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Using Optool

internetshortcut.jpgUsing the tool is very simple. Basically Optool consists of a popup menu with a lot of choices useful for surfing the internet or developing web sites or internet applications.

There are basically four ways to invoke Optool:

  • Pressing the hotkey combination
  • Clicking on the tray icon
  • Making a long right click
  • Clipboard activation


Hotkey

Just press the hotkey you have chosen to invoke the popup menu and select what you want to do. If you mainly use two specific browsers and just want to switch between these two, you can instead make Optool switch immediately when you press the hotkey, without showing the menu. If you want to invoke the menu with this option set, you can always click on the tray icon or make a long right click.

The default hotkey is Shift-Ctrl-A since this key combination is easily accessible and not in use in most of the browsers. However, you can change the hotkey to almost whatever you like. To prevent possibly conflicts with keyboard shortcuts in other applications, Optool's hotkey is only active when one of the supported browsers is in the foreground. You can turn this behaviour off using the Settings menu if you would like to access the popup menu from any application. (Which incidentally might be worth considering since Optool offers features useful in non-browser apps too!)

Tray icon
Left or right click on the tray icon to invoke Optool's popup menu. If you don't want the tray icon, you can switch it off. Please note that Windows has a habit of hiding tray icons even if you tell it not to!

Long right clicks
Long right clicks is a new and unique way to invoke Optool's popup menu. Just click and hold the right mouse button for half a second near the right edge of the window, and the menu will appear. The reason for the long right click zone is that it could otherwise interfere with other special right click actions such as mouse gestures. Just start the mouse gesture before the zone and it will work seamlessly. You can set the width of the right click zone or, if you don't use mouse gestures and the like, use the full window width. And of course, you can disable long right clicks completely.

Clipboard activation
Optool can monitor the clipboard and take appropriate action if a URL is copied to the clipboard. This is convenient eg. if you have a text document with a lot of links that are not active (non-clickable).  As default you must copy the URL twice within 5 seconds to make Optool react - this is to avoid having Optool show up if all you want is to copy a URL for pasting it into an email etc. By changing the settings you can make Optool show up on the first copy. Btw, you don't have to select the URL twice; just select it once and press Ctrl-C twice!

Some applications (like MS Word) use the clipboard in weird ways (to put it mildly) which may sometimes confuse Optool. If you find Optool showing up unexpectedly, try to check the option "Control must be down" which means that Optool will only react if the control key is down while copying the URL - typically by pressing Ctrl-C. Version 2.1 is much better at coping with the clipboard weirdness of MS Word, though, so this option should not be necessary.

Next: The Popup Menu


Last Updated ( Friday, 08 July 2005 )