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ITsVISTA Tip 15: Vista’s 267 File and Folder Detail Columns

TipsOur previous tip showed how to add a checkbox next to all of your files. Today’s tip allows you to add much, much more. When you view your files by ‘Details’ in Explorer, Vista has default columns of information that it shows, depending on the folder you are looking at. When I open my Documents folder, I see Name, Date modified, Type, Size, and Tags. My Pictures folder has Ratings instead of Type, and Date taken instead of Date modified. You’ll find differences in many of the other folders you open as well, as Vista tries to show you information related to the type of content you have in a folder. But what if Vista isn’t showing you what you want to see?

Windows XP had 38 different column details options that you could select from for any folder you choose. Windows Vista of course allows you to do this as well, displaying the columns of your choice in any folder. They’ve added a few that XP didn’t have though, bringing the total number of Details columns to 267. 267!

Many of these are for pictures, others for music, some for movie files, and a few for captured television shows. There are a number that appear to be related to contact lists, like you might find in Exchange. I’m guessing this ties into the ability not only to search files, but to search e-mail as well, in which case you might want to see the details of your e-mail in the search window.

Seeing and selecting from all of these options is easy:

  1. In any explorer window you’ll see column headings at the top of the window showing your files.
    Column Headings
  2. Right-click anywhere in that column heading area and a menu will open with a few of the options available. If you’re in any window other than the Computer window (for instance open the C: drive) a More… option will be available at the bottom of the menu.
  3. Choose More… and you will get the list of 267 options to choose from by checking the box in front of the option.
    Check the box

You’ll want to be in Details view to be able to see this extra information, so if you’re not already, just click on the Views button towards the top of the window and select Details.
View by Details

Why would you want to show any of this information? One of the most useful reasons for me is so I can sort my files by that column of information just by clicking on the column title I want to sort by (click again to reverse the sort order). You can sort your files by date modified, or by file size, even by rating, bitrate, or picture size.

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