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New Start++ update

by Brandon on March 22nd, 2007

Start++ 0.4.2 is now up on the download page. Mostly bug fixes, and only one new feature which is pretty specific to a friend who wanted CTRL+Backspace functionality (to delete the preceding word) in the Start menu. So Start++ will now add that functionality as long as it’s running.

Fixes include more reliable start menu hooking, better performance, a new icon (thanks Chris!) and fixes for a few crashes.

Note that in this release, the installer will not launch the program automatically, so you’ll want to go launch it yourself (unless you only run in the old-school “passive” mode).

By the way, last week Start++ exceeded 10,000 downloads! Nice!

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  1. Sean McLeod permalink

    Can you share any technical details in terms of the start menu hooking you’re performing?

    Is it an officially documented mechanism?


  2. Can you upload the new icon to this post so we can all see?

  3. Dhananjay permalink


    Can you make start menu search persistent for a certain period of time ?
    1. You search for note
    2. When you press start again within say a minute, it still shows results from last search “note”
    3. After that period it resets back.

  4. Sean –

    The original “hooking” mechanism is really just some clever use of shortcuts (.lnk files) and the built-in Start menu functionality.

    The newer stuff is a bit more complex. Catching the text as you type (and manipulating it for things like Ctrl+Backspace support) is a combination of the automation/accessibility APIs and a low-level keyboard hook.

    Drawing the custom UI pieces into the Start menu is an extension of that. It’s not something officially supported by Windows, but it uses only documented functionality and APIs found on MSDN. It does, however, use some clever windowing “tricks” to make it look like it’s actually integrating into the start menu. Basically, the same kind of stuff that Stardock is known for so well.

  5. Bastian permalink

    Hi Brandon,

    I’m sorry, but i can’t find any email or contact-form on your blog. Could you please mail me your email, so i can contact you about an interesting subject regarding start++.


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