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Adding Items to the New Menu

You may or may not be familiar with Windows Explorer's New menu. You only see it when you right-click an empty space in the Explorer window; the resulting pop-up menu has a New option. As you can see in Figure 6.20, select the New option and you have the option of creating new files of various types. It's a great way to quickly create new documents directly from Windows Explorer.

Figure 6.20

Figure 6.20 Windows Explorer's New menu.

Many applications add items to the New menu when the applications are installed. For example, Microsoft Office adds New items for its document types—Microsoft Office Word Document, Microsoft Office PowerPoint Presentation, Microsoft Office Excel Worksheet, and so forth.

You can add even more document types to the New menu, if you don't mind tweaking the Windows Registry a bit. This lets you easily create new documents of the types you work with most often.

To add more options to the New menu, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Start menu, enter regedit into the search box, and then press Enter.
  2. When the Registry Editor window appears, open the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT key, as shown in Figure 6.21.
    Figure 6.21

    Figure 6.21 Using the Registry Editor to add a new file type to the New menu.

  3. Right-click the key for the file extension you want to add to the New menu and select New, Key. Name the new key ShellNew.
  4. Right-click the new ShellNew subkey and select New, String Value. Name the new value NullFile.

The next time you open Windows Explorer, when you right-click and select New you'll see the option for the file type you just added.

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