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Last post Author Topic: pin a document to start menu  (Read 14988 times)


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Re: pin a document to start menu
« Reply #50 on: November 23, 2010, 06:50:19 AM »
1. pin any shortcut to any file on your local machine to the Start Menu (contra Stoic Joker's last post, I think it has to be a shortcut that is pinned, not a file, because I can't see any way to edit the shortcut Target if I pin the actual file to the Start Menu ---

Ya know I was trying not to draw attention to my goofing the distinction earlier in the thread... But.
Hey, I wasn't trying to draw any attention to any goof :) and I'm not even sure what you're referring to earlier in the thread.  I was just referring to the immediately previous post:
...Pin local file to start menu, then edit the target (and start in) info of the pinned shortcut.
(emphasis mine) and I actually figured you were probably just being a little casual in your word choice and that maybe you meant shortcut.  (I even almost made a comment to that effect, but I figured I have enough trouble not being too wordy and I'd just leave the comment out.)

...But if we're talking about editing the Target and Start In info in a pinned shortcut, it has to be an actual shortcut, not a pinned file.  ...And I just realized from the rest of your post about Win7 that maybe you've been seeing this a little differently, because it sounds like Win7 creates a shortcut in the Quick Launch\User Pinned\StartMenu folder whether you pin a shortcut, a file, or an executable.  WinXP doesn't.  It only creates a link stored in binary form in the registry (in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartPage).

In Win XP, if you pin a shortcut to the Start Menu, you can open that shortcut's properties to edit the Target and Start In info by right-clicking on either the actual shortcut, or on the pinned link on the Start Menu.  But if you pin a document (e.g., techidave's XLS) file or an ex cutable to the Start Menu, it doesn't create an actual shortcut anywhere on the machine.  And if you right-click on the pinned menu link to open the properties, it opens the actual properties dialog of the XLS file or the executable.  That's why I said I can't see any way to edit the Target and Start In info for a file pinned to the Start Menu.  ...So I just didn't want anyone else to try pinning a file and then trying to edit the Target and Start In info, because in WinXP, I don't think it can be done.  But it sounds like it could be done in Win7 because all pinned items have a corresponding shortcut (containing Target and Start In info that can be edited) in the Quick Launch\User Pinned\StartMenu folder.

BTW, there are also some other inconsistencies in the ways pinned menu items can be edited in WinXP depending on the type of file it point to.  For example, if you rename a pinned shortcut or a pinned document by right-clicking on the pinned menu item and selecting Rename, it actually renames the shortcut or the document, wherever it exists on your machine.  Conversely, if you rename the actual shortcut or the actual document, the pinned link to it is not renamed (unless you click on the pinned menu link and WinXP/Explorer renames it, which it will do if it can find the document).  However, if you pin an executable to the Start Menu, you can right-click on the pinned menu link and rename it whatever you want (Bill or George, or anything but Sue!), and the executable name remains unchanged.  (I imagine the way Win7 does it, with an actual shortcut in the Quick Launch\User Pinned\StartMenu folder for all pinned items, clears up those inconsistencies, so that editing items on the pinned menu also edits the corresponding shortcut.)

This inconsistent behavior is the main reason I was so careful in my wording earlier [(edit): which undoubtedly makes the writing more labored, and makes the task seem even more like "a lot of work to have to go through" :P]... [for example]:
  • 6. ...(now here's the sleight of hand)... ...rename the MyPinnedXLSLink shortcut on your Desktop or in its permanent location (i.e., NOT the Pinned MyPinnedXLSLink link on the Start Menu) AnythingYouWant
...to try to differentiate shortcuts from pinned menu links, because exactly which one is being renamed is critical to the method I outlined.  So I don't know if there is a proper or "official" term for the items that appear on the pinned menu, but I've been attempting to consistently refer to them as pinned menu links to differentiate them from shortcuts.  (H3ll, I still can't figure out the difference between folders and directories, but they ain't exactly the same as far as the WinXP registry is concerned! :P)

Creating a shortcut in that folder does not automatically make it show up as pinned in the start Panel.
Yeah, that'd be too easy and make too much sense!  :P (since that's the way it works with the [(edit): non-pinned shortcuts on the] Start Menu and the Quick Launch menu) ::)

Deleting a (pinned) shortcut from the folder does not make it disappear from the Start Panel...But! It does make it stop functioning.

So they're apparently only loosely connected.
So the functionality is actually much as it is in WinXP (more or less one-way), but the shortcuts at least can be directly accessed in the User Pinned\StartMenu folder instead of nearly inaccessible and impossible to work with in binary form in the registry. :Thmbsup:  And it seems like it makes good sense to combine the pinned Start Menu functionality with the Quick Launch menu!  (Over the last couple years I'm actually using the Quick Launch menu much more that the pinned Start Menu, because I've been able to put much more onto that menu and customize it more to my liking.)

Well, I'm gettin' too tired to think straight and can't make any of the above any clearer right now; so I hope it makes sense.

[(edit): can't figure out why that end of list BBCode is there at the end of this line; and can't get rid of it... ...it's there when I open the post to edit it out, and I delete it, but it still shows up in both the Preview and in the saved edit --- forum software bug ??? stuck in my browser cache ???][/list]
« Last Edit: November 23, 2010, 07:20:17 PM by gdv22 »


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Re: pin a document to start menu
« Reply #51 on: January 02, 2011, 02:59:29 AM »
I know I am more than a little late getting here, but it was the Cautomation thread that led me here anyway, so here is my question -

Isn't this what hardlinks are for?  I am not real familiar with them, but from my understanding a softlink is essentially the generic term for shortcut as described and working with them like this is weak at best.  Hardlinks, from my understanding, provide an actual local file that you could pin against, but then the hardlink would then automatically redirect the data to the actual file location instead of the hardlink.  I am a little fuzzy on this, so perhaps I have a skewed understanding of it, but it is worth looking into as a solution that is much more robust.

Or maybe I am just looney... :huh: