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Customizable overlay Action Buttons & Bars in Windows 7

(7 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by goferevret
  • Latest reply from jmeeks49
  • Topic Viewed 2260 times

Posts: 2


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
Wrist splints

Posted 5 years ago
Posts: 4100

Mods, this should probably be moved to the accessibility forum. @goferevret, You may be interested in the accessibility forum section. jmeeks49 is the head geek there. He would surely be helpful to you. Check back as you will surely get a reply to your post.

Posted 5 years ago
Posts: 10945

Moved to accessibility forum

Posted 5 years ago
Posts: 2

Thank you for the responses.

>>>warlock: "You may be interested in the accessibility forum section."

That sounds great. I'm sure there are a number of threads there that will be beneficial. Being brand-new to HowToGeek, there is one question I have regarding moving a thread to a different forum. If the thread is moved, does that mean moderators from other forums (specifically from the forum in which it was originally placed) will no longer see it as a thread to which they can respond? While my question clearly fits in the category of accessibility, I wonder if moving it decreases the likelihood of getting a viable solution.

Posted 5 years ago
Posts: 6298

The moderators as well as most senior members monitor all forums. Not to worry. Any updates will also appear on the Latest Discussions page as well.

Posted 5 years ago
Posts: 10945

'I wonder if moving it decreases the likelihood of getting a viable solution'

No it does not, but some of our members monitor the Accessibility forum more than others. Notwithstanding, your question meets that requirement so watch this space.

Our member, John, has been emailed regarding your question, I'm pretty sure his input and knowledge will point you in the right direction.


Posted 5 years ago
Posts: 631

First of all, @Mike, thanks for the heads up.


I am not a heavy gamer wish i was but money hasn't been there to enabled me to be so my expertise as far as the game might not help you but again, it might just depends on how you judge the answers that i am giving First, a little about me so you can see where we are alike and not alike. I have Cerebral Palsy i am in a powered chair and my right side is more effected than my left which i can type with one hand.

Now, on to your problem, by the way you may not like some of my answers because they might cause you more work than not :-) the only suggestion that i have for dragon natually speaking is to make a micro for each menu bar and have the micros for each command listed out on word or something like that. if you will tell me where you are from there might be a chance that i can put you in contact with a assistive technology access center in your area or a vocational rebilitation service office to help in the matter. sorry i couldn't be more help.


Posted 5 years ago

Topic Closed

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