Start Menu Guide

A guide for Jaws users, written by Chorlton Workshop for hsbp. More guides are available on the Jaws Guides page of the VIP Software Guides website.

This guide describes the Start menu in Windows XP, and focuses on using it to open programs. It shows how you can customize the Start menu to contain all the programs you regularly use. There's also a separate guide to the Start menu on Windows Vista.

Note that the Start menu can be customized to have a “Classic Start menu” layout which looks like the Start menu in previous versions of Windows. This guide describes the standard Start menu, not the Classic Start menu.

Structure of the menu

The Start menu consists of individual items and two groups of items:

  1. The first group consists of:
    • Pinned items. These items remain on the menu until the user changes them.
    • Most frequently used programs. These are updated by Windows based on the frequency of use of programs. You can change the number of programs in this list, as described in the Most frequently used programs section. Some people prefer to set this to zero, and just use the pinned items.
  2. All Programs sub-menu (Access key P). This contains all the programs installed on the computer.
  3. The second group consists of:
    • Folders and drives. Items can include My Documents, My Computer, etc.
    • Windows components. Items can include Control panel, and printers.
    • Miscellaneous. Items can include Search, Run etc.
  4. Log off (Access key L).
  5. Either Turn Off Computer (Access key U), or Shut down (Access key U).

Navigating the menu

You can navigate the menu using:

Customizing the Start menu

Rename an item

  1. Select a menu item.
  2. Press F2.
  3. Type in the new name, and then press ENTER.

Pinned items

You may want to add all the programs you regularly use to the pinned items.

Add a program to the pinned items

  1. Navigate the All Programs menu, and select the program.
  2. From its shortcut menu (APPLICATION KEY), choose “Pin to Start Menu”.

Remove a pinned item

  1. Select the item.
  2. From its shortcut menu, choose either “Unpin from Start Menu” or “Remove from This List”.

Most frequently used programs

To change the number of the most frequently used programs which are shown on the Start menu:

  1. Move the focus to the Start button by pressing the WINDOWS KEY to open the menu, and then ESC to close it.
  2. Either choose Properties from the Start button's shortcut menu, or press ALT + ENTER.
  3. The Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog opens. This dialog has two pages: Taskbar and Start menu. On the Start menu page, the first control is a set of two radio buttons for selecting either the standard start menu or the classic start menu. This guide is for the standard start menu, so it's assumed that the Start menu radio button is selected. TAB to the Customize button and press it.
  4. The Customize Start Menu dialog opens. This too has two pages: General, and Advanced. On the General page, in the Programs section, there is an edit spin box with the label “Number of programs on Start menu”. Set the number of programs, and then press ENTER to press to default OK button.
  5. You're returned to the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog. TAB to the OK button and press it.