The 28th of Diduary: Did you know how “libraries” work in Windows 7?

Today is the twenty-eighth (and last!) day of Diduary. You can see links to all of the published articles in the series here.

If you’ve played with Windows 7, you’ve certainly noticed this new anomaly in your Windows Explorer interface, called “Libraries.” The basic reason for them is that you, a Windows user, store your data all over the place. You might have a centralized server, or some external drives, in addition to several specific locations on your local hard drive (think “My Documents” AND your desktop, for example.)

What Libraries allow you to do is to create a customized interface for you to see all of those places at one time. Here’s a screenshot of my current configuration (keep in mind this is simpler than normal, only because I just rebuilt my machine 3 days ago.) (click to enlarge)

As you can see, with my Videos library, I have three different locations that I store videos on my machine. The first two are the defaults, and the third one is my Home Server. (You can read more about Home Servers on Diduary 24th.) What’s nice about this view is that I can see ALL of my videos in one place, and I can also SEARCH for them in one place, without searching my entire hard drive.

As a big plus, this also comes in handy for developing with Visual Studio. I generally have a folder on my machine called “Projects.” I store ALL of my projects in this folder, so I can easily find all of them. But depending on which tool I use to create that project, it can be stored in several different places. Expression Blend has its own location. Visual Studio 2008 has its own location. VS 2010 has yet another location. If I decided to leave them all at their default locations, I could create a new library called “Projects” that showed those three (or more) different locations.

So for those of you running Windows 7, give libraries a try. You’ve probably just been ignoring them, but I think it’s one of the more innovative and useful features of this great new operating system.

With those last few sentences, this concludes my Diduary series. It’s been a fun, exhausting trip through many of my favorite tools and programs. I hope you learned something from it, and that you tell your friends where you read it.

I look forward to blogging about some new topics in the coming months, including a great development conference I’m helping put together, as well as the sequel to the Toughest Developer Puzzle Ever. If you missed it, the original is still up and running.

9 thoughts on “The 28th of Diduary: Did you know how “libraries” work in Windows 7?

  1. I seldom think of politics more than 18 hours a day.

  2. The reasonable man adapts himself to the world the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

  3. The man who acts never has any conscience no one has any conscience but the man who thinks.

  4. The trick is to make sure you don't die waiting for prosperity to come.

  5. He who chooses the beginning of the road chooses the place it leads to. It is the means that determines the end.

  6. Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America.

  7. The only way to have a friend is to be one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s