Scrap files scrapped

Windows is a complicated operating system and has many properties and features that most PC users are unaware of. One of the odder and lesser known features in Windows 98/XP was something called a scrap file. I wrote about scrap files some years ago in connection with their use by virus writers. I visit the subject again to note that, beginning with Vista, Windows no longer supports scrap files.

What were scrap files supposed to do? They were intended as a kind of handy way to copy a small part of a document onto the desktop where it could be kept and then used in another file. Only a few applications, mostly Microsoft Office, supported this function, however, and very few PC users even knew about it.

To see how a scrap file works in Windows XP, open a Word document. Then highlight some text and use the mouse to drag the highlighted material onto the desktop. A new file will appear. Double-click the file and a Word document containing the text will open. Or drag the scrap file and drop it into an open Word document and the text will appear in the Word document. With a slightly different procedure, images can also be manipulated. In that case, however, you need to use a right-click drag and make a selection from the context menu.

Because of backward compatibility considerations, Microsoft doesn’t often drop a Windows feature. But scrap files were little known or used and had some security issues so this feature was omitted from Vista and 7.

Did you enjoy this post? Why not leave a comment below and continue the conversation, or subscribe to my feed and get articles like this delivered automatically to your feed reader.

Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.