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To those who want to give their Vista Start Menu a bit more power, there is a very useful add-on called “Start++“.  It extends Vista’s start menu with customizable commands which gives you the ability to perform lots of actions in an instant. You can perform various kinds of searches (Google, Yahoo, Live, IMDB and Wikipedia), listen to music, view pictures and much more.

For example:

Type in “g makeuseof” and it will show the Google results in your startup Menu bar for “makeuseof”.

vista start menu search bar

Or type “playartist Audioslave” and it will perform a search for music for the artist Audioslave, find it, compile the results into a .M3U file and automatically play it in Windows Media player. Right now it only supports WMP but they are planning to change that soon and you’ll be able to play it in your favorite media player.

Wikipedia look-up is also nice. You can look up any thing that you need on Wikipedia without opening your browser. For example: I wrote “w counterstrike” and it gave me an overview of what Counter-Strike is in my start menu. Here, I’ve reduced the screenshot size to give you an idea.


start++ vista

Basic Commands that you can run with Start++ are

  • Run a Wikipedia search by typing “w search term
  • Launch an application by typing “sudo cmd
  • Play music by a specific artist with “play artist name
  • Check out the weather by “weather zip code
  • Search Imdb “Imdb movie name
  • Look for any picture in your hard disk by typing in “Pic name

It doesn’t end there.  You can add your own shortcuts by using its configuration UI and share them with your friends.

vista start menu tip

You can also extend the search functionality of Start++ by installing the plugins that are already available for download. (Link below)

Download Start ++
Download Plugins

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