Paul McClain, controller at the Hillcrest Medical Center in Tulsa, Okla., reminded me of this handy tip for those still using Office 2003: If you have files or folders you use fairly often but you do not want to clutter your desktop or your Start menu with shortcut icons, click on File, Open, locate and highlight the target files, and click on Tools (upper-right corner of the screen) and then on Add to “My Places”. Then, when you click on Open in the future, that menu of favorites will be displayed.
In Office 2007, the My Favorites task has been streamlined. To see how it works, click on the Office Button and a list of Recent Documents will appear (see screenshot below). Notice that clear pushpins are aligned next to each document. Some pins, however, are inserted and green. That indicates they will remain in the Recent Documents list as long as you like. To transform a file that only qualifies to be on the Recent Documents list because it was recently opened to a status that guarantees it will remain on the list as long as you wish—in effect a favorite—left-click on it. It will turn green and appear inserted. If you change your mind, another left-click will return the pin to the horizontal position and turn it clear again. For more updates to the Recent Documents list, see the October 2009 column item, “An Easy Access for Often-Used Files in Office 2007,” page 78.