SideSlide - Tour

Below you will find a tour of SideSlide's main features. Please go over this tour at least once. It includes many tips on how to think the SideSlide way and some of them are not so obvious.

Before emailing questions, please make sure to right-click everything and check out all the options.
It's very likely that you can do what you want to do, or disable stuff you don't like. If you have any feature requests, please let me know.

The Workspace

SideSlide is based around a configurable workspace that can be tucked away in any corner of the screen, top, bottom, right and left:

Drag the workspace via its title-bar and once you drag it to a screen corner, it will tuck away.

  • SideSlide fully supports multi-monitor setups so you can use it from anywhere.
  • Resize the workspace by moving the mouse pointer over the borders of the window.
  • Using the Appearance dialog [F4], you can tweak just about any aspect of the program to fit your personal style. Select a theme, change colors, buttons, fonts, background image or gradient fill.
  • Here is an example of the same workspace using different styles:


    Some more examples of workspace styles: Example 1, Example 2, Example 3, Example 4.

    Other than displaying the default (program's name and version) in SideSlide's title bar, you can select to display the current date and time or the available free memory and CPU utilization:

    • Select from the Title Bar drop down list [Settings → General → Title Bar].

Right-click the Collapse Now button (the upper right most button) to quickly center the workspace in the selected corner:

  • Select Maximize to maximize the workspace. You can also double-click the title bar. A maximized workspace can be a different way to work with SideSlide by disabling the 'on top' property of the window [Settings → General → Keep On Top]. You can show/hide the workspace from the system tray or by using the Global Hotkey.

    • Tip: A maximized workspace can be a great way to sort shortcuts, change position of objects and so on, then restore the workspace to its regular working mode.

  • Center, which is also available from the system tray (notification area) icon, will center the workspace on the desktop.

  • Lock Size/Position: Select this option to prevent accidental movement and resizing of the workspace. This option is especially useful when undocking the workspace with a finger while working in tablet mode. When the workspace is locked, the border line that surrounds it will become invisible. The workspace will automatically unlock when changing screen resolution (or when the screen rotates horizontally/vertically).
  • Suspend Auto-Collapse: Select this option when adding a bunch of shortcuts to the workspace (by dragging from the Desktop or an Explorer window) and you don't want the workspace to collapse back until you finish arranging them inside.
  • Keyboard navigation: Use [Alt]+[Space] to show this menu, F7 to maximize/restore the workspace and Esc to tuck it away.

The screenshot below shows the workspace in its usual "working-mode". Only a thin line of SideSlide's docking bar is visible:

  • Select between Large, Normal and Small size for the dock [Settings → Dock → Size].
  • When Normal or Small are selected, you can choose the relative position of the docking bar in relation to the workspace (Settings → Dock → Relative Position).
  • Change the bar's color, make it completely invisible (when 'Large' is selected) and set it to quickly flash for a couple of times when it tucks away.
  • The workspace springs into action as soon as you bring the mouse to the edge of the screen it is tucked in, and keep it in the same location for half a second.
  • Click if you don't want to wait.
  • Use the Global Hotkey (Win+Alt+S by default) to invoke the workspace using the keyboard.
  • From Settings dialog, you can disable the delay before the workspace pops out [Settings → Dock → Undock immediately] or select to ignore the mouse when it hovers over the workspace and only show it on click [Settings → Dock → Undock on Click].
  • Select Center Mouse [Settings → Dock → Center Mouse] to move the mouse cursor to the center of the workspace when it's undocked with the mouse.
  • The workspace will grab the focus allowing you to use the Keyboard Launcher if you click to show it, when using the Global Hotkey or when Grab Focus is selected [Settings → Dock → Grab Focus].
  • By default, the workspace will be on top of other windows and above the Windows Taskbar, in case it's positioned at the same place. You can disable this option from the Settings dialog and completely hide it from the system-tray menu [Settings → General → Keep On Top].
  • Right-click an empty space inside the workspace to reveal the context menu from which you can control every aspect of the program. The menu can also be accessed by clicking the top leftmost button. When accessing the workspace menu from the title-bar button, it also includes items related to the RSS news feeds functionality.

Settings & Appearance

The Settings & Appearance dialog allows you to change most of the default behavior and completely change the way SideSlide looks.


  • Press [F3] to open the Settings dialog, [F4] to load the Appearance dialog and [Ctrl+Tab] to switch between them.
  • Choose the desired section from the list on the left and go over the options with the mouse to see short info tooltips that explain what each option does.
  • [Settings → Keyboard Navigation → Global Hotkey]: Enter [ _ ] (underscore) instead of a letter to use the spacebar key, or \ (down) / (up) < (left) > (right) for the arrow keys. Otherwise you can use A-Z or 0-9. For example, you can use Alt+Ctrl+1 to show and hide the workspace using the keyboard.
  • All of SideSlide settings are stored in a single folder (press [F3] - "Open Settings Folder" when the Settings dialog is active). For backups, all you need is SideSlide.ini and the files under the Containers folder. You can also use the Backup option from the workspace right-click menu (Extra → Backup), the "/backup" command line argument or select the [Settings → General → Backup on Save] option.
    • To restore from backup: Open the settings folder and then exit SideSlide. Extract the *.con files from "SideSlide_Backup.zip" into the Containers sub-folder and SideSlide.ini into the main settings folder. Make sure to delete any previous *.con files from the Containers sub-folder before extracting the backed-up copies.
  • Changes you make while the program is running are saved to temporary files until the program is properly closed. If there is a system or program crash, the most recent changes will be automatically restored. Select [Settings → Misc. → Ignore Changes] and restart the program loading the last saved session. Manually save the workspace [F8] to permanently write the latest changes to disk.

Adding Objects

Add different kinds of objects to the workspace by right-clicking an empty place inside the workspace to show the popup menu. Select New and the object you'd like to add from the menu:

  • Use the hotkeys shown in the menu to create objects with the keyboard. The new object will be positioned where mouse pointer is.

There are other ways of adding objects to the workspace, such as, using the Online Library, dragging and dropping from Windows Explorer (e.g. your desktop) or the web browser, copying and pasting and more. More info can be found below.

Once you finish adding objects, lock the workspace for editing to prevent accidental object movement:

  • When the workspace is locked for editing, the Lock button will be briefly shown above objects you are trying to move, allowing you to unlock it for 10, 15 or 20 seconds [Settings → General → Briefly Unlock] before locking up again. The workspace won't lock back as long as objects are being moved.
  • Right-click the Lock/Unlock button to show the menu:

      Choose between locking the movement (including resizing) of all objects (containers, pictures, notes, etc) or select to lock only the shortcuts in place.

Containers

The workspace is expandable beyond its limits by the use of containers. New containers' size is initialized to a default value, but you can also create new containers inside the workspace by drawing them in the desired dimensions [Settings → Containers → Draw to Create].

Containers can be used to keep file and directory shortcuts, RSS news feeds, notes, URL's, pictures and you can even add folder connectors that link to actual folders on disk (this is an experimental feature which is not covered in this tour). Containers can be detached from the workspace, shrunk and folded to occupy less space, moved around (Ctlr+Z to undo a move, Ctrl+Y to redo), resized, renamed, arranged, displayed in different colors and more. You can add many shortcuts to the same container and group a bunch of them together using tags, or simply start multiple shortcuts at once.

- Using a container to manage a project

Tip: Change the name of a single container to #STARTUP (the number sign followed by the word STARTUP in all caps) and all of the shortcuts inside will be launched when SideSlide starts. This feature is useful to quickly add/remove startup programs when SideSlide is set to start with Windows. You can copy and paste shortcuts that already exist in the workspace or in different containers inside the special #STARTUP container. To place the #STARTUP container out of your way: Maximize the workspace [F7], position the container outside the normal workspace area and then restore the workspace window (Hit F7 again).

The basic operations that can be done with containers in the workspace are shown below:

  • Select Tag/Refresh RSS: This button is used to refresh selected RSS news feeds when the container is a news feed container, or to list container shortcuts that belong to the same tag (more on that below).
  • Besides the Fold/Unfold button, you can also fold and unfold containers by double-clicking (or middle mouse click) the container name label. Once you double or middle-click to unfold a container, expand a shrunken container or click the workspace, the previously unfolded container will fold back, keeping the workspace clutter-free.
  • Move the mouse over the Shrink/Expand button to expand shrunken containers. Click the container icon to expand it, double-click an empty space to shrink it back.
  • Start all shortcuts within a container by double-clicking the container icon when shrunk by enabling [Settings → Containers → Double-Click to Start All], or from the Container's Right-Click Menu → Shortcuts → Start all. When this option is unselected, double-clicking a container icon will immediately expand it, overriding the animation.
  • Add ready-made containers from the Container Library which is accessible by pressing [F6] or from the workspace right-click menu (under the Extra submenu):

    • Click the Go button when the search field is empty to list all containers in the library sorted by date.
    • Submit containers to the library by right-clicking a container and selecting Submit to Library. At this time, you can only submit RSS containers.

  • To add shortcuts to shrunken or folded containers, drag them to the container and hover for half a second over the container in its folded or shrunken state so that it will expand and allow you to place the shortcuts inside.

  • When the container is folded at the bottom of the workspace, it will unfold from 'bottom to top':

  • When the 'Container from Folder' setting is enabled, you can drag a folder from the Windows Explorer to the workspace and quickly create a container with shortcuts to the files within.
  • Shrink expanded containers by double-clicking an empty place inside. In addition, you can also shrink expanded RSS news feeds containers by right-clicking between the headlines.
  • When set to auto-expand (default), a container will shrink when you move the mouse away or click an item inside. You can keep the container expanded using the container right-click menu command 'Keep Expanded', or click an empty place inside to keep it open until you click on something else outside of the container.
  • The icon for a shrunken container will be based on the first shortcut you add to it, but it's possible to select a different one via the container right-click menu, or by right-clicking a shortcut inside the container and selecting the 'Use icon' command.
  • Select multiple containers with the mouse or by holding down the [Ctrl] key and clicking the container name label when it's fully visible of folded, or icon, when shrunk.
  • When dragging a single container while holding down the [Ctrl] key, all other selected containers will be repositioned as well:

  • When the container note contains text but is hidden, it will be indicated in the container toolbar with a square over the [N] button in the upper-right corner:

  • Use the mouse wheel to resize the text in notes and headlines font in RSS news feed containers by holding down the [Ctrl] key. You can also use the Pinch Zoom gesture in supporting touchpads.
  • Quickly Encrypt/Decrypt notes using RC4 encryption by selecting the appropriate command from the note's right-click menu. When the note is encrypted, an "Encrypted" label will be shown at the bottom left side of the note. The note will also become disabled so that it can't be edited until it's decrypted.

  • When the mouse is over a shrunken container icon or a folded container title, a tooltip will be displayed showing information about the items inside (shortcuts, headlines, notes, etc). The tooltip also contains the basic container mouse handling tips. Once you are familiar with them, you can hide this information by switching from "Full" to "Info" (drop-down list) under the Container section in the Settings dialog, adjacent to the Tooltip check-box.
  • Right-click a container and select 'Properties' to open the the 'Container Properties' dialog [F2]. This dialog allows you to change various settings related to selected containers:
  • Colors and other settings will be applied to all selected containers.
  • Select custom colors by clicking the color selector boxes or one of the 16 default quick colors.
  • Click the displayed icon to select a different one. The icon is shown when the container is shrunk.
  • Icon Color: Use the average color of the container's icon for the background colors. You can then adjust the color by clicking the Select Color box.
  • Shrink Size: Choose between 3 different sizes (Normal, Small and Tiny) to display the container when shrunk:

  • Spacebar Flip: Select the container to be included when using the spacebar key to scroll through containers (Expand and unfold). To use this option, from the Settings Dialog, change to 'Selected' under Spacebar Flip [Settings → Keyboard Navigation → Spacebar Flip].
  • Double Line Spacing: This setting controls the spacing between the shortcuts when arranging them inside the container. Set the default value for shortcuts in the workspace and for new containers from workspace's Right-click menu → Arrange → Double Line Spacing. More space between the shortcuts is especially useful for a touch screen enabled device.
  • Hide Toolbar: Hide the two right most container buttons, Fold/Unfold and Show/Hide Note, for a cleaner look.
  • The 'Arrange' menu item lets you change and organize containers in several ways:

  • Switch: Switch the position of two containers in the workspace.
    Select containers with the mouse or click the container's name label (or icon) while holding the [Ctrl] key.
  • Match Size: Quickly match the expanded size of all selected containers with the active one.
  • Use the Select Tag button to hide certain shortcuts and show others that share specific tags:

    The animation below shows how you can use the Select Tag button to place many shortcuts in the same container:

Some tips for creating notes:

  • Drag text from your web browser, or Word (or any other notepad replacement app that supports this behavior) to create a new note container. Hold down the [Shift] key to create a reminder:

  • Copy text to the clipboard and use the right-click menu command Paste Text [Ctrl+V] to create a new note container with the copied text.
  • Drag a text file (.txt) while holding down the [Shift] key to create a note with the file's content.
  • Enter the letter 'n' followed by a space and the text you'd like to insert into the note.

Detached Containers

Detach containers from the workspace using the container right-click menu 'Detach' command, or by dragging containers out of the workspace. Attach container back by clicking the attach [^] button at the top of the detached container, using the detached container right-click menu (right-click the detached container name label or an empty space inside) or via the workspace right-click menu (Arrange → Attach → ...) that allows you to attach all or individual containers back.

Containers will attach and detach to the last used location, unless you drag a container out of the workspace (in this case, it will detach next to the workspace on the side it was dragged from) or if you attach a container back to the workspace while the workspace is visible and the container hovers directly above it (in this case, it will attach to the exact place in the workspace it's above).

Once the container is detached, you can dock it to any side of the screen (top, bottom, left and right), completely hide it (a thin border line is always visible) or show its name in a tab so that you can easily find it. There are more settings you can control for each detached container individually by accessing the detached container right-click menu.

Here's a sample of a few detached RSS news feed containers:

  • Collapse a detached shortcuts container by double-clicking an empty space inside the container, and RSS containers by a right-clicking between the headlines.
  • Right-click a shortcut in a detached shortcut container for options.
  • Keyboard navigation: [Alt+F4] to close and delete the container, [Alt+A] to attach it back to the workspace, [Alt+Left], [Alt+Right], [Alt+Up] and [Alt+Down] arrow keys to dock the container.
  • Right-click SideSlide's system-tray icon to see a list of all detached containers. Undock or bring forward a detached container by selecting it from the list.
  • Right-click the detached container name label or an empty place inside, in case it's a detached shortcut container, to show the menu:

  • Switch between showing a small tab for the detached container or simply showing its edge by toggling: Dock → Use Tab.
  • You can quickly create additional detached notes with the same colors and settings as the one that's in focus, by clicking the [N] button in the note container toolbar or [Ctrl+N]:

    • Tip: Keep a single or multiple notes docked, either with a tab showing or not (Note's right-click menu → Dock), and use it to write quick reminders:

  • Fold/Unfold detached containers by clicking the +/- button in the container's toolbar, or by double-clicking the detached container's title-bar:

Shortcuts

The most common objects you will add to the workspace are shortcuts. Shortcuts can use any custom size, emphasis and colors, so that you can quickly find what you're looking for. Shortcuts can be grouped and identified by tags so that you can focus on the task you are working on, and even start multiple related shortcuts at once just by starting a single one. Shortcuts can point to files, folders, web URLs or system commands.

Adding Shortcuts

Manually add shortcuts using the New right-click menu (Right-Click the workspace → New...) or by dragging and dropping files from the Windows Explorer/your web browser to the workspace or to different containers (drag the file to the corner of the screen the workspace is located at and it will pop out). You can also copy files from the Windows Explorer and paste them in the workspace or inside a container [Ctrl+V]. Use [Ctrl+Shift+V] or the menu option 'Paste to Container' to paste shortcuts inside a new container. SideSlide is sharing the global clipboard with Windows so it's also possible to copy files from within SideSlide and paste them to a different location, such as the Desktop folder.

Tip: Add a new website shortcut by dragging the URL from your web browser's address field.

Arranging shortcuts with the mouse

- Basic Drag and Drop

Select multiple shortcuts with the mouse in the same way you select icons on the desktop. Then, click and drag a single shortcut by its name label (as opposed to the shortcut's icon) to sort all the rest accordingly:

  • See below under Keyboard Navigation for ways to arrange shortcuts with the keyboard.

Shortcut Mini-Toolbar

Select newly added shortcuts with the mouse to show the shortcut mini-toolbar. Use the toolbar buttons to quickly apply style settings or manipulate selected shortcuts: Start all selected shortcuts, Zoom-In, Zoom-Out, manually set the size, toggle bold font, sort ascending (A to Z), sort descending (Z to A), select color and remove selected shortcuts:

  • You can also show the mini-toolbar when clicking a shortcut while the [Ctrl] key is pressed.
  • Hold down the [Ctrl] key and scroll up or down with the mouse wheel (or use the Pinch Zoom gesture) to zoom in and out of shortcuts.
  • Clicking the color box in the shortcut mini-toolbar allows you to open the Shortcut Properties dialog, select a custom color for the shortcuts or select colors based on the shortcut icons:

More on shortcuts:

  • The number of selected shortcuts is shown in SideSlide's title bar. When a single shortcut is selected and it's inside a container, the container's name is shown inside square brackets alongside the shortcut's name. This can be helpful when using the Keyboard Launcher to start shortcuts and you'd like to know in which container the shortcut is hiding in.
  • Access recently activated shortcuts via the right-click menu → Recent. It's an easy way to quickly restart your mostly used, previously closed programs.

  • Move multiple selected shortcuts together and keep them in the same order by holding down the [Ctrl] key while moving (otherwise, the shortcuts will be automatically arranged).
  • You can also use the [Ctrl] key to right align shortcuts by dragging them a little bit beyond the right edge of the workspace and then releasing the [Ctrl] key:

    • This also works for shortcuts inside a container.

  • Swap the location of two shortcuts by dragging a shortcut by its icon and dropping it on top of another icon. This will work from anywhere, so you can switch shortcuts in different containers or in the workspace:

    • To make sure you are in the right place, a tooltip is shown when you hover over the shortcut icon with the one that is being dragged indicating that the shortcuts are about to switch places.
  • Drag files from the Windows Explorer to Folder Shortcuts to easily copy and move files from any location, to anywhere. Hold down the Ctrl key to toggle between Copy and Move:

    • Tip: Add a shortcut to the desktop folder and use it to quickly move/copy files to the desktop from anywhere, without the need to hide all open windows.
  • Drag a shortcut icon (you can also select multiple shortcuts and drag a single one) and drop it on top of another shortcut label to activate the latter using the first shortcut as the command line argument:

    • Another option for opening shortcuts with different ones is by using the Send To command from the shortcut right-click menu.
    • Drag a file (or multiple files) from the Desktop or any other Windows location to programs that are in the workspace or in different containers to open it with that program:

    • It's also possible to drag files to batch file shortcuts (.bat).
    • Disable the "Open With..." confirmation from the Settings dialog under the Shortcuts section.

  • When you drag and drop Windows shortcuts from the desktop folder, by default, they will be sent to the recycle bin. You can always create Windows shortcuts out of SideSlide shortcuts and commands using the right-click menu.
  • Preview picture file shortcuts when the mouse pointer hovers over an unselected shortcut. Hold down the [Ctrl] key to override this behavior and close the preview by moving the mouse away or by clicking it:

    • Select the Pin to Workspace button [^] to add the picture itself to the workspace.
    • Disable picture previews from the Settings dialog.
    • You can add actual pictures to the workspace or to different containers and later convert them to shortcuts to the picture files. See below for more.
  • The Shortcut Properties dialog allows you to change advanced settings for each selected shortcut. Open the dialog via the shortcut's right-click menu, or by pressing [F2]:

    • Hover with the mouse pointer over the items in this dialog to see more information about each option.
    • Prompt for Parameters: Select this option to always prompt for parameters when launching the selected shortcut(s). Already selected parameters (in the Parameters field) will be displayed and you can also ignore the parameters altogether. This option is particularly useful for frequently used programs that require different parameters every time they are launched.
    • Command: Select this option to add a system command rather than a file shortcut.

      Tip: Use && to separate multiple commands.

      Example 1: To disable hibernation, put the computer to sleep and re-enable hibernation; paste the following in the command text field then check the Administrator check-box: powercfg -hibernate off && rundll32.exe powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState 0,1,0 && powercfg -hibernate on

      Example 2: Exit Skype and Telegram and then restart explorer in order to refresh the lingering notification area icons; paste the following in the command text field: taskkill /f /im Skype.exe && taskkill /f /im Telegram.exe && taskkill /f /im explorer.exe & %systemroot%\sysnative\cmd.exe /c start /B explorer.exe

    • Icon: Use an icon from a different file instead of the program's own icon.
    • Comment: Show a tooltip when hovering over the shortcut's icon. This is especially useful if you have
    • many shortcuts that you don't frequently use and forget what each program does.
    • Speed Launch: Assign a Speed Launch number to a shortcut from the list on the right of the shortcut label. Invoke the workspace using the Global Hotkey and press 1 to 9 to launch. You can use the Tag Start option (see below) to launch multiple shortcuts at once using the numeric keypad.
    • The "Speed Launch" option is selected by default [Settings → Keyboard Navigation → Speed Launch / Calculator]. When this option is unselected, the number keys will be used to start the calculator. In that case, use [Ctrl+Number] to Speed Launch shortcuts.
    • Shortcuts selected for Speed Launch are also used as "Send To..." programs accessible via the shortcut right-click menu.
    • Press [/] (forward slash) to display the Speed Launch list and refresh your memory:

      - Example Speed Launch list

      • Press the number (1-9) on the keyboard or click the shortcut with the mouse to launch.
    • Tag Start: Select this option to specify that launching the selected shortcut will automatically start all other shortcuts that share the same tag.

    (More on shortcuts)

  • Shortcut Tags: Tags allow you to show specific shortcuts that belong to a certain tag and hide all the rest. Each shortcut can have multiple tags. Add tags to selected shortcuts by opening the Shortcut Properties dialog and entering comma separated tags (keywords) in the Tags field, or selecting an existing tag from the drop down list on the right-hand side of the Tags field.

    Scroll through workspace tags using [Ctrl+Tab] or show shortcuts that share the same tag within a single container (see above for the container Select Tag button). Example of flipping through workspace-wide tags:

    • You can also show all shortcuts that share a specific tag and hide all the rest from the main workspace right-click menu → Tags.
      From the same menu select 'Click to Tag Start' to start all shortcuts that share the same tag instead:

    • Delete shortcut tags using the workspace right-click menu → Tags → Edit:

  • Right-click a shortcut to show the menu:

    A shortcut right-click menu example for a shortcut with parameters

    • Override Parameters Field: Temporarily ignore any parameters assigned to the shortcut in the Shortcut Properties dialog. This option will only appear under shortcuts with assigned parameters.
    • Start Selected: Start the selected shortcut(s). This will override Tag Start if it was selected for the shortcut from the Shortcut Properties dialog.
    • Start in Background: Start the selected shortcut(s) while leaving the workspace active and in focus (the workspace will not collapse). Tip: Use Middle-Click to quickly launch shortcuts in background.
    • Tag Start: Start the shortcut and all other shortcuts that share the same tag. You can use this to open multiple folders at once, all of your web browsers when testing a site, etc. In the Shortcut Properties dialog you can specify that launching the selected shortcut (with keyboard or mouse) will always cause other shortcuts that share the same tag to start as well.
    • Send To: Send the selected shortcut(s) to one of the programs selected for Speed Launch.
  • Double Line Spacing:

    Double line Spacing under the Arrange menu

    Select this option to increase the spacing between shortcuts in the workspace when arranging them in columns. You can also change this setting individually for each container from the Container Properties dialog [F2].

  • Using shortcuts as labels:

      Another neat idea is to use shortcuts as labels to further organize other shortcuts (or any object for that matter) in the workspace or inside different containers. For example, you can use this technique to organize a project you are currently working on:

      Add a shortcut to any random file and change its icon to any generic icon that indicates it's a label and not an actual shortcut. You can also change the font size and color as shown in the image above.

Keyboard Navigation

SideSlide is fully keyboard accessible allowing you to keep your hands on the keyboard and still quickly open any shortcut, website, folder or news feed.

  • Click an empty place in the workspace or inside a container and press [Ctrl+A] to select all shortcuts.
    Press [Ctrl+U] (or [Esc]) to unselect.
  • Shift+F10 (Menu key) to show workspace/container right-click menu or the shortcut menu, when there are shortcuts selected.
  • Use the arrow keys to select a shortcut, then [Enter] to start, [Ctrl+Enter] to run as administrator and [Del] to delete.
  • Use the [Shift] key + Up/Down/Left/Right to select shortcuts (Esc to deselect) and [Ctrl] + Up/Down/Left/Right to adjust their position:

    Use the arrow keys to select and move shortcuts (Shift/Ctrl)

  • Use [Ctrl+Z] and [Ctrl+Y] to Undo/Redo containers and shortcuts position.

    Undo/Redo under the Arrange menu

  • Use the [Spacebar] key (forward) or [Shift+Spacebar] (backward) to flip through containers in the workspace (focus, unfold and expand).
    • You can select if you want to flip through all containers, RSS news feeds, notes and reminders or individually selected containers. See under [Settings → Keyboard Navigation → Spacebar Flip]. Designate individual containers to be included in the Spacebar Flip function by right-clicking the container title → Arrange → Spacebar Flip. You can change this option for multiple selected containers (select container with Ctrl+Left click).
    • Use the [Esc] key to shrink or fold containers.
  • Keyboard Tip: Notes can be automatically detached from the workspace upon creation by selecting [Settings → Containers → Detach Notes]. Invoke the workspace using the Global Hotkey, press [Ctrl+N] (or type "n " + text) to create a new note. When the note container is detached, you can tuck it away in the corner of the screen using [Alt+Left], [Alt+Right], [Alt+Up] or [Alt+Down]:

Keyboard Launcher

The Keyboard Launcher allows you to start any shortcut in the workspace with any custom parameters, open websites, easily open directories by navigating the directory tree, start all shortcuts that share a specific tag, create notes, calculate an expression, set quick reminders and search the web.

To activate the Keyboard Launcher, simply press on any key when the workspace is in focus:

  • Invoke the workspace using the Global Hotkey and start typing! You can also start typing when the workspace is in focus (when using the mouse) to show the Keyboard Launcher.
  • Enter any part of the shortcut you want to start and press [Enter]. [Ctrl+Enter] to start the selected shortcut as administrator (This will override anything else entered in the Keyboard Launcher).
  • Use the Down Arrow key to go to the next matching shortcut or [F4] to open the dropdown list, showing all other shortcuts that contain letters typed into the Keyboard Launcher.
  • Launch shortcuts with custom parameters:
    Enter the shortcut name, press the [Right] arrow key or [Tab] (to complete the name and add a space) and jump to the end of the name, then enter any additional parameters required by the program (this overrides any parameters specified in the Shortcut Properties dialog).
    Example: Add a new shortcut to c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe, type in "cmd" + [Tab] + "/c dir /s"
  • Open the default web browser and load a website by entering a web address (e.g. google.com).
  • Start all shortcuts that share the same tag by entering "t " followed by the tag's name:
  • * Since every shortcut can have multiple tags, you can also set a certain tag as the shortcut's name alias so that you can launch it with the keyboard using a different name.

  • Create a quick note by entering "n " followed by text:
  • Start a web search by entering "s " followed by text:
    • Change the default search URL under [Settings → Keyboard Navigation → Web Search].
    • Select [Settings → Keyboard Navigation → Start Web Search on Spacebar] to cause any input in the Keyboard Launcher that includes a space character to start a web search, as opposed to entering 's ' + search query. Omitting the space will look for workspace shortcuts instead.

  • Calculator: Enter = (the equal sign) followed by an expression. You can use ^, *, /, +, - and ()
  • Press [Enter] to see the result, continue the calculation or start a new one. There is also an option to copy the result to the clipboard:

    • Deselect the [Settings → Keyboard Navigation → Speed Launch / Calculator] to immediately start the calculator when entering a number. Use [Ctrl+Number] for Speed Launch.

  • Create a Quick Reminder by entering "r " followed by 0-99 (minutes) and a reminder:
  • Enter an RSS news feed name to expand, unfold or focus on an RSS container. Refresh the news feed using [F5] and scroll through the headlines with the arrow keys.
  • Directory Navigator: Enter the initial folder, or simply [\] (backslash) then the [Down] arrow key to quickly access all subfolders, the [Right] arrow key to go to the next level in the directory tree and the [Left] arrow key to go one level back. Press [Enter] to open the folder:

  • Esc, Esc, Esc, Esc: Press the [Esc] key once to clear the search box and unselect shortcuts. Press it twice to hide the Keyboard Navigator. Press it three times to unselect any selected containers (if there are any) and four times to tuck away the workspace.

    • You can also use the Esc key to shrink a cointainer that was just expanded and fold a container that was unfolded by double-clicking its name label.

  • Press [Alt]+[O] to open the target path of the currently selected shortcut (this will only work with shortcuts, not with system commands or URLs).

RSS News Feeds

SideSlide includes support for displaying RSS news feeds inside special containers. You can track multiple feeds in one convenient location. You can either have all RSS containers accessible from the workspace, shrunk, folded or fully visibly, or detached from the workspace to gain additional control. In addition to a built in viewer, SideSlide allows you to track subjects that interest you by highlighting headlines that contain predetermined keywords.

Add RSS news feeds by using the Add a News Feed dialog (Menu → New → RSS News Feed or [Ctrl+E]):

  • Web URLs copied to the clipboard before opening this dialog will be shown in the text field.

The new news feed will appear inside a container:

  • Expand and unfold (or just focus) on RSS news feed containers by entering the news feed name (Reminder: Rename containers, including RSS containers, using [F2] when the container is in focus.)
  • Use the Spacebar Flip option to scroll through the workspace's RSS containers and read the latest news.
  • Shrink expanded RSS containers using the [Esc] key, by right-clicking or double-clicking an empty place inside, as well as by double-clicking the "last update" label at the bottom left of the container.
  • Fold an RSS container with right-click, after unfolding it by double-clicking the container title.
  • Refresh the feed by clicking the 'Refresh' button (right of the shrink/expand button) in the container's toolbar, pressing [F5], using the middle mouse button, or by holding down [Shift] and pressing the left mouse button on the container's title or icon (when shrunk).
  • Press the [Down] and [Up] arrow keys to select headlines, [Enter] to open the built in RSS viewer or [Ctrl+Enter] to open on site. Press the [Left] and [Right] arrow keys to scroll horizontally.
  • After opening news items, the headline will be marked as read:

  • Right-click the container title or the icon of shrunken RSS container to show some specific RSS container menu items, such as Refresh (to refresh all selected news feed containers) Copy URL, Go to URL and Reset Icon in addition to the normal container menu items:

    • The 'Refresh on Expand/Unfold' option saves you the trouble of clicking refresh, and is pretty useful for weather RSS news feeds.
    • Select the 'Built-in Viewer' option to override the global setting for individual RSS containers.
    • Select the 'Article Tooltip' to show the first few lines of the news feed item in a tooltip when hovering the headline with the mouse or when scrolling through headlines with the arrow-keys.
    • Select 'Highlight Subjects' to highlight news items that contain keywords you previously searched for or selected to track. See RSS Search for more.

  • Some of the options in the menu are also accessible from the RSS container itself:
    • Set all items as read by clicking the [R] button at the bottom right of the container.
    • Quickly adjust headlines' size by clicking the [+] and [-] buttons next to the [R] button.

  • Right-click a headline to create a new note with the item's description.
  • Middle-click a headline to open it with the default browser in the background.
  • Use the mouse wheel + [Ctrl] (or the Pinch Zoom gesture) to resize headlines.
  • When you open a news item, or press [F12], the RSS Viewer dialog will be displayed:

    • You can disable the RSS Viewer for each individual RSS container in order to load the items directly on site. Even when the RSS viewer is enabled for a specific container, you can right-click a headline, [Ctrl] and left-click or [Ctrl+Enter], in order to open the article on the website.

RSS Search

Search for news feed items by opening the Search RSS dialog using [Ctrl+S] or from the main menu in SideSlide's title bar. The top 4 menu items are RSS related:

  • The RSS Search dialog lets you 'search as you type' within populated news feeds' titles and descriptions:

    • * The best thing about the search functionality is when you close the dialog and refresh a news feed, any item that is found containing one of the search terms will be highlighted (see the main RSS menu → Subject Tracker). This feature is useful to track various items that are important to you:

    • You can disable/enable headline highlighting individually for each RSS container (Right-click a container and select 'Highlight Subjects').
    • Add and edit subjects to track from the main RSS menu without going into the search dialog first ('Subject Tracker → Add/Edit').
    • When a subject is found, the RSS icon on top of the container icon will change from red into green, so that you can see when subjects were found even when the container is shrunk:

Detaching news feed containers

When you detach RSS news feed containers, you can have them automatically refresh every 5, 10 or 30 minutes by clicking 'Auto':

The animation below shows an example of how you can organize detached RSS containers (or any type of container for that matter) around the desktop:

Pictures

Add pictures to the workspace or to a container from the New right-click menu, or by dragging a picture file from Windows Explorer or an image from the web browser while holding down the [Shift] key:

  • Resize a picture by dragging it from any corner.

There are a few things you can do with each picture, such as, replace with another one keeping the same size, adding a comment (visible when hovering with the mouse over the picture), convert to a shortcut to the picture file, change to a relative path and more. Right-click a picture to see the menu:

Every JPEG picture you add to the workspace can be turned into a slideshow, displaying other pictures from the same folder. Start the slideshow by clicking the [Play] button at the bottom right of the picture, and stop is with the [Stop] button. By default, the slideshow will advance every time the workspace is undocked, keeping things interesting, but you can also disable this behavior by deselecting [Settings → Dock → Auto Slideshow].

Reminders

SideSlide allows you to add basic quick reminders to the workspace. Add a reminder from the workspace right-click menu, using the keyboard shortcut [Ctrl+R], or by dragging text (e.g. from the web browser, Outlook emails, etc.) while holding down the [Shift] key.

Here's the Add Reminder dialog:

By default, reminders are added as folded containers showing the scheduled date and time.:

  • Choose a different name by Right-clicking the reminder's title-bar and select Rename.

Reminders are special containers, so you can edit the text inside, change colors and more. When hovering over the reminder icon (when shrunk) or name (when folded), a tooltip will be displayed showing the time it is scheduled to appear:

  • Turn reminders into notes and notes into reminders from the note or reminder right-click menu.
  • Start the reminder text with an exclamation mark (!) so that when you clear the reminder by selecting [Complete] it will be turned into a note.
  • Create Quick Reminders from the Keyboard Launcher.
  • Right-click a reminder to change its colors, rename it, edit and more.
  • To change the Shrink Size of a reminder, select the reminder as well as another container (Ctrl+Click to select) and use the other container to change to Shrink Size of both (Right-click → View → Shrink Size).
  • Create a red/important reminder by including ** (two asterisks) in the reminder's text.
  • Select [Settings → General → Repeat Reminder] to keep the reminder alarm sound going for 10 times.

    The reminder alert will pop up at the bottom right corner of the screen. You can mark it as complete, snooze for 5 more minutes or open the reminder for editing. The color is based on the reminder color in the workspace:

    • The alarm sound you hear is the alarm.wav file found in SideSlide's root folder. You can change it to any other WAV file, or delete it. There are plenty of alarm sounds in "C:\Windows\media". Copy a wav file to SideSlide's root folder, delete alarm.wav and rename the new file instead.
    • Download an alternative alarm sound here.

There are many more things you can do with SideSlide and some that I haven't covered (like Folder Connectors and more). Make sure to right-click everything and experiment! Until I come up with a proper user manual, this tour should be more than enough to get you started. There's also tons of information in the Change Log, when new features were added.

Extras

Use SideSlide from a USB drive/Portable Installation

Download the portable version Zip file from the Download page and extract to the USB drive.

Any object (wallpaper, file, folder, picture, etc) you add from the same USB drive will be accessible even when Windows assigns a different drive letter to the drive.

Quickly change the target path for shortcuts be using the "@" (at symbol) instead of the drive letter when editing shortcuts from within the Shortcut Properties dialog.

Multiple Workspaces

To use more than one workspace, extract the portable version into different folders (e.g. SideSlide1, SideSlide2, ...) and launch SideSlide.exe from each folder.

Show/Hide the Workspaces using a 3rd party software

When starting SideSlide.exe from the same location (e.g. the default installation folder), the workspace will show if it's hidden or undock. You can use a 3rd party software such as Logitech SetPoint, Microsoft Keyboard and Mouse Center or the Surface Pen to set a button that shows and hides the workspace by pointing to SideSlide.exe.

Themes

Download additional themes to completely change SideSlide's appearance:

  • Click the image below to download the theme's zip file.
  • Open SideSlide's settings folder by pressing [F3] when the workspace is in focus and [F3] again when the Settings dialog is displayed.
  • Extract the zip file into the SideSlide\Skin folder. The .ngt file should be in the Skin folder, Buttons and Wallpaper in Skin\Buttons and Skin\Wallpaper.
  • Some themes are using the same title-bar buttons and some use the preinstalled ones such as the default button set.

Command line options:

/?: List command line options
/loadrss: Load RSS newsfeeds on startup
/nosplash: Suppress splash screen
/backup: Backup SideSlide settings into a zip file. The zip file, "SideSlide_Backup.zip", is created in SideSlide's settings folder.
/silent: Do not show the Backup Complete notification.

Using non-English characters for shortcuts, container names and other workspace elements (v5.45b and above)

Setting a Language for Non-Unicode Applications:

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Select "Clock and Region".
  3. Select "Region".
  4. Click the "Administrative" tab.
  5. Under "Language for non-Unicode programs" click "Change system locale".
  6. Choose your language under "Current system locale" or select "Beta: Use Unicode UTF-8 for worldwide language support".

Windows Vista/7/8/10/11: Starting an app that requires admin privileges without the UAC prompt

You can select the Administrator check-box for shortcuts that require admin privileges, but you can also run shortcuts with the highest privileges without the UAC prompt:

  • Click the Windows Start button.
  • Enter Task and launch the Task Scheduler application.
  • From the menu select Action and Create Task...
  • Give the task an easy to remember name (preferably the name of the program you want to run with admin privileges, e.g. CCleaner).
  • Check the Run with highest privileges check-box.
  • Switch to the Action tab, click New... and then click Browse... to select the program.
  • Click OK twice.
  • From SideSlide:

  • Add the program shortcut to the workspace, right-click the new shortcut and select Properties.
  • Optional: Select and copy the path from the Target field and paste it in the Icon field.
  • Check the Command check-box.
  • Enter schtasks /run /tn "THE NAME YOU CHOSE FOR THE TASK" in the command field.

Shortcut to My Computer

    Create a shortcut to C:\Windows\explorer.exe and copy and paste the following in the Parameters field:
    ::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}

Shortcut to delete folders and files:

    The following batch script will completely delete entire folders or files without warning, skipping the recycle bin:
    @echo off
    if exist %1\ (
    	rmdir /s %1
    ) else (
    	if exist %1 (
    		del %1
    	) 
    )
    								
    Warning! Only use if you know what you're doing: Save this file as "Delete.bat" anywhere on your hard disk and it to the workspace (rename and set other options from the Shortcut Properties dialog). Now you can drag files or folders straight to this shortcut in order to completely delete them.

Taking back Win+S shortcut key:

    Since Windows 10 Anniversary Update, the key combination Win+S opens Search/Cortana.
    If you would like to use it in SideSlide again, follow the steps below:
    Open the Registry Editor and naviage to:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\
    Create/edit DisabledHotkeys as Expandable String Value.
    Double-click it and type s
    Log out and log back in.
    You will now be able to use Win+S as SideSlide's Global Hotkey.

    You should always back up the registry before making changes!

Shortcut to 'Show my Desktop' (hide/minimize all windows and show the desktop):

    Create a new System Command shortcut (Ctrl+O), then copy and paste the following in the Command field:

    %windir%\explorer.exe shell:::{3080F90D-D7AD-11D9-BD98-0000947B0257}

    Set the "Run:" dropdown list to "Minimized".

Windows 10/11 apps

    1. Open the Container Library [F6].

    2. Enter 'apps' in the Search field and press the Enter key or click the 'Go' button.

    3. Select a container and click 'Add'.

Shortcut to Task Manager:

    Search for "Task Manager" in the Container Library [F6] and add the container. You can then move the shortcut to any location in the workspace and also set it for Speed Launch.

Shortcut to Microsoft Edge Browser:

    Create a new Web URL shortcut (Ctrl+W) and paste the following into the URL field:

    microsoft-edge://

Shortcut to Windows Update:

    Create a new System Command shortcut (Ctrl+O), then copy and paste the following in the Command field:

    start ms-settings:windowsupdate

    Select "Minimized" from the "Run" drop-down list.

Other Windows apps:

    Create a new Web URL shortcut (Ctrl+W), then copy and paste one of the following in the URL field:

    bingweather://

    bingmaps://

    ms-clock://

    ms-photos://

    microsoft.windows.camera://

    onenote-cmd://

    mailto://

    ms-windows-store://

    mswindowsmusic://

    mswindowsvideo://

    ms-settings://

    calculator://

    ms-todo://

Close Windows Metro Apps with a mouse click (Windows 8):

    ClickToClose is a tiny utility I wrote that allows you to click the upper right corner of a Windows 8 Metro app (where the Close button should be) in order to close it and switch back to the Desktop.

    Download ClickToClose.zip, extract to any folder (there are 3 files in the archive, a DLL file, an executable and a batch file to close the program) then run ClickToClose.exe (you can also place a shortcut to ClickToClose.exe in the Start Menu Startup folder).

    • The DLL and Executable must be in the same folder.
    • There is no Exit button or Close button, you must end the ClickToClose.exe task from the Task Manager. You can also run the 'Close ClickToClose.bat' file.
    • I'm not sure if it will work for you, but give it a try.
    • There is also the added benefit of double-clicking the upper right corner of the desktop to bring up the Shutdown Dialog.
    • Even when you can close the app in Windows 8.1 by clicking the [x] close button, the app still stays in memory. With ClicktoClose, the app is closed with Alt+F4 so it's completely gone.