Creating shortcuts

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Normally you open a program by clicking on the "Start" button on the extreme left side of the taskbar, pointing to Programs, and then clicking on the program name. It is possible to create a shortcut for the program by creating an icon of the program right on the desktop. You can just double-click on that icon whenever you want to open the program. Not just programs, you can create shortcuts for practically anything. You can create a shortcut for your printer, or your scanner, or frequently used files or folders. How do you do that? It is a piece of cake.

1. Go to My Computer icon on the desktop and double-click on it to open it.
2. If you see the item for which you want to create a shortcut, click on it. Otherwise, navigate through the icons in My Computer (you have to double-click on the icons) and locate the item for which you want to create a shortcut. The item could be in your hard drive if it is a program, or a file, or a folder you had created. When located, click on the item to highlight it.
3. Click on File, and then click on Create Shortcut. A shortcut icon will appear in the window you are in.
4. Reduce the size of the window so that you can see the desktop.
5. Drag the shortcut icon onto the desktop.

To learn how to arrange the icons neatly on your desktop click here.

The shortcut icon always has a small bent arrow attached to it.

Some icons on a desktop. Some of these icons represent shortcuts.
A bunch of icons on a desktop. All the icons on
the second, third and fourth columns are shortcuts as
indicated by the short bent arrows attached to them. Can you tell
which shortcuts are for programs and which are for folders?

If you ever want to delete the shortcut, just drag the shortcut icon to the Recycle Bin. The shortcut will be deleted, but the original item will remain in your computer's hard drive.

If you need help using the Internet, check out the companion site:
Internet Basics For Seniors
If you need help with Windows XP, check out the companion site:
Help with Windows XP (New)
If you are an absolute beginner in computing, check out:

ABC's of Computing


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