Network Productivity Group

... a computer consultancy


The tip...

What is the quick launch toolbar, how do I set it up and why?

First of all, this applies to Windows 98/ME/2000 but only to 95 if you have installed the "Active Desktop". 

When you first got 98 or installed the Desktop you may have noticed two or three little icons down there next to the "Start" button.  Usually they are Internet Explorer, Outlook Express and "Show Desktop" (the icon that is, I think, a pen in a holder sitting on a blotter on a, aha!, desktop.  If you have a different interpretation, let me know!).  Usually they share that line with the "taskbar", the line of buttons that show you what programs you are currently running.  The Show Desktop was a valuable addition to Windows.  Previously to get to the desktop you had to RIGHT click on a blank space on the taskbar and then select Minimize All Windows.  Show Desktop does it on one click. 

If your machine is running 98/ME/2000 and you don't have those little icons, try this.  RIGHT click on any blank space on the taskbar (that is the space that extends right from the Start button and shows the running programs).  On the pop up menu that appears select the item "Toolbars".  You will   then see another menu that shows: Links, Address, Desktop, Quick Launch and New Toolbar.  If Quick Launch is not clicked, click it.  If it is clicked, call me. 

Now place your cursor just on the top edge of the task bar and drag it slowly up.  The taskbar will usually split in two, the top bar being the Quick Launch toolbar and the lower being the good old taskbar (this may be inverted and is okay).  Often the taskbar will split in two with the taskbar on the left or right and the Quick Launch on the opposite side.  Only Bill knows why but I have found that if you drag the task bar (left click, hold and drag) to the left, right or top and back, it will usually then split into top and bottom.  Sometimes it will take a couple of tries.  Any program you want to put on the Quick Launch toolbar you can drag there from the desktop.  Forgotten how to put it on the desktop?  See Tech Tip #15. 

Speaking of putting the taskbar on the left, top and right, I have a colleague who puts it one the left and then hides it.  If you run many programs concurrently, it is sometimes hard to determine which of those little buttons at the bottom is the one you want.  With the taskbar on the side and hidden, when is reappears (slide your mouse to the left edge of the screen) the full(er) names of the various programs or open files, etc. will appear. 

Why use the QLT?  I always found the Office toolbar to be intrusive and in the way.  Of course, if you don't have Office that is not even an issue.  Another small advantage is that these icons need be clicked only once.  And it sure is faster than using either the Start button or going to the desktop.


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