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Windows 7: How to reference a predefined selection of files

24 Sep 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
How to reference a predefined selection of files

I'm looking for a way to quickly reference a predefined selection of files.

For example, folder "Photos" contains:


In another folder, "Best of Photos", I want to reference a few of the photos in "Photos". I say 'reference' because I don't want to actually move or copy any files from "Photos" to "Best of Photos".

One way to do it would be to create several shortcuts, one for each selected photo, and place them in "Best of Photos". The downside is that it can become a mess when there are many selected photos.

A different way would be to use a saved Windows Search. I could use the query "1 OR 2 OR 4 OR 8" and than save the Windows Search to the "Best of Photos" folder. In theory it's an elegant solution but as soon as there are more than about 80 OR's this method no longer works.

The way I'm currently doing it is by adding some sort of suffix to the selected photos filename, e.g. 1_SEL.jpg and then searching for SEL to select the right photos. This is probably the best solution I've come up with, but it's not ideal since I prefer to keep the filenames untouched.

Would there be a better solution to this problems than the ones I've come up with?
Thanks in advance!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Sep 2012   #2

7 x64

Use a Library. Help/Using Libraries. There may even be a tutorial on it on this forum.

Library - Include a Folder
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2012   #3
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1

yup if you include your folder in the Pictures library per the tutorial above, you will not need to move nor copy its contents and will be listed along with Pictures.
You may also create a new library for the selected folder too. New Library - Create
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Sep 2012   #4

XP / Win7 x64 Pro

This seems like the easiest way:

Tag pictures so they're easier to find
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks for your quick replies!

I'm afraid the libraries approach is the wrong approach in this case. It's hard to explain so I'll adjust the example a little bit so you know what I want to do.

Say, the folder "Photos" is called "Holiday 2012" and the "Best of Photos" is called "Panoramas". In "Panoramas" I've created several panoramas from some of the photos in the first mentioned folder. I'd like to reference these photos from within in the "Panoramas" folder so I can quickly see the original photos that make up the panorama.

To avoid any confusion, the "Holiday 2012" folder must physically contain all the photo files. Other folders, like "Panoramas" can only reference files from this folder. There are of course many folders such as "Holiday 2012" and in most cases, none of the files are referenced at all. Only when I happened to have created a selection or panorama.

I hope this makes it clear, so you can decide if the libraries approach is still the best way to go.

I've looked into the tag method before: it's sort of the official method to do this kind of thing. The big problem for me is that it rewrites the file (e.g. changes the modified date) whereas a name change keeps the file as it is.

Once again, I appreciate the help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1

I guess we need to know what exactly you mean by "reference"?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

"Reference" as in: click on shortcut -> go to selection of files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2012   #8

7 x64

Please take a look at the Windows Library system. IMHO it is what you are looking for.

Libraries - Windows 7 features - Microsoft Windows
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

But what should then be the library? As I said, I want store all the photos physically in "Holiday 2012" so that has to be a normal folder. Creating a library in "Panoramas" makes little since either since I want to reference several files instead of several folders.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2012   #10

7 x64

I have been doing some reading on this Library option and no where can I find any reference to adding individual files to a Library, only folders to a Library. Which IMHO is Just Stupid. If I already have the Data, Files, I want in one location for easy viewing and accessing, in a folder someplace on one of the drives on my computer, why in hell do I need to included that folder in a Library.
I should be able to add individual files from multiple folders anywhere on my local or networked drives to a Library. But that doesn't seem to be the case.

Sorry for the confusion but as it now seems the Win Library system may not be what you want.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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