HiddenMenu: a nifty little launcher that appears only when you need it


HiddenMenu is a tiny, free launcher for apps, files, or folders that remains out of sight until it is activated by mousing over user-specified edges or corners of the screen.

This launcher is truly lightweight at about 3 megs or so in memory, is portable software, and supports dragging and dropping of entities from Windows explorer in order to add them to the list.

But there’s more: you can actually create multiple menus, such that mousing over the top right will display a menu containing files and shortcuts relating to project A that you may be working on, while mousing over the right side of the screen displays files and shortcuts for project B, etc.

HiddenMenu Screenshot2

A few more notes on this one:

  • How to use: by default, HiddenMenu will become visible when you move your mouse cursor to the bottom right of the screen by default. You can customize it such that HiddenMenu appears when mousing over any of the sides and corners of the screen. You can also have multiple mouse over areas active simultaneously (e.g. activated when mousing over either the bottom or top corners as an example).
  • Adding elements to the list via drag and drop: say you’re using the default bottom right corner mouse-over area to invoke HiddenMenu, you can grab elements in Windows explorer (files, folders, executables, or shortcuts), mouse over the bottom right corner, and when HiddenMenu appears place them in a column in the interface. You can also re-arrange your items via drag and drop as well.
  • Reconciling shortcuts: when you add shortucts HiddenMenu will automatically link to the source. So for example if you add a shortcut from your desktop to HiddenMenu then delete that shortcut, the entry in HiddenMenu will still work because it linked to the original executable.
  • Columns, rows, and dividers: HiddenMenu will let you add rows, columns, and dividers to organize your stuff. You can drag items around to organize them.
  • System tray mode: you have the option to disable mousing over to display the launcher, inwhich case it can be invoked from a system tray icon. You can display two different menus for right clicking or left clicking on the system tray icon if you like.
  • Importing/exporting menus: you can actually save a menu to disk and re-import it, etc.

The verdict: this is a very nice little launcher that provides an excellent user experience. It has a very unique look and feel as launchers go, albeit reminds me of “RunIt” a little bit, which is another great launcher.

The possibility for multiple menus invoked from different parts of the screen is especially impressive and potentially useful. Moreover, the grid-style nature of the HiddenMenu interface makes it ideal for organizing your stuff; for example, apps on the rightmost column, files on the other columns, or whatever.

For Windows 7 the bottom right mouseover activation might be a bit too close to the location of the “show desktop” button, but that is easily remedied by changing the mouseover behavior to other places on the screen.

Version Tested: 2.2 revision 2

Compatibility: WinAll. Works on 32bit and 64bit OS’s.

Go here to download the latest version (approx 374K). Or visit the program home page (which seemed less reliable than the Snapfiles link).