moderated Tips for File Explorer


Van Lant, Robin
 

I tend to stay in the listview for much of my navigation at home, where my file structure is pretty straight forward and I’m usually working in Documents. Here at work, were we have various network folders, One Drive, and the  like, I do use the tree view more often.  Because some of  our network drives are multiple levels and I am accessing a folder deep in the structure, I will often add the folder I need to the Quick Access section, which is at the top of the tree view. Then again, my favorite approach is to save a shortcut to frequently accessed folders onto my desktop. If I name them well, first letter navigation on the desktop helps me jump to folders quickly.  In this case, tree view is typically more efficient. If I don’t open file explorer from a shortcut on my desktop, I use Windows E, then Shift Tab once to the Tree view. Where the tree view becomes critical is when I’m doing a save as or creating a new document and need to navigate to the correct folder,  Also seems like I need to check the full file path in the Save As dialog more frequently lately, as I’ve been inadvertently saving things in the wrong place lately, assuming the save as dialog is defaulting to one place, when it’s actually putting my file in another.  All user error and the treatment is slowing myself down to double check the folder. 

 

It does seem like the File Explore window is more complicated than it needs to be for those of us tabbing through it. I’d love to simplify the view.  Some of the button options are useful for the sighted, but not useful for me. I also struggle when I accidentally open a setting that rattles one with the alphabet somehow. Not sure how to describe it, but guessing is a way of sorting the listview.

 

 

 

 

 

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of JM Casey
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2021 10:32 AM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Tips for File Explorer

 

WARNING: This email originated externally. Exercise caution. Think before clicking links or opening attachments.

 

I don’t’ really understand the first question either. Are you having trouble selecting files?

 

My favourite explorer thing, which I genuinely am baffled more people don’t do instead of navigating through a familiar folder structure, is to open a window to a folder by hitting windows key + r for “run”, and typing in the path.

For special folders in your user directory, you don’t even need thf ull path

For example, just hit windows + r and type “downloads”, and there you go.

 

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mark
Sent: June 23, 2021 11:25 AM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Tips for File Explorer

 

I'm struggling a bit with File Explorer and wonder if folks had some observations or advice about using it? For example, in terms of the task of navigating the file system, perhaps it's easiest to stay in the multi-select item view and use alt + up and enter to go up or down the folder structure.

Another example, is does anyone have advice for learning the file path to the current location? I do alt + d which moves the focus to an edit combo with the file path. But I have trouble getting to itself. I'm not sure if there's a better way and I'm missing something.



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JM Casey
 

Yeah, there are a series of buttons that you reach just by hitting tab from the list view that change the sort order. You’re probably inadvertently pressing one of those. If you press the same button again, you’ll get the reverse sort order. The one you are landing on is probably “name”, and so this will place stuff at the end of the alphabet at the top of the list. Pressing that button again will get you back to the standard alphabetical order with numbers up top, followed by a, etc.

 

I seldom tab around in file explorer unless I’m trying to set something.

But for network drives, yeah,t eh structure can certainly be more complicated and different methods may work better. I know there’s no way I could remember the system at work so my usualy method on my own computer of typing in pathnames is not a lot of good.

 

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Van Lant, Robin via groups.io
Sent: June 23, 2021 06:39 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Tips for File Explorer

 

I tend to stay in the listview for much of my navigation at home, where my file structure is pretty straight forward and I’m usually working in Documents. Here at work, were we have various network folders, One Drive, and the  like, I do use the tree view more often.  Because some of  our network drives are multiple levels and I am accessing a folder deep in the structure, I will often add the folder I need to the Quick Access section, which is at the top of the tree view. Then again, my favorite approach is to save a shortcut to frequently accessed folders onto my desktop. If I name them well, first letter navigation on the desktop helps me jump to folders quickly.  In this case, tree view is typically more efficient. If I don’t open file explorer from a shortcut on my desktop, I use Windows E, then Shift Tab once to the Tree view. Where the tree view becomes critical is when I’m doing a save as or creating a new document and need to navigate to the correct folder,  Also seems like I need to check the full file path in the Save As dialog more frequently lately, as I’ve been inadvertently saving things in the wrong place lately, assuming the save as dialog is defaulting to one place, when it’s actually putting my file in another.  All user error and the treatment is slowing myself down to double check the folder. 

 

It does seem like the File Explore window is more complicated than it needs to be for those of us tabbing through it. I’d love to simplify the view.  Some of the button options are useful for the sighted, but not useful for me. I also struggle when I accidentally open a setting that rattles one with the alphabet somehow. Not sure how to describe it, but guessing is a way of sorting the listview.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of JM Casey
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2021 10:32 AM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Tips for File Explorer

 

WARNING: This email originated externally. Exercise caution. Think before clicking links or opening attachments.

 

I don’t’ really understand the first question either. Are you having trouble selecting files?

 

My favourite explorer thing, which I genuinely am baffled more people don’t do instead of navigating through a familiar folder structure, is to open a window to a folder by hitting windows key + r for “run”, and typing in the path.

For special folders in your user directory, you don’t even need thf ull path

For example, just hit windows + r and type “downloads”, and there you go.

 

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mark
Sent: June 23, 2021 11:25 AM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Tips for File Explorer

 

I'm struggling a bit with File Explorer and wonder if folks had some observations or advice about using it? For example, in terms of the task of navigating the file system, perhaps it's easiest to stay in the multi-select item view and use alt + up and enter to go up or down the folder structure.

Another example, is does anyone have advice for learning the file path to the current location? I do alt + d which moves the focus to an edit combo with the file path. But I have trouble getting to itself. I'm not sure if there's a better way and I'm missing something.



KeyCorp Public

This communication may contain privileged and/or confidential information. It is intended solely for the use of the addressee. No confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost as a result of any transmission errors. If you are not the intended recipient, you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing or using any of this information. If you have received this communication in error, please contact the sender immediately and destroy the material in its entirety, whether electronic or hard copy.

This communication is for informational purposes only, is not an offer, solicitation, recommendation or commitment for any transaction or to buy or sell any security or other financial product, and is not intended as investment advice or as a confirmation of any transaction. Any market price, indicative value, estimate, view, opinion, data or other information herein is not warranted as to completeness or accuracy, is subject to change without notice, and KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. accepts no liability for its use or to update or keep it current. Any views or opinions are those of the individual sender, not necessarily of KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc.

The sender of this communication is a licensed securities representative employed by or associated with KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC and may also represent KeyBank National Association (“KeyBank N.A.”). Securities products and services are offered by KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. Banking products and services are offered by KeyBank N.A.

127 Public Square, Cleveland, OH 44114

If you prefer not to receive future e-mail offers for products or services from Key send an e-mail to DNERequests@... with 'No Promotional E-mails' in the SUBJECT line.


 

I’ll add to what Brian said. You might consider opening a File Explorer window, pressing alt + f and arrowing down to Change folder and search options, and pressing enter to open those. This will open a Folder options dialog box that has three tabs: General, View, and Search. Under the View tab, there is an Advanced section and one of the options in it is a checkbox to Display the full path in the title bar. When this is checked on, pressing Insert + t will announce the full path of any file with focus while in File Explorer.

 

 Alan Lemly

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2021 10:37 AM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Tips for File Explorer

 

I'm not quite sure what you're getting at with your first question.

As far as getting the full path for any selected file or files, ALT+H,CP, will copy the full path to the file(s) to the clipboard for pasting wherever you might need it.  If you have multiple files selected, the paths, when pasted, will be one to a line.
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

           ~ André Gide


Mark
 

i didn't realize the question would prompt a big discussion. It will take time to go through it.  To clarify my first question, the task I'm trying to get faster at is moving around the folder hierarchy.  This involves moving the focus to the parent, child, or sibling folders, and assessing where in the file system you are.   File explorer has a tree view and a multi select item view, both of which can support those movements with arrow and shortcut keys.  They have some differences though.  I'm not sure where I should invest my energy when practicing and was hoping for advice of what works for others.


Van Lant, Robin
 

Mark,

I work in the listview if I’m only going in and out of one or two levels, Beyond that, I find the Tree view a better way to actually understand file structure and make faster leaps across primary folders. If you pay attention, you’ll hear JAWS say Level 1 or level 2 and whether the tree branch is expanded, I like to leave things collapsed, only expanding the folder I need to dig into or hitting enter on a branch, then tabbing over to the listview to delve further.  The downside to tree view may be that you don’t see files, just folder, but the same works as a real advantage when just getting to know a new folder.  My manager keeps so many copies of various files.  To understand her folder system, I might use tree view so I’m only arrowing through folder names.

 

 

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mark
Sent: Thursday, June 24, 2021 5:24 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Tips for File Explorer

 

WARNING: This email originated externally. Exercise caution. Think before clicking links or opening attachments.

 

i didn't realize the question would prompt a big discussion. It will take time to go through it.  To clarify my first question, the task I'm trying to get faster at is moving around the folder hierarchy.  This involves moving the focus to the parent, child, or sibling folders, and assessing where in the file system you are.   File explorer has a tree view and a multi select item view, both of which can support those movements with arrow and shortcut keys.  They have some differences though.  I'm not sure where I should invest my energy when practicing and was hoping for advice of what works for others.



KeyCorp Public

This communication may contain privileged and/or confidential information. It is intended solely for the use of the addressee. No confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost as a result of any transmission errors. If you are not the intended recipient, you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing or using any of this information. If you have received this communication in error, please contact the sender immediately and destroy the material in its entirety, whether electronic or hard copy.

This communication is for informational purposes only, is not an offer, solicitation, recommendation or commitment for any transaction or to buy or sell any security or other financial product, and is not intended as investment advice or as a confirmation of any transaction. Any market price, indicative value, estimate, view, opinion, data or other information herein is not warranted as to completeness or accuracy, is subject to change without notice, and KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. accepts no liability for its use or to update or keep it current. Any views or opinions are those of the individual sender, not necessarily of KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc.

The sender of this communication is a licensed securities representative employed by or associated with KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC and may also represent KeyBank National Association (“KeyBank N.A.”). Securities products and services are offered by KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. Banking products and services are offered by KeyBank N.A.

127 Public Square, Cleveland, OH 44114

If you prefer not to receive future e-mail offers for products or services from Key send an e-mail to DNERequests@... with 'No Promotional E-mails' in the SUBJECT line.


Mark
 

Thanks Robin for the helpful description.   Do you have a technique to locate where you are in the file system?  There are two techniques that have come up in this thread. First, Alt + D to the path box, then copy the path to the clipboard, open the clipboard, Insert + space, then C, and then review the path word by word. The upside is the ability to review path name word by word. But the downside is focus is moved and it's several steps. Second, technique was suggested by Alan suggests where we change a setting so the window title is the path name, available to us with one keypress, JAWS + T.  This keeps the focus location, but long paths get truncated in the title. 


JM Casey
 

You can also check file path in file properties (alt-enter). However, long pathnames will also be runcated here.

Don’t forget the copy as path option in the context menu that was brought up back in the thread.

 

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mark
Sent: June 25, 2021 06:09 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Tips for File Explorer

 

Thanks Robin for the helpful description.   Do you have a technique to locate where you are in the file system?  There are two techniques that have come up in this thread. First, Alt + D to the path box, then copy the path to the clipboard, open the clipboard, Insert + space, then C, and then review the path word by word. The upside is the ability to review path name word by word. But the downside is focus is moved and it's several steps. Second, technique was suggested by Alan suggests where we change a setting so the window title is the path name, available to us with one keypress, JAWS + T.  This keeps the focus location, but long paths get truncated in the title. 


Mark
 

Here's a technique for getting the file path from a file using the copy as a path technique JM mentioned.  If you want to know where a file is located in the file system, this technique will do it.  This is helpful when organizing folders and files

Go to the file or folder
Shift + f10 to bring up context menu
press a to select Copy as path
JAWS + space, then c to bring up the clipboard text viewer
then use navigation keys to step through the path name word by word.

File paths will start with a code for the external drive label, like the C:
Folders names are separated by a \

A variation of this technique is to copy the path using the virtual ribbons buttons, which have short cuts alt + h, then c then p

There is a way to verify the paths these techniques produce are correct, if having a verification technique helps your learning.   But I won't get into that here because in my opinion,  MicroSoft could make a more user friendly File explorer.


Van Lant, Robin
 

Mark,

I have used some of the approaches others have mentioned for copying the path name to the clipboard and reading there. You can read it in the address bar, but I think it only works letter by letter, not work by word.   To aid with your question on keeping focus in the address bar, you might try my preferred approach. After I go to the address bar with Alt D, I will hit insert up arrow to read the path name. If I need to inspect it further, I just open Jaws speech history with Insert spacebar then H and review it there. I just tested it again and was able to read work by word.  A simple press of Escape key exits that window and you are back where you were in the address bar.  If you really don’t want to even leave the list view, then you might follow those instructions to have the complete filename read off  in the title bar. Then, you can hit insert T to read the title bar and use JAWS history to inspect the path name in more detail, leaving your cursor focus where it was in the list view.

 

 

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mark
Sent: Friday, June 25, 2021 4:09 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Tips for File Explorer

 

WARNING: This email originated externally. Exercise caution. Think before clicking links or opening attachments.

 

Thanks Robin for the helpful description.   Do you have a technique to locate where you are in the file system?  There are two techniques that have come up in this thread. First, Alt + D to the path box, then copy the path to the clipboard, open the clipboard, Insert + space, then C, and then review the path word by word. The upside is the ability to review path name word by word. But the downside is focus is moved and it's several steps. Second, technique was suggested by Alan suggests where we change a setting so the window title is the path name, available to us with one keypress, JAWS + T.  This keeps the focus location, but long paths get truncated in the title. 



KeyCorp Public

This communication may contain privileged and/or confidential information. It is intended solely for the use of the addressee. No confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost as a result of any transmission errors. If you are not the intended recipient, you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing or using any of this information. If you have received this communication in error, please contact the sender immediately and destroy the material in its entirety, whether electronic or hard copy.

This communication is for informational purposes only, is not an offer, solicitation, recommendation or commitment for any transaction or to buy or sell any security or other financial product, and is not intended as investment advice or as a confirmation of any transaction. Any market price, indicative value, estimate, view, opinion, data or other information herein is not warranted as to completeness or accuracy, is subject to change without notice, and KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. accepts no liability for its use or to update or keep it current. Any views or opinions are those of the individual sender, not necessarily of KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc.

The sender of this communication is a licensed securities representative employed by or associated with KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC and may also represent KeyBank National Association (“KeyBank N.A.”). Securities products and services are offered by KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. Banking products and services are offered by KeyBank N.A.

127 Public Square, Cleveland, OH 44114

If you prefer not to receive future e-mail offers for products or services from Key send an e-mail to DNERequests@... with 'No Promotional E-mails' in the SUBJECT line.


Mark
 

Robin,

Your preferred method makes sense. I think referring to the speech history is the same number of steps as a Shift + F10 clipboard then A method. ALT + D also moves the keyboard focus, which I'm trying to avoid because I'll have to move it back.  The title bar technique has a limitation. It will truncate long file paths.

Each of these technique seems to have extra steps, require listening to a long path name, and may move the keyboard focus. My impression is they also require the user to complete a fundamental file management task (where am i in the file hierarchy) using a set of other tasks, like "move to path" and "bring up speech history."  From a usability pov, wouldn't the ideal be if one keystroke said the name of the parent folder of the item view, without moving the focus?  Two key strokes gets you the grandparent folder, and so on?


David Bailes
 

Hi Robin,
here's yet another way of finding where you are in the hierarchy. It does involve moving the focus, but only slightly. To use this method you'll want to enable the navigation pane option to expand to open folder. One way of doing this in on the View tab, there's navigation pane split button. Press it, and ensure that expand to open folder is checked.
Then, if you're in the items view, and you want to know your place in the hierarchy:
1. Press shift + Tab to the navigation pane. The selected item is the name of the current folder.
2. In a tree view, pressing backspace selects the parent folder, so by repeatedly pressing backspace you can find the parent, grand parent etc.
3. If you want to repeat this trip up the tree, pressing ctrl+shift+E selects the current folder again.
4. At any point you can return to the items view by pressing Tab.

David.

On Tue, Jun 29, 2021 at 04:19 AM, Mark wrote:

Robin,

Your preferred method makes sense. I think referring to the speech history is the same number of steps as a Shift + F10 clipboard then A method. ALT + D also moves the keyboard focus, which I'm trying to avoid because I'll have to move it back.  The title bar technique has a limitation. It will truncate long file paths.

Each of these technique seems to have extra steps, require listening to a long path name, and may move the keyboard focus. My impression is they also require the user to complete a fundamental file management task (where am i in the file hierarchy) using a set of other tasks, like "move to path" and "bring up speech history."  From a usability pov, wouldn't the ideal be if one keystroke said the name of the parent folder of the item view, without moving the focus?  Two key strokes gets you the grandparent folder, and so on?