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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Control Panel Pinning in Windows 7

I love finding the little things that make a lot of sense and improve workflow. Windows 7 enhancements to window management as well as application launching are solid and more than welcome. 

Get at things, all fast-like

imageIn Windows Vista I was able to pull down the icon from a Control Panel tool that I used frequently and drop it on the Quick Launch bar.  This allowed me to jump into something like network connections without having to go through two or thee windows and clicks. I used this a fair bit for testing multiple resolutions and switching between networks (and more) so I would have multiple shortcuts created

imageWith Windows 7, we see this feature further enhanced with the addition of pinning.

When you right-click-drag the icon down to the launch bar, it no longer creates a short-cut…not exactly anyways.  You are prompted to “pin” the component to the Control Panel icon.

Finally, any of the items in your “Recent” list can easily be pinned.  So, if you’re like my mom and you can get the hang of a right-click-drag, just go about getting into the component the way you normally would and then pin it to the Control Panel list on on the launch bar.

This works well with most Windows 7-aware applications, so be sure to try it out in other places too.  You can discover different ways to get into applications by right-clicking on the icon if it’s in your launch bar.

A real good mix in Windows 7

Inspiration for the docking, the launching and the window management features of Windows 7 comes from all over.  I’ve seen elements of its behaviour in other operating systems, touch-screen interfaces and even in works of fiction.  I would argue, however, that Windows 7 may have one of the best systems in place for getting at your applications, utilities, and even data in your documents.

Unlike prior versions of Windows and some competing O/Ss, Windows 7 makes it easy…and it looks good.

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