More Efficient Drag ’n’ Drop for Windows

If you’re the sort of person that tends to work with a lot of different applications, you know exactly how difficult it can be to find what you need on a desktop drowning in open windows. It would be fantastically handy to be able to drag files out of one window and drop them onto the taskbar button for an app that may be minimized or simply buried by other windows. Naturally, that’s not possible (at least through XP). If you try, you get this lovely error/warning:

While this is obviously not a life and death sort of issue, there is a very convenient and powerful alternative technique that sidesteps this shortcoming.

1 Grab the file(s) you want to open, and start to drag them – but only drag them a few pixels. This is all it takes to initiate the process.

2 Without releasing the mouse button, use alt-tab to cycle through your open apps until you reach the intended target. This brings the target app to the front without interrupting the drag operation.

3 Finish the operation by dropping the file(s) onto the raised application window.

Because of the timing delay in hovering a taskbar button to raise an application, the alt-tab method is a much more expedient and direct way of getting files to the intended app.