Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Managing files in libraries and/or folders can be done in a number of different ways. I explore a few.

Is it possible (or practical?) to have one file appear in two different libraries at the same time? I think I managed to do this once, but it was a pain in the butt. It appeared to me that this would be a useful feature. Say you are a lawyer and you have a Doe v. Doe case. Make all the relevant files accessible from one place without actually moving the files, or making those files any less accessible for any other purpose.

In this excerpt from Answercast #36, I look at several ways to manage files in a computer's directory structure.

Managing libraries

There are two or three different approaches to this particular problem.

  • One is if you wanted to use libraries – you could create your own library that included those folders in which these files reside.

So, for example, if you had a folder called Jane and a folder called John (those being two separate folders on your machine that contained all the documents relevant to Jane and John Doe), you could create a Doe library that would reference both of those folders.

In that library would appear all of the files that are present in either of those John or Jane folders.


Another approach is to simply create shortcuts.

In other words, you can create your own folder (we'll ignore libraries now completely):

  • You could create your own folder – call it Doe.

  • And in that, create shortcuts to all of the relevant documents that are in the other folders.

So rather than the Doe folder containing the Jane document, it would contain a link, or a shortcut, to the Jane document in its actual Jane folder.

End of Answercast #36 Back to – Audio Segment

Article C5605 - July 19, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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1 Comment
Glenn P.
July 24, 2012 12:42 PM

Any time you use Libraries (or Windows search!), you should always  make sure to enable any "folder path" column option available to you, so that you can see exactly where each file listed actually resides on the disk, even if they have the same filename. The problem with "Libraries" is very similar to a conventional "Windows search" -- you might find yourself looking at a list of duplicate files (including duplicate filenames!) located in more than one folder; but with a "folder path" column active, you'll know exactly which file is which.

The problem is, I'm not familiar with Windows 7, and have no idea  whether a "folder path" column feature even exists  within Libraries...!

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