An easier way to select multiple files

August 8, 2007

Vista offers a greatly simplified way to select multiple files.

 In older versions of Windows, if you had to select multiple files, but not all files, in a folder, you would typically do this: hold down the control-key (CTL) while clicking the various files with your mouse. You would eventually be done with selecting the multiple files. But, if you forgot to hold down the CTL key or just got tired, then one wrong click after that and you would lose your entire selection so far. That was so frustrating. Thankfully, that was so non-Vista.

Vista now offers a great way to select multiple files. Here’s what you do:

  • Open an Explorer window: You can typically do this by clicking on the Windows key followed by clicking on Documents in the main menu.

  • Now click “Organize” followed by “Folders and Search Options”

  • Click the “View” tab

  • In the “Advanced Settings” box, drag the slider all the way to the bottom

  • Somewhere amongst the last few you should see the checkbox for “Use check boxes to select items”

  • Click to check that box for “Use check boxes to select items”

  • Also click the “Apply to Folders” button in the same tab and click “Yes” when asked that question

Now you are ready to rock-n-roll! No more using CTL to select multiple files. Just hover your mouse over a folder item and a small check-box appears just above the item – check that box to select the item or uncheck that box to deselect an already selected item! Tada! Your life has just been simplified.

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