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March 10, 1997

Readers send me more Send To tips and shortcuts

My Jan. 27 column dealt with the Send To feature of Windows 95. To describe this feature in a nutshell, you can right-drag almost any executable or folder from an Explorer window and drop it on your C:\Windows\SendTo folder, then click Create Shortcut Here. This function creates a new destination on the Send To context menu. (See "Thought you'd had enough fun? Here's more with resource IDs in Windows 95," Jan, 27.

The Context menu appears when you right-click an object in Microsoft Internet Explorer. On the Context menu, you can click Send To and then send an object to an executable, a folder, a drive letter, and so forth. Sending an object works exactly like dragging that object to the destination in Explorer. If you "send" to a destination on a different drive letter than the source location, the object is copied. On the other hand, if you send to a destination on the same drive letter as the source, the object is moved.

I like to right-drag a shortcut to all the applications I ordinarily use into the Send To folder. That way I can send files in an Explorer window to any application, whether or not the file is associated with that application.

As with all my columns, readers have the last word. I've received quite a few useful tips on the ways others use Send To.

Charlie Hills writes that he often faces a choice with bit-map files that have a .BMP extension: "Sometimes I want to launch Windows 95's Paint applet, and sometimes I want to launch Jasc's Paint Shop Pro. Because double-clicking a .BMP file automatically launches Paint, I put a shortcut to Paint Shop Pro on the Send To menu. When I find a .BMP file, I can either double-click or right-click. Right-clicking [and using Send To] can now include any type of graphics file."

Paint Shop Pro, by the way, is an excellent graphics manipulation program. A shareware version is available at

Some destinations you might put in the Send To menu are less obvious than others. Charlie Paschal writes: "Many people have one application running full screen, which covers the desktop. This hampers anyone trying to drag a shortcut from Explorer to the desktop. To make adding shortcuts to the desktop easier, right-drag the C:\Windows\Desktop folder to the Send To folder, then click Create Shortcut Here. From now on, to create a shortcut on the desktop, right-click the file, click Send To, and then click desktop. Your shortcut will be there waiting for you the next time you go to the desktop."

Clyde McMurdy reminded me of another sly use of Windows' Shift key: "If you select an object, right-click it and click Send To. If you hold down the Shift key, the system will move a file instead of copying it. I do this a lot when moving files to and from my floppy."

The Shift key reverses the rule that files are copied when sent to a different drive but moved when sent to a folder on the same drive.

One of the best Send To tricks comes free from Microsoft when you download the PowerToys add-on from PowerToys contains Send To, Version 1.4. This addition allows you to send objects to any folder you type in, making Windows as convenient as DOS. You can also select an object and send its name or contents to the Clipboard.

Hills, Paschal, and McMurdy will receive new copies of Windows 95 Secrets Gold.

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

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Copyright © 1997 by InfoWorld Publishing Company


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