The more technology we have, the more we want. For some of us it’s just about getting our work done, and there’s nothing wrong with that. While I spend a lot of time solving custom problems for people, my personal quest is for timesaving solutions. Most of them don’t seem like a big deal. You save a keystroke here, a mouse click there, but eventually all those actions begin to matter.
The Microsoft Office applications are full of timesaving shortcuts. We’ve discussed a few of them here. Sometimes they reach beyon Office, though. The Windows Quick Launch toolbar is a good example. This toolbar, which displays a few shortcut icons, is on the Windows task bar. A quick click launches an application.
You might not know that you can customize the Quick Launch toolbar by adding Office application icons to it. For instance, if you use Word a lot (and who doesn’t), you can add a Word icon to the toolbar. Then, instead of clicking Start, choosing All Programs, finding Microsoft Office, and then clicking Word, you can just click the Word icon on the toolbar. In this particular case, you save more than a simple click — there’s a substantial difference between the two routes.
To add an application icon to the Quick Launch toolbar, do the following:
- First, find a menu item for the application. If you use the application a lot, it’s probably on the Start menu’s quick pick list. If not, choose All Programs from the Start menu, select Microsoft Office, and then right-click the Office application. Do not left-click the item, as doing so will remove the item from the Start menu.
- Drag and drop the item to the Quick Launch toolbar. When it’s okay to drop the item, Windows displays a thick black line to indicate where Windows will drop the application’s icon. Windows will place the icon to the right of the insertion pointer.
- Release the mouse and choose Copy Here.
The toolbar is small, so add the applications you use the most. You can also add files to the Quick Launch toolbar. For a quick start, add the files you work in every day to the toolbar.
If you can’t find the Quick Launch toolbar, choose Toolbars and check the Quick Launch item.
Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.