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8/96 How To: Applications

I Know Lots of Shortcuts To the Internet

You can get there from here. I'll show you the fast way.

By Jim Boyce

Click Here to see a 13.0KB bitmap image of artwork which goes with this article, entitled:
I know a Shortcut

DO YOU FIND yourself taking lots of side trips to the Internet? Then come with me, because I know lots of shortcuts.

New applications and operating systems, particularly Windows 95, let you integrate Internet sites into your documents, desktop and even applications. Lotus SmartSuite, for instance, provides shortcuts to selected Web sites in its SmartCenter application control center. To access these shortcuts, click on the Suite Help button in SmartCenter's toolbar, then click on the Internet tab. You'll find shortcuts to the IBM, Lotus, Lotus Support and Lotus ftp site home pages. Double-click on one of these icons to launch your Web browser and connect to the site.

It's easy to add Internet shortcuts to your Win95 Desktop. First, right-click on the Desktop and choose New/Shortcut. In the Command line text box, type the name of the Web page you want to access (such as nopage.url). The http:// prefix tells Win95 this is an Internet Web page. If you're creating a shortcut to an ftp site, you'd specify ftp:// as the prefix.

When you click on Next, Win95 prompts you to name the shortcut. Choose Finish and voilˆ, Win95 has created a shortcut icon on the Desktop. When you double-click on that icon, Win95 will launch your default Web browser (if it's not already running) to link to the specified site.

You can now move these shortcuts to places other than the Desktop. Remember SmartCenter? Just open the drawer in which you want to place the shortcut, then right-drag the shortcut from the Desktop to the drawer. Release the shortcut and choose Move Here if you want to move the shortcut from the Desktop to the drawer, or Copy Here if you want to retain the copy on the Desktop. Use the same procedure to place shortcuts in other folders.

If you access specific sites often, you may want to add them to your Start menu. Because this menu is just a graphical view of the Start Menu folder structure on your hard disk, adding objects to the Start menu is easy. Just copy or move the objects (such as an Internet shortcut) to the proper folder under the Start Menu folder. If the shortcut already exists on the Desktop, select it and press Ctrl+C to copy the shortcut to the Clipboard. Open Explorer and locate the \Windows\Start Menu folder. Select the subfolder into which you want to place the shortcut, and press Ctrl+V to copy it from the Clipboard to the folder.

Win95 also provides a wizard to step you through the process of creating a Start menu shortcut. Right-click on any blank area of the taskbar (including the clock display) and choose Properties to display the Taskbar Properties dialog box. Click on the Start Menu Programs tab, then the Add button. Win95 displays a Create Shortcut dialog box. In the Command line text box, type the name of the Internet resource with the appropriate prefix, such as http:// or ftp://, then click on Next.

Windows 95 displays the Start Menu folder structure as a hierarchical tree. Scroll through the tree and select the folder into which you want to place the shortcut. To create a new folder, select the parent folder, then choose the New Folder button. When you've selected the desired location for the shortcut, choose Next. Type a name for your new Internet shortcut, then click on Finish. Win95 will add the shortcut to the selected spot on the Start menu.

Get connected

If you connect to the Internet through a Dial-Up Networking connection, you may want to take one more step to automate the process. When you double-click on an Internet shortcut and the connection hasn't yet been established, Dial-Up Networking displays a Connect To dialog box. From there, you must click on the Connect button to dial the service provider. Wouldn't it be nice if you could make Dial-Up Networking click the Connect button for you?

You can. Download and install a copy of Keep Goin', a dialer add-on available from Wintronix. Keep Goin' automatically senses when the Connect To dialog box appears and presses the Connect button for you. It also automatically redials if the line is busy. You can find Keep Goin' here or order it from Wintronix (800-946-8769, 801-532-4865).

Add those ubiquitous Internet shortcuts to documents and messages, too. Don't just tell your friends and co-workers about that cool new Web site; e-mail them a shortcut. They can then double-click on the attached shortcut and go right to the site. It's also possible to embed shortcuts in documents, allowing anyone reading the document to access those Internet sites.

How you embed the shortcut depends on the application. If you're using Exchange, for instance, and you want to embed a shortcut to an Internet site, you can select an existing shortcut and press Ctrl+C. Then, compose your message, locate the cursor where you want to insert the shortcut and press Ctrl+V. You can use this method to insert shortcuts with other applications that recognize these types of shortcuts in the Clipboard.

You may have to use a different method to embed shortcuts into other types of documents. Word, for instance, won't let you paste a shortcut from the Clipboard to a document. You have to create the shortcut on the Desktop or other location, then choose Insert/Object. Click on the Create From File tab and enter the shortcut's path and filename, or click on Browse to browse for the shortcut file. Select the file and choose OK. Word will insert the Internet shortcut as a packaged OLE object. Anyone reading the document can double-click on the embedded shortcut to access the associated site.

Now that you have Internet shortcuts in every nook and cranny, you may be wondering how to turn some of your existing documents into Web pages. Sounds like a reasonable question, but first I'll give you a chance to wander around on your own a while. When you return you can look forward to more Internet goodies in future columns.

Contributing Editor Jim Boyce is the lead author of Windows 95 Communications Handbook (Que, 1996). Contact Jim in the "Applications" topic of WINDOWS Magazine's areas on America Online and CompuServe.Click Here to find the e-mail IDs for our editors, who can put you in touch with this author.

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