Optimizing Folder Views

Windows Explorer uses view templates to determine what each folder looks like in the Contents pane. The predefined templates include the following:

General Items

For folders that contain a mix of file types including documents, pictures, and other folders. Documents

For folders that contain mostly documents.

Music

For folders that contain mostly digital music. When you are working with music, the Music pane provides the Play, Play All, and Burn options. Pictures

For folders that contain mostly pictures. By default, each picture is displayed with a thumbnail that you can use for quick browsing. When you are working with pictures, the Picture pane provides Preview, Slide Show, Print, and Burn options.

Videos

For folders that contain mostly videos. When you are working with videos, the Video pane provides Play, Play All, and Burn options.

Folder view settings you use are seen by all users who access the system, either locally or remotely. The default view for most folders is Documents. If you have write permissions on a folder, you can customize the folder view. You can even apply a favorite view to all folders of that type on the system as well.

You can configure custom views for folders by following these steps:

1. In Windows Explorer, right-click the folder you want to customize, and then select Properties.

2. Click the Customize tab, as shown in Figure 6-20.

3. On the "Optimize this folder for" list, choose the template you want to use, such as Pictures. To apply the view to subfolders of this folder, choose "Also apply this template to all subfolders."

4. Optionally, customize the folder preview. By default, a folder shows a folder icon with thumbnails for the first few files as a folder preview. If you want, you can set a specific background picture or other file that will be used instead of the thumbnails. Click Choose File, and then use the Browse dialog box to select the picture or other file you want to use as part of the folder's preview.

Figure 6-20. Customizing folder views

You also can apply a custom view to all the folders of a particular type on the system or restore the default view to the folders. To apply a custom view to all the folders of a particular type, complete the following steps:

1. In Windows Explorer, select the folder you want to work with. Use the options of the View list or View menu to configure the folder view that you want to use, such as Large Icons.

2. Click Organize and then click Folder And Search Options.

3. In the Folder Options dialog box, select the View tab.

4. To apply the current folder view to all folders of this type, click Apply To Folders.

5. To restore all folders of this type to their default view, click Reset Folders.

Sometimes you'll want all folders—regardless of type—to use the same default view.

To do this, follow these steps:

1. In Windows Explorer, right-click the folder you want to work with, and then select Properties.

2. Select the Customize tab. Under Optimize This Folder For, choose General Items. Click OK.

3. In Windows Explorer, select the folder. Use the options on the View list or View menu to configure the folder view that you want to use, such as Large Icons.

4. Click Organize and then click Folder and Search Options.

5. In the Folder Options dialog box, select the View tab.

6. To apply the current folder view to all folders of this type, click Apply To Folders.

7. Repeat this procedure four times, once each for the Documents, Pictures, Music, and Videos templates. In step 2, choose Documents, Pictures, Music, or Videos as appropriate.

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