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Multiple Open Icon for Windows XP

Monday, November 22nd, 2004 by | Filed Under: Shortcuts & Keyboard Tricks

It gets pretty annoying when you have to open several different documents or applications one at a time when you’re working on a large project. For each program or document, you have to wade through all of your folders to find it and double-click it. Well, guess what! You can create ONE icon that will do all of the opening you need!

First, right-click on an empty space on your desktop. From the menu that pops up, select New then click Text Document .


This creates a new icon on the desktop. Rename this icon with anything you want and add “ .bat ” to the end. If you get an error message, click Yes . Then right-click the icon and in the menu that appears, click Edit . Now you should have Notepad open. We will use this to indicate what programs or documents to start. That takes care of the easy part.

For this tip, I will create a rather basic Multiple Open Icon just to show you how it works for each type of file. The easiest thing to do is have the Multiple Open Icon open a web page. On the first line in Notepad type “ start .” If we save the changes and click the Multiple Open Icon you created on your desktop, it will now open Internet Explorer and go to

Next, we will start a program from a shortcut that is already on the desktop using the .bat file. There are two keys to remember though. First, the name of the shortcut cannot have spaces; if it does, you must rename the shortcut. Second, the shortcut must be on the desktop of only the current user, not all users. To make sure that it is, right-click the shortcut, drag it to any place on the screen, and click Copy Here in the menu that is displayed.

Now, open the .bat file in Notepad again and on the second line type “ start ShortcutName ” where ShortcutName is the name of your shortcut. For this example, it’s Messenger.

Finally, we will use this .bat file to also open a document of some kind. First you need to find the document in your computer’s memory. Most are stored in the My Documents folder. Once you find the document using Windows Explorer, right-click it and drag it onto the desktop. In the menu that appears, click Create Shortcuts Here .


Rename the shortcut so that it has no spaces. Again, edit the .bat file in notepad. On the next line type “ start ShortcutName .” Same as before – ShortcutName is replaced with the name of the shortcut you created. (Use the same method to start a program that is not already on the desktop.)


Save the changes to the .bat file and close Notepad. Now double-click the .bat icon and it should go to, run the application, and open the Word document. All at once. Can you believe it?

Now, any of the additional shortcuts we created on the desktop can be hidden by right clicking them, going to Properties , the General tab , and checking the box for Hidden . When you click Apply , the icon will disappear as long as you do not have your computer set to show hidden files, and the .bat file will still work.


It’s a lot of work, but once you have the .bat icon set-up, it will save a lot of time opening several different items.

~Kyle Larson

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