This article describes how to arrange the way that files are grouped when you view them in folders.
Viewing Files and Folders Overview
Windows provides several new ways for you to arrange and identify your files when you view them in Windows XP special folders, such as the My Music, My Pictures, or My Videos folders. When a folder is open, you can use any of the viewing options (located on the View menu) that are described in this section.
NOTE: The arrangement options in each folder vary with the type of folder that you open. For example, the Filmstrip view is only available in folders containing pictures.
Show in Groups
When you use the Show in Groups option, you can group your files by any detail of the file, such as name, size, type, or date modified. For example, if you group by file type, image files are displayed in one group, Microsoft Word files are displayed in another group, and Excel files in another. Show in Groups is available in the Thumbnails, Tiles, Icons, and Details views. To show your files in groups, on the View menu, point to Arrange Icons by, and then click Show in Groups.
Thumbnails view displays the images a folder contains on a folder icon so that you can quickly identify the contents of the folder. For example, if you store pictures in several different folders, in Thumbnails view, you can tell at a glance which folder contains the pictures you want.
Windows displays up to four images on a folder background by default. You can also choose one picture to identify a folder in Thumbnails view. The complete folder name is displayed under the thumbnail.
Tiles view displays your files and folders as icons. The icons are larger than those in Icon view, and the type of information that you select is displayed under the file or folder name. For example, if you sort your files by type, Microsoft Word document is displayed under the file name for a Microsoft Word document.
Filmstrip view is available in picture folders. Your pictures are displayed in a single row of thumbnail images. You can scroll through your pictures using the left and right arrow buttons. If you click a picture, it is displayed as a larger image above the other pictures. To edit, print, or save the image to another folder, double-click the picture.
Icons view displays your files and folders as icons. The file name is displayed under the icon; however, sort information is not displayed. In this view you can display your files and folders in groups.
List view displays the contents of a folder as a list of file or folder names preceded by small icons. This view is useful if your folder contains many files and you want to scan the list for a file name. You can sort your files and folders in this view; however, you cannot display your files in groups.
In Details view, Windows lists the contents of the open folder and provides detailed information about your files, including name, type, size, and date modified. In Details view you can also show your files in groups.
To choose the details that you want to display, click Choose Details on the View menu.
Group Files by Using Folder Views
To group files using folder views, follow these steps:
Double-click the folder that you want to configure folder views for, for example, My Documents, My Music, or My Pictures.
On the View menu, point to Arrange Icons by, and then click the command that you want to use, for example, Type.
On the View menu, point to Arrange Icons by, and then click Show in Groups.
The files in the folder are grouped by the view that you selected in step two. For example:
When you arrange icons by Name, the files are grouped alphabetically. The header over each group contains the first letter of the file names contained in that group.
When you arrange icons by Size, the files are displayed in groups of files that are about the same size. The header over each group contains the general size of the files in that group, for example, Tiny, Small, Medium.
When you arrange icons by Type, the files are grouped by type. Headers are displayed over each group that describe the type of file in that group.
When you arrange icons by Artist, music files are grouped under artist headings. Files that do not have an artist are grouped under the heading of Unspecified.
When you arrange icons by Album Title, music files are grouped under headings that specify the title of the album containing each file. Files that do not have an album title are grouped under the heading of Unspecified.
When you arrange icons by Year, music files are grouped by year. Files that do not have year information are grouped under the heading of Unspecified.
When you arrange icons by Track Number, music files are arranged by the music track on which they are displayed. Files that do not have a track number are grouped under the heading of Unspecified.
When you arrange icons by Duration, media files are grouped by their length of play. Files that do not have any duration are grouped under the heading of Unspecified.
When you arrange icons by Modified, picture files are grouped according to their most recent modifications. The header over each group describes the general time that the last modification was made, for example, Today, Last month, or Two months ago.
When you arrange icons by Picture Taken On, picture files are grouped according to their date stamp. Picture files that do not have a date are grouped under the heading of Unspecified.
When you arrange icons by Dimensions, picture files are grouped according to their resolution. The header over each group describes the resolution of the pictures in that group, for example, 320 x 240, 600 x 800, or 800 x 600.