I am looking for a software application or Add-In that will enable me to create completely customizable overlay Action Buttons & Bars in Windows 7.
I am a quadriplegic due to a spinal cord injury (SCI) 16 years ago. As a result, I have no feeling or movement in my hands, although I do have some movement in my arms. Thanks to some adaptive aids and a large trackball,* I can use a computer and spend almost all of my time involved in that activity. The biggest challenge for me is how long it takes for me to do almost anything. Consequently, I am a macro fanatic and in addition to using the shortcuts available in many programs (e.g. MS Office), I have created hundreds of macros, primarily with a freeware application called AutoHotkey (AHK). With AHK, I can create macros to do basically anything I can do with a keyboard and trackball. The main issue I find myself struggling with currently is being able to remember the large number of hotkeys associated with all of the macros.
A few years ago I was an avid World of Warcraft (WoW) gamer and like many similar games, WoW gives you the option to create rows of Action Buttons arranged in Action Bars:
There were also a number of Add-Ins available which allowed you to customize your user interface in any way you wanted. The one I had and liked best is called Bartender4:
The benefit of the action buttons is that they can include images and text, etc., making it much easier to remember their function.
Now I have spent quite a bit of time googling around the web trying to find something similar for Windows (7) but have not had any success. If someone knows of such an application, I would love to find out what it is and where I can acquire it. Following are a number of characteristics which I am hoping will be included:
1) create unlimited number of action buttons
2) customizable button sizes
3) customizable button locations (i.e. rows, blocks, etc.)
4) able to insert color(s), designs or images into the buttons
5) able to insert text overlaying button color or image
6) buttons configurable as hotkeys (triggers) for any macros
7) transparent-capable only appearing when mouse over occurs
8) others (I'm sure)
*On the chance that it might benefit someone, here is a list of my adaptive hardware and software:
Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice-recognition software (version Pro 11)
AutoHotkey (AHK) macro-building software
Nib for PC (& McNib for Mac) (auto-clicks when stop moving house, eliminates need to finger-click)
Kensington ExpertMouse (large trackball)
Logitech Gaming Keyboard G510 (18 additional keys x 3 modes = 54 programmable hotkeys)
Slip-On Typing/Keyboard Aid