Standalone Stack is a free software that can launch any folder in Mac-style popup icon stacks that appear when you click on a shortcut and fade out when you move or click away. Supports two styles of icons: “grid” and “fan”.
I am always looking for cool and useful ways to access my favorite folders, and when it comes to the coolness factor especially “Standalone Stack” scores full marks.
Note that this program is based on “Stacks Docklet“, which is an add-on developed for Mac-Style Windows’ docking launchers such as “RocketDock“, “RK Launcher“, and Y’s Dock, but has been adapted to work from the desktop environment using simple shortcuts.
Practical applications for this software: Standalone Stack enables you to create shortcuts that point to folders, whereby clicking on the shortcut displays the contents of the folder in a hovering stack. You can use these, say, on your desktop to launch your favorite folders or as an apps launcher (if you create a shortcut that points to a folder full of program shortcuts). You could also use these “Stack shortcuts” as building blocks for use in other launchers (such as Circle Dock, for example, or even in the Windows Quick-Launch tray). I’ve been using my Stack shortcuts within a new toolbar inside the taskbar (see image to the right), which I’m finding to be a great way to access favorite folders.
More notes on this program:
- How to use: unzip in the location you want, then create a shortcut to “StandaloneStack.exe”. Go to properties and in the target field type in any name in front of “StandaloneStack.exe” (with a space separating them). Next run the shortcut and under the “Folder: Filesystem Folder” entry browse to the folder you are interested in. Next choose “sort by” (optional) and lastly choose Fan or Grid style (do not use the icon field). Click “OK”. Your shortcut is now ready and you can rename it, move it, and change its icon as you would any other shortcut.
- Image thumbnails: images in stacks appear as thumbnail previews, which is a quite nice (see example).
- Visual effects: the stacks feature a nice animated effect as they are unfolding or fading away, which is worth mentioning.
- Command line parameters: can be used to set the orientation of the stack if need be.
The verdict: I like this insofar as you can use these shortcuts as building blocks in all sorts of places on your desktop. I am also pleased that the standalone version of this is free from some of the bugs that afflicted the original docking-launcher version (which if I remember correctly does not auto-refresh). If you put some time into it you can probably come out with some interesting uses for this that have a high wow-factor to boot!
Version Tested: 1.0
Compatibility: Windows XP/Vista/NT 2000 SP4.
Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 413K).