Section 4.9. Shortcut Icons

4.9. Shortcut Icons

A shortcut is a link to a file, folder, disk, or program (see Figure 4-11). You might think of it as a duplicate of the thing's iconbut not a duplicate of the thing itself. (A shortcut occupies almost no disk space.) When you double-click the shortcut icon, the original folder, disk, program, or document opens. You can also set up a keystroke for a shortcut icon, so that you can open any program or document just by pressing a certain key combination.

Figure 4-11. You can distinguish a desktop shortcut (left) from its original in two ways. First, the tiny arrow "badge" identifies it as a shortcut; second, its name contains the word "shortcut." Right: The Properties dialog box for a shortcut indicates which actual file or folder this one "points" to. The Run drop-down menu (shown open) lets you control how the window opens when you double-click the shortcut icon.

Shortcuts provide quick access to the items you use most often. And because you can make as many shortcuts of a file as you want, and put them anywhere on your PC, you can, in effect, keep an important program or document in more than one folder. Just create a shortcut of each to leave on the desktop in plain sight, or drag their icons onto the Start button or the Quick Launch toolbar. In fact, everything listed in the Start All Programs menu is a shortcut. So is every link in the top part of your Navigation pane.

Tip: Don't confuse the term shortcut , which refers to one of these duplicate-icon pointers, with shortcut menu , the context-sensitive menu that appears when you right-click almost anything in Windows. The shortcut menu has nothing to do with the shortcut icons feature; maybe that's why it's sometimes called the context menu.

4.9.1. Creating and Deleting Shortcuts

To create a shortcut, right-drag an icon from its current location to the desktop. When you release the mouse button, choose Create Shortcuts Here from the menu that appears.

Tip: If you're not in the mood for using a shortcut menu, just left-drag an icon while pressing Alt. A shortcut appears instantly. (And if your keyboard lacks an Alt keyyeah, rightdrag while pressing Ctrl+Shift instead.)

You can delete a shortcut the same as any icon, as described in the Recycle Bin discussion earlier in this chapter. (Of course, deleting a shortcut doesn't delete the file it points to.)

Windows Vista for Starters
Windows Vista for Starters: The Missing Manual
ISBN: 0596528264
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2007
Pages: 175
Authors: David Pogue

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