Working with folders and files: Windows

This is the second in a series of posts about organizing media. This post and the first post discuss using your operating system (Windows or Macintosh) to organize and view media assets.

In Microsoft Windows, Windows Explorer allows you to view and manage folders and files. It provides several viewing options. (Note: the following screenshots are of Windows 7.  Click on a screenshot to see it full size.)

List view displays a list of files and their properties. A toolbar appears at the top of the window.

Change the view by clicking the file view icon on the right side of the toolbar (indicated above by a magenta ellipse), and a popup menu appears with View options. Icon views (thumbnails) are useful for image files.

Adjust options for the overall window layout by clicking on Organize in the toolbar and choosing Layout. If the Menu bar isn’t currently checked, choose Menu bar so that it will appear above the toolbar.

Select a file and choose File > Properties to see more information about the file.

You can view metadata and rate photos by clicking on the Details tab:

Alternatively, you can right-click or control-click on the file. You can change the default program used to open the file.

If the file is a jpeg (.jpg) image file, you can preview it in the  photo viewer by selecting it and clicking on Preview in the toolbar at the top of the window.

From the Photo Viewer, you can open the file by clicking on the Open menu item.

Libraries and searching

The left pane of the window provides access to locations on your computer or connected to it. The Libraries section allows you to quickly search a groups of similar items, such as documents, music, or pictures, that may be from multiple locations (libraries do not actually contain the files but point to them).

The Libraries section can be customized so that you associate any folders you wish to a particular libaray. You can also create libraries in addition to the default libraries. (For more information, see Working with Libraries on the Microsoft website.)

You can quickly search a folder or library by selecting it and then entering search terms in the search box in the upper-right corner of the Explorer window.  Search terms are highlighted in your search results as they appear.  You can also add search filters to modify your search.

For more information about libraries and searching (including a video demonstration), see the following page on the Microsoft website:


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