Easily Tweak Windows 7 and Vista by Adding Tabs to Explorer, Creating Context Menu Entries, and More
7Plus is a very useful, free tool for Windows 7 and Vista that adds a lot of features to Windows, such as the ability to add tabs to Windows Explorer, set up hotkeys for common tasks, and other settings to make working with Windows easier.
7Plus is powered by AutoHotkey and allows most of the features to be fully customized. You can also create your own features by creating custom events.
7Plus does not need to be installed. Simply extract the files from the .zip file you downloaded (see the link at the end of this article) and double-click on the 7plus.exe file.
If the User Account Control dialog box displays, click Yes to continue.
NOTE: You may not see this dialog box, depending on your User Account Control settings.
The following dialog box displays asking if you want to view a list of the features. Click Yes or No as desired.
If you clicked Yes to view the features, your default browser opens to the following webpage.
When you run 7Plus, it places an icon in the system tray, providing access to the main Settings window and some other options, such as the ability to temporarily suspend the hotkeys. To access the settings, right-click on the icon and select Settings from the popup menu.
The 7plus Settings window displays showing the All Events screen. Here you can edit existing events, enable, disable, and delete events, and create new custom events. For information about events, click the Help button.
Click Explorer in the tree to select settings for use in Windows Explorer. For example, you can choose to have F2 toggle between highlighting the filename only, the extension only, or the full name when renaming a file.
7Plus also allows you to add tabs to Windows Explorer. Click Explorer Tabs in the tree on the left and select the Use Tabs in Explorer to turn on the feature. Change the settings as desired.
The tabs display in the title bar of the Explorer window. Press Ctrl + T to create a new tab and Ctrl + W to close the current tab.
NOTE: We encountered a strange behavior when using tabs in Windows Explorer. The tabs hang around after you close the Explorer window. They eventually go away, however, and do not affect how the tabs and Explorer work.
7Plus has a Fast Folders feature that allows you to use the numbers on the number keypad to quickly access folders you use often. Click on Fast Folders in the tree on the left and select the Integrate Fast Folders into explorer folder band bar check box to turn on the feature in Windows Explorer.
NOTE: If you currently have an Explorer window open, you need to close it and open a new window for the changes to take affect.
To use this feature, navigate to a folder you access often in Explorer. Press Ctrl + number pad key to assign that folder to that number pad key. Then, all you do to access that folder is press that number pad key and the folder opens in the current Explorer window.
The numbers with the associated folder names display on the folder band bar.
Some common settings from different areas of Windows are consolidated on the Windows Settings screen.
To apply your changes click the Apply button in the lower, right corner of the 7plus Settings window.
There are many more settings to explore in 7Plus that allow you to customize Windows to suit you.
Download 7Plus from http://code.google.com/p/7plus/downloads/list.
Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.
- Published 10/11/12