Monday, April 18, 2011

Graphically selecting files in Explorer

Here's a Windows 7 tip for all those who don't like using the Ctrl or Shift keys when selecting multiple files or directories, but prefer using the mouse.

When opening Explorer and selecting multiple files (typically used for copying to another disk or thumb drive) it's been accepted that to grab a bunch of consecutive files, you highlight the first one, then hold down the Shift key and highlight the last one, then drag and drop. To select individually, hold the Ctrl key down while clicking on each individual file.

But what if you're graphically oriented, love the mouse and abhor shortcuts, but still want the ability to select multiple files? Windows 7 has a feature that now allows you to do this.

Open Windows Explorer, then select Organize from the menu bar, then Folder and Search Options. Select the View tab, and in the Advanced settings window scroll down until you see "use check boxes to select items". Click in the checkbox next to it, then click the Apply button. Going forward, whenever you hover your mouse over a file or directory, a checkbox will now appear next to it, allowing selection of multiple files without having to remember those annoying shortcut keys!

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