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  1. #1
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    Make the most of Windows 7's Libraries





    TOP STORY

    Make the most of Windows 7's Libraries


    By Fred Langa

    Libraries special-purpose virtual folders can be confusing at first. But they are extremely handy, once you get the hang of them.

    How to use Libraries is hard to describe but easier to understand when you see them in action and that's what this article will show you.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/2011/03/10/01 (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    I think I'd find the Libraries facility much more useful if I could add individual files to a library, rather than whole folders. Is there a way to do that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gelf View Post
    I think I'd find the Libraries facility much more useful if I could add individual files to a library, rather than whole folders. Is there a way to do that?
    No. According to the second paragraph in the article, which is the Microsoft definition of a library, it is folders only.

    Joe

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    Libraries are a typical Microsoft feature

    In my house I have 5 working computers. Three of them run Windows 7, but one of them is a MacbookAir that runs Windows 7 as a Parallels Virtual machine, and another one is a dual boot machine that mostly runs Linux. Apart from that I have two PCs that run Vista. Needless to say the Libraries feature only recognises Windows 7 machines, so although its useful on my primary Windows 7 machine, most of the benefits ascribed to it by Fred don't apply to my situation. I suppose I could upgrade the two Vista machines in the house, but one belongs to my wife, who doesn't like change in her computer environment, and the effort required doesn't really appeal. Vista isn't nearly as bad as it's been painted.

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    It's great to have all those views nicely sorted and organised for you but how do you back them up? They are scattered all over the place, and as far as I know there is no way that you can do a backup of those scattered files.... I know that the libraries function can bring things together nicely for you - if you could use that to make a backup to some other location, that would be great - anyone know how?

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    Hello,

    Can we add locations from other computers, servers ?

    kind regards,
    wim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gelf View Post
    I think I'd find the Libraries facility much more useful if I could add individual files to a library, rather than whole folders. Is there a way to do that?
    If you wish to add just certain files rather than the entire folder they are in, create a new folder that just includes the files in question, then put that folder into the newly created library.
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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woef View Post
    Hello,

    Can we add locations from other computers, servers ?

    kind regards,
    wim.
    The gist of Fred's column is that yes you can do this. He has created Libraries that include folders from various PC's, I would assume over his network.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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    Nice article Fred, made it clear exactly how "Libraries" function.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tedshemyers View Post
    The gist of Fred's column is that yes you can do this. He has created Libraries that include folders from various PC's, I would assume over his network.
    Sadly, MS tried to cripple libraries a bit by trying to require network shares to be synchronised before they can be added to a library. But the best workaround I've found to that is a handy tool called Win 7 Library Tool - get it here . This GREATLY increases the value of libraries to anyone with a multi-computer setup (which seems like most of us by now!!!)

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    Win7 Library Tool that allows Home Premium users to add remote folders

    I store all of my media on a NAS hard drive and have found this tool invaluable for adding the remote folders to my Win7 libraries including indexing their contents and making them searchable.

    http://zornsoftware.talsit.info/

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    Is there a way to change the assigned icon to the library ?
    mr.Jiggs

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    Fred, it is an absolutely amazing article for us common folks who 'Don't know we don't know.' Thank you.

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    Smile Libraries - WOW!! I didn't know that!?!?!?

    Great Article by Fred Langa in today's Window's Secrets!!! ThanX Fred!

  15. #15
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    Fred's "aha" moments parallel my own. At first I just wanted to get rid of the feature to conserve space; now I use it almost exclusively.

    For me the breakthrough came when I changed the "Arrange by" from the default Folders view to Name view. A sorted list by name across all of the different Documents locations showed many duplicates -- but of course not where they were actually saved. A right-click in the list headers to add "Folder path" let me see at a glance which of the duplicates were safe to delete. (Mind you, it helps to have a wide screen to display long path names...)

    My advice to anyone railing against Libraries would be to spend some time with it. Follow Fred's tutorial and experience your own "aha" moments.

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