Return to MaDdoG Software Central PaneKiller tips & tricks

I'm maintaining a list of cool and non-obvious ways to use PaneKiller. If you have a suggestion that you think belongs on this list, email me!

Also, please send me email if you have any questions about how to access any of the features listed below.

Finally, make sure you're using the latest version of PaneKiller: these tips all work with v1.31 or newer.

  1. You can have a Favorites menu (listing your internet shortcuts, most-used documents, whatever you store in Favorites...) just like the Internet Explorer 4 shell, without having to install the IE4 shell.
  2. Start Menu maintenance -- PaneKiller provides a really easy way to edit your Start Menu, because (unlike the real Start Menu, unless you're using the IE4 shell) you can right-click items to get their properties or delete them, or double-click a folder to open it and edit its contents.
  3. Check out the menu transitions -- you've got a modern computer with the power for some cool graphical effects; why not take advantage of it?
  4. Get Display Properties when your desktop is covered up -- if you like, you can do it even without moving the mouse!  Just right-click (or press the Menu key) on the Desktop item in the main PaneKiller menu.
  5. Ever notice how some programs install themselves into the Start Menu, not as a shortcut to the program or as a submenu with shortcuts to programs, but as a shortcut to the program folder? An example of this is HyperTerminal, in the Accessories menu. You have to go open this folder to run the program you want to run. PaneKiller gets this right -- the shortcut to a folder acts just like a folder, and you can access the items in the folder right from the PaneKiller menu. Isn't that how shortcuts are supposed to work?
  6. PaneKiller has an automatic, easy way to get to some of the most important Windows "folders" with special functionality: for example, My Computer and Control Panels. (Look in the "Menus" page of PaneKiller's properties.) But just because a special folder isn't listed here, doesn't mean PaneKiller can't do it. Anything you can create a shortcut to (in the PaneKiller Items folder), you can put in the PaneKiller menu. This will work for Dial-Up Networking, Fonts, you name it...
  7. If you want easy access to certain Control Panels but find the whole list overwhelming (come on, how often do you need to change your mouse settings?), create a folder inside your PaneKiller Items folder, and fill it with shortcuts to only the control panels that you use frequently.
  8. PaneKiller does not (currently) let you change the sort order for individual items, but you can take advantage of the alphabetic ordering to make things come at the top of the list -- try starting the name with one or more spaces to force it to the top, or you can start the name with a number, which will come before all letters and let you control the relative ordering too.
  9. If you want PaneKiller to appear on the Quick Launch area of the IE4/Win98 taskbar, or any other similar launchbar, you can create a shortcut to PaneKiller using the /displaymenu option: the command line will look like
    "C:\Program Files\MaDdoG\PaneKiller\panekill.exe" /displaymenu
    PaneKiller does need to be already running for this to work, but if you don't want it to show up in the other areas of the taskbar, you can go to PaneKiller's Properties, Taskbar page, hold down Shift, and deselect all the appearance options.  Be careful, if you do this, to set and remember the hotkey so you can still get to PaneKiller if you need to!
  10. Put your Quick Launch folder in the Start Menu, thanks to this tip courtesy of John Clayborne:

    Tip- Put your Quicklaunch bar on the start menu.  Btw, the reason I worked this out is because I use a virtual desktop manager somewhat and had my QL bar anchored to the top of the screen.  Even though the VD utility supports sticky apps, I just couldn't get it to work with QL.  I'd lose the QL bar when I was on a desktop other than #1 when it was located somewhere other than the taskbar. 
    1. In Winows Explorer, browse to C:\Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer
    2. In the IE folder, you'll find the Quicklaunch Folder.  Right click on this folder and select "Send to desktop as shortcut"
    3. Having done that, right click the Start Menu button, select "open"
    4. Copy or move the Quicklaunch folder shortcut you just created on your desktop into the folder you just opened then close this folder.
    5. Bingo!  There you have it.   At this point I find it useful to close the QL toolbar and rely on the above.  I reopen it long enough to create a new shortcut and then close it down again immediately afterwords
  11. Add custom PaneKiller-powered menus to your Quick Launch bar: create a shortcut on the Quick Launch bar to PaneKiller (to do this, you can just drag PaneKill.exe with the right mouse button onto the Quick Launch bar, and select "Create Shortcut here").   Then, right-click this shortcut, choose Properties, and add /displaymenu /mousepos [name of any folder you want] to the end of the command line next to Target, outside of the quotation marks.  Your Target should look like:
    "C:\Program Files\MaDdoG\PaneKiller\PANEKILL.EXE" /displaymenu /mousepos C:\Cool\Stuff
    Note that the position of the quotation marks is important.
  12. Extend the last tip to make your own toolbars that pop out of the Quick Launch area.   Create a new folder, anywhere you want, and populate it with shortcuts to the things you use the most (internet apps, graphic programs, whatever).  Then use this folder after /displaymenu /mousepos in the tip above.

PaneKiller tips & tricks / Matt Ginzton /
Last modified on 8/26/99