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An Administrator's Guide to Customizing the Desktop and the User Interface for Windows 8

Optimizing Toolbars

Several toolbars are available for the taskbar. The toolbar that most users are familiar with is the Quick Launch toolbar—available in prior versions of Windows but not in Windows 8—that provided quick access to commonly used programs and the Windows desktop. The taskbar can display any of several toolbars that come with Windows 8, and users can create their own toolbars as well.

Displaying Toolbars

Toolbars available for the taskbar include:

  • Address Provides an Address box into which you can type a URL or other address that you want to access, either on the web, on the local network, or on the local computer. When full file paths are specified, the default application for the file is started to display the specified file.

  • Links Provides access to the Links folder on the Favorites menu for Internet Explorer. To add links to files, webpages, or other resources, drag shortcuts onto the Links toolbar. To remove links, press and hold or right-click the link and tap or click Delete. When prompted, confirm the action by tapping or clicking Yes.

  • Desktop Provides access to all the shortcuts on the local desktop so that you don’t have to minimize application windows or tap or click the Show Desktop button on the right end of the taskbar to access them.

  • Touch Keyboard Provides quick access to the touch keyboard.

To display or hide individual toolbars, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold or right-click the taskbar to display the shortcut menu.

  2. Point to Toolbars, and then select the toolbar name in the list provided. This toggles the toolbar on and off.

Creating Personal Toolbars

You can create personal toolbars for users as well. Personal toolbars are based on existing folders, and their buttons are based on a folder’s contents. The toolbars that you might create most often are ones that point to shared folders on the network. For example, if all users have access to CorpData, a shared folder in which corporate information is stored, and UserData, a folder in which personal information is stored, you can add toolbars to the taskbar that point to these resources. When users want to access one of these folders, they can simply tap or click the corresponding toolbar button.

You can create personal toolbars by completing these steps:

  1. Press and hold or right-click the taskbar to display the shortcut menu. Point to Toolbars, and then tap or click New Toolbar. This displays the New Toolbar—Choose A Folder dialog box, which is similar to the Open dialog box.

  2. Use the options provided to navigate to and select the folder you want to use as a basis for a toolbar.

  3. When you tap or click Select Folder, the folder is displayed as a new toolbar on the taskbar. If you add shortcuts to the toolbar view, the shortcuts are added to the folder. Similarly, if you delete items from the toolbar view, the items are removed from the folder.