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Pin a Metro W8.0 Store App to the Taskbar

, 11 Jul 2013
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I wanted to pin a windows store app to the taskbar. This is not supported in W8.0.

Introduction

I wanted to pin a windows store app to the taskbar. This is not supported in W8.0. 

Script to Launch a Store App

After ample search I found a simple script on the internet to launch a store app, while the name app can be changed or be replaced by a parameter. Code in the script.vbs file:

Set objShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
objShell.SendKeys "^{ESC}"
WScript.Sleep 100
objShell.SendKeys "PlayMyMusicFolders"
WScript.Sleep 100
objShell.SendKeys "{ENTER}"

And voila!

So I made a shortcut to the script.vbs file, changed the Icon, pinned the shortcut to the taskbar and Voila! (that is almost French for ta-taah!) ... The chosen icon is not shown on the taskbar, but instead an ugly .vbs icon is shown.

I suppose there are more elegant solutions, but if you are a hammer you see nails everywhere, so I made a minimal C# program to run the script. Make a link to this program, change the icon and pin this shortcut to the taskbar and Joepie! (that is Dutch for Jippeeh!) it works.

RunScriptDotVbs to Run script.vbs

Program RunScriptDotVbs.exe is a C# console application with in program.cs:

static void Main(string[] args)
{
  string cmd=  System.IO.Path.Combine(AppDomain.CurrentDomain.BaseDirectory,"Script.vbs");
   
  var start = new System.Diagnostics.ProcessStartInfo();
  start.FileName = cmd;

  try
  {
    var process = System.Diagnostics.Process.Start(start);
  }
  catch 
  {
    Console.WriteLine("No file Script.vbs found in current folder to run");
    Console.WriteLine("Hit <Return> to exit");
    Console.ReadLine();
  }
}

Points of Interest

  • The user experience of starting/switching to a Metro store app from the desktop using the taskbar is much better then using the startmenue or Win+Tab keys. However the number of such pins is limited. One could consider a JumplistLauncher for Metro Apps for a larger choice of items. Another option to consider: it is possible to start an app in a "snapped" state aside the desktop. Of course it is possible to write an app that is always in a snapped state.

  • We have a working solution with minimal open source, though other solutions are possible.
  • Launching is a little bit rough (the script does a search, app opens with a flip, a console window is opened).
  • I needed a pin to one app and I had the icon of the app, but maybe the icon finding and shortcut making could be automated.
  • This no brainer should be self-explanatory. Additionally RunScriptDotVbs.exe and the script.vbs for a specific app can be found here @PinPmmf2Taskbar(6kB).zip

  • The last step in writing this Tip/Trick was to give someone credit to the script. I read the link carefully and all the credit was given to AlKhuzaei who used C#. So in hindsight it is better to skip the script, use a C# program that takes one parameter and use something like:
    System.Windows.Forms.SendKeys.SendWait("^" + "{ESC}");           
    for (int i = 0; i < parameterLetters.Length; i++ )
    {
        System.Windows.Forms.SendKeys.SendWait(parameterLetters[i].ToString());
    }
    System.Windows.Forms.SendKeys.SendWait("{ENTER}");

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL)

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About the Author

wim4you

Netherlands Netherlands
Professional experience in writing scientific algorithms and experimental Pattern Recognition.
 
Character Recognition, Segmentation, Word Recognition, Neural Networks, Address Block detection, Automatic Reading of Postal Adresses.
 
Programming experience in Vax/Vms Pascal and Delphi.

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralAdditional Info: Attempt to add Keystrokes to enter the snapped state of the windows APP. [modified] Pinmemberwim4you13-Jul-13 1:17 

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