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January 22, 1996

More tips on using Win95's right mouse button with the Send To function

Last week, I described one of the best new features of Windows 95: the new powers of the right mouse button. (See "Use your new right mouse button in Win95; explore the Send To function," Jan. 15.) Specifically, I explained some tricks to using the Send To menu item that appears when you right-click almost any document in the Windows Explorer.

If you missed that column, the idea is that clicking Send To works exactly like dragging a document's icon from an Explorer window and dropping it on a destination. The destination can be an application, folder, printer, the Recycle Bin, and so on. The advantage of Send To is that you don't need to make the destination visible before dropping the document there. You can right-click a document, then immediately send it to WordPad, a \\Network\Public directory, the root of your A: drive, and so on.

You can add almost any application, folder, printer, and so on to your Send To list. To do this, turn on Show All Files in the View, Options window of the Explorer. Then right-drag the desired object into your C:\Windows\SendTo folder, and click Create Shortcut Here. (I explained a slicker way in the Jan. 15 issue. For information on back issues, see Reader resources, page 90.)

You've probably heard the hype about how cool it is to print a document by dropping its file name onto a printer icon on the Desktop. But who can ever find anything on the Desktop under all those windows?

It's a lot easier to right-click a document, then click Print on the right-button menu (called a context menu). And if you have access to two or more printers, whether they are attached to your PC or on a network, you can Send To any of your printers. This is a lot faster than changing your current printer manually every time you want to print a document to one or the other.

One way to get a printer onto your Send To list is to right-drag its icon from the Control Panel's Printers window to the C:\Windows\SendTo folder.

You can even have the same printer show up twice on the Send To menu with different settings -- for instance, draft vs. presentation quality. To do this, double-click the Add New Printer icon in the Printers window, then select a printer model you already have installed. When Windows asks if you want to "replace" or "keep" the existing driver, reply "keep" (unless you really do possess an updated driver).

After you finish installing this "new" printer driver, you should have a Copy 2 icon in your Printers window.

Right-click this icon, click Properties, and configure this copy of your printer driver any way you like. Then right-drag it into the SendTo folder to create a shortcut to it. Your new, alternate printer settings will immediately appear on your Send To menu the next time you right-click a document in the Explorer.

Other things that are great to have in your Send To list are the Desktop, the Start Menu, and the StartUp Folder. To get these in the list, right-drag the subfolders named \Desktop, \Start Menu, and \Start Menu\Programs\StartUp from your C:\Windows folder to the SendTo folder. When you find a file that you want on your Desktop, Start Menu, or StartUp group, right-click the file, then click Send To, the Desktop (or wherever).

There are some caveats. Remember that when you drag a file to a folder in the Explorer, the file is moved if the folder is on the same drive, but it is copied if the folder is on a different drive. Send To works the same way with files sent to folders. Exception: Executable files that you Send To the Desktop or any part of the Start Menu are not moved. Instead, a shortcut is created (which is actually what you want).

Another thing: Parameters (such as /P) are ignored in a Send To command line. I'll show you a fun way around this next week.

One more note: In a recent column, I described a method of changing the value of MenuShowDelay, which controls the lag time before Windows displays submenus of the Start menu. (See "Win95 start menu tips: How to make submenus stick," Dec. 25, 1995/Jan. 1, page 25.) Due to a typesetting error, the variable MenuShowDelay was hyphenated. The hyphen should not be typed as part of the variable name.

Brian Livingston is the coauthor of the new Windows 95 Secrets and author of three other Windows books (IDG Books). Send tips to or fax: (206) 282-1248.

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