This is ridiculously simple, and in retrospect it seems quite obvious. Yet it took me half an hour to figure out, so I feel it merits mention here.

In Windows 7, you can pin executables to the Start Menu by right-clicking the item and selecting "Pin to Start Menu".

But non-executable files do not include that option in their context menu. So how can you pin a non-executable file to the Start Menu?

You can create a shortcut to the file, and drag the shortcut onto the Start Menu. However, if you do that, the shortcut also remains in its original location. If you delete the shortcut from its original location, the Start Menu shortcut will no longer work. What if you don't want to have an extra shortcut in the other location?

The solution, which I found on this page, is to simply drag and drop the file onto the Start Menu. You don't need to create a shortcut. The same method works for pinning a folder to the Start Menu.

.

On a related note, to edit the "All Programs" menu in Windows 7, you can right-click "All Programs" and select either "Open" or "Open All Users". That will open a folder hierarchy in Windows Explorer which shows the program entries for the current user, or for all users. From there you can create new folders, edit items, add shortcuts, etc.

The folder for the current user is:
[root]\Users\[current user name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

The folder for "all users" is:
[root]\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

Each of those "Start Menu" folders has a "Programs" folder under it. Note that if you create a shortcut in one of the above "Start Menu" folders, it does not show up in the top-level Start Menu, but rather in the "All Programs" menu. Likewise, if you create a shortcut directly in the "Programs" folder, it also shows up in the "All Programs" menu.

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djinncoyote

February 2017

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