#193: Quick Launch Bar

Last week we saw how you can take control of  your start menu to access your programs and documents. This week I’d like to share another option – the Quick Launch toolbar. The Quick Launch toolbar is a section of your taskbar near the Start menu where you can add shortcuts that are always visible, even when you have a window open.

By default, Windows XP links to your Internet browser and your e-mail application in the pinned items list and can have as many as 30 shortcuts to the programs you most frequently use  (The default number is six.)

This week we’ll see how you can take advantage of the Start menu as a launching area for all the programs you use most often, you can configure the entire left panel as a pinned items list.

Displaying the Quick Launch toolbar:

1.   To add the Quick Launch toolbar to the task bar, right-click the task bar, point to Toolbars , and then click Quick Launch .

Changing Items on the Quick Launch toolbar:

1.   To add a shortcut to the Quick Launch toolbar, drag an item to the Quick Launch toolbar.

2.   To remove a shortcut from the Quick Launch toolbar, drag the shortcut from the toolbar to the Recycle Bin.

Resizing the Quick Launch toolbar:

Depending on how many shortcuts you add you may want to make this toolbar bigger.

1.   To resize it, move your mouse pointer over the vertical dotted pattern just to the right until it changes into a double arrow and then click & drag.

2.   If you don’t see the dotted pattern, you need to unlock the taskbar first. Right click an empty space on the taskbar and uncheck “Lock the taskbar”

Quick Launch Tricks:

Just like we saw with the Start menu, you can also add documents, websites and other items to your Quick Launch toolbar

Adding Documents:

1.   To add a document to your Quick Launch bar, just locate it in explorer and drag it into the Quick Launch bar.

Adding Websites:

1.   To add a website to your Quick Launch bar, select the URL from your browser and drag it into the Quick Launch bar.

One-click Email:

You can even use the trick to create a new email in a single click. Here’s how…

1.   Create a new shortcut on your desktop by right-clicking  an empty space on your desktop and selecting New > Shortcut .

2.   In the dialog enter mailto: then  click Next

3.   Enter a name for the shortcut, click Finish and then drag the new icon to its place in your Quick Launch bar.

I use the Quick Launch bar instead of the start menu- which method do you prefer??

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