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September 19, 2014

Filename Shortcut – Shortcut

Filed under: Main — Tags: , — admin @ 12:01 am

It’s one of the most annoying things in Windows: When you create a file shortcut, the text shortcut is appended to the filename. It’s redundant because of the shortcut flag on the icon anyway, and it requires you to do more work in that you need to rename the shortcut immediately after it’s created. So I have a solution.

Well, it isn’t my solution, it’s the common one that most sane people adopt because of the screwy addition of that shortcut text.

First, a lesson!

A shortcut is a handy thing to create. It’s a reference to a file, folder, or even a program — like a copy, but without the full size and bulk of the original.

As an example, all the programs listed on the Start menu (for Windows 7 and earlier) are shortcuts.

I create shortcuts to my work folders, placing them on the desktop for quick access. And when I need to reference one folder from two locations, I create a shortcut.

Creating a shortcut works like copying a file. The difference is in how to paste:

  1. Right-click the file you want to copy, or you can press Ctrl+C after selecting the file.
  2. Move to the location where you want the shortcut, such as another folder.
  3. Right-click in that destination (not on an icon, but on some blank part of the window) and choose the command Paste Shortcut.

A quick way to place a shortcut on the desktop is to right-click an icon and choose Send To → Desktop.

Shortcut icons look exactly like their original counterparts, but they feature the Shortcut flag in the lower left corner, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. The shortcut flag.

Figure 1. The shortcut flag.

You can’t get rid of the flag, which would be a bad idea anyway; it’s the key to recognizing a shortcut file. (I’m sure there’s a technical way to remove the shortcut icon overlay, but such a modification would be silly.)

What’s missing in Figure 1 is the text - shortcut, which is automatically appended to all shortcuts by Windows. It’s redundant to the shortcut flag on the icon. Even in the List view, when the icon is small, you can still see the shortcut flag. In a folder’s Details view, the Item Type column even says Shortcut. It’s that obvious.

To direct Windows not to append the shortcut text to a shortcut file, you need to do some operating system surgery. The scalpel in this case is the Registry Editor, shown in Figure 2, which everyone gets excited about using because it’s deep, dark, and massively technical.

Figure 2. Locating the Link item in the Registry Editor.

Figure 2. Locating the Link item in the Registry Editor.

  1. Press Win+R to summon the Run dialog box.
  2. Type regedit and press the Enter key to open the Registry Editor.
  3. Browse to the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\
    Software\
    Microsoft\
    Windows\
    CurrentVersion\
    Explorer
  4. On the right side of the window, double-click the Link item, shown in Figure 2. The window you see appears in Figure 3.
  5. Delete the 1E; press the Delete key once.
  6. Type 00 (double zero) to replace the 1E with that value.
  7. Click the OK button.
  8. Close the Registry Editor.
Figure 3. Changing the Link key value.

Figure 3. Changing the Link key value.

Making this change doesn’t affect the names of any current shortcuts; you still have to change them manually. Any new shortcuts you create, however, will lack the shortcut surname.

And all Windows users rejoice.

3 Comments

  1. Creating shortcuts is something I dont think a lot of people are aware of. One reason people dont do it is because the default icons windows uses for things like batch files to start up a program are ugly. It is important to note that you can change the shortcut image by r-clicking on the icon and going into properties. Then you can choose whatever 64 x 64 image you want.

    Comment by BradC — September 19, 2014 @ 4:16 pm

  2. Also I forgot to mention that an easier way to get rid of the ‘shortcut’ word that is appended is just to rename the shortcut. Usually you will want to rename a shortcut anyway to something simple rather than what the original file was named

    Comment by BradC — September 19, 2014 @ 4:45 pm

  3. True on both counts!

    Comment by admin — September 19, 2014 @ 5:35 pm

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