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  1. #1
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    Windows 7 Explorer, folder pane - resolution?

    This is about the left-pane or folder view of Windows Explorer.

    Has any native resolution to the Explorer folder pane behavior been discovered?

    Namely:
    Double click a folder and it drops away from the mouse to the bottom of the pane (seriously Microsoft, admit you blew it - fix it, or justify it, teach us the design philosophy behind the behavior because it is not obvious)

    and can the automatically expanding tree view in be turned ON?
    (clicking or digging into the filesystem in the right pane would expand the tree in the left pane)

    ---When Win-7 was released this made the news
    ---I searched for an hour+ in this forum
    ---Since I couldn't find an answer it makes me think someone has worked it out.

    ---Other than that, the interface seems like an improvement, an evolution.
    ---After a couple of weeks I've made 'learn-arounds' for most everything and it's quicker now, in other words: I've adapted.

    TIA
    Daddy-o
    Last edited by daddy-o; 2014-01-31 at 08:01.

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the Lounge!!

    Never found anything to automatically expand the tree view. I think that behavior is the same as previous versions of Windows back to XP at least.

    What do you mean by "falls away"? What falls away? I think that behavior is the same as mentioned above.

    Joe

  3. #3
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    I know I'm starting with Explorer 101, but it sure would gum up the task if we weren't on the same page.

    Just to make sure my terminology is right:
    Windows Explorer (the file manager, not the whole GUI shell) has two main panes, left and right. The left pane only shows container elements like "my computer," "my documents," disk drives, folders and sub folders all of which branch out into the familiar tree like hierarchical directory structure; but without individual files. The right side displays the contents, sub-directories or files of the currently selected folder or resource highlighted in the left pane.

    Defined like that, I have always used 'folder view' to refer to the left pane, and 'file view' to refer to the right pane.

    Just for a sanity check I have a reliable XP Pro system right next to me to confirm my observations.

    Description of Automatic expansion:
    In XP, Starting with a fresh "WinKey+E" spawned Explorer I double clicked a drive letter in the RIGHT pane.
    Left pane: Highlight jumped from My Computer to D:
    Right pane: root of D: folders and files appeared
    Double click a folder in the right pane that just appeared
    Left pane: the folders that were listed in the right pane before the double click automatically appear under D:
    Right pane: the sub-folders and files that reside in the double clicked directory appear.
    ---This behavior in each pane continues as subfolders are double clicked in the right pane
    ---There are fine-grained behaviors at this point that aid productivity but describing them and their usefulness will lead us away from the description
    ---Contrast Windows 7 Explorer: right pane double clicking does not affect the left pane, "Computer" remains highlighted no matter how deep into the filesystem we drill.
    ---Windows 7 Explorer Address Bar is helpful but it does not replace that automatic expansion for function and for a visual aid.

    Description of Left-pane-chosen-folder-dropping-down behavior, first XP type, second Win 7 dropping (automatically scrolling) down:
    In XP, New WinKey+E spawned Explorer, I double clicked a drive in the LEFT pane.
    Left pane: the sub-folders of the drive root are displayed and the highlighted double clicked drive remain in exactly the same place, touching the mouse pointer.
    Right pane: a description of the right pane is not necessary for this topic.
    Left pane: Double clicking folders near the top of the pane continues the pattern of displaying the sub-folders of the selected folder
    Left pane: Double clicking a folder near the bottom of the pane (the Windows folder for this test,) makes the double-clicked folder rise to the point where all the sub-folders are revealed in the left pane, up to the point where the double clicked folder is at the top of the pane. For this example, a test data drive has many folders so it rises to the limit at the top of the pane when it is double clicked.
    Left pane: double clicking one of the folders near the top causes the single sub-folder to become visible and the double clicked folder remains squarely under the mouse pointer where it was double clicked.
    In other words, Explorer tries its best to show the subdirectories of a selected folder in the left pane.
    ---
    Windows 7 Explorer left pane behavior:
    -To finally trigger the behavior use a sub-directory on a drive other than C:.
    -Essentially what you need to do is expand folders until you make the scroll bar of the left pane move down. A combination of C: and other drives may be expanded.
    -At that point double click a folder on the data drive to expand it. The closer to the top of the pane the better.
    Instructions:
    WinKey+E spawn of Explorer
    Computer is highlighted, start double click expanding or arrowhead expanding your directory structure.
    Once the system directory tree in the left pane is comfortably larger than the pane, grab the scroll bar and pull it down some, a little or a lot.
    Double click a directory in the data drive (near the top of the pane is better.) The double clicked directory should have plenty of sub-folders to clearly demonstrate the problem.
    The directory you double clicked will jump away - down - as far as next to the last row.
    When it jumps away it hides folders, perhaps even all but one.

    I'll be happy to expand upon the topic if you are unable to recreate the issue. There's more than one way to do it. The main parts are the left pane scroll bar becomes undocked and the trigger directory is not on C:.

    Thanks,
    Daddy-o

  4. #4
    3 Star Lounger
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    You can change the behavior of Win 7's Explorer to fix the first problem (expanding the folders in the left pane): Click Tools > Folder Options. On the General tab of the dialog, check "Automatically expand to current folder" and click OK.

    I see the "jumping away" behavior, and I don't know of any fix for that.

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  6. #5
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's a Windows 7 file explore issue we covered a few years ago. (when W7 first came out)
    I don't believe there is a fix for that either, except maybe a 3rd party file management tool...
    ...for those who really find it intolerable.
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  7. #6
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    Perhaps it is something in my settings (single click to open) or maybe an optional update or maybe I'm just not understanding correctly but when I single click on a high level folder in the left pane it doesn't budge, simply opens the directory in the main explorer window and when I click on the left pane expand carat, it does jump but directly to the top of the left pane, revealing as many of the subdirectories as the font and window size allow beneath.
    I don't navigate too heavily with the left pane (just a high level starting point or favorite jump) so I could be missing something.
    Sent from Windows ME thru Opera 10.63...just before they crashe

  8. #7
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    Not a fix, but almost

    Here's a keyboard shortcut I've found to help drill down to the current directory. I found it before I read the tools > options > expand suggestion above, which I intend to try too.

    Put the emphasis in the right pane, file view
    Shift +Tab to go backwards into the left pane, folder view
    Start tapping the left arrow
    The tree opens up one level at the time toward the current working directory

    Ironically, if the conditions are right the "fall to the bottom" behavior occurs.

    BTW, I couldn't in good conscience not try the auto expand setting. THANK YOU, it works the best (even though the bottom still drops out, sigh.) So that does fix one of the issues.

  9. #8
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    I've always been irritated with the Windows 7 Explorer directory jumping around when selecting a directory. After doing a lot of searching on the Internet, I found many complaints about it but no solution. When I got a new computer with Windows 8 on it I was pleased to see that I no longer had jumping directory trees. (My computer is set up so I rarely see the so-called Metro interface). I updated to 8.1 with no problems. Recently, however, I have noticed that the jumping directory is back! When the visible directory is large enough to require a scroll bar to appear and sometimes when I click near the bottom of the directory tree (when the scroll bar is not at the top of its travel), after a delay of about one second, the scroll bar will jump up to the top of its travel, leaving the item I clicked out of view. Often if I click again, I will end up clicking on the wrong thing because the display jumps just as I am clicking.

    Since this happened within the last couple of weeks I think maybe one of the recent Windows updates caused it. Does anyone know anything about this?

    Thanks.

    audiogram

  10. #9
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    I've observed the same behavior. It's annoying as, um, heck!

  11. #10
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    Thanks, that fixed one of my main complaints with Win-7

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