1)Right click on your bottom taskbar, select toolbars and choose links. 2)drag the links partition OFF the taskbar (hold mouse down over the toolbar and drag it off) 3)This will create a menu/folder view of links. Right click on this folder and choose to open folder. Get rid of all the existing junk links in here. Create a new folder in here and put either valuable links or shortcuts to applications/software inside. Add shortcuts to apps directly in the links folder. Close this folder when done. 4)Drag the links menu/folder to either the top of the screen or to either side. This will dock the menu. 5)Right click on your new docked toolbar and select view->small icons, check always on top and auto-hide (as desired)
This creates a new navigation menu with drop down menus that you can access by moving ur mouse to the left/right side of the screen.
note 1 - Shortcuts to folders will launch that folder in a new window as opposed to displaying a drop down menu
note 2 - you can create new toolbars and dock them to the other side of windows however the drop down feature only works within the links folder. If you figure out how to enable this within any toolbar please post. If you figure out how to make these navigation bars transparant (in xp) let me know.
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there are two similar (but a little less flexible) ways to do this without using the links folder. first, with any toolbar (even the quicklaunch), just right click on it and select 'open folder'. now create a new folder inside of this one. note that the point here is to create an actual folder and not a shortcut TO a folder. next, add whatever shortcuts you want into this newly created folder. once you're done, drag/move this folder to the end of the icon list, and then resize it so the new folder is out of view. a little double arrow thing will be added to show that you have more icons on the bar that are not show. click it, and then your new folder will be shown with an arrow, allowing you to see its contents. that's it.
now here is a more complex, but a little neater version.
1) go into windows explorer and create a new folder somewhere called '&'. make sure you do this through explorer (rather than creating it from the taskbar) or else it won't allow you to.
2) add all of your shortcuts into this new '&' folder
3) right click on the taskbar, and choose 'toolbars'->'new toolbar' and select that folder
4) it will create a new thing on the very far right of the taskbar (at least on mine) just before the system tray. this will be just the double arrow indicating there is a popup menu. now lock your taskbar.
5) click the double-arrow, and tada! the contents of the '&' folder will be displayed in the popup menu, with no icon (other than the arrows) showing on the taskbar. any ACTUAL folders in this heirarchy will also show as popup entries which show their contents. so in other words, the folder expansion is recursive and not just at the first level.
this trick is the coolest of the two -- i discovered it by complete accident. for some reason, windows will not display the '&' character in toolbars. so you can basically take advantage of that fact to create an iconless, very compact popup menu for quick access to anything.