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Windows 7: W7 Explorer View settings - mix & match?

06 Jun 2013   #1
Fuentes

7 HP & ULT
 
 
W7 Explorer View settings - mix & match?

Hi all--

Is it possible to have different view settings for different sub-folders? Scenario:

I have a top-most directory called My Documents and within that folder/directory, I have 2 subfolders called My Word Files and My Pix. As it stands, I have the list view selected for My Documents. However, I'd like to change the display option in just My Pix to something more visual, say, Extra Large Icons. So I change My Pix to Extra Large Icons.

This is where I miss something. When I return to My Pix, one of two things occurs:
  • All files within My Documents display as Extra Large Icons OR
  • All files with My Documents display under List view settings.
Is there 3rd party software that can allow me to change my view settings on a folder by folder basis? I'd like some subfolder files to show up as Icons and others to show up as a list and W7 doesn't seem to allow me that simple functionality. (Or maybe i does and I'm unaware of how to do it.)


Sorry for the rambling, but it's hard for me to describe things and I hope I did well enough to generate some helpful responses.


As always, thanks all for any insight.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
06 Jun 2013   #2
TwoCables

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fuentes View Post
Hi all--

Is it possible to have different view settings for different sub-folders? Scenario:

I have a top-most directory called My Documents and within that folder/directory, I have 2 subfolders called My Word Files and My Pix. As it stands, I have the list view selected for My Documents. However, I'd like to change the display option in just My Pix to something more visual, say, Extra Large Icons. So I change My Pix to Extra Large Icons.

This is where I miss something. When I return to My Pix, one of two things occurs:
  • All files within My Documents display as Extra Large Icons OR
  • All files with My Documents display under List view settings.
Is there 3rd party software that can allow me to change my view settings on a folder by folder basis? I'd like some subfolder files to show up as Icons and others to show up as a list and W7 doesn't seem to allow me that simple functionality. (Or maybe i does and I'm unaware of how to do it.)


Sorry for the rambling, but it's hard for me to describe things and I hope I did well enough to generate some helpful responses.


As always, thanks all for any insight.
Are you looking at My Documents through one of your Libraries such as the Documents Library?

Each Library has its own View settings and it's applied to every "location" that's "included" in the Library (it's applied to absolutely everything inside that Library, and there's a good reason for this).

For example: I have 6 folders included in my Documents Library. Any change I make to the View setting gets applied to all of those folders and their subfolders because I just changed the View setting for the Documents Library. The reason this is desirable is as the name of the Library implies, I should only have Documents in there. So, I wouldn't want or need a different view setting for any of the folders in this Library because they're all the same type of files: in this case, they're all documents of one kind or another.

Of course, there is a Pictures Library (and if there isn't due to being accidentally deleted, then you can create another one), so you can just include any folder in there that contains pictures. That way, you just change the View setting for your Pictures Library to what you want and then every folder in that Library will have that View setting. This is desirable because if all I have are folders with pictures in my Pictures Library, then I want the same view setting for all of the folders that I included in this Library.

That's how the View setting works for the Libraries. The Libraries are just different categories. It's a neat way of keeping everything organized and having a central location for everything in that category. You can even create new Libraries to further customize your categorization. After all, there are many different types of files, and so you can potentially have over a dozen different Libraries very easily if you wanted to go that far.

Although, you can just do it the old way and go directly to the folders through My Computer. Actual folders can still have their own individual View settings, so browsing and using your files and folders the old way is definitely an option and many people still do it this way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jun 2013   #3
Fuentes

7 HP & ULT
 
 

Thak you TwoCables for taking the time , energy, and effort to provide such an informative post. I'm going to have to read this a few more times before I actually 'get' it, but I'm certain that I will. Eventually...

Here's another scenario: A Photoshop hobbyist has a top level folder within the My Documents library called, appropriately enough, My Photoshop Folder. The My Photoshop Folder contains various subfolders, but as an example, the first of three of them is called Tutorials, which have text files, saved *.html files (with the included image folders,) and even some saved *.flv files. Another folder contained within the My Photoshop Folder is titled Plugins and that folder contains *.8bf files as well as some *.txt files as well as a few *.docx files. Finally, the last folder is Images, which contain mostly .jpg and *.png files with a few scattered *.abr and *.abs files.

This is where I run into trouble. How might one set such a folder up view-wise?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

06 Jun 2013   #4
TwoCables

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fuentes View Post
Thak you TwoCables for taking the time , energy, and effort to provide such an informative post. I'm going to have to read this a few more times before I actually 'get' it, but I'm certain that I will. Eventually...
All you have to do is experiment with the View settings. Change them around in the Libraries and then go directly to different folders in My Computer. You'll see that each Library has its own View setting, and whatever View setting you choose applies to everything in that Library. The actual folders as accessed through My Computer are the actual folders and therefore can have their own individual View setting.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fuentes View Post
Here's another scenario: A Photoshop hobbyist has a top level folder within the My Documents library called, appropriately enough, My Photoshop Folder. The My Photoshop Folder contains various subfolders, but as an example, the first of three of them is called Tutorials, which have text files, saved *.html files (with the included image folders,) and even some saved *.flv files. Another folder contained within the My Photoshop Folder is titled Plugins and that folder contains *.8bf files as well as some *.txt files as well as a few *.docx files. Finally, the last folder is Images, which contain mostly .jpg and *.png files with a few scattered *.abr and *.abs files.

This is where I run into trouble. How might one set such a folder up view-wise?
Set it up however you want. After all, it's your computer.

By the way, there is no Library called "My Documents" unless you created one with that name. The My Documents folder is just a folder which is usually in C:\Users\You\My Documents unless you change its location using the Location tab in the folder's Properties.

The default Libraries are Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos. There's no "My Documents" Library unless you want to create one by that name.

So I'm saying that it sounds to me like you're looking inside the My Documents folder. Are you accessing it through My Computer? Or are you accessing it through the Documents Library? If you're accessing it through My Computer, then you can have different View settings for each of those subfolders. If you're accessing it through the Documents Library, then you can only have one View setting because each Library has its own View setting and that View setting applies to everything inside the Library.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2013   #5
Fuentes

7 HP & ULT
 
 

Hey TwoCables. I just got home. Let me delve into this when I feel a bit better and I'll offer up a more intelligent reply then. (I hope.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2013   #6
TwoCables

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fuentes View Post
Hey TwoCables. I just got home. Let me delve into this when I feel a bit better and I'll offer up a more intelligent reply then. (I hope.)
It's all good. Take all the time that you need. I'll always be here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jun 2013   #7
Fuentes

7 HP & ULT
 
 

This
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TwoCables View Post
The actual folders as accessed through My Computer are the actual folders and therefore can have their own individual View setting.
and
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TwoCables View Post
So I'm saying that it sounds to me like you're looking inside the My Documents folder. Are you accessing it through My Computer? Or are you accessing it through the Documents Library? If you're accessing it through My Computer, then you can have different View settings for each of those subfolders. If you're accessing it through the Documents Library, then you can only have one View setting because each Library has its own View setting and that View setting applies to everything inside the Library.
is what is causing my head to explode.

I am indeed accessing through the Documents Library. I think I need to start accessing these files through the My Computer link. I'll give that a shot today. I have the time (although I have more time tomorrow) to play with these files and folders. Let me investigate what you're pointing out and see what I can do now that I have a much better grasp of the hierarchical structure of Libraries.

I'm still a little confused, but much less so than I was. I thank you, TwoCables for extending your knowledge to me. I appreciate the time and energy spent.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jun 2013   #8
TwoCables

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fuentes View Post
This
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TwoCables View Post
The actual folders as accessed through My Computer are the actual folders and therefore can have their own individual View setting.
and
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TwoCables View Post
So I'm saying that it sounds to me like you're looking inside the My Documents folder. Are you accessing it through My Computer? Or are you accessing it through the Documents Library? If you're accessing it through My Computer, then you can have different View settings for each of those subfolders. If you're accessing it through the Documents Library, then you can only have one View setting because each Library has its own View setting and that View setting applies to everything inside the Library.
is what is causing my head to explode.

I am indeed accessing through the Documents Library. I think I need to start accessing these files through the My Computer link. I'll give that a shot today. I have the time (although I have more time tomorrow) to play with these files and folders. Let me investigate what you're pointing out and see what I can do now that I have a much better grasp of the hierarchical structure of Libraries.

I'm still a little confused, but much less so than I was. I thank you, TwoCables for extending your knowledge to me. I appreciate the time and energy spent.
You're welcome, but I think that you would enjoy the Libraries. For example, let's focus on all of the folders that contain image files. Every folder on your drive that contains nothing but images can be included in the Pictures library (well actually, any folder can be included). Then, in the Pictures library, you set the View to whatever you'd like it to be - such as Large or Extra Large. That way, you can just go to the Pictures library and regardless of what folder location you access within the Pictures library, you'll always have that View setting until you change the View setting for the Pictures library.

Try this:
  1. Open the Pictures library
  2. Change the View setting to something you don't like; something you never use. This will help with the purpose of this experiment.
  3. At the top underneath the words "Pictures library", you will see a blue link that says "Includes: 2 locations" or something like that.
  4. Click it that link.
  5. In the window that appears, you're given the ability to add or remove any folder location to or from the Pictures library.
  6. Go ahead and add any folder. It doesn't even have to be a folder that has pictures in it. Just pick any folder really.
  7. After adding the folder, go into that folder through the Pictures library
  8. As you noticed, it has that View setting that you chose in Step #2 above.
  9. Now access that folder directly through My Computer
  10. As you noticed, the View setting is different.
  11. Change the View setting
  12. Go back to the folder through the Pictures library
  13. You'll notice that the View setting you chose in Step #2 is still applied
  14. Go back to the folder directly through My Computer
  15. You'll notice that the View setting is what you chose in Step #11
(Tip: right-click an included folder location (in the list) while you're inside of that little control panel window thing! Also, back out of the Library that you're in so that you're viewing just the "Libraries" folder that shows all of the Libraries that you have. Now, right-click a Library and choose Properties to see more things you can do.)

Now repeat the above by adding another folder, and then another, and then another. Try different View settings. You should then see what I mean by saying that a Library has its own View setting that is applied to anything and everything that you put in it. The benefit is all of the files and folders that you added to that Library can now be accessed from that one central location (the Library) and it applies your selected View setting to to all of them as well.

It's like each Library is its own little world, completely separate from everything else, and anything inside that world lives by that world's rules. If the rule is Large Icons, then everything in that world will show as Large Icons. So the Libraries is a very unique and special place providing a central location where you can access anything that you put in there. It also provides the convenience of only having to choose your preferred View setting one time, instead of having to go into every single folder including all subfolders and subfolders etc. just to get everything to match. It's just a better way to organize everything because you can organize everything by category which gives you the convenience of being able to access everything from one location.

So even though we kind of already had this (in a sense) with the My Documents Folder and all of the special subfolders like My Pictures, My Music, etc., this is superior in that you have a more centralized location, and your View setting for the Library applies to everything you put in it without affecting the "actual" view setting that you see when you access the folder "for real" through My Computer.

I think that the Libraries feature is taking advantage of Symbolic Linking or something like that. I mean, when you access an included folder through a Library, you're not accessing it directly like you are through My Computer. It's kind of like accessing it through a shortcut, only it's always indirect like that. It's like, you're not accessing the real thing even though you can still make actual changes such as adding files, deleting files, or renaming them (including the ability to create new folders).

Really though, the best thing to do is play with it and experiment with it.

If this is still confusing, then let me know ASAP because I didn't sleep as well as I would have liked.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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