Streamline shortcuts by engaging the desktop toolbar

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

  

 I confess to being a shortcut freak. After all, why search through folders when you can open the file you want with just one mouse click? However, I am finding that the Quick Launch toolbar, as good as it is, is becoming somewhat limiting because I quickly run out of room on the toolbar. What are my options?

 I share your concern. Once that toolbar fills up, the labels of the minimized files just stack up, one on top of another; and it takes multiple clicks to identify your target file.

Fortunately, there is an option. You can replace Quick Launch , which is the default setup, with the Desktop toolbar, and that can conveniently display all the shortcuts you have on the desktop screen.

Terminology caveat : Don’t confuse the Desktop toolbar with the desktop screen , which is what is displayed on your screen when either no applications are running or they are all minimized.

To launch the Desktop toolbar, place your cursor in any empty area of the toolbar, right-click and then click on Toolbars to display this screen:

Click on Desktop and this small, faint image will appear on the right side of the toolbar at the bottom of your screen:

Right-click on that Desktop image and this screen will appear:

If you want your icons to be identified with their name and contents when you pass your cursor over them (see screenshot below), place a check next to Show Text and Show Title . Caveat : Sometimes, having Lock the Taskbar checked in this menu blocks these options from appearing; so just try unchecking it.

Now select from the Quick Launch toolbar any shortcut icons you want in the Desktop toolbar. The most important one is the Show Desktop icon, which looks like a pad and pencil. Hold down the left mouse button to drag them to the area just to the right of the Desktop icon so you can go to the desktop screen whenever you wish.

The next step is to hide the Quick Launch toolbar. To do that, right-click in the toolbar, left-click on Toolbars and click on Quick Launch to remove the checkmark.

Caveat : If your Desktop toolbar has doubled in height during these steps so that you now have two rows of icons, one stacked atop the other, grab the vertical selection handle (on top of the Desktop ) and pull it down. It sometimes takes several tries before you can squeeze the toolbar into a single row of icons.

With this arrangement, most of your toolbar is now empty, ready to show only open or minimized files. When you want to launch a shortcut or just see what’s on your desktop, click the double arrow next to the Desktop icon and all of them will appear in a vertical column on the right side of your screen.

As if that’s not enough, notice that some of the icons are identified with black triangles. As your cursor passes over one, a list of all the folders it contains will be displayed to the left of the shortcut icon.

Although it takes several steps to set up, once you’re done and get used to the
arrangement, you’ll find it very convenient; and it will save you loads of time.

 

 

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