Today, we’re going to present one of Windows 7’s most powerful features—Jump Lists.
Jump Lists are menus that contain your most recently opened items for each program on your Start menu or taskbar. The easiest way to explain Jump Lists is to show what they do. If you’re running Windows 7, Open your Start Menu. You’ll see that some shortcuts have arrows next to them, pointing to the right. If you move your mouse over one of these shortcuts, a list will appear showing the ten most recently opened items for that program.
In the image above, we see a list of our most recently opened Word documents. Clicking on any of these documents will immediately open that document.
Jump Lists also appear on the Taskbar. If you right-click any icon on the Taskbar, a menu will appear. Under the Recent heading, you’ll see the same list of recently opened items. Once again, you can just click an item to open it.
Here’s where Jump Lists really get useful. What do you do when you have a file that you need to use often? People used to make shortcuts to their documents on their desktop. That gets messy, and it means you have to go back to the desktop every time you want to open one of your shortcuts. With Windows 7, it’s easy: Just like you can pin shortcuts to the Start Menu or to the Taskbar, you can pin items to your Jump Lists!
Take the example from the images above. Let’s say you look at your To-do List every day, and you always want it available. Here’s how to pin it to the top of Word’s Jump List:
1. Open the Jump List for Microsoft Word. (Either open it from the Start Menu, or right-click the Word icon on the Taskbar.
2. Move your mouse over the item you want to pin. You’ll see a push-pin icon appear to the right of the item.
3. Click the push-pin icon. The pinned item will now appear at the top of the Jump List, both on the Start Menu and on the Taskbar.
From now on, every time you open the Jump List for this program, your pinned items will appear at the top of the list. You’re not limited to one item, either. You can pin as many items as you want. Each program has its own Jump List, so Excel, Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer and others all have their own lists of recent items. Some programs don’t have jump lists—either because they are older programs, or because it just wouldn’t make sense—but most do.
You can remove pinned items from Jump Lists by clicking the push-pin icon again. Doing this doesn’t delete the file or do anything at all to the file. It simply removes the shortcut from the Jump List. You can’t hurt anything by playing around with this feature, so give it a try.