Q: My friend has a little icon
on the Start Bar that takes her directly to the desk top.
How can I do that on my machine?
A: This is a time
saving feature available on operating systems with Windows 98 and later.
It’s called the “Quick Launch” toolbar.
It’s a good feature as it allows you to quickly get to the icons on
your desktop without minimizing or closing other open windows.
Quick launch usually contains icons that take you to the internet,
email and other applications.
The Start Bar or
Taskbar is often at the bottom of the screen.
You can click-and-drag it to any side of the screen as needed.
(For more information on managing the location of your Taskbar check out
Where's My Taskbar?)
If it is invisible, touch Ctrl-Esc so you can see it.
You have probably already noticed that the Taskbar has buttons that
correspond to any programs you have open.
Clicking on those buttons lets you easily switch from one task to
another. It is much more
efficient to switch from one task to another than to open and close the
programs each time.
To use the Quick
Launch toolbar, right-click on a blank area of the Taskbar.
If you have a hard time finding a blank area, move your mouse just
above the Taskbar until it turns into a double arrow.
Then click-and-drag this border up a bit.
This expands your Taskbar so there’s more space.
Some people use a fat Taskbar all the time.
You can always click-and-drag the border down to shrink the Taskbar
when needed. The Taskbar
can be shrunk to nothing so it disappears.
To restore the Taskbar, move your mouse to very bottom of the screen
until the two-headed arrow appears (sometimes you can only see one head of
it). Then click-and-drag the
right-click on a blank area of the Taskbar, a menu pops up including the word
left-click on Toolbars to see the Toolbar Menu.
Quick Launch is one of the menu options – click on it to activate.
The Toolbar choices are toggle switches.
Click once and they become checked or active.
Repeat the process and they are unchecked or inactive.
I feel the Quick Launch menu is the most useful, but feel free to try
out the others as well.
Most often, people
like Quick Launch in a small section on the left side of the Taskbar, but it
doesn’t always come up that way. Once
you have activated Quick Launch, look at the Taskbar.
You will find two small vertical bars – one next to Start and one
between the Quick Launch icons and the other open tasks.
If you have trouble finding them, glide your mouse over the Taskbar;
when you’re over one of the vertical bars, the mouse turns into a two-headed
arrow going sideways. If you
click-and-drag the vertical bar furthest from Start all the way back to the
Start button, the position of the two areas will switch.
The Quick Launch
section may have lots of icons and you can move these around so the ones you
use most often are first in the sequence.
For example, to move the desktop icon into the first position, simply
click-and-drag it to the position you want (the desktop icon looks like a
rubber spatula on something with turquoise corners).
I find it most useful to have the desktop, internet and email icons
showing, but choose the ones you use most frequently.
click-and-drag the vertical bar just a bit to make the Quick Launch area
smaller or larger. If you make if
small, the last icon will be a double carrot >>.
If you click on that, the other Quick Launch icons will be available.
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