you choose File | Open in most Windows 2000 applications, Windows 2000 uses a
standard Open dialog box generated by Comdlg32.dll. One aspect of the Open
dialog box is the Places Bar at the left edge of the dialog box. The Places
Bar, by default, includes icons for the History, My Documents, Desktop, My
Computer, and My Network Places folders. The Places Bar makes it easy to open
documents stored in those common folders.

you often work from other folders, it can take a little browsing to get to the
location you need. Windows 2000 doesn’t provide a means in the GUI to customize
the Places Bar, but you can modify the Places Bar manually by modifying the
registry. Once you’ve modified the Places Bar, you’ll enjoy those modifications
for all Windows 2000 applications that use Comdlg32.dll to generate the Open
dialog box.

first step in modifying the Places Bar is to create a registry key to contain
the custom settings. The key doesn’t exist by default, and creating it causes
the Places Bar to be empty initially, but you’ll fill it up shortly. To create
the necessary key:

  1. Open the Registry Editor and create
  2. You’ll need to create the ComDlg32 subkey and then the Placesbarsubkey.
  3. To verify that your key is
    correct, open Notepad and choose File | Open. The Places Bar should now
    be empty.

In part two, you’ll learn how to fill the Places Bar again.

As always, we’ll remind you that editing the registry can be risky, so be sure
you have a verified backup before making any changes.

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