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Any keyboard shortcuts for Explorer views? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Since Microsoft removed the Vista feature of having column headers under all Explorer views (one of my favorite features) I find dealing with Windows Explorer and Open/Save dialogs much more cumbersome.

    I was wondering if there's at least some keyboard shortcuts to quickly switch views: Details, List and maybe control sorting, grouping and filtering options.

    The only keyboard method I've found is if I use shift+F10 to bring up the context menu, then there appear to be shortcuts I can use to select view, sort, group menus so in principle I can write some scripts to be used with hotkeys. However, this context menu only shows up if no file/folder is selected, otherwise a different context menu shows up. So this is too inconsistent to be useful.

    Actually, under Windows Explorer you can use alt+v to get to the view menu, but this won't work in dialog boxes.

    Are there any secret shortcuts I can use instead?

    Thanks.
    Monday, May 25, 2009 3:38 PM

Answers

  • You are in a mindset from the old view paradigm. Create a new Library folder of those files, set the view. If you want a different view, create a new Library to set them the new way. The entry for a library list is no more resource consuming than a view or sort setting.
    Rating posts helps other users
    Mark L. Ferguson MS-MVP

    I think it's absurd to have to set up a library for each view you want, especially if it's something that might be a one-off need. The fact is that the column header feature of Vista was added for a reason: it made it very easy and efficient to change and manage folder organization, largely borrowing the auto filtering ideas from Excel. That may be why they seemed so intuitive to me since I use Excel extensively. Unlike a lot of UI choices which are purely aesthetic or for the purpose of change for change's sake, this one actually made a lot of sense and provided a lot of power even if there might be a slight learning curve. That's the right kind of UI chagne.

    Now Microsoft decided to remove those features for no apparant reason. I'm guessing some users found it confusing to have column headers in the non-details view, but I think if people are clever enough to figure out the new Windows 7 taskbar they can figure that out too. In any case, it would have caused no harm to simply leave it in and disabled by default, with an option for power users to turn it back on in the folder view settings. I dislike this new approach of forcing everyone to use the lowest common demonitor with no options for customization.

    As for libraries, they make sense for often used tasks as a sort of saved search type folder, but are no substitute for quick on-the fly view changes, for which the loss of Vista's feature with no adequate replacement in the UI. Furthermore, the view and sort options for library folders is actually more limited than that for regular folders, for which, for instance, you can group according to any arbitrary metadata field, as opposed to libraries which provide only a fixed list of grouping fields.

    It also appears that subfolders within libraries do not remember their view settings - these settings appear to affect the entire library at all times.

    I still think this is all a step backwards. Not to mention they still haven't fixed the "calculating"/slow file transfer issue, which now also plagues file moves and deletes, or done anything to improve basic and important file management trasks like viewing folder/sub-tree file sizes or a proper bulk-rename feature and support for long filenames is getting worse instead of better.

    I like Windows 7 but I'm very disappointed in the development direction Explorer has taken, with an emphasis on simplicity over power and efficiency.
    Tuesday, June 2, 2009 3:21 PM

All replies

  • Hi Magritte:

    I found a solution to your problem that I hope meets your standards.

    Holding CTRL while scrolling the mousewheel up and down will change the current view type. I've tested this in Windows Explorer and in the Save As... dialog for Microsoft Excel 2007.

    Let me know if this works for you,
    Nick
    Monday, May 25, 2009 5:44 PM
  • Hi Magritte:

    I found a solution to your problem that I hope meets your standards.

    Holding CTRL while scrolling the mousewheel up and down will change the current view type. I've tested this in Windows Explorer and in the Save As... dialog for Microsoft Excel 2007.

    Let me know if this works for you,
    Nick

    Yes it works in a way, but on my computer it also ends up zooming.  Probably because the mouse is set to do so.
    Guppy7
    Monday, May 25, 2009 6:39 PM
  • Yes, this works and I'm aware of it. However, it's not really what I'm looking for. For one, I never remember which way I have to scroll to go from details to list and vice versa and on some mice you have to be very careful on the scroll wheel to keep form going more than one click. Ideally there should be a keyboard shortcut that will take you to a specific view.

    I'd also like a keyboard shortcut which would set up sort and grouping settings or at least a consistent defined way of doing this from the keyboard so that I could script my own shortcuts.

    Unless Microsoft changes something between now and RTM, which I think is highly unlikely, I guess I'll just have to live with it or get more creative with some scripting solutions. It's a shame since Vista had such an elegant solution to many of the organization tasks with the column headers always present.

    I wonder if there's a COM interface to Explorer and dialog boxes so that you could script directly using that. But that's getting more complicated than I'd prefer...

    Thanks.
    Monday, May 25, 2009 7:14 PM
  • The column headers in the details view are not adequate?

    -Nick
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 2:36 AM
  • The column headers in the details view are not adequate?

    -Nick
    If I were upgrading straight from XP they would be as this is essentially a reversion to the old XP behaviour of Explorer. However, having gotten used to the extra functionality of having the headers available in all views in Vista having that taken away for no apart reason really smarts and means having to get used to a less effient way of doing things again.

    Even in details view the column headers have lost functionality (in Vista they provided grouping options and stacking (which has been completely removed) from the drop down). In some ways the views have improved, especially in the way grouping is now handled especially in list view. But to complicate matters more, the grouping menu seems to be missing when browsing library subfolders. So with no grouping or stacking options in libraries it comes down to having to use the filter option in order to accomplish certain things. Now if you want to use the filter option in any view other than details, you can't, because there isn't even a filter submenu in the view menu (and there are no sorting or grouping options in the taskbar so if you have the menus hidden (as is the default) you may never now these options exist outside the details view).

    In any case, if you want to look at different filtered views, say in a thumbnail view for photos, I have to continually go to details view, change the filters, then back to the thumbnail view. This is why at least having some decent keyboard shortcuts would make things go faster. Then if you go do something else and forget you've filtered your view, and you happen to be in any view other than details, there's no visual indication anywhere that you've filtered your view. Similarly, if you chagned the sorting, there's no visual indication (other than the sorted order, obviously) that you've done so. So the posibility of this leading to confusion is larger than it should be.

    To be fair, most of the time the behaviour is adequate, but since having started to use Windows 7, I've already had many instances where organizing my views has been cumbersome. It just really adds to the irritation in that Vista had such a more elegant solution and I can't see any reason why they would rip it out except that it might confuse some new XP converts. But then it could always be a selectable option that is unchecked by default, so I still don't get it.


    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 6:40 AM
  • You are in a mindset from the old view paradigm. Create a new Library folder of those files, set the view. If you want a different view, create a new Library to set them the new way. The entry for a library list is no more resource consuming than a view or sort setting.
    Rating posts helps other users
    Mark L. Ferguson MS-MVP
    Tuesday, June 2, 2009 2:58 PM
  • You are in a mindset from the old view paradigm. Create a new Library folder of those files, set the view. If you want a different view, create a new Library to set them the new way. The entry for a library list is no more resource consuming than a view or sort setting.
    Rating posts helps other users
    Mark L. Ferguson MS-MVP

    I think it's absurd to have to set up a library for each view you want, especially if it's something that might be a one-off need. The fact is that the column header feature of Vista was added for a reason: it made it very easy and efficient to change and manage folder organization, largely borrowing the auto filtering ideas from Excel. That may be why they seemed so intuitive to me since I use Excel extensively. Unlike a lot of UI choices which are purely aesthetic or for the purpose of change for change's sake, this one actually made a lot of sense and provided a lot of power even if there might be a slight learning curve. That's the right kind of UI chagne.

    Now Microsoft decided to remove those features for no apparant reason. I'm guessing some users found it confusing to have column headers in the non-details view, but I think if people are clever enough to figure out the new Windows 7 taskbar they can figure that out too. In any case, it would have caused no harm to simply leave it in and disabled by default, with an option for power users to turn it back on in the folder view settings. I dislike this new approach of forcing everyone to use the lowest common demonitor with no options for customization.

    As for libraries, they make sense for often used tasks as a sort of saved search type folder, but are no substitute for quick on-the fly view changes, for which the loss of Vista's feature with no adequate replacement in the UI. Furthermore, the view and sort options for library folders is actually more limited than that for regular folders, for which, for instance, you can group according to any arbitrary metadata field, as opposed to libraries which provide only a fixed list of grouping fields.

    It also appears that subfolders within libraries do not remember their view settings - these settings appear to affect the entire library at all times.

    I still think this is all a step backwards. Not to mention they still haven't fixed the "calculating"/slow file transfer issue, which now also plagues file moves and deletes, or done anything to improve basic and important file management trasks like viewing folder/sub-tree file sizes or a proper bulk-rename feature and support for long filenames is getting worse instead of better.

    I like Windows 7 but I'm very disappointed in the development direction Explorer has taken, with an emphasis on simplicity over power and efficiency.
    Tuesday, June 2, 2009 3:21 PM
  • You are in a mindset from the old view paradigm. Create a new Library folder of those files, set the view. If you want a different view, create a new Library to set them the new way. The entry for a library list is no more resource consuming than a view or sort setting.
    Rating posts helps other users
    Mark L. Ferguson MS-MVP

    I think it's absurd to have to set up a library for each view you want, especially if it's something that might be a one-off need. The fact is that the column header feature of Vista was added for a reason: it made it very easy and efficient to change and manage folder organization, largely borrowing the auto filtering ideas from Excel. That may be why they seemed so intuitive to me since I use Excel extensively. Unlike a lot of UI choices which are purely aesthetic or for the purpose of change for change's sake, this one actually made a lot of sense and provided a lot of power even if there might be a slight learning curve. That's the right kind of UI chagne.

    Now Microsoft decided to remove those features for no apparant reason. I'm guessing some users found it confusing to have column headers in the non-details view, but I think if people are clever enough to figure out the new Windows 7 taskbar they can figure that out too. In any case, it would have caused no harm to simply leave it in and disabled by default, with an option for power users to turn it back on in the folder view settings. I dislike this new approach of forcing everyone to use the lowest common demonitor with no options for customization.

    As for libraries, they make sense for often used tasks as a sort of saved search type folder, but are no substitute for quick on-the fly view changes, for which the loss of Vista's feature with no adequate replacement in the UI. Furthermore, the view and sort options for library folders is actually more limited than that for regular folders, for which, for instance, you can group according to any arbitrary metadata field, as opposed to libraries which provide only a fixed list of grouping fields.

    It also appears that subfolders within libraries do not remember their view settings - these settings appear to affect the entire library at all times.

    I still think this is all a step backwards. Not to mention they still haven't fixed the "calculating"/slow file transfer issue, which now also plagues file moves and deletes, or done anything to improve basic and important file management trasks like viewing folder/sub-tree file sizes or a proper bulk-rename feature and support for long filenames is getting worse instead of better.

    I like Windows 7 but I'm very disappointed in the development direction Explorer has taken, with an emphasis on simplicity over power and efficiency.

    I agree. Libraries are made for people not really knowing what they are doing - kind of "all images in image library" and "all videos in video library".
    People knowing what they are doing are saving files where they want to save them and want to go easily back to that place to fetch things again. And with help of the search features they can eventually retrieve where they placed it if they "forgot...".
    But most of all:  When double clicking a folder don't move it to the bottom of the window, but to the top!!!! This is absolutely crazy and irritating 100 times pr day if you use Explorer in the way I do it! I will be looking for a substitute to W7 Explorer if this is not solved.  Explorer is a BASIC feature of an operating system and MUST work easily or at least be configurable to suit each user type. This is not the case today.
    Best regards, cheers & have a nice week.
    Frank = Guppy7
    Sunday, June 7, 2009 9:53 PM