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With Windows Explorer you have full control over how your files and folders are displayed. You also have full control over how those files and folders behave, and that's what we were going to explore in this lesson. Now you can use any folder you like, your Documents, or Pictures folder. If you've got the Exercise Files folder and you want to follow along with me, we are going to double-click to open it up, double-click the Chapter 3 folder, and in there we'll double-click the 03_03 folder, because these are the files and subfolder we are going to work with.
Now you can see by default what happened here in Windows Explorer I have a list of different types of files. I also have a subfolder, which automatically appears, at the top of my list. I see details as well like the date they were modified, the Type and Size. Now that's a default view for this type of folder. If we double-click the Photos subfolder, you'll notice it appears much differently. Here I am seeing actual thumbnails of each of the photos, as well as their names down below, and I can get additional information, just by hovering over a photo.
You can see the date it was taken, dimension, size, etcetera. All right, let's go back up to our 03_03 folder simply click it up here in the path. Now we're going to change the way we're viewing the contents of this folder. Well one option is to change the order. By default everything is listed in alphabetical order, in ascending order, by name, and when we click the heading you'll notice it reverses order. It's in descending order, now any folders will appear at the end. I can do the same for Date modified to see the most recent, or the oldest to newest.
I can do that with the Type, and this is great for getting different types of files together for example, my two Excel files are together, and then the rest are on their own. But you'll notice there is little dropdowns to next each of these as well. If we click the dropdown for example, next to the Name heading, we can choose to split the group up. So if we got a huge list of files and folders, and we want to see a section of them, you can click a checkbox and it narrows down the list. If we click the checkbox for the others, we see them all and of course if we deselect all of our checkboxes, we get the default, which is every single file and subfolder.
Now the more files you have, the more checkboxes you are going to see here, and the better you are going to be able to narrow down that list of files and folders. Watch what happens though when we just click anywhere down below to turn that off and go to Date modified dropdown button. This is cool, we get to choose Dates, so we can choose the files and folders that will be displayed using a date or date range, if we select this first checkbox, your default date will be the current date. And I happen to have one that was created today, my Photos folder.
But if I want a Range, I can go back. Let's go back to August for example. You can use your own dates here. Of course they are going be different from mine, because you'll be doing this on a different date from me. And I'm going to hold down my Shift key to get a whole range of dates, and you can see that increases my list by one. I am going to deselect that checkbox, and I have some other options. If I want to see older files, you can see A long time ago, I can also just click, and it's going to take me to that list, and you'll notice a little checkmark now next to Date modified indicating I've made a selection, here I am not seeing necessarily every single file and folder.
So I can go back to that now, and include files from Earlier this year, maybe the ones from last week. Maybe I want to take away the long time ago and include today. You can see how the list keeps changing and changing, when we deselect everything, we get the default back. Now we can just click anywhere here to see that default. We can do it by size as well, and you can see from the dropdown, we can do Empty ones, Small ones, Medium or Unspecified. Let's go to Medium files, and it looks like we do have a couple that fall into the 100 KB to 1 Megabyte file size.
We'll deselect that again, and click to see the default list. And the way it's listed here is by Details. So if we go up to our toolbar, we've seen this before. We can view using just a list and in this case we don't see any details about the actual files, just a little icon and the name. We can use Small Icons, Medium or Large Icons allow us to peek into the actual files, to get a field for the content. And if we go down to very bottom, and choose Content you can see what happens, each one on its own line, so we get additional information such as the Authors, Dates, Sizes etcetera.
Let's go back to the default, which is Details. We can select Details by clicking it. Well if you want to change the default, and now when we go to Photos for example, let's double-click our photos, we are seeing actual icons here, and if we go to our dropdown, they are Large Icons. So how does Windows know to display photos this way, and in my other folder a list of files using details, also a part of some of those customizable options, I was talking about. Let's start by making sure you've got your menu bar appearing across the top, where you have got File, Edit, View, tools, and Help, if you don't, click the Organize button, move down to Layout and make sure menu bar is checked off.
Next we are going to go to View, and here you can see the current selection, which is Large Icons. But we can customize down below. Notice for example we can choose the details, and Customize this folder. Let's start with Customize this folder. Notice right at the top that this folder is optimized for Pictures, but if we click this button, we could say make it act like it's a full of documents, and when we choose Document and click Apply. I'll just move this out of the way to see that it now looks like my other folder, and I've got icons with names.
I have got the details that I saw in the previous folder. I am going to change this back to Pictures. So if your folder contains music, videos and so on, you can choose how it behaves by default. You can change these views at anytime, but the default view is what we were selecting here. Let's close this up. We'll go back up to the parent folder 03_03, and in the Details view you'll notice, we were using these headers across the top. How do we decide which headers appear and which ones do not? Well, these are the Folder Options.
So let's go up to View and choose the Details that can or cannot be viewed. Here is the default Name, Date modified, Type and Size, or maybe we're not concerned with the type, we can deselect that checkbox, and we can see down below, we've got all kinds of options to choose from. Maybe the Authors is important information, for working with music Beats Per Minute might be important, and as we scroll down the list is very extensive. For pictures Date Taken, lots of cool options to choose from here.
When we click OK, our changes appear. You can see now we've got Authors, if you don't like the order, well we could have changed it from that screen, but you can change it from here as well. I want Authors before Size, so I just click-and-drag it over, simple as that. So let's close up our Windows Explorer, returning to the desktop, and those are just some of the examples of how you can customize the user interface in Windows Explorer and choose how your folders and files behave.
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