“The Wonderful Icon” is a memory resident app that allows you to install a customized list of tasks and functions so that they can be launched from an icon in the system tray or through a hotkey (or both). It provides a large number of tasks for you to choose from, ranging from windows management to audio, clipboard, document, and hardware management functions.
The idea behind “The Wonderful Icon” is to enable the user to create a customized system tray utility that provides only the functions that the user feels that they need or wish they could access easily. Or alternately, to create a number of hotkeys for tasks that the user likes to be able to access quickly (or both hotkeys and system-tray based functions). A degree of creativity and user-involvement is required in setting this program up, since it provides such a large array of functions and tasks that the best way to get the most out of it is to figure out which functions you actually want/like to have.
Here are some notes on this program:
- System tray tasks: you can mix and match and install the ones you want in the system tray, separated by dividers.
- Hotkeyed tasks: you can set these up without them having to be in the system tray at all.
- Command line tasks: if you want, you can access all of the tasks this program offers from the command line.
- Some of my favorite functions (see screenshot above): hide/unhide desktop icons, hide/unhide individual windows (or all visible windows), minimize a window (or all windows) to taskbar,close all visible windows, close all visible windows, save/restore clipboard, mute/unmute volume, enable/disable (or launch) screen saver, type characters into window (you can copy this one multiple times for multiple phrases and invoke them with different hotkeys to get the functionality of a program such as PhraseExpress).
- Other functions: Always on top, bounce window to top/bottom/left/right of the screen, cascade windows, tile them horizontally/vertically, maximize all windows, maximize a window horizontally or vertically only, empty recycle bin, empty recent documents list, eject drive, dos box, disable/enable lower/raise window order, logoff/shutdown/reboot/reboot quickly (standby strangely absent), resize window to coordinates, move window(s) up/down/left/right (a weird nudging behavior), simulate mousewheel up/down, simulate pageup/pagedown key, do any custom 2 commands, if/then command. There are other functions not listed here.
- Launch programs: you can launch any number of programs from the system tray or using hotkeys (no you are not limited to 5 as might seem on first impression).
- Customizing tasks/functions: is possible for most of these. You can copy tasks and change them. Customizing tasks makes sense for some functions more than others
- Office documents: the program reserves special treatment to MS Office documents for some reason, which I thought I would mention but don’t really understand too well.
- Memory use: 6 megs. Not a lot for this kind of program, but not super lean either.
Although this program has not been updated since 2002, the website suggests that ver 3.0 is in the making and may be coming soon, which brings me to the final part of my review.
Wish list (or how this program can be even better):
- A better GUI: since creating a custom group of tasks is what this program is all about, it would be cool if the customization process is more user friendly and streamlined, employing, say, a simple drag and drop interface.
- Displaying Window-specific tasks on the on the toolbar of the Window itself (say by right clicking somewhere on the edges of a window). This makes much more sense for managing individual windows than doing it through the system tray.
The vedict: this program doesn’t just provide a functions and tasks in the system tray, but (more interestingly) the opportunity to customize the functions in the system tray such that it contains just the tasks that you like or want to have there. If you are looking for something to simply install and run then it may not be for you, as you really have to put some time into customizing it in my opinion. Definitely a treat for the uber-geek though.
Version tested: 2.2
Compatibility: Windows 95, 98, Me, 2K, XP. Vista support promised in the upcoming version (3.0).