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March 31, 1997

Here's a shortcut: Try using Send To for delivering files across the network

Windows' Send To feature was the subject of two past columns. (See "Thought you'd had enough fun? Here's more with resource IDs in Windows 95," Jan. 27; and "Readers send me more Send To tips and shortcuts," March 10.) As you recall, you can create a shortcut to almost any executable file or folder in your C:\Windows\SendTo directory. That destination will then show up in the Send To list that appears when you right-click a file in Explorer.

Send To works just like dragging an object and dropping it on the destination executable or folder. The object is copied or moved, depending on whether the destination is on the same drive as the source or on a different drive.

Reader Paul Howell wrote to me about a new use for this technique that I hadn't thought of. Howell works with associates who aren't as into computers as we are. He occasionally had to physically deliver files or printouts to co-workers who didn't want to figure out how to access them across a network.

Send To helped reduce Howell's "sneaker net." He placed shortcuts for his co-workers' personal desktops in his Send To folder.

"When I `Send To' them a file, it appears on their desktop as an icon," Howell says. "All they do is double-click the icon, and they can view the spreadsheet or document or whatever to their heart's delight."

This is obviously for people who don't know how to use double-click shortcuts in their mail clients to see embedded documents. But it works.

Howell is right that it's simple, doesn't require that your e-mail be running, and so forth. Selecting a document in Explorer, right-clicking it, then "sending to," say, George's desktop creates a copy of that document on, you guessed it, George's desktop.

One way to do this on your machine is to navigate to the root of George's PC in the Network Neighborhood of Explorer. (This assumes that sharing is turned on for that drive and that you have access to the folders therein.) Then select George's C:\Windows\Desktop as the current folder in the left pane of your Explorer and right-click the desktop folder in the right pane. Navigate back to your own C:\Windows\SendTo folder, then right-click the Send To folder and click Paste Shortcut. You should see a new shortcut named Desktop. Press F2 and rename this shortcut George's Desktop or whatever you like.

You can now right-click objects in your Explorer window, then click Send To and click George's Desktop. Documents will be copied to the recipient's desktop. Executables will create a shortcut there (for inexplicable reasons known only to Microsoft).

Fast Saves and less Fast Saves

I wrote on March 17 about problems that can be caused by leaving Word for Windows' Fast Saves feature on in the Tools, Options menu. (See "Readers give tips on fax files, Word files, and .INF files.") Among other things, some Word 6.0/95 documents can't be read by Word 97 if Fast Saves is on.

Reader Craig Dodson reports that using Fast Saves to append material to the end of documents can greatly increase the file size, too. Bad news for those low on disk space.

Attention all Brian Livingstons

The usual Windows horror stories in my e-mail were lightened considerably by a message I received from Brian J. Livingston ( He's collecting photos from the 13 Brian Livingstons he's found on CompuServe and the Internet. Send JPEGs to him if you're another Brian Livingston. He's thinking of having a convention and says: "The president would be Brian Livingston. We'll save on name tags by printing them in bulk."

The pictures will go on a Web site. Now there's a fascinating site.

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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