| By Fred Langa |
Win7’s Libraries are a powerful organizing tool, but they’re not always the best option for accessing your files.
For some kinds of file management, the old way — using Windows Explorer and working within the files’ true folder — is still the best way.
Working around a Library’s file-type actions
Like many others, reader Al Gingrich is learning the ins and outs of Win7’s new features, including Libraries.
- “I recently upgraded to Windows 7 and found that in the Pictures folder I could no longer arrange or sort the files by Type.
“I currently shoot my photos with a DSLR in raw + jpg. To browse the photos, it is much easier if they are arranged by file type, as this allows me to browse the jpg files and then edit the raw versions, if I choose. I was able to accomplish this by right-clicking the Library window, going to Sort by, clicking More, and then scrolling down and checking Type. I then clicked OK, returned to Sort by, and selected Type. There seemed to be no way to apply the change permanently.
“Solution: I right-clicked on the Pictures Library, went to Properties and then changed the Library type to Documents. After re-opening the Library folder, I clicked View and then Large Icons. The Library now behaves the way I want it to. I am able to arrange by type and it looks pretty much the same as it did before.”
Although Libraries are great at collecting and organizing files on a large scale, they’re not always great for small-scale file management — such as changing file attributes. If you run into trouble accessing a file or its attributes via a Library, you might do better going back to Windows Explorer — all of the classic Explorer functions will work the way they always have.