Back   Site Index   Services   Windows Manual Contents    Windows Tips  

Windows Manual
copyright 1996, 2001 by Tracy Marks
Boston area Windows Training, Tutoring and Consulting

Customizing Your Desktop    continued

E. Adding and Deleting from the top of your Taskbar

Apart from shortcut keys, the quickest way to reach a program is to place it
atop your START menu, above programs. To do this, drag an original or shortcut
icon and drop it on START. You will not, however, have control over the name
that appears or the order of START listings.

A better alternative:
Right click the taskbar and choose Properties, Start Menu Programs. Then:
a) Click the add button, and type in the command line if you know it. Otherwise,
    choose browse, and locate the file in question.
b) Once you select it, choose open, then next.
c) You will then choose the folder in which the program listing will be placed. In
    this case, it will be the START menu atop of the list, above programs.
d) Choose next, and give your program the name you wish to use on the taskbar.
e) Click the finish button, then o.k.
f) To remove a program from START, choose remove instead of add.

To customize the order of your START MENU listings, type a number followed
by a space before its name, numbering your first item 1, your second item 2 etc.

Once you are comfortable with the START MENU, you may find that the
ADVANCED button in START MENU PROGRAMS more efficient to use
than add (or remove). You will probably want 3-10 listings above PROGRAMS
on your START menu.

Your choices will depend on how you use your computer. Possible choices
might include: your contact manager/scheduler, word processor, cd player,
Explorer, Control Panel, Wordpad, your screensaver, printer, fax
program, backup software, your Internet provider, your antivirus
program, your mail program,your Web browser.

1. Add Control Panel to the top of your Start Menu. Drag it from My Computer.
2. Add Explorer to the top of your Start menu.
3. Open Explorer by using your Start Menu, then close Explorer.
4. Remove both Control Panel and Explorer from the top of your Start Menu.

F. The Taskbar: Adding and Removing Programs

Apart from a dozen or so programs you use most frequently and access via
desktop icons, shortcut keys or atop your Start Menu, you may want to access
all programs and files you use at least weekly via Start, Programs. Through
cascading panels and folders, you may include hundreds of programs or file
shortcuts here - all which you can access (with the right organization) in less
than a second.

As you install programs, many create their own folders and subfolders under
PROGRAMS in START; you may wish to modify and reorganize these folders.

How do you determine programs to list and your method of organization?
One way is to choose fifty programs or files which you will most often use,
and from them, select the five or six most important for the second level,
leading from PROGRAMS. Divide the remaining into six or seven groups
based on related themes - e.g. Office, Personal, Utilities.

Next, create folders for these groups (first level), and add the 5-10 files or
programs related to each of these folders to the second level. Aim for
10-15 listings on the first level, for quick and frequent access.

Programs Menu Cascading Panels

SCREEN SHOT: Cascading panels accessible from the Programs Menu.

Just as you customized the top of START, you can use add in Taskbar
. But for extensive reorganizing, the advanced option is recommended.

1. Right click the taskbar, and choose properties, then start menu programs.
2. Click advanced, then double click programs on the right side of Explorer.
3. With the first level of folders, programs and files now visible, you can now:
   a) Right click in an empty area and create a new folder or a shortcut.
   b) Change the name of existing folders or programs.
   c) Drag an icon from your desktop or a file from Explorer or My Computer
       and drop it on the directory (folder) which will contain it.
   d) Right click a file in Explorer and move it elsewhere. If you can not make
       the new location visible, use cut, then paste it to the folder where it will go.
4. When done, close Explorer's START MENU, choose apply and then O.K.

In Programs, STARTUP is a special folder of programs and documents that
will OPEN as soon as you enter Windows. In STARTUP, you might want to
include important computer maintenance programs such as your Anti-Virus
Program or System Monitor.

You might also want to include the one or two programs that you immediately
use whenever you start Windows. Possibilities might include your Scheduler
or Word Processor.

If you wish a program or document to open minimized (so that it is visible on
your taskbar but not taking up space on your screen), right click the file under
Startup. Choose properties, and then in its shortcut screen, change run from
normal to minimized.

1. Under PROGRAMS, create a folder called Computer Information.
2. Under PROGRAMS, create a folder called Priority Programs.
3. If a Games folder does not exist under PROGRAMS, create one.
4. Double click on the STARTUP folder. Note what programs are in it.
    Do not change them!
5. Under Computer Information, add your WindowsNotes and Computer
6. Under Games, add Solitaire (Sol.exe) and MsHearts (MsHearts.exe).
7. Close Explorer's START menu, then open Computer Maintenance  
    by using START, PROGRAMS on your taskbar. Then close it.
8. TIME To cleanup: Return to Taskbar Properties, Advanced and
    delete your priority programs and computer information folders.
    Shortcuts underneath them will also be deleted.

 GO TO: Windows Tips
  to be indexed and posted in November 2006.

   Now available: The Online Backup Solution:
  Why Use a Secure Online Data Backup Service?

 The Rail  Electric Train riders: Return to Internet Rail


Back   Site Index   Windows Manual    Windows Tips   Email
Top of Page   
Search Pages    Search Links    Bookstore   Services  

copyright 1997, 1999 by Tracy Marks    Windweaver    Arlington, Massachusetts  (781) 641-3371                 Webmaster:  Tracy Marks       Contact information