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Windows 7: Windows 7 file explorer, it stresses me very much.

23 Mar 2010   #1

Windows XP, Windows 7 Ultimate
Windows 7 file explorer, it stresses me very much.

I've had Windows 7 installed on my workstation a week ago and by now I think I have a fair amount of suggestions to make it better.
If you're not in the mood to read too much just scroll to the bottom.

I'm absolutely disappointed with the File Explorer, as it is now it's a tremendous annoyance to navigate, specially with the keyboard.
To begin with, when opening an Explorer window the focus goes to the right panel instead of the tree panel on the left; in XP I would Windows+E to open a window and in an instant I'd be navigating the file tree to get to the location I wanted. Now I have to make a Shift+Tab to go into the left panel.
Once in the tree (I removed Favorites, Libraries, etc... clutter), going down with the arrow keys I found that, when a folder is selected, it doesn't open on the right panel to display the contents. I have to hit Enter to do so. Now that and the Shift+Tab thing may seem like small things, but it really chaffs me to have to perform more actions to get the same result as before, not something I'd define as progress in terms of user interface.
In fact this thing was so annoying (not opening the folder contents when selected with the arrow keys) that I went looking for a way to restore it, there's a program called Classic Shell that brings that back (among other things) but it has risen some other problems.
One is that now going up and down a folder hierarchy there's some sort of lag or bouncing of the selection, it can lead to opening a different folder than intended. There's also the problem that it's very quick to open the folder (XP has a delay of half a second or so), so whenever I hesitate over and empty flash card drive, DVD drive or a folder which I don't have permissions to open I get the "BOOOIIING!, you can't open this!" message. Exponentially more annoying than ever before in regards with the DVD drive since there's a "Feature" that automatically opens the disc tray when that happens. For a few days when starting the computer at the beginning of my work day I found the tray open and wondered how did that happen. This "Feature" must go, pretty please.
For that matter the pop-up error message when trying to open an empty drive and/or inaccessible folder must go to, it would be much better to have the right Explorer panel simply say that the drive is empty or the folder can't be opened or just remain blank, shouldn't be difficult to do and it would save time and stress for the user.

Still at the explorer, I really wonder what is the matter with the folders expanding and scrolling to the bottom of the screen. It's incredibly annoying and I hope it's a bug and not a feature because I can't think of any reasonable motive for it. It's a big waste of time and very taxing in one's patience to open a folder and having to scroll the thing up to see the other folders inside.
Talking about scrolling, it would be better to have the horizontal scroll bar on the left panel back, in deep folder structures I'm forced to move the panel divider to the right to see what folder I'm in, again a waste of time and of useful space on the screen.

Mentioning wastes of space, the menus at the top of the window are particularly aggravating. After spending 5 minutes with the Aero and other pretty styles I dumped them and went back into the classic windows look, uglier but it doesn't slow down to a crawl the interface (keep in mind this is in a 3D CGI workstation for crying out loud!). Now the explorer window has four lines of menus and commands, the window title on top, the Breadcrumbs/Search tools bellow, under that the File menu and under that the Organize, etc... menu. C'mon, that's a complete waste of space that can't be reorganized by the user, there are large void spaces in the UI up there so I don't see why all that couldn't be condensed in on or two lines of menus. (On XP I have the window header and then all the other elements in a single line)
In general I noticed that the UI looks too dispersed, buttons too isolated and large blank areas everywhere.

Gosh, quite past bed time here so I'll summarize.
My experience so far with Windows 7 is that it slows me down in my work (not to mention the exasperation experienced), it's not a reticence for change but the workflow of the new UI is slower than in previous version, more clicks, keystrokes and mousing around are necessary to perform the same tasks. Keyboard navigation is kaput as things stand now and less information is available at any given time (lack of horizontal scroll bars, more space in between icons, larger menus, etc).

I would think that fixing this issues would be simple and I hope they will be addressed sooner than later. Since this has been long and rambling let me put it down short and to the point.

-Smaller UI, please.
-Focus on opening the file explorer should be in the left panel.
-No disc drive underhanded tray opening.
-No warnings and Click-here-to-make-me-go-away when a drive or folder can't be opened.
-Folders in the tree view should display their contents when selected via keyboard.
-Horizontal scroll bars on the file explorer left panel.
-For all that's good and holy make the "open a folder and scroll all the subfolder out the bottom of the window" feature/bug go away.
-More compact and customizable tool bars.

I understand that there are people that like elaborate UIs, Aero looks gorgeous and all that, but then there's people that need to work as efficiently as possible using this OS and in my opinion (and just going through the file explorer here), Windows 7 is a step backwards in general terms. There are things I like, for example when renaming a file the name but not the extension is highlighted for rewriting, that's very good and useful.

I must hit the sack now. Over and out.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2010   #2

Windows 7

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AleG View Post

-For all that's good and holy make the "open a folder and scroll all the subfolder out the bottom of the window" feature/bug go away.
Punched a perfectly good monitor the other day because of this.


My selected folder should not jump around at all.
If it has to jump somewhere, make it jump to the TOP of the window.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2010   #3


I removed Favorites, Libraries, etc... clutter
How did you do this?


Software Q-Dir 4.13 makes your files and folder easy to manage.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Dec 2011   #4

Windows7 Pro x64

Did Microsoft ever fix any of this???

The main thing I want is to be able to see the directory tree - preferrably complete with the vertical dotted lines that Windows XP had when you switch "display simple folder view" off.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2011   #5
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Did you ever try to discuss your suggestions with Microsoft.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows 7 file explorer, it stresses me very much.

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