In Windows, right-clicking a file calls up a shortcut menu containing a variety of choices. Among these choices is the Send To command. This command allows you to send a copy of the file to another destination. The actual destinations that are available vary depending on the version of Windows that you’re using, but some common destinations are 3œ Floppy, Mail Recipient, and Desktop.
While recently browsing TechRepublic's Technical Q&A, I saw a post from a member who wanted to know if it's possible to add to these default options. I'm happy to say that it is—with only a few clicks of the mouse, you can add any number of handy destinations, such as Notepad, to the list of Send To options.
Find the Send To folder
The first step is to locate the hidden Send To folder. When you display the Send To menu, the menu’s contents are based almost solely on the contents of the Send To folder.
Because the Send To folder is hidden, you’ll first need to configure Windows to show hidden folders (if it isn't already configured to do so). Open My Computer and select the Folder Options command from the Tools menu. When you see the Folder Options properties sheet, select the View tab. On the View tab, click the Show Hidden Files and Folders radio button, and then click the Apply To All Folders button, followed by OK.
Now that you’ve revealed all of your machine’s hidden folders, navigate to \Documents and Settings\your profile name\SendTo. In Windows XP, this folder will contain icons for Compressed Folder, Desktop, Mail Recipient, and My Documents. Now let’s make things more interesting.
Add items to the Send To folder
As an example of how to add destinations to the Send To folder, I’ll focus on Notepad. I’ve always found Notepad to be particularly useful for a variety of IT support tasks, such as viewing text-based log files and editing batch files, scripts, and HTML files. Normally Notepad is associated only with TXT files, which means that if you want to open any other types of files with Notepad, you must either manually open Notepad and then use the File | Open commands, or use the Open With command on a file’s shortcut menu. Both methods are cumbersome compared to using the Send To command.
To add the option to send files to Notepad, simply go to the SendTo folder and create a shortcut to the NOTEPAD.EXE file. This should make Notepad available through the Send To menu, as seen in Figure A.
A few items to consider
It can be difficult to locate the correct profile on a system with multiple user profiles or that has multiple versions of Windows installed. Obviously, if you aren’t working in the correct user profile directory, you’ll modify the Send To command for the wrong user.
Windows XP has a shortcut that you can use to make sure that you modify the correct user profile. Simply enter the SENDTO command at the Run prompt to open the correct Send To folder. If you're using another version of Windows, you'll just need to pay close attention to the path to the SendTo folder you're editing.