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Using Windows 7 Libraries

Keeping files and folders organized can be a time consuming task especially with the increase in the amount of digital files being stored. Instead of just keeping files organized people are now faced with keeping email, photos, movies and music organized and easily accessible. The more data that a person collects, especially if over multiple computers, the harder the organizational task becomes.

The basics of file organization include properly naming files and creating a folder structure that makes it easy to locate the file when needed. Though this method works it can still be very tedious to find a file or organize files across multiple computers or a network. A new feature in Windows 7 helps alleviate the problem of keeping files organized by the use of libraries.

A library allows you to easily find and organize files located on your PC or network in one location. The files are not moved to the library but stay in the original location but can be viewed and accessed via the library. For example, you have several folders with pictures as does your daughter on her laptop. Instead of moving her pictures to your computer you add her folder to your library, along with your picture folders, and then you have access to all the pictures from your PC.

There are several standard libraries included with Windows 7 including libraries for documents, downloads, music, pictures and videos. These libraries can be customized to fit your needs or you can create your own libraries based on your needs. In addition, content in each library type can be sorted or viewed by file properties specific to the type of files. For example, music can be sorted by album, artist or song while pictures can be sorted by date and rating.

Note: In order to add files and folders, or share libraries, with other computers they need to be running Windows 7 and be connected via a network or HomeGroup (Windows 7 home networking feature). The HomeGroup feature will be covered in a later article.

This introduction to Windows 7 libraries covers what is a library and how using libraries can organize your files and data. The next article will detail how to setup, use and organize your libraries in Windows 7 to make your computer and network organized and easy to use!

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