Windows 7 Jump Lists

Windows 7 Jump ListsJump Lists recent Windows 7

Embrace the concept of Jump List and save a few seconds whenever you launch any application in Windows 7.  Keep a lookout for a shortcut to recent file, or the link to a bookmark in a complex program.

Topics for Windows 7 Jump Lists


Definitions of Jump Lists

Key point, right-click an icon on the taskbar

  • Frequently accessed sites in the browser
  • Recent files used in Word or Notepad
  • Files or programs pinned to the Start Menu
  • An application-specific version of the Start menu
  • Items that open with the application
  • A 5 second glance at the menu may save 30 seconds of wasted time.

Jump List – Get Over the Initial DisappointmentJump Lists recent Windows 7

When you first look for 'Jump Lists' there are two disappointments, firstly, the list is empty because this is the first time that you have used that particular application.  Secondly, they are called not Jump List, but Recent, Frequent or Tasks.

Jump List – Recent Files

You could think of Jump Lists as recent files. Indeed in the screenshot see right you can view what happens if you right-click Notepad.exe – you don’t see Jump List, but you do see ‘Recent’.

Flexibility is the watch-word, not only can you have a list of Recent files, but also you can Pin files or programs to the list that appears when you right-click an icon on the Task bar.

If you are prepared to invest the time, then you can tune these jump lists to your liking, right-click any item in the list and Pin, Unpin, or ‘Remove from this list’.

Jump List – Frequent Windows 8 Jump List

The Frequent jump list is a special case of ‘Recent’.  To date I have only seen the Frequent jump list in connection with Internet Explorer.

If you peruse the screenshot you can see the philosophy of working smart by checking the jump list before you launch a program.  It reminds you subtly that you may need InPrivate Browsing, or your next session needs to Open a new tab.

Start Menu – More Jump Lists

The list of programs that you see when you click the Start Orb is now called a Jump List; personally, I like to pin regularly used programs to the Start menu, that way they don’t get bumped off the list by new-comers.  Windows 7 extends this ‘Start menu’ behaviour to other programs.  The result is that it’s easier to resume a playlist from where you left off, or find a Word file that you used yesterday. 

Jump List – Wireless NetworksJump Lists recent Windows 7

With Windows 7 you can connect to different types of wireless network easily.  Just right-click the network icon in the Navigation Area, then select the Wireless Network Connection from the Jump List – see screenshot

Windows 7 is better than Vista at finding 3G wireless networks and displaying them in the icon’s Jump-list.  Incidentally, Windows 7 automatically chooses the highest bandwidth.  Another sign of greater intelligence is that unlike Vista, no user interaction is needed to disable a network that is no longer available.

The only minor disappointment is that the network icon is no longer animated so does not blink when the network is working.  See Windows 8 Wireless

Developers – Jump Lists

Programmers can create even more jump lists with AutomaticJumpListSample.exe.  Consult the Developer’s Kit.

Summary of Windows 7 Jump Lists

Jump lists are a new feature in Windows 7.  In truth they are tiny, almost insignificant feature, but nevertheless an indication of the hundreds of unsung ways that Windows 7 improves on Vista.

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