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How to Pin Documents and Declutter Your Desktop

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Windows 7 Jump List

Windows 7 Jump List with Pinned and Recent items.

Does your desktop look like a series of icons with no particular order or purpose? If you’re like most computer users (myself included), you’ve succumbed to "drop everything on the desktop" disorder. Common symptoms include:

  • I saved the file last week and can’t find it.
  • I know the latest version is here, somewhere.
  • My personal favorite, the blank stare as you repeatedly try to read the file names on all the icons on your desktop.

Pin Documents and Clean-up Your Desktop

If these symptoms sound familiar, please continue reading. As more and more of our things end up on our computers it becomes essential to be able to quickly locate files and applications that are frequently used. In Windows Vista, Microsoft introduced the concept of pinning up items like documents, applications and others in the Start Menu. In Windows 7, Microsoft took the next step and allowed users to pin up their favorite applications and documents to the Taskbar.

Along with this ability Microsoft introduced Jump Lists, a little feature that allows you to view recently opened documents and your pinned-up favorites without having to open the individual application. Best of all, the files are associated with the applications you are working on, so if you regularly use a group of Excel files you can pin them to the Excel shortcut on the taskbar.

Each time you want to open the files you simply right-click on the Excel shortcut and click on the pinned file from the Jump List. With this feature you save countless trips to the search box and save time by not having to scan documents within a folder.

How to Pin Documents

To pin up a document or application to the Taskbar follow the instructions below.

  1. Click and drag the application to the Taskbar. In case you wish to pin a document to an application shortcut on the Taskbar, click and drag the file to the respective icon.
  2. A small tip will appear indicating that the item will be pinned to the application you selected. So if you want to pin an Excel document drag it to the Excel icon on your Taskbar.

Once pinned you will be able to access your favorite files right from your desktop.

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