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One of many new features within Windows 7 are jumplists. However, many people do not realise how much flexibility they offer in everyday computing. MVP Deb Shinder authored a great post on how jumplists can enhance user productivity. Read Deb’s blog post below.

“Jumplists are what you get when you right click an icon in the Windows 7 taskbar and they compliment the improved preview thumbnails that you get when you hover over a taskbar icon. I’ve noticed that some folks are confusing the two.

Here’s the preview that I see when I hover my cursor over the Internet Explorer icon in my taskbar:

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Here’s the preview that I see when I hover my cursor over the Internet Explorer icon in my taskbar:

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The jumplist shows the websites that I’ve most frequently accessed in IE in the top section. In the second section are tasks I can perform by clicking (in this case, open an In Private session or open a new tab). In the third section are more options: open a new IE window, unpin the program from the taskbar (if it’s not pinned, you’ll have the option to pin it) or close all IE windows.

Similarly, if I right click the Word icon, I see a list of most recently opened Word documents, along with the options to open a new instance of Word, pin/unpin the program or close the window:

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All this is handy enough, but there’s more. If you right click an individual item in a jumplist, you get another menu, from which you can do even more. Right clicking an item in the Word jumplist lets you open the item, edit it, open it as a new item, print the item or copy it. You can also pin an item to this list (so that it will remain here instead of being replaced by more recent items) or remove it from the list. Finally, you can open the item’s Properties here, without opening the item itself.

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You can also specify the number of recent items that you want to display in the jumplists. Just right click the taskbar, select Properties, and click the Start Menu tab. Click the Customize button and in the Customize Start Menu dialog box, down at the bottom, set the number of recent items to display, from 0 to 60, as shown here:

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And here’s a cool tip: you don’t have to use the right mouse button to open the jumplists. Another way to do it is to hold down the left mouse button on the icon and then drag it upward (if your taskbar is docked at the bottom of the screen), downward (if it’s docked at the top) or sideways toward the middle of the screen (if it’s docked vertically on either side).

Different applications contain different items in their jumplists. For example, the Windows Messenger jumplist contains Messenger-related tasks such as going to the MSN homepage, going to your e-mail inbox, viewing your Windows Live profile, sending an IM, setting your status (available, busy, away or appear offline), or signing out from everywhere.

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Application developers can create jumplists for their particular apps. Third party programs are also available to add jumplists to some programs that don’t have them included by the developers. For example, Winfox is a third party program that adds jumplists to the Firefox browser:
http://windows7news.com/2009/05/22/winfox-adds-jumplists-to-firefox-in-windows-7/

Office 2010 technical previewers are happy to see that the new version of Outlook also makes use of jumplists. Whereas Outlook 2007 only includes the options to open a new instance, pin/unpin and close, Office 2010 adds tasks such as creating a new email message, appointment, contact or task and going to the Inbox, Calendar, Contacts or Tasks list.

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All in all, jumplists are a great new addition to Windows 7 that can save time, mouse clicks or keystrokes and help you to work more quickly and efficiently than ever.

Learn more about Deb at her website.

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