7stacks

Group icons into stacks on your Windows 7 taskbar, just like the Mac guys.

7stacks

7stacks is an easy to use, free app that lets Windows 7 (and Vista and XP) users have “stacks” of icons in their Taskbar (in 7) or QuickLaunch Toolbar (in Vista and XP). By using stacks, users can reduce icon clutter, and combine a group of related icons into a single icon. For instance, if you use application suites such as Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, or Adobe CS4, you can have all the suite’s icons combined into one icon!

You can also use it to browse and access documents within a folder very quickly. Usually, when you want to edit a series of frequently used documents, you’d have to either launch the app, and go to File|Open, or open the (My) Computer icon and go into your (My) Documents folder and pick the file you want. With 7stacks, just create a stack to that document’s folder, and open that document in a couple of clicks.

7stacks was created because of my own frustrations with Windows 7, as great an OS as Win7 is. Because Windows 7’s new taskbar, called the SuperBar is very similar to the Mac OS X Dock, many comparisons are going to be made. But Windows 7 seemed to have one glaring omission of OSX: stacks. Now, with 7stacks, you get almost the same functionality as the OS X stacks, but with a more “Windows 7″ appearance.

7stacks is incredibly easy to use, and has a variety of looks and features, allowing anyone to customize the look of their stack however they’d like. And using Windows 7, its easy to create new stacks by right-clicking on any stack, and selecting “Create New Stack” in the JumpList. 7stacks will place an shortcut icon on your desktop to this new stack, which you can then pin to your Windows 7 taskbar, or Vista or XP QuickLaunch bar.

7stacks even solves the problem other similar apps have had: forcing users to “hack” the executables and shortcuts to allow multiple stacks on the Windows 7 taskbar. 7stacks solves this by using 10 identical executables (numbered 0-9) and assigning the shortcuts slots based on which ones are used. The end result is that you can just pin up to 10 stacks on the taskbar, with no need to even think about hacking or reconfiguring or adjusting .. it just works!

Check out these features:

  • In 7 and Vista, 7stacks uses Aero, making the stacks look like part of Windows itself.
  • Browse subfolders within a stack, just like in OS X Snow Leopard.
  • 3 different styles of stacks: Normal, Grid, and Menu
    • Normal displays a stack of icons vertically, with a text description next to it.
    • Grid displays a “squarish” grid of icons only; useful when displaying a large number of items like document folders.
    • Menu displays a cascading menu of items, with a very small icon and a name next to it. Hover over subfolders to browse inside those folders.
  • In Windows 7, create a new stack by right-clicking on any stack and selecting “Create New Stack” from the JumpList entry.
  • In Menu mode, 7stacks doesn’t even need to be in a toolbar. You can use it right from your desktop, or any other folder.
  • Pin up to 10 different stacks on the Windows 7 taskbar

Best of all, 7stacks is completely free! If you like and use 7stacks, please consider donating to Alastria Software (we suggest $5 US, but you can donate whatever you’d like, even if its only $1). More features are coming soon, so stay tuned. Thanks, and enjoy!