Previous Page Site
Windows Manual Contents Windows Tips Next
PLEASE NOTE: This Windows manual has not been updated since
1998 but most of it - especially the file management sections - are still
very relevant to Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows XP users.
LESSON FOUR: Shortcuts
Customizing Your Desktop
A. Creating Shortcuts on your Desktop
Probably the most useful function in Windows is shortcuts. Unless
create your own shortcuts on your desktop and taskbar, you are missing
out on the greatest advantage of Windows in saving time and increasing
productivity. With shortcuts, you can guarantee one-second access to any
program, file or folder or file on your computer - as many as a thousand!
Shortcuts are duplicate copies of files, folders and programs which enable
you to promptly access the files, folders or programs you use most often.
They are identical in appearance to the icons they represent, except for
small arrow at bottom.
An advantage of shortcuts over original icons is that they are only pointers,
and take up little file space.You can also can delete shortcuts without
deleting the original file or icon.
You can make copies of shortcuts, placing them where you wish. Although
you are limited in choosing icons for files associated with Windows
programs, you can easily change shortcut icons, by right clicking on them
and choosing change icon in shortcut properties.
CREATING SHORTCUT ICONS
SCREEN SHOT: Right clicking a shortcut icon and choosing the
properties tab indicates the target or original file upon which
shortcut is based. Here, a shortcut has been created for Explorer.
To create a shortcut for a program, file or folder which is NOT visible:
1) Right click your desktop, and choose new, then shortcut.
2) If you know the command line, type it. Otherwise, click on browse.
3) At the bottom of the dialog box, make sure files of type indicates all
files if you are creating a shortcut for a
document rather than for
4) In look in at top, choose the drive where this program or file
5) Double click its directory, and the subdirectory if necessary.
6) Locate the file. (If you don't know the program file name, you may have
to hunt for it. (Most programs in Windows are
.exe files) and select it.
Click OPEN, then NEXT.
7) In the next screen, type in the name you wish to use for the shortcut.
Then click FINISH. If an icon for that file type
has not been determined,
you will be asked to choose an icon.
8) The shortcut icon will appear on your desktop.
Drag it where you wish.
To create a shortcut for a program, file or folder which IS visible:
RIGHT CLICK the icon, and choose create shortcut. Then follow
above steps. If asked, choose yes to place it on the desktop. Once
drag it where you wish.
HINT: Right-dragging an icon (with the right mouse pressed) will force
the creation of a shortcut. Just choose create shortcut here.
1. Open My Computer, and create shortcuts on your Desktop
to Drive a
and Control Panel.
2. From My Computer or Explorer, create a shortcut to your
directory. (Right click the folder)
3. On your desktop, create shortcuts to the text files you created in Lesson
Three: WindowsNotes and Computer Maintenance.
(If you haven't created
such text files, right click your desktop, choose
new, text document and
create blank text files with the above titles.)
4. On your desktop, create a shortcut to Ms. Hearts (mshearts.exe
Windows directory) and your Computer Maintenance
NEXT: Shortcut Hints