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  1. #1
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    Smart configuration tricks for Win7 Explorer




    BEST PRACTICES
    Smart configuration tricks for Win7 Explorer

    By Lincoln Spector

    You can't do much on a computer without a file manager, and Win7's Windows Explorer is one of the best.

    But with a few tweaks and adjustments, you can make Explorer fit your particular computing style.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/best-practices/smart-configuration-tricks-for-win7-explorer/ (paid content, 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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    One Thing Worked, but Messed Up The Other Thing

    I liked your idea of having Explorer open to a favorite default folder. I gave it a try. Unfortunately, when I changed the "target" text, while Explorer did open to the correct folder, Explorer stopped opening with the "Folders" pane showing on the left.

    I need the Folder pane more than I need to open to a default folder. However, it would be nice to have both. Any thoughts?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by SarahReader; 2012-02-23 at 16:41. Reason: fixed error in one word

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    Lincoln, regarding your tip about making the Windows Explorer open into the directory you want instead of the Library... I also use the Explorer constantly. To that end, insead of having an Icon to click, I have assigned the "thumb" button on my mouse to open the Explorer. After reading your article, I've discovered that you can configure the thumb button and add the path (exactly as you suggested in your article) right in the thumb button configuration and it works perfectly. Thanks for the great tip.

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    What can I do if I am unable to edit withing gpedit? Even as the administrator...

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    Lincoln,

    I find many things to like about W7 Explorer EXCEPT the action of the folder list in left pane moving DOWN when you double-click an entry.

    When double-clicking a folder, I want to see all of the files and subfolders but explorer moves the list DOWN - making me use the slide bar
    to move the list UP so I can see the subfolders. Further, I have to select the left pane with my mouse so I can use my roller wheel so I
    can easily move up and down the list. TOO MUCH CLICKING and SCROLLING!

    XP Explorer had it right.

  6. #6
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    I've found a free add-on to win explorer called qt tab bar qttabbar-v1.5.0.0b2.msi
    adds tabbed windows, lots of features
    its a beta but very stable; an occasional glitch, no crashes
    I use it daily and always leave one window open for every startup as it remembers tabs

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    I assume that Windows Explorer also controls the dialogue box that pops up when you want to save something. Unfortunately the default list of Libraries and other locations is never what I want, so I have to do a lot of navigating to the location. How can I change the list of folders that it offers me on the left side to add locations I use frequently?
    Thanks,
    Todd

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathleen Atkins View Post
    You can't do much on a computer without a file manager, and Win7's Windows Explorer is one of the best.
    With the second part of that first sentence, Lincoln Spector shows he has completely lost the plot.
    If he had changed "best" to "poorest" there would be more reason to agree with him.
    Witness the multiple Windows Explorer third-party replacements that are out there.
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to BATcher For This Useful Post:

    satrow (2012-02-25)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tgcollier View Post
    I assume that Windows Explorer also controls the dialogue box that pops up when you want to save something. Unfortunately the default list of Libraries and other locations is never what I want, so I have to do a lot of navigating to the location. How can I change the list of folders that it offers me on the left side to add locations I use frequently?
    Thanks,
    Todd
    Did you read the section in this article "Navigate easily to a favorite folder in Explorer" about how to add folders to Favorites which always appear at the top of the list?

    Apart from dragging a folder there, you can also right-click Favorites in the left pane, then click Add current location to favorites (which is the current folder in the right pane).

    Bruce

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    Lincoln says "select Organize in Explorer's toolbar." What / where is Explorer's toolbar?

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    Quote Originally Posted by swoop View Post
    Lincoln says "select Organize in Explorer's toolbar." What / where is Explorer's toolbar?
    At the top, just above folders/files:

    ExplorerParts.png

    (This diagram is available via F1 in Explorer.)

    Bruce
    Last edited by BruceR; 2012-02-26 at 02:16.

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    libraries ugh

    i enjoyed your Smart configuration tricks for Win7 Explorer article, but please tell me:

    is there a way to delete the Libraries item from the The navigation pane on the left or turn off the whole libraries concept in win7pro? this the stupidist idea MS has come up with since clippy.


  14. #13
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alk444 View Post
    Is there a way to delete the Libraries item from the The navigation pane on the left or turn off the whole libraries concept in win7pro.
    ?
    Try the method given here to hide the Libraries pane from view.

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    With respect to your article titled "Selecting multiple files — one-handed!" I have to admit to some curiosity as to why another simple one-handed method of file selection isn't available anymore.

    Back in the day when the Commodore Amiga was making a splash a file explorer called "SID" was making the rounds as shareware. Similar to the current Window's Explorer, but existing before there was a Windows Explorer, SID would allow multiple contiguous file selections by "painting" and highlighting the files you wanted to access. "Painting" involved holding the LMB down while moving the mouse downward (or upward) over the files you wanted to select. This would change the status of these files to "highlighted" hence "painting".

    Releasing the LMB once file selection was concluded then pressing the LMB again in one of the selected files selection box would then select all the files that had been highlighted. Copy, move, delete, do whatever you wanted from there.

    I've been using Win machines since 1998 and have yet to come across any program that allows painting of files. When asking if a particular program has this feature I have to explain to the salesman what I mean. For the record, everyone I talk to agrees this is a neat feature which leaves me baffled as to why such a useful feature has never been included in any of the software for Windows I've seen.

    Any ideas?

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