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  Taskbars & Toolbars dadiOH's dandies
Handy Dandies

The taskbar is that little narrow strip that lives at the bottom of the monitor....the one where programs minimize, that has "QuickStart", the SystemTray...that one.

Frankly, I think it is a pain - unless it is modified. Why a pain? Because it gets so cluttered you can't even read the names of the programs you have minimized if there are several. That can be improved by dragging it up so that it is 2-3" tall, right clicking it, selecting "Properties" and ticking "Auto hide". Now, it will disappear until you move the cursor to the bottom of the screen, then it pops up.

Even better, I think is to move it to the side (just left click and drag). Why better? Because now minimized programs display in neat little boxes...much easier to read. But wait....there's more...

You can make more toolbars. If you want them, you can have one on each side of your monitor. They won't have the "Start" button or the system tray but you can add additional toolbars to them. Toolbars that will do the same thing as QuickStart. In fact, you can dump QuickStart, you won't need it.

There are more elegant ways to make another toolbar but you can do it by left clicking the My Computer icon and dragging it to an empty side of your monitor. Once you get there, let loose and a new "My Computer" toolbar will pop out. Yes, I know you don't need another My Computer toolbar but bear with me a bit.

Make a folder somewhere and name it something catchy like "Toolbars". Now make sub-folders that describe the type of applications you use most frequently...perhaps a folder for "Audio", one for "Visual", another for "Utilities" that. The sub-folders can have sub-folders too. These are my toolbar folders...
and here is the same thing with the Audio folder expanded. What doesn't show are the shortcuts within the folders, all of which have special icons so I can spot them quickly...
Next, browse to the programs you use most frequently, make a shortcut to it and put the shortcut in the proper toolbar folder. Now right click the toolbar you made by dragging "My Explorer", highlight "Toolbars" and select "New toolbar" from the menu that pops out. Browse to your "Toolbar" folder, select one of the sub-folders and click OK. BINGO! You have a new toolbar! You can now close the extraneous "My Computer" one...right click > Toolbars and untick it. The shortcuts don't have to be to programs either - they can be to anything...documents, URLs...

You can make as many toolbars as you might like. Why are they handy?
  • It gives you quick access to the programs you use most frequently.
  • By arranging the toolbar folders by type of program, your toolbars become categorized...another aid in getting to something quickly.
  • You can get that mess of shortcuts off your desktop and use that space for things you are busy working on at the moment.
How the new toolbars will look depends on three things that can be selected by right clicking the toolbar...
  • Show title
  • Show text
  • View
If you have one set to "Show title", you can drag the toolbar until it closes up so just the title shows. If you now click that toolbar, you'll get a pop-up menu listing all the things in it like this shot of the contents of my Audio folder...
You can also see parts of some other toolbars under the menu. Cluttered? Not at all...the whole works is invisible until it pops out when I move the cursor to the right side of the monitor. I have very quick access to dozens of my most used apps and there is nothing - nothing - visible on my desk top. Cool... :)

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