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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

The Taskbar

The taskbar offers many shortcuts that can greatly speed up your work. Let’s start by exploring the taskbar’s context menu, because you can use that to open the various toolbars and options.

To view toolbars

  1. Right-click, or tap and hold, the taskbar to view the Taskbar menu red-circle-a.

  2. Select from the Toolbars submenu to display one or all of the toolbars.

To change the height of the taskbar

  1. Deselect the Lock The Taskbar command gray-circle-a to disable it (remove its check mark).
  2. Drag the top edge of the taskbar up or down as desired.

Notice that with the taskbar unlocked, each toolbar has a resize edge that you can drag. When you lock the taskbar, toolbars are frozen in position. gray-circle-a in the “Desktop Elements” section shows the toolbars with the taskbar unlocked.

To pin a program icon, folder, or other object to the taskbar

  • Tap and hold, or right-click, the tile for the object in the tile-based interface, and then tap or click the Pin To Taskbar button in the bottom bar red-circle-b.


    red-circle-b The Pin To Taskbar button in the tile-based interface

  • You can also drag an object from the Desktop—a program, a folder, a drive, and so on—onto the taskbar to anchor it there.

To set taskbar options

Several important options for taskbar icons are set in the Taskbar Properties dialog box red-circle-c. Its command is the bottommost one in the menu shown in gray-circle-a.

  • Select the Auto-hide The Taskbar check box to hide the taskbar automatically when it is not in use; tap or click the bottom edge of the screen to restore the taskbar.
  • Select the Use Small Taskbar Buttons check box to reduce the size of the icons, which is valuable for work on a smaller screen.
  • Select an option from the Taskbar Location On Screen drop-down menu to move the taskbar to different edges of your display.
  • Select an option from the Taskbar Buttons drop-down menu to control how multiple instances of open like objects are displayed. (I like to combine them.)
  • Select the Use Peek To check box to show a Desktop thumbnail on the Show Desktop button.
  • Click the Apply button to enforce the settings you select but continue working in the dialog box.
  • Click the OK button to enforce the settings you select and close the dialog box.

Experiment with these options to find the ones you like.

When you hover your cursor over a taskbar icon, it will display thumbnails of windows that you can switch to or close (click the X) red-circle-d. When you right-click a taskbar icon, the context menu offers you several options, including a jump list of Frequent items red-circle-e.


red-circle-e The jump menu for Frequent items

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