How do I create a shortcut to a website for my kids?

Question

My kids like to use a handful of web sites that are geared towards them such as The Cartoon Network and Disney.com. Is there a way to get them to these sites without having to open Internet Explorer and click on favorites then choose from the list? They can’t read very well and typing out the address is not an option. Any ideas?

Answer

This question was answered on August 5, 1999. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

The Windows 95/98/NT operating systems are very “web aware” They can distinguish a web address from a file on your computer because of the “www” or the “http://” that is usually in front of the web address You can create a “shortcut” on your desktop that will automatically open your browser and go the exact web address that is in the shortcut For instance, if you wanted to create a shortcut to The Cartoon Network, you could do the following:

Start by manually going to the desired site so that you can gather the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) or web address In this case it is www.cartoonnetwork.com Next, close your browser so that you can see the Desktop of your computer (The Desktop is the opening screen when you start your computer that has icons such as My Computer, Recycle Bin, etc.) Right-click on any blank area of the Desktop to open a dialog box Left-click on the New option, then on the Shortcut option This will open a “Create Shortcut” window with an entry box titled “Command Line:” Type in the web address desired, (see image – insert shortcut.jpg here) then click on the Next button at the bottom The next window allows you to give the Shortcut a title Type in the desired name (in this case The Cartoon Network) or title then click on the Finish button to complete the task Viola! You should now have an icon on your desktop titled “The Cartoon Network” that will open your browser, dial your modem and take you directly to The Cartoon Network web site! If the desired web site does not use the “www” at the beginning, be sure to include the “http://” in the shortcut to ensure the computer understands that the shortcut is a web address

There is no limit to the number of Shortcuts that you can create except for the space available on your Desktop I usually create a Folder on the Desktop for each of my children and place all of their program and web address icons in the folder so that my Desktop does not end up looking like my real Desktop! To do this, right-click on a blank part of the Desktop, then click on New then on Folder This will create a New folder on the Desktop that will be labeled “New Folder” and allow you to type whatever description you desire, like “Kid’s Stuff” Once the folder is created, simply left-click and drag the appropriate icons into that folder This will allow you to put all of your child’s Shortcuts in one easy to use place and keep your Desktop from becoming a minefield of icons!

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Author

Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on August 5, 1999