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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Grouping and Filtering with Metadata

Metadata is a useful file system element, but people might not be motivated to apply metadata to their documents unless they can be convinced that metadata is worth the short-term hassle. The Windows programmers seem to understand this because they built two file-management techniques into File Explorer, both of which become more powerful and more useful the more metadata you’ve applied to your files. These techniques are grouping and filtering.

Grouping Files

Grouping files means organizing a folder’s contents according to the values in a particular property. In the Windows 8.1 version of File Explorer, select the ribbon’s View tab and then click Group By. This displays a list of the properties you can use for the grouping. Clicking one of these properties groups the files according to the values in that property. Figure 6.16 shows the Pictures folder grouped by the values in the Type property.

As Figure 6.16 shows, Windows 8.1 enhances the grouping feature with two new techniques:

Figure 6.16

Figure 6.16 Windows 8.1 enables you to group and work with files based on the values in a property.

  • You can select all the files in a group by clicking the group title.
  • You can collapse the group (that is, show just the group title) by clicking the arrow to the left of the group title. (You can collapse all the groups by right-clicking any group title and then clicking Collapse All Groups.)

Filtering Files

Filtering files means changing the folder view so that only files that have one or more specified property values are displayed. Returning to the Type property example, you could filter the folder’s files to show only those where Type was, say, JPG Image or File Folder.

In Details view, when you pull down the list associated with a property’s header, you see an item for each discrete property value, along with a check box for each value. To filter the files, activate the check boxes for the property values you want to view. For example, in Figure 6.17 we’ve activated the check boxes beside the BMP File and JPG File values in the Type property, and only those two types appear in the folder.

Figure 6.17

Figure 6.17 You can filter a folder to show only those files that have the property values you specify.

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