Marshall Adult Education



TECH TIPS  -  Drag and Drop Tips

Drag and drop is one on the most useful and powerful options of both Windows and Mac operating software.  Drag and Drop is when you click (hold the mouse button down) on an icon and drag it somewhere on the screen and drop it (release the mouse button).  Here are some very neat drag and drop tips – try them out – you’ll say, “I didn’t know you could do that.”  Most of these D & D’s will work on Macs also!

  1. Make a shortcut of an application on your desktop:  Click on Start – then click on Programs (or My Programs for XP users), then right-click on any program for which you want to create a shortcut and drag it to your desktop.  When you release the mouse button, you will get a pop-up menu – select “Copy Here.”  You now have a shortcut to that program on your desktop.  (You need to have some of these program shortcuts on your desktop to do some of the drag and drop options below).  Make a shortcut on a Mac by pressing Apple-M (or select Make Alias from the File menu)
  1. Drag and Drop Printing:  If you have a printer icon on your desktop, you can drag a document onto it and it will print – no need to open the program, load the file, and go through the steps to print the file.  (So how do you make place an shortcut icon of your printer on your desktop.  Go to Control Panels, open up the Printers Folder and drag the printer icon onto your desktop – a shortcut icon of your printer will be created on your desktop).
  1. Quick way to view graphics:  Drag a graphic file into an open Internet Explorer window to view the graphic.  You can also drag the picture icon onto the Internet Explorer shortcut icon (the icon that sits on your desktop – see #1). 
  1. Open a Word file:  You can drag a Word file onto the Word shortcut icon on the desktop to open it instantly.  (Of course, you must have a Word shortcut icon on your desktop – see #1)
  1. Insert a graphic into a Word file:   Start a Word file, then drag the graphic file into the open Word file and it immediately is inserted into the file. No more going through the “Insert Picture” routine.
  1. Add an icon to your Start Menu:  Drag an icon to the Start menu (lower left hand corner) – it will open up – then drag it to Programs (or My Programs for XP users) – it will also open up, and then drag the icon where you want it to appear in your list.
  1. Drag and drop an attachment:  Start a New email – then drag a file (graphic or Word or other file) into the new email window to add that as an attachment.
  1. Save an attachment:  If you receive an attachment by email and want to save it to your computer, just drag it from the open email window to your desktop – it is saved on your desktop!.
  1. Save a picture from the internet:  Drag a picture from Internet Explorer to the desktop and it will be saved on the desktop.
  1. Save a link:  Drag a link from Internet Explorer to your desktop.  When you double-click on that link it will open up that webpage.  Also – drag the icon in the Address Bar to the desktop to save that webpage on your desktop. 
  1. Move a file:  Drag a file from one folder to another folder to move it.
  1. Copy a file:  Right-click on a file and drag it to another folder – you will get a pop-up menu asking you if you want to copy it, move it, make a shortcut, or just cancel it.
  1. Copy a file (alternate way):  Hold down the control key when you drag a file from one folder (or location) to another – you will create a copy of the file in the new location.
  1. Make a Scrap file:  Highlight (hold down the mouse button and drag over) a selection in Word (or Outlook Express) and drag it to the desktop.  You will create a file of that selection titled Scrap. You can then drag that Scrap file back to Word or to other applications that accept Scrap files.
  1. The last one – but a very interesting one!  It takes a bit of setting up – but it’s so cool!  Here we go

Now…whenever you want to send an email to that person, just double click on it – presto, a new message window opens with the address inserted in the “To” line.  Type your email and send it!  Very Cool!  (Note:  This neat trick also works with Hotmail but your Hotmail account has to be open).

One last thing - if you start to drag an icon and then you change your mind - what do you do?  Well, just press Escape - it will cancel the Drag and Drop.

So…did I cover them all…not hardly!  But you can experiment with drag and drop on your own and discover more!
Happy Dragging and Dropping!