From the Kenosha News on 6-5-05

Desktop Shortcuts Provide Easy Access to your Favorite Programs or Web Sites

      The easiest way to access a program you use frequently is to have a shortcut for it on your desktop.  You can create desktop shortcuts yourself by following one of the methods below.  These instructions are pretty consistent for all versions of Windows.  Note that you can recognize which icons represent shortcuts because they have a small square with a bent arrow in the lower left-hand corner of the icon.  An icon without the arrow represents an actual program or file.

1)      If the program you want is listed on your Start Menu, you can copy the shortcut to your desktop.  For example, let's make a shortcut to the solitaire game that comes with Windows.  Right-click on the Start button, and drag to "Open all users."  Double-click on the Programs folder, then double-click the Accessories folder.  Finally, double-click on the Games folder.  You should now see the Solitaire shortcut in the active window.  Right-drag the shortcut to your desktop (that is, click and hold the RIGHT mouse button and then drag the icon).  When the pop-up menu appears, click on "Copy here."  In this case, you don't choose "create shortcut here" because you're already copying a shortcut, and you don't want to make a shortcut to a shortcut.

2)      Make a shortcut manually.  In this case, we'll make a shortcut to the built-in calculator in Windows.  First right-click on any available space on your desktop.  From the pop-up menu, click New and then Shortcut.  In the dialog window, enter the name and location of the program or click Browse to find it.  For the calculator, type in calc.exe and then click the Next button.  Enter the title you want to appear by the shortcut, in this case "Calculator."  Click the Finish button.

3)      You can also make a shortcut for a web site that you visit often.  Use the same instructions as for the manual shortcut, above, but when prompted for the location of the item, type in the web address.  For example, to create a shortcut to the Yahoo Mail web site, type in "http://mail.yahoo.com/" and click Next.  Enter a description like "Yahoo Mail." 

      The shortcuts you create will have whatever icons the system chooses.  To change these.  Right-click on the shortcut and click on Properties from the pop-up menu.  From the Web Document or Shortcut tab, click the Change Icon button.  Click on an available icon from the list or click Browse to find one on your own.  Click OK and then click the Apply button.

      If at any time, you don't want a shortcut that you've created, click on it once and then press the Delete key on your keyboard.  Click Yes to confirm.  Deleting the shortcut will not delete the program itself.

      One last tip:  When you want to see your desktop but have many windows open, rather than closing or minimizing each one, look for the "Show Desktop" icon in the taskbar near the Start button.  It looks like a desk blotter.  Click it, and all of your open windows are minimized.  Click again, and all the open windows re-appear.

By Carol Sabbar from the Kenosha News on 6-5-05