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Submission details

6 +13/-7 votes

Improve Taskbar modes

Submitted by pmbAustin on January 31, 2010 to Aesthetics, Annoyance, Usability

The task bar has a few different modes, but they aren't really comprehensive, and some of them exhibit inconsistent behavior.

1) The standard mode ("Always combined, hide lables") behaves oddly/inconsistently when there are multiple instances of an application open (or multiple tabs in IE8). If another window comes up front, it takes TWO clicks to get back to where you were. Clicking on the icon just brings up thumbnails, then you have to click on the instance. A click on the icon should bring up the last top-most instance (or tab) of that appliaction.

2) The more useful mode ("Combine when full") includes labels. Clicking on the icons works as expected even when multiple instances are open (good). Multiple instances are "grouped" side-by-side, rather than all in one button (i.e. "stacked"). Great. But if there are multiple instances of a single app open (like multiple notepad files or VS2008 instances), you can move the entire side-by-side group with respect to the other icons and apps on the task bar, but you cannot reorder the instances within the side-by-side group. The individual instances are always in the order they were launched. There really needs to be a way to re-order instances within the group.

3) Finally, there is no option for "Combine with full, hide labels", or "Never combine, hide labels". This is actually what I'd prever. The "Hide labels" should be a separate check-box, orthogonal and indepdent of the "combine" mode.

4) And lastly, in the "Combine when full" mode, it would be nice to have options to right-click a group of side-by-side options and say "combine", or right-click a combined set of instances and select "un-combine" (or some better term). If the taskbar is full when you uncombine something, it should combine some other set that is uncombined to make room. Put the user in control.

See above: separate out the "Hide labels" option from the "combine" options, and provide the ability to manually group and ungroup multiple instances.

Medium

Medium

Not fixed

Discussion (7 comments)

Nikola wrote on January 31, 2010, 4:41am

+1

you can achieve "never combine,hide lebels" with 7 taskbar tweaker http://rammichael.com/?proj=29

Indrek wrote on January 31, 2010, 11:02am

pmbAustin wrote:
"If another window comes up front, it takes TWO clicks to get back to where you were."

Actually, it takes a Ctrl+click.

Also, this has been brought up several times before. Please take the time to search the site before posting something.
http://www.windows7taskforce.com/view/1454
http://www.windows7taskforce.com/view/1560
http://www.windows7taskforce.com/view/2236
http://www.windows7taskforce.com/view/2355
http://www.windows7taskforce.com/view/2657
http://www.windows7taskforce.com/view/2846

RedSign wrote on January 31, 2010, 1:33pm

Most things were already posted here and there is just to much stuff in this one suggestion. What if one would say yay to one point but nay to another within this suggestion?

pmbAustin wrote on January 31, 2010, 5:27pm

All the things work together. It's One suggestion of how to make the bar work better.

And Ctrl-Click? That still doesn't make it CONSISTENT behavior.

Sorry, my submission and request stands as-is, and I think it's a great idea that would make Windows far more consistent and usable.

And yes, I searched, but I wanted one comprehensive suggestion that tied everything together to show how it would all work and play together. Besides, if one aspect has been suggested so often, then obviously it's a GOOD IDEA with a lot of demand out there, so it's not something you should be *deprecating*, now is it?

RedSign wrote on January 31, 2010, 6:32pm

It is a good idea if it will be promoted enough. Constantly posted suggestions are not good just because there is a bunch of guys reposting it all over the place.

Comment edited on January 31, 2010, 7:32pm

Indrek wrote on January 31, 2010, 7:45pm

pmbAustin:
"And Ctrl-Click? That still doesn't make it CONSISTENT behavior."

I never said it was consistent. Still, it's amazing, the neat things you find with the liberal application of Ctrl and Shift keys during clicking or dragging things.

"Sorry, my submission and request stands as-is..."

No need to apologise. Still, our demotes also stand as-is, because as great an idea as it is, it's been debated thoroughly already.

"And yes, I searched, but I wanted one comprehensive suggestion that tied everything together to show how it would all work and play together."

Classic newcomer mistake :) It's actually better to separate the ideas into several submissions, to keep the votes and ensuing discussion separate as well. Otherwise you'll have people debating half a dozen things at once (which gets confusing quickly) and demoting the "one comprehensive suggestion" simply because they disagree with some parts of it (which is perfectly understandable).

As for this particular idea, I'm sure we're all pretty aware of how it would all work and play together, after at least 6 submissions on the subject.

jakkkob wrote on November 18, 2010, 2:25am

Damn Right pmbAustin !

If your work with Excel and 2 word documents for instance, or, with Stata which you must use a log window, this would be more than useful to chose which icon must be combine and which shouldn't.

It's a bit odd that, a "big company" had not thought of that. Let's not mention the goofy access to control panel settings ........... why you can access to the same "control section" from 3 or 4 different places

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