If you used the Windows Quick Launch toolbar through Windows 98 to XP then you may have been somewhat annoyed when you began using Vista… Try to drag the Quick Launch off the Vista taskbar and nothing happens!
In a rather strange decision Microsoft decided during the Vista development to ‘remove’ this feature. Maybe because of people panicking when they accidentally dragged the toolbar onto their desktop?
Well the good news is that the feature hasn’t actually been removed from Windows. Here are the steps to get the Quick Launch bar again:
- Right click your desktop and create a new folder.
- Simply grab this folder, drag it to the side of your screen and let go.
- A sidebar has now been created. Right click this and select the toolbars that you would like displayed here, such as Quick Launch.
- Modify preferences such as unselecting “show text”, displaying icons smaller and resizing the bar.
The advantages of using the Windows Quick Launch bar instead of a alternative program is the high responsiveness and tiny system footprint. For more features and visual goodness however you may wish to have a look at some the following application docks:
Rocket Dock: A popular application launcher based on the Mac Dock. There are a range of addons and themes that can be downloaded, I recommend the Stacks Docklet for added Mac functionality.
ObjectDock is possibly the best application dock alternative. It certainly looks fantastic, has the most innovative features and also a range of themes and additional addons that can downloaded as well. ObjectDock also comes in a ‘plus’ version for $19.95 although the free version is in no means limited. This program is constantly being updated and developed, so you can expect new features and performance improvements over time.
Rk Launcher is yet another application dock. It lacks some of the effects and gloss of ObjectDock, but makes up for by having maybe the best performance of these three launchers.