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Customizing the Send To Menu

Whenever you right-click a file or folder icon, one of the choices on the shortcut menu is Send To. Selecting this option opens a submenu containing destinations to which you can send the selected icon with one click. The result is the same as if you had selected the file and dropped it directly onto a shortcut. This option enables you to move files around without having to open Explorer windows.

Windows builds the Send To submenu from shortcuts stored in the hidden C:\Windows\SendTo folder. (If you've enabled user profiles, each user who logs in gets a personal SendTo folder as part of his user profile.) When you install Windows Me, the Send To menu includes a relatively small number of destinations: your floppy drive (A:), the Windows desktop, and the My Documents folder, plus a Mail Recipient shortcut that attaches the selected file to a mail message using Outlook Express. Some third-party programs, including Zip compression utilities and Microsoft Outlook, add shortcuts to this list, as does the Windows PowerToys collection.

Adding new shortcuts in the SendTo folder is simple. When you do so, the new shortcuts immediately show up on the Send To menu. You can add shortcuts to local or network folders, drives, printers, and applications such as Notepad. You can even create a cascading menu by creating a subfolder in the SendTo folder and then creating shortcuts in that subfolder.

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Because the SendTo folder is in the system path, opening it for customizing is very easy. Click the Start button, choose Run, and enter Sendto. With the SendTo folder open, right-click any empty space and choose New, Shortcut to start the New Shortcut Wizard.

Customizing the Send To menu can result in some unexpected side effects. If you plan to use this technique, be aware of these facts:

  • All shortcuts follow the Explorer rules for moving and copying. When you "send" an icon to a shortcut from a folder that is also a shortcut and on the same logical volume, you move that file; if the target is on a different drive, such as your floppy drive, you copy the file instead.

  • When you select multiple files and then choose Send To, the results might not be what you expect. Sending multiple files to a program shortcut, for example, will not work with Notepad or WordPad.

  • If you add a program shortcut to the SendTo folder and then use it to open a file whose name contains a space, you might see an error message, or the program might open the file using its short name instead. This behavior is most common with older (sometimes very old) Windows programs.

 

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