About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

October 25, 2011

Windows 7 Taskbar Tricks

Cassie from Winchester wrote and asked me about Windows 7 and how to pin tasks to the taskbar.  She went on to ask about Jump Lists.  I was surprised in that these are very beneficial for Windows 7 users and I had not written about them before.  I remember when W7 first came out and everyone in the world was writing about it.  I decided not to discuss it at length since not many people had it at that time.  Since time has passed I figure many of you are now using W7 and would like some tips. 

First, what is pinning a task?  If you look at the bottom of the W7 screen you will see a Taskbar which is almost identical to the previous versions.  The taskbar has several programs "pinned" to it when you first get your computer such as Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer.  You can add or remove any program on your computer to the taskbar as you wish.  

Taskbar Bubble When you hover your mouse over these icons you will get diverse notices at different times.  If the program is not opened you will get a text "bubble" showing the name of the program. 
If you hover your mouse pointer over the icons when the program is running (this presupposes the graphics capability of your computer is older) you will get a text bubble.  This bubble shows the name of the file or the website name which is currently open in the program.  If there are several "pages" open in that application you will see a list of the names.  To go to any of them just click the one you want to see and it will open to the top of your screen.  

Thumbnail viewHowever, if you have a newer computer with a better graphics card, you will get a "thumbnail" of the page that is open in the program.  If you have multiple pages open you will see a thumbnail of each one, depending on the program.  As before, click on the one you wish to see.  I currently have three sites open in my browser so I see three thumbnails. 

Next, if you knew about the previous tricks, have you tried right clicking on an opened Taskbar optionsprogram’s icon?  I will use Microsoft Word for my example.  When I right click on the Word icon a "jump list" pops up.  Each program may show a few choices but they are basically the same.  In this example, mine shows Recent, (shows the last documents I have opened in Word)  and three options for that program.  The options are usually the name of the program which will open another "session" of that program, "Unpin {or Pin} this program from taskbar" which will remove (unpin) or add (pin) the program’s icon from the taskbar, (obviously) and "Close window" which allows you to close the program from the taskbar.   

Oops, I just ran out of room.  Next week, we’ll look at how to add programs to the taskbar and talk more about jump lists.

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