Use a library to collect contents of several folders and keep them in one location. Add folders to a library. Set the default folder for saving new files in a library.
- [Instructor] A few versions back, Microsoft introduced the concept of a library folder to Windows. It's a unique feature you won't find in other operating systems. A library works kind of like a multi-source shortcut, and you'll find a few solutions where having a library can be handy. In this movie, I cover the concept of library folders. I'll explore existing libraries and show you how they're set up, and then, I'll demonstrate how to create a library and potentially make it useful for project organization.
To view available libraries on your computer, open a file explorer window. Press the Windows + e keyboard shortcut. From the Address bar, choose Libraries. You see a handful of Libraries Windows has already created for you. Each of these icons represents a collection of two or more folders located somewhere on the PC's mass storage system. When you open a folder, you see the collected contents. For example, the Documents folder on this computer hosts three locations.
Here is my own account's Documents folder. You also see OneDrive documents. These windows appear if you sign into Windows 10 using your Microsoft account, or you have One Drive storage added to the system. Finally, you might see the Public documents area added, as well. This folder is stored in the Public User area, which provides a way to share documents with other users on the same PC, and I don't do that, and you don't either, so the folder could just be empty or contain a bunch of generic folders, as shown here.
All three of these locations are stored in the single Documents library. Libraries are also accessed when you use the Open or Save As commands. That's where things get weird for me because a library contains folders from different sources. When I save to a library, where does the file actually go? Well, the answer is that it goes into the default folder for saving, which is usually your account's own folder. I'll explain more on that topic in a moment. Behind the scenes, you can manage existing libraries to check out their internal workings or to make changes.
After opening the Library folder, you can click on the Library Tools Manage tab. Click the Manage Library button to manage the selected library such as the Documents library shown here. And here you see the details for the Documents library. It lists the three folders I mentioned earlier, my own account, OneDrive, and the Public User account, and here you can confirm that my own account is the Documents Default save location. When I save files in the Documents library, they will go to this specific folder.
Now, say, I also want to add my Dropbox documents folder to this location. Dropbox is a cloud storage service. So I click the Add button, and then, I'll open my Dropbox folder and choose documents. Click the Include folder button. And now, you can see that my Dropbox documents are also included in the Documents library. Click OK. And then, I can open the library to view all the files, including Dropbox down there.
And if I wanted to set Dropbox as the default location for saving files in the Documents library, I would click the Set save location button and choose Dropbox document folders, which is this one here. Now, because I'm unsure, let me Manage the library, and indeed, Dropbox is the Default save location. Now, you can build your own libraries if you have the need to access multiple folders from a single spot. I've never had that need in my professional life, but suppose you could use one if you had a project and you wanted a single folder from which you could access files from folders across a storage system.
Such a folder would be accessible from the main Libraries folder shown here. Still, libraries are like files and folders, so if you need to keep a copy handy, you could create a shortcut to the library. The topic of creating shortcuts is covered in another movie.
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- Saving files
- Searching for files
- Renaming and moving files
- Organizing folders and subfolders
- Building libraries
- Creating an archive
- Working with storage, including removable, network, and cloud storage