It’s easy, flexible and powerful. Here’s how to create a quick access toolbar to any Web site you like. In this case, it’s to www.bbc.co.uk.
1. The first step is to create a folder on your hard drive. Just open Windows Explorer and click on your C:\ drive once to select it. Next, choose File, New and then Folder. A new folder appears on your C:\ drive, and by default it gets named New Folder. Rename it Shortcuts.
2. Next, right-click on the Taskbar and select Toolbars, New Toolbar from the pop-up menu. A file-browser window will open asking which folder the toolbar should point to. You need to select the new Shortcuts folder you’ve created on your C: drive.
3. Drag your new Shortcuts toolbar off the Taskbar and position it on the left-hand edge of your desktop. It will snap to fit as a vertical column. You need to right-click it, select Always On Top and then change the View menu to Large Icons. Finish tidying it up by unchecking both Show Text and Show Title.
4. Now you’re ready to start putting some content into your new Web toolbar. Open your Web browser and go to one of the Web sites you access on a regular basis. (We’re using www.bbc.co.uk here as an example).
Once you get there simply drag and drop the little IE icon in your Address bar on to your fancy new new toolbar.
5. You’ll see the icon appear in your new Web toolbar. Now you need to create a nice icon for the Web link, something that represents the page you’re linking to.
You can use any graphics program you like that’s capable of performing a cropping function – we’ve used the shareware version of Paint Shop Pro.
6. Maximise your browser window on-screen and press the [Print Scrn] key.
This pops a copy of the screen into the clipboard. Go to Paint Shop Pro and select Edit, Paste – the screen shot will appear as a graphic.
Choose the Crop tool from the left side of the screen and carefully draw a box around the ‘B’ of BBC, then select Image, Crop.
7. Use File, Save As to save the image in your Windows/System folder as a Windows Bitmap file (.bmp). Now here’s the clever bit - manually change the file extension to .ico while leaving the Save as Type box as Windows or OS/2 Bitmap (*.bmp). You’ll now be able to use your bitmap picture as an icon file, as you’ll see in the next step.
8. Right-click on the BBC icon in your Web toolbar and choose Properties. Click the Change Icon button. A Change Icon dialog box will appear.
Choose C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\bbc.ico in the File name section. Your icon will appear in the window – click OK twice.
9. Don’t be alarmed that the icon in your Web toolbar hasn’t changed instantly. You need to right-click on the toolbar and select Refresh to see your new icon. You’ll find that clicking on the icon takes you straight to the BBC Web site with no fuss and no messing around. Now repeat the procedure for all your other favourite Web sites until you have a toolbar full of useful links.