I like the new features in Internet Explorer (IE) 7.0, especially the tabbed browsing. However, I found the new Add to Favorites feature somewhat cumbersome. A problem arises when you have a large Favorites tree that has many folders with multiple levels of subfolders. When you click the Add to Favorites icon (i.e., the green plus sign in front of a yellow star), select Add to Favorites, and click the Create in drop-down list, you’re presented with an unwieldy fully expanded tree. To date, there isn’t an option in IE 7.0 to disable this automatic expansion.

Here’s a simple procedure I devised to gain control of this situation:

1. Go to the website of your choice.
2. In IE’s address bar, left-click the URL

icon that’s immediately to the left of the URL. With the left mouse button held down, drag the icon upward and off of the address bar field into the IE window’s page header. Drag it just to the point where it turns into a shortcut icon (i.e., a white square box with an arrow in it).

3. With the left mouse button still held down, press the left Alt key and just tap the C key (i.e., keep the Alt key depressed but don’t keep the C key depressed). An unexpanded Favorites tree in which you can easily see your root-level folders will pop up. If the Favorites tree doesn’t pop up, try clicking somewhere on the web page to take the emphasis off of the address bar, then repeat steps 2 and 3. Note that the Favorites tree might already be somewhat expanded if you recently manually expanded folders in the tree.

4. With your left mouse button still held down, release the Alt key and continue to drag the shortcut icon to the target folder. If you hover over a folder for about a second, the folder will automatically open. If you make a mistake and don’t want to add the shortcut to the folder you’re hovering over, press the Esc key before releasing the left mouse button to cancel the drag operation. This will prevent dropping the shortcut on some random folder.

5. When you have the shortcut icon in the desired location, release the left mouse button. Note that if you inadvertently used the right mouse button in steps 2 through 4, you'll need to select Create Shortcuts Here to finish creating the shortcut.

You can find a demonstration of this technique on the ITTV website at ittv.net/VideoPlayer/tabid/57/VideoId/165/Bret-Bennett-Demonstrates-How-To-Easily-Add-Urls-To-Favorite-Center-In-IE7.aspx. I hope this procedure will bring joy back into growing your Favorites tree.