Windows

Five tips for getting the most out of Windows 7 Jump Lists

Once you get used to the new Jump Lists feature, you may be hooked. These tips will help you get started.

Windows 7's new Jump Lists feature is designed to make it easier to find what you want and perform common tasks associated with an application. As with anything new, Jump Lists may take a little getting used to -- but you'll probably find they're worth the effort. Here are some tips to help you put this handy feature to work.

Note: These tips are based on the article Take full advantage of Jump Lists in Windows 7 with these tips.

1: Configure the size of your Jump Lists

The main section in the Jump List is the Recent/Frequent section, which is automatically populated with a list of the items that you have recently accessed or frequently access. By default, the Recent/Frequent section will display up to 10 items. Once you reach that threshold, older items will drop off the list as new items are added.

If you want to increase or decrease the number of items that appear in the Recent/Frequent section of all your Jump Lists, just right-click on the Start button and select the Properties command. In the Taskbar And Start Menu Properties dialog box, click the Customize button. In the Customize Start Menu dialog box, use the spin button in the Start Menu Size section to change the Number Of Recent Items To Display In Jump List setting.

2: Pin items to the list

The Recent/Frequent section is automatically populated with a list of the items you have recently accessed or frequently access, but you can also pin an item to the list. When you do, Windows will add a Pinned section to the Jump List. The pinned item will remain on the list until you manually unpin it.

If the item that you want to pin to the Jump List already appears in the Recent/Frequent section, you can pin the item simply by clicking on the pushpin icon. If you have an item/file type that can be opened in either of two applications and the item appears on the Jump List of one of the applications, you can pin the item on the other application's Jump List as long as its destination icon appears on the Taskbar. Just click and drag the item from the first application's Jump List and drop it on other application's icon on the Taskbar.

You can also pin files from within Windows Explorer, pin shortcuts, and pin your favorite folders to the Windows Explorer Jump List.

3: Pin searches

If you regularly perform searches for certain files, you can pin a search operation to the Windows Explorer Jump List. First, launch Windows Explorer and fill in the Search box. When the Search Results window appears, click the Save Search button. Once the saved search appears in the Navigation pane, just drag and drop it on the Windows Explorer icon on the Taskbar. This will pin the search to the Jump List. If you want to free up space in the Navigation pane, you can remove the saved search by right-clicking and selecting the Remove command.

4: Pin templates

If you use any type of template over and over again, you can save yourself time and effort by pinning it to the application's Jump List. This can be useful for email, word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and much more.

5: Clean up your lists

If a Jump List's Recent/Frequent section becomes crowded with too many items, you can clean it out. To remove a single item from Recent/Frequent section, right-click on the entry and select Remove From This List. To remove all entries from the Recent/Frequent section of all the Jump Lists, right-click on the Start button and select the Properties command. In the Taskbar And Start Menu Properties dialog box, clear the Store And Display Recently Opened Items In The Start Menu And The Taskbar check box, then click Apply to clear the Jump Lists. Then, to reenable the Recent/Frequent sections, reselect the check box and click OK.


Check out Five Tips... the newsletter

Get a concise roundup of solutions and techniques that will make your IT job go more smoothly. TechRepublic's Five Tips newsletter, delivered every Tuesday, gives you instant access to the information you need. Automatically sign up today.

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

7 comments
dogknees
dogknees

Is there a way to get the jump list for Explorer to go to the selected item in the current instance of Explorer, rather than opening another one?

SmartAceW0LF
SmartAceW0LF

Judging by your desire to have the location within your jump list, you might also add the location to the "Favorites" section of Windows Explorer on the left-hand pane. This would open it in same folder. Browse to the folder in question and then right-click favorites from within explorer. Choose to add location to Favorites. From that point on you will be able to call it from within the same window whenever you want.

davidhbrown
davidhbrown

Strangely, this doesn't recognize the "Reuse windows when opening shortcuts..." option in the Advanced tab of Internet Options, as you probably already figured out. But, I found that you *can* drag-and-drop the item onto the window and its URL will be loaded. The cursor displays "

dogknees
dogknees

The article was about jumplists. I'm aware of the other options but rather than clutter things up with more folders of shortcuts and favourites, thought the jumplist might be a useful way to go if it had this option. Less clicks are always good.

dogknees
dogknees

Having to do that negates the usefulness of the jump list for this action.

davidhbrown
davidhbrown

Okay, this gets ugly and desperate, but you can right-click the item in the jump list, copy, paste it into the address bar of the Windows Explorer window, delete the quotes, and hit enter. Yuk. Maybe they'll add the real feature for you in a service pack.

Editor's Picks