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Chapter 34. Working with Folders > Creating and Using Shortcuts

Creating and Using Shortcuts

If you see an icon with a little arrow at its bottom, that's a shortcut icon. Shortcuts in the Start menu don't have an arrow, but they're essentially the same. Shortcuts are pointers to programs or files that exist somewhere else on your computer. They give you easy access to that icon from the shortcut's location.

One popular use for shortcuts is to place icons for often-used programs, folders, or files on the desktop, where you can get to them easily. By putting a shortcut of the object (instead of the object itself) on the desktop or in the Start menu, you keep the original object safe in its folder with the other files it needs in order to work correctly. You also avoid the confusion of having multiple versions of a file scattered throughout your hard disk. You could make a copy of the object instead, but shortcuts take up very little storage space. Another important difference between a shortcut and its original program icon is that if you delete the shortcut you don't delete the program, but if you delete the program's original icon, you're actually getting rid of the program itself.


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