Windows 7 Jump Lists

Do you use the Recent Items menu in Windows Vista? You may not even know what it is if you haven’t poked around some. It is not enabled by default, but if you right-click on the taskbar and select Properties you can configure the way the Start Bar and Start Menu look and feel. One of the options in those settings is to enable the Recent Items menu which provides a quick access menu to the last 15 files you have worked with (whether they are Word docs, PDF files, JPG images, Virtual PC VMC images, etc.). I use it frequently to access the files I am working with rather than trying to use Windows Explorer or some other method to navigate to them. It is a great time saver.

With Windows 7, Microsoft adds a new dimension to this concept with Jump Lists. I mentioned them a little in my earlier post about the Windows 7 Taskbar. Perhaps you have used the Recent Documents from the File menu within programs like Microsoft Word. I rarely ever used this feature because I always use the Recent Items list from the Start Menu. Well, Windows 7 essentially combines the Recent Items from the Start Menu with the Recent Documents from the application to create application specific Jump Lists.

In the Start Menu some applications have an arrow next to them. That arrow is how you access the Jump List for that application. The Jump List is essentially the Recent Items list for that specific application. So- while the Recent Items (which is still available as a Start Menu option in Windows 7) includes the most recent 15 files you have accessed of any type, the Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 Jump List contains only the most recent PowerPoint files you have accessed. The application Jump Lists make it much easier and faster to navigate Windows 2007 and work with files. In addition to the most recent files used for a given application, you can also ‘pin’ important or frequently used files to the Jump List for an application so that they are always quickly accessible.

Having been a fan of the Recent Items already, but sometimes frustrated by the files I want getting cycled off of the top 15 list, I am thoroughly enjoying the convenience and functionality of the Windows 7 Jump Lists.

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