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Windows 7: Windows Explorer: Folder Browsing


29 Jun 2010   #1

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 
Windows Explorer: Folder Browsing

I've found a couple annoyances I've found with Windows Explorer.

First, I have Windows Explorer's View customized with these settings:
  • Under "Organize > Layout", I have the details and navigation panes selected so I can quickly drill down to the folder I need.
  • Under "Folder Options", I have both Navigation pane options selected (Show all folders, and Automatically expand to current folder).
With that said, here are my issues:
  1. Let a folder have the sub folders subA, subB, and subC. I want to drill into the folders in subA, so I position the tree control so that subA is at the top. As soon as I select subA, though, Windows 7 relocates this folder to the bottom of my tree view. Why does Windows 7 likes to position my selected tree item at the bottom? Can I turn that off?
  2. Dialog Boxes:
    If I click (for example) the Manage Attachments link below, the dialog box opens to the last used drive. I scroll the tree view control over to where I want to select my files from, but as soon as I let go of the mouse button, the focus snaps back to the folder the dialog box started with. I can scroll to my folder again, and the annoyance does not repeat, but it will happen the next time I open a dialog box to select something in a different folder.
  3. One final complaint: The address bar no longer displays the "true" path, but rather a "logical" (?) path.
    Instead of
    Code:
    C:\Users\jp2code\Documents
    I now have
    Code:
    * Libraries * Documents * My Documents
    I can get the address bar to display the "true" path by clicking the folder icon in the address bar ...but if I do that too fast, Windows Explorer creates a shortcut to that folder in that folder for me. What's that for?
Does anyone know how to address either of these issues?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

29 Jun 2010   #2

Win7/XP
 
 

I actually stopped reading your post at "I've found a couple annoyances I've found with Windows Explorer."

Personally?
The whole dang interface is 'annoying'.
I wont even begin to go off on the moronic things MS is forcing..

Be that as it may..
I've been using classic shell for a while now. Life is bliss, things 'just work'...and customization of my layouts are just as easy, simple, and quick as they were in the XP days.
(Please...no 'noob' comments. I'm a 20 + year computer professional, and was prolly one of the FIRST to use windows 3.0! )

classic shell
Welcome to Classic Shell
I'll say nothing more about classic shell other than to download it, and give it a shot.
Its non destructive and can be turned on/off at will. A deinstallation is clean.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2010   #3

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Glad I'm not the only one!

I'll admit, I only read the first 2 or 3 pages in this thread with everyone saying, "Nothing I hate about this!" before I decided to comment.

Thanks for the link! Good to know it's there, even though that means I'd have to install it on every PC I use it on instead of just modifying my settings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


29 Jun 2010   #4

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jp2code View Post
I've found a couple annoyances I've found with Windows Explorer.

First, I have Windows Explorer's View customized with these settings:
  • Under "Organize > Layout", I have the details and navigation panes selected so I can quickly drill down to the folder I need.
  • Under "Folder Options", I have both Navigation pane options selected (Show all folders, and Automatically expand to current folder).
With that said, here are my issues:
  1. Let a folder have the sub folders subA, subB, and subC. I want to drill into the folders in subA, so I position the tree control so that subA is at the top. As soon as I select subA, though, Windows 7 relocates this folder to the bottom of my tree view. Why does Windows 7 likes to position my selected tree item at the bottom? Can I turn that off?
  2. Dialog Boxes:
    If I click (for example) the Manage Attachments link below, the dialog box opens to the last used drive. I scroll the tree view control over to where I want to select my files from, but as soon as I let go of the mouse button, the focus snaps back to the folder the dialog box started with. I can scroll to my folder again, and the annoyance does not repeat, but it will happen the next time I open a dialog box to select something in a different folder.
  3. One final complaint: The address bar no longer displays the "true" path, but rather a "logical" (?) path.
    Instead of
    Code:
    C:\Users\jp2code\Documents
    I now have
    Code:
    * Libraries * Documents * My Documents
    I can get the address bar to display the "true" path by clicking the folder icon in the address bar ...but if I do that too fast, Windows Explorer creates a shortcut to that folder in that folder for me. What's that for?
Does anyone know how to address either of these issues?
Yes, of course it can be turned off. Uncheck "Automatically expand to current folder". It's merely doing what you asked it to! Alternatively just be consistent in how you select folders. Either go all the way through the tree in navigation or select as they come up in details. If you combine both methods then the effect that annoys you can reasonably be seen as punishment for bad habits!!

As to the dialog box complaint there you're on your own. I get no such effect at any time. So it's not an Explorer issue or at least not a universal one. It wouldn't ever be a problem for me anyway because I upload everything from a folder designed for that very purpose so the last folder used is always the folder I want to use.

As for the folder icon creates shortcut ... well, yeah that's what it's supposed to do! You only need a single click to show the 'true' path (and incidentally you can click anywhere in the path box). Double click is 'create shortcut'. If this weren't such a polite forum I'd be tempted to paint RTFM in big red letters at this point! Oops!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2010   #5
Ivo

Windows 7 Home 64, Vista Ultimate 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dunfiddlin View Post
Yes, of course it can be turned off. Uncheck "Automatically expand to current folder". It's merely doing what you asked it to! Alternatively just be consistent in how you select folders. Either go all the way through the tree in navigation or select as they come up in details. If you combine both methods then the effect that annoys you can reasonably be seen as punishment for bad habits!!
I think you don't understand the problem. Basically if you select a folder in the navigation pane, and then expand it, it will jump to the bottom of the screen (assuming scrolling up is possible). This only happens the FIRST time you expand that folder. The next time there is no problem. This is clearly a bug in Explorer. It is particularly annoying when you use the keyboard, because then you must first select a folder and then expand it (with the mouse you usually expand without selecting first).

Classic Shell fixes this problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2010   #6

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dunfiddlin View Post
Yes, of course it can be turned off. Uncheck "Automatically expand to current folder". It's merely doing what you asked it to! Alternatively just be consistent in how you select folders. Either go all the way through the tree in navigation or select as they come up in details. If you combine both methods then the effect that annoys you can reasonably be seen as punishment for bad habits!!

As for the folder icon creates shortcut ... well, yeah that's what it's supposed to do! You only need a single click to show the 'true' path (and incidentally you can click anywhere in the path box). Double click is 'create shortcut'. If this weren't such a polite forum I'd be tempted to paint RTFM in big red letters at this point! Oops!
What manual? How many Windows PCs come with a manual? If I click anywhere in the path, it takes me to that folder. It does not show the 'true' path. Do you mean the useless Help that comes with Windows when you press F1? How many people can you tell me of that have actually used that and come away satisfied?

Unchecking "Automatically expand to current folder" was helpful. Thanks.

As for the icon in the address bar: a Single Click creates the shortcut, whereas a Double Click expands the 'true' path. However, I am testing this on a DELL system now, and it does not behave the same way as the HP system that I use from day to day. So, this could likely be a hardware issue or group policy setting, and not a Windows 7 issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2010   #7

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ivo View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dunfiddlin View Post
Yes, of course it can be turned off. Uncheck "Automatically expand to current folder". It's merely doing what you asked it to! Alternatively just be consistent in how you select folders. Either go all the way through the tree in navigation or select as they come up in details. If you combine both methods then the effect that annoys you can reasonably be seen as punishment for bad habits!!
I think you don't understand the problem. Basically if you select a folder in the navigation pane, and then expand it, it will jump to the bottom of the screen (assuming scrolling up is possible). This only happens the FIRST time you expand that folder. The next time there is no problem. This is clearly a bug in Explorer. It is particularly annoying when you use the keyboard, because then you must first select a folder and then expand it (with the mouse you usually expand without selecting first).

Classic Shell fixes this problem.
I think I understand the problem completely. However, it is not a problem at all if you use the tree as intended, ie. using the expansion arrows to expand folders and not clicking on the folder itself. The behaviour when you click on the folder is not a bug but an assumption that you indicated a wish to scroll through the sub-entries by so clicking when you have the expand to current folder option engaged. It's merely giving you maximum room to do so.

Obviously you want everyone to think that Classic Shell 'fixes' everything but in this case it simply removes a useful option from navigation. Small number of sub-folders, click arrow. Large number of sub-folders, click folder. Rocket science it ain't!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2010   #8

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jp2code View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dunfiddlin View Post
Yes, of course it can be turned off. Uncheck "Automatically expand to current folder". It's merely doing what you asked it to! Alternatively just be consistent in how you select folders. Either go all the way through the tree in navigation or select as they come up in details. If you combine both methods then the effect that annoys you can reasonably be seen as punishment for bad habits!!

As for the folder icon creates shortcut ... well, yeah that's what it's supposed to do! You only need a single click to show the 'true' path (and incidentally you can click anywhere in the path box). Double click is 'create shortcut'. If this weren't such a polite forum I'd be tempted to paint RTFM in big red letters at this point! Oops!
What manual? How many Windows PCs come with a manual? If I click anywhere in the path, it takes me to that folder. It does not show the 'true' path. Do you mean the useless Help that comes with Windows when you press F1? How many people can you tell me of that have actually used that and come away satisfied?

Unchecking "Automatically expand to current folder" was helpful. Thanks.

As for the icon in the address bar: a Single Click creates the shortcut, whereas a Double Click expands the 'true' path. However, I am testing this on a DELL system now, and it does not behave the same way as the HP system that I use from day to day. So, this could likely be a hardware issue or group policy setting, and not a Windows 7 issue.
I didn't say click on the path. Obviously that does what it's supposed to and takes you to the relevant folder. I did say click on the path box meaning any part which doesn't contain text.

I've no idea how or why HP computers should be any different - there's no group policy or other setting that changes this as far as I know. The default behaviour is single click for path even when you're using double click to open files (although I don't know why you would but that's a whole other can of worms). And here's the 'manual' entry to prove it.


Click the icon on the left side of the address bar.

The address bar changes to display the path to the current location.
(my emphasis)


On a side note, if the computer is interpreting a 'too fast' double click as a single then you should adjust your mouse settings in Control Panel.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2010   #9
Ivo

Windows 7 Home 64, Vista Ultimate 64
 
 

I disagree. If it weren't a bug then it would've behaved the same way no matter if you expand the folder for the first time or the second, and no matter if you do it with a mouse or a keyboard. In all versions prior to Windows 7, when you expand a folder it is moved to the TOP of the window. This makes sense, because you want to see as much as possible from the sub-folders of what you just expanded. In Windows 7 (when certain conditions are met) the folder is moved to the BOTTOM. This is useless, counter-intuitive and wrong. The problem has been discussed in many threads like this one: Windows explorer tree view expands at the bottom, not at the top as it used to be

You seem like an engineering type of guy, so you should understand my explanation: If you expand a folder for the first time, Explorer starts to enumerate the sub-folders asynchronously and add them to the tree control. When it is done doing that, and only if the folder is selected, it sends a message TVM_ENSUREVISIBLE to the tree control for the root item (usually Desktop). This causes the whole tree to scroll to the top. Then another TVM_ENSUREVISIBLE is sent for the current folder, which causes the whole tree to scroll down to see the folder, but not enough to see the children. The net result is that it looks like the expanded folder jumps to the bottom. Classic Shell suppresses the first message and everything is good. My guess is that in some rare cases (like when enumerating slow network drives, or weird devices) there was a glitch in the tree and the coders at Microsoft fixed it by causing the tree to jump to the top briefly. So in those cases Classic Shell may actually cause problems. I have not received reports about it though.

My hope is that the problem will be fixed in SP1 and then I can finally remove that ugly hack from my code.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2010   #10
Ivo

Windows 7 Home 64, Vista Ultimate 64
 
 

As dunfiddlin said, click on the blank part of the address bar after the breadcrumbs (and not on the icon). Or press Alt+D.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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