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Chapter 3. Customizing and Personalizing... > Customize the Application Buttons

Customize the Application Buttons

Just above the main keyboard on the Treo you'll find a series of application buttons that give you speedy access to some of the more commonly used standard applications. For example, the Calendar button launches the Calendar application, and the Messaging button launches the Messaging application. You can use the Option key with these buttons to launch additional applications. The “Launch Applications” section in Chapter 2, “Performing the Treo Essentials,” detailed exactly which of these buttons and combinations launch which applications. However, you don't need to flip back to that chapter because you can access this information directly on your device. In fact, you can customize the application buttons to launch any application you want. To do so, follow these steps:

Press the Application button to open the main application screen.


Shadowmite is the user name for a Treo developer and hacker who has contributed quite a lot to the Treo community in the way of Treo tricks, hacks, and patches. The Shadowmite website (http://shadowmite.com/) contains lots of useful information and resources, but approach some of it with caution, as it involves tinkering with advanced device features.

Press the P key to jump near the Prefs application, and then navigate with the five-way navigator to select the Prefs application.

Press the Center button to launch the Prefs application. The Preferences screen opens with several options for tweaking device settings.


If you find that you've made too many changes to the application buttons and you want to restore them to their default settings, just tap the Default button in the Buttons Preferences screen.

Navigate to Buttons on the Preferences screen under the Personal heading, and press the Center button to open the application button preferences. The Buttons Preferences screen consist of two columns of settings that show the applications launched by each button as well as the Option key plus the button (see Figure 3.16). In addition to customizing the buttons, you can use this screen to help remember the functions of application buttons.

Figure 3.16. The Buttons Preferences screen enables you to customize the applications launched by the buttons.

To change an application button setting, just tap the application next to the button and change it to a different application. For example, I use the Contacts application much more than World Clock, so I set the Option + Calendar button combination to launch the Contacts application, as shown in Figure 3.17.

Figure 3.17. The World Clock application is changed to the Contacts application for the Option + Calendar button combination.

Tap the Done button to confirm the application button changes for your device.

You might have noticed a HotSync button in the Buttons Preferences screen in the lower-right corner. What could the HotSync synchronization application have to do with application button customization? The relationship between the HotSync application and the application buttons has to do with the HotSync button on the Treo Multi-connector cable used to connect your device to a desktop computer. The Multi-connector has a button that acts as an application button for the HotSync application. Typically, you press this button to launch the HotSync application and synchronize your device, but you can change this button to launch any application you choose.

I'm not entirely sure why you would want to change the application button on the Multi-connector cable to launch a different application, but the option is there if you choose to use it. To change the application this button launches, tap the HotSync button in the Buttons Preferences screen, and then change the Cable setting to an application of your choosing. After tapping OK to accept the change, you can press the HotSync button on the Multi-connector to launch the application.

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