Windows 7 All-in-One For Dummies
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Windows 7 brings a powerful new feature to the table: libraries. Libraries are a way to pull related bits of information together from many different folders. You can pull together the documents in ten of the folders on your desktop plus the ones in your computer’s Public folder, on an external drive, and in the Public folder on another computer connected to your network and treat them all as though they were in the same folder.

You can customize the new Documents library in Windows 7 to locate your documents wherever you happen to keep them. Microsoft looks for documents in the Documents folder and on the Desktop. If you don’t keep all of your documents in those two places, you’ll need to let Windows know so that it includes all your documents in your Documents library:

  1. Choose Start→Documents to bring up the Documents library.

  2. In the upper-right corner, click the box that says Includes: 2 Library Locations.


    Windows 7 invites you to change where the library looks for its contents.

  3. Click the Add button and then navigate to a folder that you want to include in the library.

    Add any folder — even folders on your network — to the library.
    Add any folder — even folders on your network — to the library.

    For example, you might have a Documents folder on your D: drive that you want included.

  4. Select the folder you want to add to the library and click Include Folder.

    Back in the Library Locations dialog box, you see that the new folder has been added.

  5. Click OK to go back to the library.

    The Documents library now includes all the items in the new folder.

Another way to add a file or folder to a library is to simply drag and drop it. Just select the files or folders you want and then drag it to the library in the Navigation pane and release it. Windows doesn’t change the actual file’s location, but you can now access it through your library.

Libraries work fabulously with homegroups. When you connect to a homegroup, you are automatically linked to the libraries on all the other computers in the homegroup, making it simple to share music, files, and videos.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Woody Leonhard describes himself as a "Windows victim." Since 1992, he's been sharing the solutions to his own tech problems with millions of readers. In addition to writing several books in the For Dummies series, Woody is a Contributing Editor for Windows Secrets newsletter. He also runs his own blog at

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