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This chapter is from the book

Working with Libraries

New to Windows 7 is the concept of libraries, which is a new way to manage your files. A library is kind of a virtual folder; it doesn’t physically exist on your hard disk but instead points to the subfolders and files you place within it.

If you’ve opened Windows Explorer, you’ve already seen four libraries. That’s because the Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos icons don’t point to specific folders, but rather to libraries of files of a given type, wherever they’re located on your hard disk. That’s right, double-clicking doesn’t open the Documents folder itself (although that folder does exist); it opens a virtual collection of documents.

So Windows 7 displays all your documents, no matter which folder they’re really stored in, in the Documents library. All your digital music files are displayed in the Music library, all your digital photos in the Pictures library, and all your digital video files in the Video library.

In addition to these four default libraries, you can create your own libraries to virtually organize files from any folder on your hard disk. You can use your own user-created libraries to organize files stored in various folders across your hard disk. For example, you could create a library for a project that has Word documents stored in one folder, Excel spreadsheets in another, and photos in still another.

To create a new library, open Windows Explorer and follow these steps:

  1. Click the New Library button on the Windows Explorer toolbar.
  2. When the new library icon appears, type a name for the new library.
  3. Double-click the icon for the new library.
  4. When the next screen appears, click the Include a Folder button.
  5. When the Include Folder in New Library dialog box appears, navigate to and click the folder you wish to include in the library; then click the Include Folder button.

To add more folders to the library, open the library and click the “X Folder” link under the library name. When the New Library Locations window appears, click the Add button. From the next window, navigate to the folder you want to include, then click the Include Folder button. Repeat these steps to add even more folders.

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