things about OblyTile was the ability to select applications from a list based on your start menu shortcuts and have all details filled in automatically. OblyTile only looked at .lnk files, but that could be expanded to include Steam games (.url), and Universal Apps as well.

    I wanted to see what was possible to do, so I ended up writing a bit of code that scans throught the start menu folders and retrieves a name and target for all the shortcuts. Based on the instructions on your website, I also did some digging in the registry and managed to get Universal Apps working as well. (including those apps with weird endings)

    You can have a look at the code and see how the everything works. If you want to use it, you can have it. (It’s public domain.) In its current form, it should be fairly easy to simply plug right into a ListView. (by binding the text to the “Name” property)

    https://gist.github.com/Dayanto/861a28f936a74a6ad83e

    Besides name and target, lnk-files can also provide an associated 32x32 icon (larger resolutions were problematic to get hold of), and steam shortcuts can get you the url of the game’s banner image, which is roughly the size of a wide tile. (It’s probably a good idea to set up a cache in case you do this, for quicker access, and to avoid downloading the same image multiple times)

    In case you’re wondering why I included Steam games when there are other applications that already allow you to easily create tiles for Steam games, well, there are a couple of reasons. While there are tile programs can do that (SteamTile and PinMore), SteamTile lacks the ability to customize the images, and PinMore isn’t free. Also, neither of them can launch games without having the launcher window pop up. Grabbing the steam games from the start menu also has the benefit that users don’t have to connect to their Steam accounts, which requires a bit of setup.

Lastly, I just want to say that I hope it doesn’t feel like I’m overloading you with things to do. Don’t take these suggestions as obligations. They’re just things I thought might be nice to have. :)
 
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kerimka

Member
Jan 28, 2008
36
38
I’ve tried a bunch of different tile programs and it’s really nice to have one that can launch applications without a pop up. Haven’t seen that since OblyTile.

I thought I’d drop some feedback. Apologies for the wall of text.

General suggestions:

  • I’d suggest changing the current minimize / close behavior, because it’s very easy to accidentally close the background process when closing the window. Normally in applications that stay in the tray, the buttons at the top of the window only affect the window itself. If you minize the window, it goes to the taskbar, and if you close the window, the background process remains unaffected. You’d then shut down the background process by right-clicking the taskbar and selecting ‘exit’, or by pressing an exit button in the application.
  • The ability to switch between Stretch / Fit / Fill modes for tile images - Fit and Fill are very useful if you want to create square images from wide images, or wide images from square ones. For example, if you have a tile with a transparent background, fill enables you to add more transparent space to the sides without affecting the icon. With Fit mode, you can crop down wide images to use in square tiles, or crop down large square images for wide tiles. OblyTile actually accidentally supported both of these modes depending on how you input the image. Taking it to the extreme, it’s also possible to do what PinMore is doing and allow the user to customize where the image is cropped, however, cropping towards the middle work very well too.
  • HSL is a rather intuitive color selection mode. (If you haven’t tried it, check out http://hslpicker.com/) Having the ability to switch between RGB / HSL mode in the color picker could be useful.
  • [Minor issue] Color hex field doesn’t currently accept input without a leading #.

Regarding the title text / advanced editor:

  • An option to disable image shrinking in the advanced title editor. For transparent images that look like icons, shrinking the image to make room for text below can be nice, however for opaque images that are supposed to fill the whole tile, it doesn’t work very well.
  • Saving the advanced title settings automatically instead of doing it manually - This is partially a suggestion to improve convenience, but also prevents the situation where you accidentally close the window and have to redo all the text settings.
  • Synchronizing the title text between the simple and advanced title text fields. (i.e. copy the simple title text when opening the advanced title editor and update the simple title text when the editor is closed) This makes it easier to quickly switch between the two.
  • Preview for simple titles perhaps (not sure how difficult this would be)
  • Currently, the advanced text editor defaults to the font that comes first alphabetically. To keep things consistent with the simple title, I’d suggest using Segoe UI as the default font.
  • [Bug] Lowering the font size below 1 causes a crash.

In the universal app:

  • Being able to filter out pinned tiles would make it easier to quickly pin multiple new tiles.
  • As a slight convenience improvement, focus could be automatically moved to the searchbox when the user starts typing. If universal apps work similar to WPF, this could be accomplished by adding a keylistener to the window.
  • Clearing the search field when ‘escape’ is pressed would also be a small convenience improvement.
  • I support maxaon09’s idea of making the middle section wider, so that more tiles can be seen at once.
  • Opening the helper window from the universal app. The helper program is portable, so launching the application itself would be difficult, however, being able to open the window while it’s running would be useful.


Application list

  • One of the greatest things about OblyTile was the ability to select applications from a list based on your start menu shortcuts and have all details filled in automatically. OblyTile only looked at .lnk files, but that could be expanded to include Steam games (.url), and Universal Apps as well.

    I wanted to see what was possible to do, so I ended up writing a bit of code that scans throught the start menu folders and retrieves a name and target for all the shortcuts. Based on the instructions on your website, I also did some digging in the registry and managed to get Universal Apps working as well. (including those apps with weird endings)

    You can have a look at the code and see how the everything works. If you want to use it, you can have it. (It’s public domain.) In its current form, it should be fairly easy to simply plug right into a ListView. (by binding the text to the “Name” property)

    https://gist.github.com/Dayanto/861a28f936a74a6ad83e

    Besides name and target, lnk-files can also provide an associated 32x32 icon (larger resolutions were problematic to get hold of), and steam shortcuts can get you the url of the game’s banner image, which is roughly the size of a wide tile. (It’s probably a good idea to set up a cache in case you do this, for quicker access, and to avoid downloading the same image multiple times)

    In case you’re wondering why I included Steam games when there are other applications that already allow you to easily create tiles for Steam games, well, there are a couple of reasons. While there are tile programs can do that (SteamTile and PinMore), SteamTile lacks the ability to customize the images, and PinMore isn’t free. Also, neither of them can launch games without having the launcher window pop up. Grabbing the steam games from the start menu also has the benefit that users don’t have to connect to their Steam accounts, which requires a bit of setup.

Lastly, I just want to say that I hope it doesn’t feel like I’m overloading you with things to do. Don’t take these suggestions as obligations. They’re just things I thought might be nice to have. :)

These are really really good suggestions. Thank you very much for sharing your ideas with me. I'll try my best to implement these as possible as I can. Just give me some time because can't find enough time to update the app nowadays. But please be sure that I'll begin to work on it soon :)

Thanks again. You're great.
 
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  • 12
    Customize Windows 10 start menu with custom images (even with transparent background) with ease.

    It's FREE. Although there's a pro version for donation purposes, there is no difference between trial and pro version in functionality.

    You can add tiles for desktop apps, store apps, files, folders, shortcuts and some other actions like shut down etc.

    Here are some screenshots of start menus made with Better StartMenu:

    3gray.jpg

    8full.jpg

    15full.jpg



    Because of Windows 10's new start menu mechanism, there needs to be a helper app running in the background. And there's a store app by which you can pin tiles to start menu.

    You can find the helper app on http://www.win10controller.com/betterstart
    Store app link: https://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9NBLGGH1XTDX
    1
    Nice app

    It works great. Thank you.
    1
    I think it would be right to make wider the 2nd section of the app and place icons in the form of a table (vertical or horizontal). Something like this:
    e2678422777b9a3caf559de8c0180341.jpg

    Use one column when lots of applications are not very comfortable

    I've implemented this feature and updated the main app. I think it will be available today or at most tomorrow on Windows Store. Thanks for your suggestion again.
    1
    Sorry but only a metro (store) app is able to pin custom tiles (with custom images) to start menu on Windows 10. This is why it's a store app.
    1
    Hey, you mean the Threshold 2 update? Is it safe to install the update without losing the better start menu capabilities? Does this program keep working with this windows 10 update?

    I'm on build 10586, and the app works just as well as before sans the transparent background. AFAIK nothing else is broken.