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Windows XP Power Hound by Preston Gralla

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The Taskbar

You probably don't pay much attention to the taskbar , the bar across the bottom of your screen that shows what programs are currently running, along with the time, the Start button, and a bunch of other icons you may never have noticed. But ignore the taskbar at your peril—this little powerhouse offers many ways to make your computer time more efficient. This section has all the details.

Launching Web Pages from the Taskbar

Memo to speed demons: you can jump directly to Web pages without opening a browser first. Here's the trick: add an address box to the taskbar. Then, whenever you type in the address of a Web site (such as http://www.oreilly.com), your browser opens and heads straight to that site.

To add the address box, right-click the taskbar; in the menu that appears, choose Toolbars Address. (You may have to select "Lock the Taskbar" to remove the checkmark first.) The word Address appears toward the left end of the taskbar. To the left of the word Address there's a handle—a small dotted line you can grab and drag. Drag the handle to the left to reveal a white box, shown in Figure 2-14. When you type an Internet address in the box, your browser launches and goes directly to that site.

Note

If you want to lock the address box in position, right-click the taskbar and select "Lock the Taskbar."

Adding an address box to the taskbar is a big time-saver, since it lets you visit Web sites without opening your browser first. You don't need to click the Go button after entering a Web address; simply press Enter after you type the URL (and you don't have to type http:// either—just start with www).

Figure 2-14. Adding an address box to the taskbar is a big time-saver, since ...

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