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Send To can move files, folders and apps faster than drag-and-drop.
A few days ago a colleague was looking over my shoulder as I took care of some administration tasks on a Windows NT system. That in itself wasn't annoying, but his frequently asking, "How did you do that?" started bugging me. Because I'm a nice guy, I took the time to explain the shortcuts I was using and why. It made me realize how many tasks I've either automated or found a shortcut for in Windows 95 and NT.
Since it's nearly summer, you probably wouldn't mind a few shortcuts to get you out of the office a little earlier. This month I offer a Windows 95 tip to help you use your applications and documents more effectively. Just don't take your computer to the beach to try it.
One often overlooked feature of Windows 95/NT is the Send To command that appears in an object's pop-up Context menu. To view an object's Context menu, right-click on its icon. The cascading Send To menu lists entries for each floppy drive in the system, and perhaps Fax Recipient, Mail Recipient and Briefcase. The presence of these last three depends on whether or not you've installed fax and e-mail applications and Briefcase. Other applications also might have added items to the Send To menu. If you've installed Microsoft Outlook, for example, an Outlook item appears in the Send To menu.
Send To does just what its name implies. It sends the highlighted object to the selected destination. For example, you don't have to drag a file onto the floppy drive icon in My Computer to copy it. Just right-click on the icon, then choose Send To, followed by the appropriate floppy drive. You don't have to open My Computer to make the floppy icon or folder available for dragging.
You can easily add other items to the Send To menu. To print documents quickly, put the printers you use most often onto the Send To menu. Instead of opening a document in its parent application and then choosing File/Print, you just right-click on the document's icon and choose Send To, followed by the appropriate printer. The parent application opens automatically, and the document goes to the selected printer. Best of all, the application closes automatically after it finishes spooling the document to the printer.
To place an item on the Send To menu, all you have to do is add to the Send To folder a shortcut for the desired destination. I'll show you how to add printers, network drive shares and applications to Send To.
To add any item to the Send To menu, you first need to open the Send To folder. You'll find it in C:\WINDOWS\SENDTO. Or, if your computer is configured to support a separate desktop for each user, the Send To folder is located in C:\WINDOWS\PROFILES\USER\ SENDTO, where USER is your user log-on name. Windows NT uses separate profiles and therefore separate Send To menus by default. If you're not sure if your Windows 95 system is set up to support separate desktops, open Control Panel and double-click on the Passwords icon. In the Passwords Properties sheet, click on the User Profiles tab. If the "Users can customize their preferences" check box is selected, your system is configured for multiple desktops, and you should look in C:\WINDOWS\ PROFILES\USER\SENDTO for your Send To folder.
Once you've located the appropriate Send To folder, you can add items to the Send To menu by creating shortcuts in the folder. To add printers to your Send To menu, open My Computer and then open the Printers folder. With the Send To folder open, press and hold the right mouse button on a printer icon in the Printers folder and drag the icon to the Send To folder. Release the mouse button and choose Create Shortcut(s) Here from the Context menu. Repeat this process for each printer you want to add to the Send To menu. To test your new additions, right-click on a document and choose Send To from its Context menu. You should see an item for each of the added printers.
If you want to use Send To to print any document without a DOC file extension from Word, you have to do some tweaking. Let's say you want to print documents with CPY extensions. Go to Explorer and select View/Options/File Types. Double-click on the Microsoft Word Document file type, then double-click on the Print entry. You need to copy all of the settings, including the /x switch in the command line and the DDE (dynamic data exchange) settings, to the same dialog for the CPY file types. Because you can't open the dialogs for both file types at once, it's best to use Clipboard to copy one setting at a time, moving back and forth between the dialogs.
To add shared network folders to the Send To menu, open Network Neighborhood and locate the shared folder you want to add. With the Send To folder open on the Desktop, right-click on the shared network folder and drag it to the Send To folder. Choose Create Shortcut(s) Here from the Context menu to add the shortcut to the folder. Repeat the process for each shared folder you want to add to the Send To menu. The next time you want to send a file to a specific shared network folder, just right-click on the file's icon and choose Send To, followed by the desired remote network folder.
You might also want to add a few application shortcuts to the Send To folder. Generally, you can open a document simply by double-clicking on the document's icon. That starts the application registered as the default for that file type. If you double-click on a file whose type isn't registered, the Open With dialog box will appear, allowing you to select a registered application with which to open the file. For example, you'll find various text files on your system, but many of them won't have a TXT file extension. Therefore, even though they're text files, they won't open automatically with Notepad or WordPad. You could register these files with Notepad or another ASCII editor, or choose Notepad from the Open With dialog box each time you want to open that type of file.
An easier way to open these files is to add Notepad or WordPad to the Send To menu. When you want to open an unregistered ASCII file in Notepad, you just right-click on it and choose Send To/Notepad. It doesn't matter if the file's registered with a different application-if it's an ASCII file, Notepad will display it.
You can add applications to the Send To menu to use as alternatives to opening registered files. Suppose you use Microsoft Word as your word processor, but you've also installed Microsoft Word Viewer. Because DOC files are registered with Word Viewer on your system, Viewer opens and displays a DOC file when you double-click on it. You could add Word to the Send To menu in case you want to open the document in Word, rather than in Word Viewer. Or, you might add a graphics viewer application to the Send To menu to use instead of your Web browser for viewing JPEGs or other graphics files.
Adding applications to Send To gives you options for opening documents. You add an application to the Send To menu in virtually the same way you add printers and remote network shares. There's just one catch: The program must support OLE or accept command-line file switches. If you can enter program document at the command prompt, where program is the pathname of program's executable file, and document is the pathname of the document to open, then the program will work with Send To.
To add a program to the Send To menu, locate the program's executable file and right-drag it to the Send To folder. Choose Create Shortcut(s) Here from the Context menu to add a shortcut to the program in the Send To folder. The program shortcut will appear in the Send To menu the next time you open an object's Context menu. To change the name of an item that appears on the Send To menu, open the Send To folder and rename the item's shortcut.
Finally, if you become as addicted to the Send To menu as I have, you'll want to get the latest copy of Windows 95 PowerToys from Microsoft's Web site (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/
Send To Any Folder lets you quickly search for a destination folder and send the selected object to that folder. Send To Clipboard as Contents copies the contents of the selected object to Clipboard. Send To Clipboard as Name copies the object's name to Clipboard as a file list, letting you paste it into another application. Send To Command Line sends the selected object to the Run dialog box. You then can modify the command line and execute the program or document.
Contributing editor Jim Boyce is the author of Upgrading PCs Illustrated (Que, 1997). Send Jim your questions and tips by contacting him in the Applications topic of WINDOWS Magazine's areas on America Online or CompuServe, or at the e-mail addresses here.