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Working with Program Shortcuts

In this section, you will learn some advanced techniques for working with shortcuts.

Starting Programs on StartUp

If there are programs that you routinely keep open because you use them throughout the day, you can have Windows 98 start up these programs automatically when you start Windows. To do this, you simply create a shortcut for the program in a special folder call the StartUp folder. The StartUp folder is located in the Programs folder on the Start menu.

To create a shortcut for a program in the StartUp folder, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Start menu and choose Settings and then Taskbar & Start Menu.
  2. Select the Start Menu Programs tab.
  3. Choose Add and then Browse.
  4. Locate the program you want to add to the StartUp folder in the Browse dialog box.
  5. Select the program and choose Open (or double-click the program). The pathname for the selected program appears in the Command Line text box of the Create Shortcut dialog box.
  6. Choose Next and select the StartUp folder in the Select Program Folder dialog box.
  7. Type the name you want to appear in the StartUp menu in the text box and choose Finish.
  8. Choose OK to close the Taskbar Properties dialog box.

Now, whenever you start up Windows, any application(s) you added to the StartUp menu will be started automatically.

Specifying How a Shortcut Starts a Program

Once you have created a shortcut for an application, you can customize the shortcut using its Properties sheet. For example, when you create a shortcut for an application in the StartUp folder, as described above, you can specify whether the application is started in a normal window, a maximized window, or is minimized as an icon on the taskbar. You can also add command-line parameters to the command line for the application, specify a folder for the application to start in, and assign a shortcut key for starting the application from the keyboard.

To customize a shortcut, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the shortcut in My Computer or Windows Explorer.
  2. Right-click the shortcut and choose Properties from the shortcut menu.
  3. Select the Shortcut tab.
  4. To add a parameter to a command line, click in the Target text box, press End to move to the end of the command line, and enter a space. Type in the command-line parameter you want to add. For example, to start an application and open a document within that application, type in the path and filename for the document you want to open at the end of the application's command line.
  5. Specify a folder for the application to start from in the Start In text box.
    With some applications, you need to start the application in a folder that contains files related to the application.
  6. Assign a keyboard shortcut for starting the application in the Shortcut Key text box.
    Keyboard shortcuts use a combination of Ctrl+Alt+character. You cannot use the Esc, Enter, Tab, spacebar, Print Screen, or Backspace keys.
    Shortcut keys defined in a Windows application take precedent over shortcut keys defined for a shortcut. Be sure to use a unique keyboard shortcut.
  7. Specify whether you want the application to run in a normal window, a maximized window, or minimized as an icon.
  8. Choose OK.