Windows 7 Libraries
When you open Explorer in Windows 7 you will see a tree of Libraries in the left sidebar. Libraries are a new feature of Windows 7 and may cause confusion among users of earlier versions. But Libraries are quite handy, easy to understand, and fun to work with. Here's how they work…
How Windows 7 Libraries Work
Libraries look and act just like folders with subfolders in them. In the Pictures Library, for example, you will find the folders My Pictures and Public Pictures. The former is for pictures that you do not wish to share with others on any network and anything placed in the latter will be shared with network users if file-sharing is enabled. But here's the secret of Libraries: none of the folders shown in a Library must actually be "in" the Library!
If you looked at the directory tree, you would expect to see something like this:
Instead, My Pictures and/or Shared Pictures may be anywhere in your system: in another primary folder on the C: drive; over on the D: drive; even on a USB drive or other removable media. The Library is not a folder but a list of item locations that you want to lump together in one category, called "Pictures" in this case. When you add something to a Library you add its location to the list, you don't place it in a folder.
Libraries Have Two Advantages…First, you don't have to move things in order to group them together. If you have pictures on your hard drive and more pictures on a USB drive, a camera memory chip, and your phone, leave them where they are. Just add them to the Pictures Library to view all your pictures without remembering exactly where they are. If you have several programs that generate "documents" you can leave them stored in subfolders under the Program folders of the programs that generated them, and still have all your documents show up in the Documents Library.
Second, you can have multiple Libraries that list the same location. For example, you may have a photo of Junior taken in 2007. The same photo can appear in Libraries named "Pix of Junior" and "Pix taken in 2007" without using up disk space for two copies.
To add something to a Library, select it and click on the "Include in library" tab at the top of the Windows Explorer page. Down comes a menu of available Libraries; just click on one to add the item to that Library.
There is also an option to "Create new library" on that dropdown menu. Click on it to add the selected item and its contents to the list of Libraries in the left sidebar.
Right-click on any Library and the context menu will show the options to Expand the view of the Library, showing all the file locations within it. You can collapse the expanded view; remove the Library from the list of Libraries in the navigation pane; or delete the Library for good.
Right-click on any location (item) in a Library and you find options to remove the location from the Library or open the location in a new window.
Bottom line: You can use Windows 7 Libraries to organize things without physically moving them, and save disk space by eliminating duplicate copies of files.
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This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 17 Nov 2009
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Windows 7 Libraries (Posted: 17 Nov 2009)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved