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DropBar is an Application Desktop Toolbar, much like the regular Taskbar, intended for those of us who have too many windows open at once and want to organize them in a more customizable fashion than just buttons in the Taskbar.

In order to achive this, DropBar is organized in several tabs, each one containing several applications shown as both icon and label. Most operations are done through drag and drop.

This document will guide you to setup DropBar and learn about its features. Don't forget that DropBar is a work in progress and probably has some bugs and limitations.


When you first launch DropBar, no tabs are created by default. Yet you can see three buttons, one on the left side and two on the right side. The left side button, when clicked, maximizes the currently active window. This button is placed on the very left side, so that you can throw your mouse at it without aiming and click.

On the right side, you get a button to minimize the active window, and one to close it. Same remark here; throwing your mouse at the top-right side of the screen and clicking will close the active window. There is no such facility for the minimize button, a rectangle has too few corners :)

Adding and configuring tabs

Right-clicking on the bar show a context menu that allows you to add a tab (you can also quit the application from here). A newly added tab is empty and has a label 'New panel'.

To edit the tab's settings, just right-click on it and choose "Edit tab settings". This will pop up the following dialog box.

From here, you can change the following values:

Adding and configuring applications

You noticed that when you move the pointer over a tab, a window opens, splitten in gray rectangular areas. These are the places where applications will be displayed. To add an application in one of the rectangles, just drag and drop it (or even a shortcut) to the target rectangle. The application's icon becomes visible, as well as the program's name.

Clicking on this rectangle launches the application. When the corresponding program is running, a green LED show it. Then, clicking on the rectangle has the following effect:

You can drag and drop the application to move it to another rectangle. You can also drag and drop it to a rectangle in another tab.

Right-clicking on an application pops up a menu with two items: "Empty", which deletes the application from this rectangle, and "Settings", which pops up the following dialog:

You can configure the following items:

Drop commands

You can drag and drop any file to one of DropBar's applications. By default, it will try to launch the application, passing it the file name as parameter. You can customize this behaviour by setting the drop command in the application's configuration. The command must contain a "%s" specifier, which will be replaced with the dropped file name. Some examples:

Windows explorer

Drag explorer.exe from your Windows directory to an empty rectangle. Edit the settings. Change the drop command to

C:\Windows\explorer.exe /e,"%s"

Now, each time you drop a directory to the explorer's rectangle, it will open a new window in explorer mode, open in this directory.

Emacs and gnuclient

If the application is Emacs, and you have Gnuserv installed, you may want to change the drop command to

<path>\gnuclientw.exe "%s"

in order to drag & drop documents on the Emacs icon and have them open in your existing Emacs instance.


Thanks to David Vignoni for making the Nuvola icon set available.

The original idea comes from a MacOS shareware named DragThing, which I discovered through Tog's blog since I don't own a Mac.