File Management


Organizing Files and Information 267


Using Windows Search 307


Advanced File Management 337


Backup, Restore, and Recovery 375


Organizing Files and Information

Mastering Windows Explorer

Working with Libraries

Using Compressed (Zipped) Folders

268 Arranging Data in Windows Explorer ...

282 Managing File Properties and Metadata

In the beginning, there was the command prompt, which begat drive letters and path names . In those dark days, when floppy disks ruled the PC world and file names were a mere eight characters long with three-letter extensions, finding your stuff wasn't a particularly difficult task.

Today, thanks to long file names, rich file properties, and customizable metadata—not to mention multiterabyte data drives—the challenges of organizing data are considerably tougher. The robust search capabilities built into Windows 7 (which we discuss in more detail in Chapter 9, "Using Windows Search"), offer a tremendous amount of help . In this chapter, we focus on more prosaic organizational tools that help you combine multiple locations into virtual folders and then filter, sort, and group as needed.

Unless you use your computer exclusively as a game machine or a media center, learning to manage your "stuff"—your documents, programs, and communications—is probably the single most critical computing skill you need to acquire. Because the continual growth in storage capacity encourages a corresponding increase in digital retentiveness, keeping track of stuff is more crucial than ever.

The redesigned Windows Explorer is rich with organizational power tools, including live-icon previews of file contents (for applications and document types that support that capability), a preview pane that allows you to peek inside a file's contents without actually opening it, and a details pane that displays file properties and lets you add descriptive tags to files. In this chapter, we dive deeply into this rich feature set and explain how Window 7

organizes your data files, a crucial bit of inside knowledge that will serve you well.

All of the features we describe in this chapter are available in all editions of Windows 7 .

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