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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Customize the Pin Area (XP Pro SP1)

    Wondering if anyone has figured out how to create more customized pin options. For instance, we've all got "Internet" and "E-mail", with the appropriate program names underneath each. Rather than just adding another program, I'd like to add one that has a generic text (like the Internet and E-Mail), with the program name below it. So for instance I might have:

    Internet
    Internet Explorer

    E-mail
    Microsoft Outlook

    Usenet
    Newsbin Pro

    Anyone have any idea how to do this?

    While we're on the subject, it doesn't appear possible to pin something on a network drive. Using UNC paths, not mapped drives. Anyone know how to do this?

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Customize the Pin Area (XP Pro SP1)

    I

  3. #3
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    Re: Customize the Pin Area (XP Pro SP1)

    I've never been able to drag and drop into the pinned programs area or the most-recently used list. If I drop something on that part of the menu, it either gives me the "no drop" icon (circle with a slash through it) or it attempts to open the dropped data with whatever program I'm over. If I go to the "all programs" section, then I get the bold line that tells me where I can drop the program. Have you had different experience?

    The only way I've been able to get something into the pinned area is to pin it. And the only way I've been able to get something into the MRU area is to use it a lot and/or remove other entries from the list. I can pin something to the menu and get it to show up there with IE and Outlook. That's easy enough. Two problems.

    1: I cannot pin something on the network. The option isn't there. If I right-click an executable or a shortcut on my PC, it gives me the pin option. Doing so on a network drive does not. This appears to be the case whether I am using a UNC or a mapped drive.

    2: If I add something in the comment box, it shows up as a floating tip as you mention, but does not show up on the menu itself. That's not what I'm after. I want it to say something, then to list the program - just like it does for "internet" or "email".

    I've attached a small sample (8k) in case your start menu is different than mine for some reason. You'll notice "internet", "email" and then remote desktop. Say I wanted to have some sort of descriptive text above remote desktop - like "server administration". There's no way to put that on the menu itself (that I know about). I'd like to know if someone else knows how to do it. Apparently it's possible, as Microsoft has done it. I'm guessing it's a registry hack of some sort, but I haven't been able to find it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
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    Re: Customize the Pin Area (XP Pro SP1)

    IIRC, and I can't check since I'm not sitting at an XP box, all you have to do is right click a shortcut in the start menu and select Pin To Start Menu.

    It will put it in the Pin area.
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    Bryan Carbonnell - Toronto <img src=/S/flags/Ontario.gif border=0 alt=Ontario width=30 height=18> <img src=/S/flags/Canada.gif border=0 alt=Canada width=30 height=18>
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  5. #5
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    Re: Customize the Pin Area (XP Pro SP1)

    I appreciate the help, but I think you might be missing part of the detail. If the shortcut is a network link, you don't have the option to pin. At least not on the desktops I've checked. If you get different results, I'd love to know about it so I can have something to investigate - much better that than not knowing the problem!

  6. #6
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    Re: Customize the Pin Area (XP Pro SP1)

    Unfortunately, I can't check that.

    I have XP Pro at home not networked with anything, so I don't have any network shortcuts.
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    Bryan Carbonnell - Toronto <img src=/S/flags/Ontario.gif border=0 alt=Ontario width=30 height=18> <img src=/S/flags/Canada.gif border=0 alt=Canada width=30 height=18>
    Unfortunately common sense isn't so common!!
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  7. #7
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Customize the Pin Area (XP Pro SP1)

    To create shortcut to the network, you must create it to EXPLORER.EXE with appropriate switches (for details, see Q130510) pointing to the server or the mapped drive.

  8. #8
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    Re: Customize the Pin Area (XP Pro SP1)

    Bryan,

    I am sitting at an XPP machine and admittedly I don
    H Lewton

  9. #9
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    Re: Customize the Pin Area (XP Pro SP1)

    The Pin area is right at the top of the NEW style Start Menu.

    When you Pin something there, it will always stay there. I have shortcuts to things like IE, my E-mail client, Word there. That way I down' have to drill down in the start menu to get to what I use regularly.

    If you have set the Start Menu (or possibly the whole inferface to the "old style") you probably won't get it.

    Otherwise, it should be about half way down the Right Click menu. I'd post a screen shot, but I'm at work on a Win2K box not at home on my XPP box <img src=/S/sad.gif border=0 alt=sad width=15 height=15>
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    Bryan Carbonnell - Toronto <img src=/S/flags/Ontario.gif border=0 alt=Ontario width=30 height=18> <img src=/S/flags/Canada.gif border=0 alt=Canada width=30 height=18>
    Unfortunately common sense isn't so common!!
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  10. #10
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    Re: Customize the Pin Area (XP Pro SP1)

    Bryan,

    Thanks a lot. That was it. I had been using the
    H Lewton

  11. #11
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    Re: Customize the Pin Area (XP Pro SP1)

    I checked on this once and I believe you can only pin shortcuts to executables ("programs" was the word MS used). Documents, folders, etc., don't give you the option. This may have been documented in the help or a KB article, which of course I can't find now. But it would explain why network shortcuts don't work. The checking for file type may not support/allow non-local files.

    I also noticed that Outlook and IE seem to be special cases (like they are on the desktop). There's probably a registry setting that controls how it's displayed in the Pin To area, which the Office install creates for Outlook. Outlook on the desktop doesn't have the Pin to Start Menu option. If you Pin the shortcut from the Office XP folder under Programs, it just shows Microsoft Outlook, not "Email" with Microsoft Outlook underneath.

  12. #12
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    Re: Customize the Pin Area (XP Pro SP1)

    Thanks for the reply - I figured as much myself, I was just hoping that someone had managed to find the registry hacks necessary to make it happen. I don't think it will let you pin non-local items. Might be a good thing, as it does tend to lock up if displaying network-based folders or links. If that was in the pin area, then it might cause problems when your network went away. It so happens that I'd like to pin an executable that I've stored on the network, but I can live without it.

    I did manage to succeed in one way by creating a shortcut under the "all programs" section. After enough use (or enough dropping of items), this shortcut comes up in the MRU list. Only the shortcut though. If I use the same program executable from the network it doesn't work. Only the local shortcut seems to work. So we're likely onto something there.

    I would like to know how to put the "category" on the shortcut. Perhaps someone will dig it up. Thanks again for the reply.

  13. #13
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    Re: Customize the Pin Area (XP Pro SP1)

    Jayseae--
    I have eleven things pinned to my start menu, and was able to increase the number of items I could get on the menu by choosing small icons, and also by tweaking the icon size on appearances, and there have been threads on this in the lounge. I understand that through the registry, and there's got to be the hack, you want to control the size of the pin area and put anything you want there.

    I found Remove Pinned Programs List from the Start Menu (Reg Hack) at Winguides. My reason for putting it here is that perhaps someone adept with reg hacks can modify a string or a subkey to do the reverse--to allow you to do what you want.

    Also in Jerry Honeycutt's Windos XP Registry Guide (Microsoft Press) on pp. 105-109, he may be pointing to the place you need in the Registry.

    Under "Trimming the Frequently Used Programs List," you can customize the Pin Area I believe, at HKCRApplications.:
    __________________________________________________ __________________________
    "HKCRApplications contains subkeys for a variety of programs that Windows XP knows about.
    The name of each subkey is the name of a program file..."
    "Restoring the Sort Order"
    HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorer MenuOrder contains the sort order of the Favorites Menu and the Start Menu...The subkey Start Menu contains the sorting order of the classic Start menu, and the subkey Start Menu2 contains the sort order of the new Start menu. Deciphering the sort order of these three keys is next to ridiculous, but you can remove any of them to resort the corresponding menu in alphabetical order."
    __________________________________________________ ______________________

    Honeycutt goes on in this excellent book to explain a script he uses to remove Menu Order; he saves it to a text file Resort.inf, right clicks it and installs it and the key can be exported to other machines.

    So I'm thinking, you might be able to use these registry keys to configure the pin area real estate to the size and order and possibly the items you want on it. You might want to thumb through these pages in Honeycutt's book at any large book store.

    defrag

  14. #14
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Customize the Pin Area (XP Pro SP1)

    However, if you're like me and prefer the Classic Start Menu, you can add stuff to the top of the Start Menu yourself, in spite of the absence of the pin feature. I prefer to do it through Windows Explorer, in the Documents and Settings folder and then the Start Menu for ALL USERS. Just create or drag-and-drop a COPY of a shortcut or folder and it will appear on top of the Start Menu. I usually prefer the QuickLaunch bar for stuff I use a lot. If you want a screenshot, post back and I'll put a shot up here.

  15. #15
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    Re: Customize the Pin Area (XP Pro SP1)

    I'd appreciate a screen shot. There are a number of things you can get done within WE that you can't get done otherwise. I haven't had any trouble dragging things to the Pin area in XP's "new start menu," Al but I notice that I'm real-estate limited, that is I can get more on if I opt for small icons, and I remember from a thread a couple months back that had me able to tweak the size of these icons on the Start Menu through the Display Properties dialogue box, I think on the appearances tab in addition to setting the radio button to "small icons," on Customize Start Menu in Properties. I'm not sure what the difference in those two places is, but I remember tweaking the Display Properties icon size area to get what I wanted on there.

    One feature I have not been clear on is the Programs area of the Customize start menu. I tried to set it to as many as possible, and I have it at "30" which is as high as the number will go, but the maximum I can pin is 11. When I wanted to pin another on there, I had to kick one off.

    defrag

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