How Do I... > ClipBar - Managing Taskbar Space
"I'd love to use the ClipBar, but I don't have any space left on my taskbar!"
-- Anonymous User
The Windows taskbar, originally meant to display icons of running programs, has gotten crowded over the years since it was introduced in Windows95 (back in 1995!). Along with the Start Menu and Task area, there is the System Tray Notification Area (SysTray) and the QuickStart bar. Additionally, you may have the Language Bar, the Media Center bar, or other 3rd-party bars from companies like Google or MSN. And now there's no room for the ClipBar!
Well-managed Taskbar, showing the various sections and "bars".
|•||Start Menu - Lists shortcuts to most of your programs. Right-click to adjust properties of the taskbar and system notification area (systray).|
|•||Quick Launch - Gives access to some of your most frequently used programs. These are just like desktop icons - they represent "shortcuts" to programs and folders, and do not indicate running programs.|
|•||Task Bar - Shows icons for (some) programs that are running. |
|•||System Tray (SysTray) - Also known as "system notification area". The area near the clock, showing icons for (some) programs that are currently running, but do not appear on the taskbar. Typically these are background processes that run all the time, such as antivirus, anti-spyware, diagnostics, backup programs, system monitors, and of course, ClipMate!|
|•||Other Bars - Optional bars, either built-in like the Language bar, or 3rd party, such as ClipMate's ClipBar, the Google Bar, etc..|
Ways to get more space
|•||Consider using a double-height taskbar. Drag the top edge of the taskbar higher. If it won't go, it may be "locked". From the right-click menu, de-select "lock the taskbar". Now you can drag it double-high.|
|•||Tame the Quick Launch bar. Dozens of icons can be in there, but you don't need to see them all! Drag it narrower so that it just shows 3 icons across. Unseen icons are now in a pop-up menu, which is accessed by LEFT-clicking on the "chevron" arrows on the right of the Quick Launch bar. In many ways, the menu is a lot handier than the actual Quick Launch bar.|
|•||Use the auto-hide feature of the systray. You can "lock" certain icons so that they always show, if you need to see them. Right-click on the START menu, select Properties. Select the "Taskbar" tab, and "hide inactive icons". Use the "Customize" feature to block some, and always show others.|
|•||Get rid of unnecessary tasks that place an icon into the system tray. We've all been through it, haven't we? You just wanted to watch a video, downloaded something to watch it, and now you've got one or more cute little icons in your system tray! Those are running processes which take up CPU and memory, not to mention valuable space. Disable, uninstall, or use a startup manager like Startup Guru or the one in Microsoft AntiSpyware.|
|•||"Stack" taskmanager entries by using the "group similar taskbar buttons" option. Right-click on the START menu, select Properties. Select the "Taskbar" tab, and "Group similar taskbar icons". Now if you run 13 instances of Internet Explorer, they'll all be "stacked" on top of each other, in one "slot" of the taskbar.|
|•|| Remove unwanted toolbars. You want the ClipBar, of course. But you can get rid of some of the others. Right-click on an empty space on the taskbar, select "Toolbars". Turn the on/off at will. If you have the "language bar" enabled (useful for multi-language situations), it may get "stuck". Here's an article on how to remove that (internet).|
|•||Turn off titles. Some toolbars have titles, which can optionally be used to take up even MORE SPACE! If you see a toolbar with an unnecessary caption, right-click on it and turn it off. Note that the ClipBar DOES show "ClipMate 7 ClipBar" as a placeholder, while it waits for the main ClipMate program to load. That's ok. But if you see it show that twice, or somethign similar, the title has been turned on. Turn it off.|
Clever Quick Launch Trick
The Quick Launch bar has that nice pop-up menu that comes up when you click on the arrows on the right side. Like many menus, it can have sub-menus as well. You may find it handy to create several sub-menus here to reduce clutter. To do so, right-click on an empty spot (may be tricky) and "open folder". Now you'll see the folder that the Quick Launch bar resides in. Here, you can make new folders! Then drag/drop other icons into those.
Now the tricky part is that the folders are generally more useful when they're on the menu, rather than in the handful of icons that actually make it onto the "toolbar" portion of the Quick Launch. If you find that they're in the toolbar portion, just drag the toolbar wider - 2/3 the size of the screen. Now drag the "folder" icons to the right. Then side things back where they were, and now those folders should be "shoved" back onto the menu portion. Now you'll have cascading menus in the Quick Launch menu.