Textify v1.9 now uses the UI Automation API

Textify is a tool which allows to copy text from dialogs and controls which don’t allow it otherwise. The core functionality of Textify is implemented with user interface accessibility which is provided by Windows. Until version 1.9, Textify was using Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA) which is available since Windows 95. With Windows 7, Microsoft introduced Microsoft UI Automation as a successor to MSAA. Since both frameworks worked equally well when Textify was created, I made Textify use MSAA which allowed it to support older systems as well.

But now it seems that some of the new technologies in Windows no longer support the old MSAA framework. This can be quite noticeable in Windows 11, where prominent elements such as the taskbar don’t support MSAA. To adapt to the new lack of support for MSAA, Textify now uses Microsoft UI Automation by default. Note that while the results are mostly the same, there can be subtle differences, and so it’s possible to get back to using MSAA by changing the settings in Textify.

Below are a couple of examples which compare the old MSAA which was used before v1.9 to the new Microsoft UI Automation.
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Posted in Software, Updates on May 20th, 2022. No Comments.

Windhawk mod: Taskbar Volume Control

In the previous blog post, Windhawk mods for the Windows 11 taskbar, I asked you to vote for 7+ Taskbar Tweaker features that you’d like to see as Windhawk mods that can also be used on Windows 11. One of the highly requested features was the option to control the system volume by scrolling the mouse wheel over the taskbar.

Here’s the mod that implements it, enjoy:
Taskbar Volume Control

Posted in Software, Updates on May 19th, 2022. No Comments.

Windhawk mods for the Windows 11 taskbar

A few weeks ago, Windhawk, the customization marketplace for Windows programs, was released. You can read the announcement blog post for more details and for the motivation behind creating it. One of the sections of the blog post was dedicated to 7+ Taskbar Tweaker.

Regarding the future of 7+ Taskbar Tweaker: It will keep existing as a separate program which supports Windows 7 to Windows 10. As mentioned in a recent blog post, most parts of the taskbar were reimplemented in Windows 11, and 7+ Taskbar Tweaker can’t be made to work with the new taskbar without a huge amount of work. My plan, at least in the short term, is to implement the most demanded customizations for Windows 11 as Windhawk mods.

Below is a table with features that are available in Windows 10 but are missing in Windows 11. Some of the features are part of Windows 10 (marked with the Windows icon icon) and some are part of 7+ Taskbar Tweaker (marked with the Tweaker icon icon). Please vote for the features that you’d like to have back in Windows 11. I’ll prioritize implementing the most requested features as Windhawk mods. For each implemented feature, the page will be updated to reflect the current status.

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Posted in Software, Updates on May 2nd, 2022. 19 Comments.

Windhawk, the customization marketplace for Windows programs

Windhawk aims to make it easier to customize Windows programs. It allows installing and configuring mods (customization modules) with just a couple of clicks. For developers, it provides a convenient platform for developing and sharing such mods.

You can find more details, browse for the available mods and download Windhawk on the official website.

Read on for the motivation behind creating Windhawk.

Windhawk

Background

As a power user, I often find the need to customize the programs I use beyond the default settings. If I’m lucky, the relevant program provides options to customize it the way I need. If that’s not the case, I have several options:
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Posted in Releases, Software on March 7th, 2022. 21 Comments.

A new website name – Ramen Software

The website just got a new, proper name – Ramen Software, and a new address – ramensoftware.com.

The rammichael.com domain was registered on April 2007, picked after my nickname which I came up with a year or two earlier – RaMMicHaeL. The nickname came to mind as a combination of a band name I liked back then and my personal name, all in mixed case which I found to be cool.

The website’s home page presented a collection of small utilities I made in my free time, and there was also a forum for discussing these utilities and other random topics. The website’s name was simply RaMMicHaeL’s home page. Some historical snapshots can be found on the Wayback Machine:

And I was even able to find a local copy of one of the earliest versions of the website’s home page.

In June 2010, I moved the website to WordPress. Here’s a snapshot from July 2010. You can see that aside from new content, the website has been mostly unchanged since then.

Today, the website gets a new name and a new address. In addition, there’s a new home page which lists the available software, just like in the old days. All the rest stays the same – the website is still about my software and I, Michael, am still its sole owner.

We’ll see what the future brings, but for now, I hope the new name will be easier to type, remember, and reason about for new visitors.

P.S. Why ramen? Well, ramen is a great dish, and I also got to keep the first three letters of the old name.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 8th, 2021. 11 Comments.

7+ Taskbar Tweaker on Windows 11 with Windows 10’s taskbar

7+ Taskbar Tweaker on Windows 11 with Windows 10’s taskbar

Windows 11 was officially released two days ago, and here’s another post about 7+ Taskbar Tweaker’s compatibility with it. In short: Nothing changed regarding the tweaker’s compatibility with the new Windows 11 taskbar, and probably never will, but there’s a way to get back the old taskbar, with which 7+ Taskbar Tweaker is mostly compatible.

Getting back the old taskbar in Windows 11

Let’s start with the good news. Even though Microsoft reimplemented the new Windows 11 taskbar from scratch as was mentioned in the previous blog post, the old taskbar code was left beside the new one, and there are several ways to activate it. Here is a great summary of the options by Gaurav, but I’ll just mention the steps that worked for me:
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Posted in Software, Updates on October 6th, 2021. 134 Comments.

7+ Taskbar Tweaker and a first look at Windows 11

Non-functional 7+ Taskbar Tweaker on Windows 11

About a week ago, on June 24, Microsoft officially announced the next version of Windows, Windows 11, the successor to Windows 10 which was released in 2015. Among the new features of Windows 11 is the redesigned interface throughout the operating system, which also affects the taskbar. As with previous releases of new Windows versions, Windows 11 breaks compatibility with 7+ Taskbar Tweaker, and even though Windows 11 wasn’t released yet and the first Insider Preview build was just released this week, users started to ask about compatibility of the tweaker with the new Windows version. I spent some time this weekend looking at the taskbar of Windows 11, and below are my findings.
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Posted in Software, Updates on July 3rd, 2021. 127 Comments.

7+ Taskbar Tweaker for Windows 10 May 2020 Update

Yet another Windows 10 update, yet another set of adjustments that were required for 7+ Taskbar Tweaker to support the new version. The newly released version, 7+ Taskbar Tweaker v5.9, adds support for the new Windows 10 update. Once again, I want to thank all the users who helped test the beta version, provided valuable feedback, reported bugs, and donated to the project. Your engagement keeps me motivated to continue maintaining the project.

By the way, that’s the 10-th Windows 10 version since the first release in 2015, congratulations!

Posted in Software, Updates on June 27th, 2020. 115 Comments.

Textify v1.8 can now use Chrome or Firefox for web popups

About two years ago I introduced the so-called “web buttons” in Textify in the Textify v1.6 meets the web post. In the original implementation, you could configure a button to open a link in one of the following two ways: in a popup window which hosts an IE control, or in the default browser. Using the feature for a while, I discovered that each option has its own drawbacks.

The IE control popup was often slow to load, especially for the Google Translate website. Also, several websites (again, Google Translate is an example) showed an offer to upgrade to a better browser right in the popup. Finally, you had to login to websites separately, since IE is probably not the browser you use daily.

Using the default browser solves the issues above, but the website opens in a new tab for most browsers. That’s too distracting, at least for me, especially when I’m already using the browser and need a quick translation or search.

Textify v1.8 improves the situation by opening the website in a new popup window while using the default browser. Currently, Chrome and Firefox are supported. Chrome provides an option to create a new minimalistic window without the URL bar by using the --app command line switch. Firefox doesn’t provide such an option, but it provides the -width, -height, -new-window command line options which allow to create a small popup window, albeit with the URL bar and the rest of the UI.

In addition to that, it’s now simpler to configure a button to launch a custom command, be it a URL or a program on your computer. Use the “More settings” button in Textify for details.

Posted in Software, Updates on November 7th, 2019. 16 Comments.

7+ Taskbar Tweaker is ten years old today!

Exactly ten years ago, 7 Taskbar Tweaker v1.0 was released (changelog).

Five years ago we remembered how the first version looked and where it all started. This time, there are two presents for the occasion:

Happy birthday!

Posted in Software, Updates on September 30th, 2019. 36 Comments.