Libraries or Saved Searches?  

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Ian W

Do you use the Libraries feature introduced in Windows 7 and / or the Saved Search (otherwise known as Virtual Folder) feature introduced in Windows Vista? If so, do you have a preference for either feature?


While I like both features I, as you probably expected, prefer the Saved Search feature. Both Libraries and Saved Searches consolidate content from multiple locations in a single view, and both allow users to customize their viewing experience based on the content displayed. Libraries, however, only allow users to display content based on folder locations (e.g., they cannot reference content based solely on dates, file attributes, et cetera), and users must manually add folders to a library before their content will appear.

In contrast, Saved Searches can reference multiple locations simultaneously—or an individual folder(s) if that is what a user desires—based on a user's criteria such as specific names, dates, metadata, types, and words or phrases within files themselves. Also unlike Libraries, users can refine their Saved Search results with Boolean operators, natural language search (in Windows Vista and Windows 7), query composition, and / or the options offered by the column headers in File Explorer.

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Vince800

I've used Libraries near enough since they were introduced. I have different folders for similar items & I have also turned on Indexing so I can add network shares as libraries, really useful feature. The fact that it's been hidden by default since Windows 8.1 has had me thinking that they might have removed it but they don't seem to have touched it yet, even as far as giving it new icons in 10 so that's something. I guess you could achieve the same using NTFS junction points but it's not as user friendly & I doubt it works with network shares.

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Reverse Engineer

i tried to vote, but couldn't.

 

1. Do you use Libraries or Saved Searches?  i don't use either.

 

2. Which do you prefer?  there's no option that i can choose, as i don't use either, so i can't possibly have a preference.

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Ian W
1 hour ago, Vince800 said:

I've used Libraries near enough since they were introduced. I have different folders for similar items & I have also turned on Indexing so I can add network shares as libraries, really useful feature. The fact that it's been hidden by default since Windows 8.1 has had me thinking that they might have removed it but they don't seem to have touched it yet, even as far as giving it new icons in 10 so that's something. I guess you could achieve the same using NTFS junction points but it's not as user friendly & I doubt it works with network shares.

Windows 8 did introduce the ability to change the icon of a library from within the UI.

1 hour ago, Reverse Engineer said:

i tried to vote, but couldn't.

 

1. Do you use Libraries or Saved Searches?  i don't use either.

 

2. Which do you prefer?  there's no option that i can choose, as i don't use either, so i can't possibly have a preference.

My apologies. This has been fixed.

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zhangm

I currently stick with libraries.

 

Saved searches is an interesting feature. I'll try them out more extensively.

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Ian W
On Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at 4:38 PM, zhangm said:

I currently stick with libraries.

 

Saved searches is an interesting feature. I'll try them out more extensively.

Please share your experience after you do. It is very useful, but many users are not aware of its existence and / or do not appreciate it.

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  • 4 weeks later...
LimeMaster

Lazily taken from a post I made on Ian's status. Still applies to this thread though, which is why I'm posting it here:

Quote

Used to use Libraries, but after Windows Updates constantly restoring ones I never used, I pinned everything to Quick Access instead. While it functions quite differently, it doesn't seem to get messed with. 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
zhangm

I think Saved Searches would have been useful for me if Microsoft had continued developing it seriously. I think it offers a pretty flexible way of selecting files and offers more options for specificity than we see in the current implementation of Libraries. What breaks this feature for me is that I need any "virtual" directory or folder to work everywhere - not just in the file browser and some Win32 programs. I don't want to try opening a file in a saved search and see that the program that I'm using can't view the saved search as a directory.

 

I see that Saved Searches don't seem to be supported by at least several of the built-in apps, e.g. they are seen as an invalid file rather than displayed as a directory. I'd like to see the specificity in this feature bundled into libraries as advanced options, since there are cases where it is useful to collect files by some attribute other than what their parent directory is.

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Noir Angel

Libraries, yes. Saved searches, no.

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MS Bob 10

Use Libraries since Classic Shell can show them as an expanding menu. Saved searches are powerful but unfortunately open in Explorer, so not so fast access to files.

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Mando

i use neither, im so oldschool and have all data of the same types in the same storage location where possible :) (all on nas tbh) 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Ian W
On Wednesday, March 02, 2016 at 0:49 PM, zhangm said:

I think Saved Searches would have been useful for me if Microsoft had continued developing it seriously. I think it offers a pretty flexible way of selecting files and offers more options for specificity than we see in the current implementation of Libraries.

Your comment is a few weeks old, but I wanted to respond.

I realize that you were referring to other desired features when you made the quoted comment, but I also wish that Microsoft would have included the rich functionality as described in this topic.

On Wednesday, March 02, 2016 at 0:49 PM, zhangm said:

What breaks this feature for me is that I need any "virtual" directory or folder to work everywhere - not just in the file browser and some Win32 programs. I don't want to try opening a file in a saved search and see that the program that I'm using can't view the saved search as a directory.
 

I see that Saved Searches don't seem to be supported by at least several of the built-in apps, e.g. they are seen as an invalid file rather than displayed as a directory. I'd like to see the specificity in this feature bundled into libraries as advanced options, since there are cases where it is useful to collect files by some attribute other than what their parent directory is.

That is really unfortunate. If you do not mind me asking, would you be willing to share the name of a program(s) that does not work with the virtual directories?


Thank you for taking the time to respond to this topic.

 

 

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