ToolbarToTop version 1.0 release 1, 6/24/2003
© 2003 Pallium, all rights reserved
Written by Bryan K. Ressler, Pallium Consulting Services
What Is ToolbarToTop?
ToolbarToTop is a program that quite simply brings a particular window to
the front. Typically you use ToolbarToTop's User Interface to create a
shortcut that when run, forces a particular window to the top of all other
windows on your computer.
ToolbarToTop was designed to bring Toolbar windows, such as the QuickLaunch
Bar or other toolbars created by right-clicking the Windows Taskbar. However,
ToolbarToTop shortcuts can be used to activate any top-level window providing
that window is already open somewhere on your computer.
You can get ToolbarToTop from the
- ToolbarToTop is distributed as a ZIP archive. To open the archive, you'll
need a utility like
- Create a folder called C:\Program Files\ToolbarToTop.
- Unzip the distribution ZIP file into the ToolbarToTop directory.
Why ToolbarToTop Exists
You can use ToolbarToTop to create shortcuts that you put in your
QuickLaunch bar (which is in the Taskbar and always visible) to bring
other toolbars to the top.
For example, I have the ToolbarToTop icon that is circled in the picture to
the right set up to bring my large Music toolbar (shown at left) to the top.
That way the larger toolbar is out of my way until I need it, but the toolbar
is one click away.
You can also use ToolbarToTop to "surface" windows that you always
have open. You've probably noticed that if you click the QuickLaunch icon for
Outlook twice, you'll get two instances of Outlook, which is probably
not what you wanted. So if you leave Outlook running all the time as I do, you
can create a ToolbarToTop icon that will bring Outlook to the top without
launching a new instance.
ToolbarToTop provides an easy-to-use graphical user interface for creating
- Make sure the "target" window, that is, the window you want to
bring to the front using ToolbarToTop, is open on your computer somewhere. It
needn't be on top.
- Locate the directory into which you installed ToolbarToTop.
- Double-click the ToolbarToTop icon. You'll see the dialog shown to
- The list shows the names of all the top-level windows currently open on
your computer. Select the one for which you want a shortcut.
- Click the Create "To Top" Shortcut on Desktop button to
create the appropriate shortcut.
- You'll get a message box confirming the creation of the shortcut and its
- You can make more shortcuts while you're here by repeating from step 4.
- When you're done creating ToolbarToTop shortcuts, click Cancel.
- Now look on your desktop for the ToolbarToTop shortcuts.
- If you wish, you may right-click the shortcuts, choose Properties,
then click the Change Icon... button to assign helpful icons to the
shortcuts that will remind you what window they bring to the top.
- Now typically you'll drag these shortcuts into your QuickLaunch bar,
providing you with a one-click mechanism for bring those windows to the
How Does ToolbarToTop Work?
(This technical description is only for the curious. Others may safely ignore.
The ToolbarToTop application takes zero, one, or two parameters. If no
command-line parameters are provided, the program displays its UI as described
If one parameter is provided that is taken to be the window name to bring to
the front. The program searches top-level windows for the first window with a
If two parameters are provided, they are taken to be the window name first,
and the window class second. The window class is a string that the Microsoft
Windows operating system uses to identify the class of a window. This second
parameter helps ToolbarToTop to distinguish between windows with the same
name. Typically it is difficult to determine a window's class, since this
information is not exposed to the user by any normal user interface mechanism.
That's why ToolbarToTop has a convenient UI for creating shortcuts.
© 2003 Bryan K. Ressler, all rights reserved worldwide.
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