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Windows 7: what up with all the "documents" and "libraries"?

1 Week Ago   #1
ratsrcute

Win 7
 
 
what up with all the "documents" and "libraries"?

I don't know much about Windows machines and I'm trying to teach my Mom to understand folders and locations of files, creating new folders, knowing where to save files, etc.

I'm just baffled by how many things are called "Libraries" and variations on "My ..." and "Documents," not to mention that some of them seem to have two different names depending on how you reach or display them.

I need to teach her the simplest possible reliable system. Right now she seems to be using a Library which includes files from two different users, which as you can imagine is confusing, and she seems to have ended up with hundreds of files in the same folder.

Can I get advice on how to teach a beginning to understand and use folders safely? Right now it seems to be that a Library is asking for trouble if it includes files from multiple locations... that kind of obscures the structure of the folders. Maybe that's how everything ended up in the same folder, by saving into the Library.

Mike


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1 Week Ago   #2
dw85745

Win 7 Pro x32
 
 

I agree, Microsoft caused MUCH confusion with libraries.
Heres a link that might help:
Inside Windows 7:Introducing Libraries

Based on this article, I guess the best benefit is that since a library is considered to be a special folder,
it is indexed, and consequently promotes faster searching of the contents. FWIW you can identify and
index a folder using Control Panel Indexing.

I personally have never liked Microsofts predesignated folders (e.g. documents) and prefer to create my own. Personally I'd like to get rid of them, but never tried, so will check into it.

For explaining, I'd look at a library, like a folder, as just a grouping.
For example, if you physically go into a library, you can go into the business section, non-fiction, fiction, science, etc.
While you could create a folder with each one of these titles and store web pages on these topics within them.
you could do the same thing and create the folder under the library folder.
I guess -- for example if you are a researcher - and you go into different libraries, you could have a separate libraries titled LA Library, DC Library, and Chicago Library, and then create folders and sub-folders under each library for articles obtained from that library.

One would think each individual would have common sense to do this on their own without M$ help.
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1 Week Ago   #3
Bertison

Windows 7/64 HPremium.
 
 

A few years into Win7, I had amassed so many documents of different kinds, that I decided to create a BIG folder to contain them all. I gave it a title I would remember, and created sub-folders with their own titles in an Alphabetised list. As of today, I have 33 sub-folders, from Ancestry to Utilities. I keep day to day Documents in Documents -- My Documents and I transfer these as necessary as an archive system, or delete as and when I find I don't need them.

Under 'Libraries', the system is listed like this:
Documents (containing My Documents) -
(Title of) BIG Folder -
Music -
Pictures -
Videos.

I found that this placed all the relevant folders and files which I would need for a Windows full reinstallation into one 'basket' that I could transfer to media such as a 64GB USB drive, for a transfer to a new Hdd. It also means that I can find any file I need whenever I need it. It sounds complicated and clunky, but isn't: once up, running and continually added to, it's fine. I also carry out regular backup storage of the BIG folder, and regular backup images of the whole sysytem, using Macrium Reflect Free, to my NAS. There is also a copy of the BIG folder, on Desktop. It works for me!
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5 Days Ago   #4
RoWin7

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

I don't use any of the Libraries. I'm accustomed to the setup I had in Win 98 and Win XP. All my data is on a D partition with folder names I've chosen, and I ignore the libraries. That includes Music, Videos, Documents, whatever. I call the C drive "Sys-Prog," and they can be backed up separately or together.
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3 Days Ago   #5
mrjimphelps

Dual Boot Xubuntu Linux 64-bit / Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Libraries are handy - you may have multiple folders of a particular type, and you can group them all into a library. For example, you might have several different document folders, for documents of different types. Or perhaps you have some folders containing sheet music, and others containing MP3s. You also have a folder containing music videos. You could use the My Music library (I believe there is one called that) for all of these -- simply include all of the folders you want in the My Music library, and make one of them the default.

If you are a student, you could create a library called School. You then include in that library your English Composition folder, your Algebra folder, your American History folder, and your Biology folder.

If you have your own business, you could create a library for your company; and then you will include each customer's folder in your company's library.

Libraries are simply a convenient way of grouping similar folders together.
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2 Days Ago   #6
RoWin7

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

@ratsrcute can decide what's best for his mother. I'm an old stick-in-the-mud, and use my own folder system since Win 98. But it's really the same thing, just not using the word "Library." I just make folders and subfolders in My Documents.

Only Graphics are separated from My Doc, because my collection is huge with over 8000 files and many subfolders

@ratsrcute--Use a simple system for your mother, as easy as navigating a filing cabinet. You can ignore any library folders you don't use. Make shortcuts on the desktop to all the folders she uses, leave the rest. You can access the desktop always by clicking the blue square at the extreme right of the screen.

Let us know if you need any more helphh
My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Days Ago   #7
ratsrcute

Win 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RoWin7 View Post
@ratsrcute can decide what's best for his mother. I'm an old stick-in-the-mud, and use my own folder system since Win 98. But it's really the same thing, just not using the word "Library." I just make folders and subfolders in My Documents.

Only Graphics are separated from My Doc, because my collection is huge with over 8000 files and many subfolders

@ratsrcute--Use a simple system for your mother, as easy as navigating a filing cabinet. You can ignore any library folders you don't use. Make shortcuts on the desktop to all the folders she uses, leave the rest. You can access the desktop always by clicking the blue square at the extreme right of the screen.

Let us know if you need any more helphh
Thanks, you are precisely right, I need a simple system. My difficulty is that her drive is so complicated right now, with multiple libraries, and many folders have three or four copies of each file with a different number appended-- have no idea how that happened.

It seems like libraries are great for simplifying **access** to your files, but what happens when you **write** or **create** them? It seems to obscure a knowledge of where they are actually going.

Mike
My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Days Ago   #8
RoWin7

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

She doesn't have to learn the filing system if it's beyond her. Sort her existing files into logically-named folders. Toss out the duplicates, or use them as backups on a CD. Put all the folders in one library, ignore the others. Give her shortcuts to the library and folders on her desktop. And files shouldn't have numbers. Show her how to give a logical name to a file when saving it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 what up with all the "documents" and "libraries"?




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