The Quick Launch toolbar can save you a trip into the Start Menu

Getting Quick Access to Applications with the Quick Launch Toolbar

The Quick Launch Toolbar

When you start an application, how do you do it? Do you go to the Start button, then “All Programs” then find Solitaire under accessories - games? Do you have an icon on the desktop for that game you like to spend a few minutes on? Or do you see a button for it on the Quick Launch toolbar? What's the Quick Launch toolbar? Funny you should ask, I was just about to talk about that. You've seen toolbars in all kinds of applications. (“Toolbar” is just the name for the grey box that all the buttons are inside of). The Quick Launch toolbar is a lot like one of those. It contains buttons to start applications that you use often.

Suppose we want to add the plain text editor “Notepad” to that toolbar. First we'd better make sure the toolbar is showing on your desktop. Point at the empty space between the start button and the system tray. Right-click. One of the items on the menu that pops up says “Toolbars.” Click there and you'll get a menu that shows all the desktop toolbars that are available. One of them will be the Quick Launch toolbar. If there is a check mark next to it, do nothing - the toolbar is already shown. If there is no check mark next to it, click the “Quick Launch” menu item. Now the toolbar will show up.

Initially, the toolbar has a button for Internet Explorer and a couple other applications. You can add any application you want. Today we'll add the text editor Notepad to the toolbar.

1. Right-click on the Start button. Pick “Explore.” Now Explorer opens and you can see icons for everything on the Start Menu. On the left hand side, click on “Programs,” then “Accessories.” On the right now you'll see an icon for Notepad. Right-click on the shortcut to Notepad and pick “Copy.” What you just copied is a shortcut to Notepad.

2. Now right-click on the Quick Launch toolbar. Pick “open folder.” This time Explorer opens and you can see icons for everything on the Quick Launch toolbar. Right click on an empty space around those icons and click “Paste.” Now you've pasted the shortcut to Notepad in to the Quick Launch Toolbar Folder.

You can close the Explorer windows now that you're done. On the Quick Launch Toolbar, you should see a new button that looks like a notepad. Click it and the Notepad application will start up.