The context menu in Windows is great way to access options that relate to the files and folders you are working with. The menu is so called because the options that are displayed depend entirely on the type of file you have right clicked – it is the context that determines the contents of the menu.
Right click a disc image and you’ll see the option to burn it to disc, right click an image and you’ll see the option to edit it, and there are also fixed items such as the option to delete or rename files as well as choosing which program they should be opened with.
While there’s a lot you can do to customize the context menu either by editing the registry or by doing things such as adding shortcuts to the Send To folder, there is much more that can be achieved by installing Right Click Enhancer. This is a tool that does precisely what the name suggests, making it possible to tidy up a context menu that has grown out of control as well as adding a range of new options that make common tasks easier to perform.
You can download a free copy of Right Click Enhancer by paying a visit to the program web site at http://www.rbsoft.org. Click the Downloads link at the top of the page and then click the Download button to the right of the Right Click Enhancer entry. The program is available in standard and portable formats; click the Download button to grab a copy of the regular version.
With the download complete, run through the installation in the usual way. Towards the end of the installation, you’ll be invited to install the Babylon Toolbar – you’ll probably want to avoid adding this to your software collection by clicking the Decline button. The same is true of the second optional piece of software Wajam
Exploring Right Click Enhancer
Right Click Enhancer is made up of a number of different components, not all of which are related to customizing the context menu. You can work your way through the various options, customizing the items that will be displayed in the context menu by default as well as creating your own cascading menus to help keep the shortcuts you create organized.
The sheer number of options that you’re presented with from the offset can seem a little off-putting, but there is no need to make use of every aspect of the program if you don’t want to. In fact, some areas of Right Click Enhancer can start to get pretty complex, but there are tools on hand that can be used to get quick fixes as well.
Basic Tweaking Options
Click the Right Click Tweaker icon and you’ll see a list of readymade menu items that you can add to your context menu. Although there are a fairly limited number of options available here, it may be enough to let your tweak your menu to your liking.
Most of the options here are self-explanatory but there are some that are of particular interest. The Control Panel option grants you easy access to the Control Panel wherever you may be in Windows, but the intriguingly title God Mode provides one-click access to all available options in the Control Panel as one long list.
More Advanced Menu Customization
These built in options are all well and good, but Right Click Tweaker really comes into its own when you use it to add completely personal shortcuts to your context menu. The Right Click Shortcuts Creator can be used to add your own shortcuts to the top level of the context menu so you can easily access frequently used programs, files and folders.
Click the first of the + toolbar buttons and you can select a file that you would like to create a shortcut to – this can be a program or a document. The second + button enables you to create a shortcut to a folder, and this can be any location your computer can access through Explorer.
If you select the Advance option from the Mode drop down menu you can also choose to enter custom names for the shortcuts you create as well as adding an icon of your choice for each item.
Even more interesting and useful options are available if you head to the Right Click Cascading Menu Creator section. This works in much the same way, but there is the added bonus that you can group related shortcuts together in sub-menus.
Right Click Enhancer is the sort of utility that you can get results from in a few minutes, but you’ll find the whole experience more rewarding and useful if you spend a little time exploring the various options that are available and experiment with different settings.
There are plenty of other tools to take a look at including the Send To Manager which can be used to build up a list of shortcuts in the SendTo menu so you can easily open up documents with applications other than the ones they are registered with.
Add to the this the ability to choose which files types appears in the New list, which options appear when you click on different file types and the ability to tweak the context menu that appears in Internet Explorer, and you have yourself an incredibly useful tweaking tool.