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How to use Jump Lists in Windows 7

Jumplists are one of the new cool features that Microsoft has put into Windows 7 to make life simpler and easier for its user community. In essence, Jumplists are lists of recently accessed files by applications; lists which can be used to launch the application associated with them with the specified file.

Jumplists work when applications are pinned to the taskbar at the bottom of the screen. Pinning means dragging an application icon from the Desktop or Start menu onto the taskbar and having it stick there forever or until you decide to unstick it. When an application is pinned to the taskbar an icon is created and added to the taskbar for that application. Then, when you want to use that application, you simply click the icon on your taskbar and it launches.

And while the concept of the taskbar itself is pretty cool all by itself, it’s only when you right click on one of those icons that exist on your taskbar that you see the Jumplists. What you get is a list of the most recently opened files by that application, even before actually opening that application. If you click on one of those files that are listed, the application will launch and that file will be loaded. This works particularly well with Word, for example, if say you happen to be working on a document. Instead of having to load Word, then find the document, you can simply click on it in the Jumplist and you’re in business. It works really well with your Media player as well, in that it sort of keeps a playlist for you that is up to date all the time, because it’s the songs you’ve listened to or the video’s you most recently watched that are on that list and all you have to do is click on the song you want to hear and your Media player will load and that song will start playing.

Also, on each Jumplist is the option to launch the application, unpin it, or close all the windows that are associated with that application, which is also very cool as it allows you to close every Explorer window you’ve got going with just one click, for example.

Jumplists also exist as part of the Start menu. Whenever you add an application to the Start menu, you automatically get a Jumplist for each of them, just as you do with taskbar. To see the Jumplist all you have to do is highlight the application you want to see and a Jumplist will appear just to the right of the menu list.

In short, while Jumplists may not be earthshaking news, they are definitely a nice addition to Windows and they become second nature after just a few days.

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