Get Organized With A Window That Summarizes A File's Contents


My weak spot has always been organization—sorting and finding files. In those days when we used paper files and had secretaries, I left that chore to the staff. But now it’s my responsibility. I’ve been told there’s a way to get Windows Explorer to help by giving me a brief description of a file’s contents—more than just the name of the file—but I can’t seem to make it work. Can you help?

 A file’s Properties function in Windows Explorer can perform that job. The screenshot below is an example of a customized message (on the left) that can be made to appear when you open Explorer to check out a file.

To create that format you first have to set Explorer to display more than the default data it usually shows. Begin by opening Explorer and clicking on the View icon in its toolbar and then on Details (see screenshot below).

That will display Explorer’s default property categories. In my case (see screenshot below) it’s Name, Type, Size, Date Modified.

To expand the display to show a file’s description, we’ll add Comments to this default list. To do that, click on View and then on Choose Details.

That opens a large menu of categories, with checks next to those that already are displayed. Place a check next to Comments and to any other category you may want to add to the display. Be aware, however, that if you add too many, your Explorer screen may get so clogged with information that searching will be impeded. Note also that you can customize the location of the options by moving them with the Move Up and Move Down buttons on the right. You can also adjust the width of each category column.

When done, click on OK. Since that will immediately display the category you selected on the screen, you can easily return to the list and make further adjustments.

Also, you can reorder the listing by left-clicking on any of the category titles. If the category is composed of words, the click will alphabetize the list by the first letter; if the category is a number, such as file size, it will sort them accordingly. Another click will sort them in reverse.


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