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File folders

Aug 2, 2013 at 10:38 PM
Appreciate this software greatly. I've been searching for an in-house option that allows for handling of PDF metadata within explorer. This is working well! That said, is this software able to also handle metadata for file folders? I didn't see it listed in the file associations manager, but I may have missed it. I can't emphasize how helpful it would be to use metadata with the folders, as right now using the manual desktop.ini method is too time consuming for what I am doing.
Aug 3, 2013 at 11:37 AM
Thanks, I'm glad you're finding the software useful. I did look at metadata for folders when I wrote this, because I would like to have it too, but could not find a way to make it work.

The way File Meta works for files is to write data into an alternate stream alongside the default stream which contains the main contents of the file. This doesn't work for folders because there is no stream, all the information about the folder is held in the Master File Table that controls the allocation of disk space. I don't know of any way to store metadata properties there. This is also why folders do not show up in the Association Manager: they have no equivalent to a file extension.

I didn't know about the alternative Desktop.ini approach, so thank you very much for pointing me to something new! For the uninitiated, you can add something like the following to the Desktop.ini file in a folder:

[{F29F85E0-4FF9-1068-AB91-08002B27B3D9}]
Prop2=31,Title
Prop3=31,Subject
Prop4=31,Author
Prop5=31,Keywords(Tags)
Prop6=31,Comment

Then, if you add, say, a Subject column to the parent folder of the folder containing Desktop.ini, the folder will have "Subject" in that column. The GUID and the Prop numbers are just the same ones that show up in the XML obtained by exporting the metadata for a file.

Unfortunately, the properties do not show up in the Details Pane, and there is no equivalent of the Details tab in the Properties dialog for the folder, so there is no way to edit any of the property values using the standard Explorer UI. The only option that I can think of is to add a custom dialog launched from the right click menu on the folder to edit the properties.

This does give us a way to make it happen, but would it be usable enough to be worth it? Or are there any other possible approaches?
Aug 3, 2013 at 6:24 PM
I can only speak for myself, but I think it would be useful. It's a lot less time consuming than having to create a desktop.ini file for each and every folder, then open up the file and edit it one at a time. At least with some sort of GUI interface or a right-click option, you can quickly enter/edit the properties for each folder. It's not an ideal solution, but it's a better one than is given by Windows.

Nonetheless, I appreciate your explanation and ideas. Like I said, I'd been banging my head against the wall for a long time trying to incorporate PDFs into a library, but there was no way to do so within the context of explorer and that had rendered my library plans useless. Your software has given my library a new lease on life LOL

If you're able to figure out a way to incorporate folder properties, either in a separate GUI interface or something similar, count this as a vote in favor! Good luck and if you want to solicit any other opinions, I will gladly give my layman's two cents.
Aug 5, 2013 at 4:55 PM
Edited Aug 5, 2013 at 4:57 PM
There being at least one enthusiast, I've been thinking in more detail about how this could be done. It turns out that it would be almost completely technically disjoint from File Meta as it is now, so I think I would release it as a separate download. In fact, since it is about folders and not files at all, I think it is probably best as a separate project, say, Folder Meta.

I'm going to add it to my to-do list, but not at the top, because it doesn't have quite the same compelling ‘get a lot for a little’ characteristic that made me want to do File Meta. Of course, if other people chime in on this thread, then it will go up the list! In any case, if I do start on Folder Meta, I will post again on this thread to let everybody know.
Dec 31, 2013 at 5:10 AM
There is an app called Microangelo On Display has installs a shell extension to quickly add a folder infotip (using Desktop.ini). It handles UAC, permissions that need to be set on desktop.ini etc everything well. If File Meta (or Folder Meta) could only add a read-only property handler that reads a folder's infotip stored in desktop.ini, it will allow searching tagged folders.
Jan 25, 2014 at 9:44 PM
xpclient wrote:
There is an app called Microangelo On Display has installs a shell extension to quickly add a folder infotip (using Desktop.ini). It handles UAC, permissions that need to be set on desktop.ini etc everything well. If File Meta (or Folder Meta) could only add a read-only property handler that reads a folder's infotip stored in desktop.ini, it will allow searching tagged folders.
Thanks for the tip!

Looks like it's not freeware, though, so I'll have to decide if it's worth the cost of purchase. I might give the trial a shot and see how it goes.
Apr 30, 2014 at 2:43 PM
This is a little late, but I would like to chime in that having the ability to add metadata to folders would be wonderful! I'm the unofficial tech guy at my company, and almost every week someone asks me, "why can't I set a Client or a Year or something else to this folder?".
Oct 14, 2014 at 10:02 PM
Am I too late to add my vote?
Yes, I think folders tags can help anyone at managing folders better and quicker.

And, Dijji, do you have any page to make donations for your programs?
Oct 15, 2014 at 3:08 PM
It is never too late to vote. Well, at least not until I come up with an implementation. I have given it some more thought: it turns out that NTFS allows metadata to be attached to folders in just the same way as files, so that’s perfect. The main remaining stumbling block is trying to find a way to present the metadata in Explorer and allow it to be edited.

There is no donations page because I'm not looking for cash from my work; it's kind of you to think of me, though, and I do encourage the support of developers that need it.

Dijji
Jan 12, 2016 at 11:42 AM
Thanks for the software! It's very useful.
I have a comment of presenting metadata in Explorer. There is some software, for example this http://code.kliu.org/hashcheck/, which adds additional tabs to file or folder properties. This could be the way to deal with folder metadata.
Jan 12, 2016 at 5:54 PM
Thanks for the pointer, vitruss. I’ll check their code out and see what they do.

Dijji
Nov 23, 2016 at 8:19 PM
Dijji wrote:
I have given it some more thought: it turns out that NTFS allows metadata to be attached to folders in just the same way as files, so that’s perfect. The main remaining stumbling block is trying to find a way to present the metadata in Explorer and allow it to be edited.
any news on this?

cheers, Thomas
Dec 11, 2016 at 4:55 PM
Hello Dijji,

this seems to be similar in technology but a little different in functionality (no tags, but folder descriptions):
http://www.davemorenosoftware.com/dmfilenote/help.html
(tryware)

Ingo
Dec 15, 2016 at 5:48 PM
Hi Ingo

Yes, it is very similar! Thank you for pointing it out to me, I had no idea it existed. Reading the website, it looks like it is providing a property handler plus a context menu that allows you to open up an editor for the Contents property.

The only description of how to view the text, other than through the editor, is for files, when it talks about using the Details tab of Properties to see and edit the description for a file.

For a folder, it looks like the editor off the context menu is the only way. Would that work for you? It would be fairly trivial to add a similar editor to File Meta.

Dijji
Dec 21, 2016 at 10:16 PM
Hi Dijji,

yes it would be nice to have some possibility to 'tag' folders too.

Ingo
Feb 6 at 7:38 PM
The caveman workaround I've found helpful is to place an empty txt file inside of that folder with whatever meta tagged to that txt. From there I just jump to open file location.
Feb 16 at 7:41 PM
The ability to tag, comment, and categorize folders as well as the individual files within would be awesome.

I would definitely be interested in that. Especially if it functions as simply and as well as file meta does now.
May 2 at 10:04 AM
Edited May 2 at 3:08 PM
Hi,

I have just discovered File Meta and I find it really wonderful! Finally I can control what to see in the preview panel! Thanks a lot.

Nevertheless I wanted to show my interest here for folder support. I use it for photography management and, although I use Lightroom for cataloging and tagging, I need to have an arranged and working structure on disc. I group photos by folders, and each folder has a job number assigned. The name of folder is the date of the job, and I add the job number to a 'Project' tag of folder. This is super useful and quick for sorting, searching, etc! The desktop.ini (current solution) is really slow and really bothering when an explorer restart (sometimes) is needed to update the changed fields...(losing opened folders, and tray icons in the way).

So I wanted to add my vote here as it would be extremely helpful to be able to do that (of course, if it could be like File Meta does for files it would be perfect, but the other solutions commented here would be also a big help).

Have you thought/worked more on a folder support/solution? Do you still consider it? Tx!