Karl`s PC Help Forums

Is There An Alternative To Explorer That Can Create (Superimpose) A User Comment On A File Name?
JackInCT - 12-10-2017 at 17:36

The problem that I'm trying to solve is whether there is some way that I can add a comment to a file name in a method identical to what I can do with any Excel cell (which is put the mouse over the cell, etc.,). I'm hoping that there is some Explorer alternative that can do this. Plan B would be some utility that modifies Explorer to perform this function. The why/when I would want this capability is really not important.

After some Googling, I discovered a hitherto unknown (to me) way of doing this in Explorer in my Win 7 OS, and it is likely to work in previous Win OSs. But it's a bit complicated (somewhat inconvenient) to execute, and so before I post the method, I'll start off with the basics re what the posters on this board know, and hope that someone has solved this.

And NO, my Google hits did not turn up any gear to set up/use to do this (free or otherwise) except for the one that I mentioned above.


LSemmens - 13-10-2017 at 00:37

Are you looking at something like "Tag & Rename" for MP3 files. I'm guessing that you need something to modify the properties of a file.


JackInCT - 13-10-2017 at 01:45

Quote:
Originally posted by LSemmens
Are you looking at something like "Tag & Rename" for MP3 files....


No! I ran into a major time very time consuming problem re deleting a file when I used a file name that apparently exceeded 256 characters. The only reason that I wound up with such a very long file name was that there were similar reports that I had to distinguish from one another to include what the report was of (contents) and their origins & date (all pdf files). These were all in their own folder. My ad hoc long file naming system worked except in sense that when I opened the folder, and saw the list of files, I had to then widen the (view details) list to be able to read the file names as to what file was what re contents but even with a very long file name also somewhat "vague" what the report's contents (their 'official title' were. And I had to do this very quickly when I needed one (and memorizing them with some kind of shorthand lingo word structure for a file name is not my strong suit).

That's why I used the Excel cell example; you can create a comment that's basically a notation to yourself for future reference.

By the way, one alternative that I discarded was to merge ALL the pdf files into one file. Doing that for at least 25 reports (and growing) is like looking for a needle in a haystack even when you use Foxit's search function since any choice of search words will get multiple hits that you then have to check out one by one--ditto re using MS Word-same problem.


marymary100 - 13-10-2017 at 05:58

Simpler name with sort by date?


LSemmens - 13-10-2017 at 08:59

What about setting up a spreadsheet with links to the relevant file, which, if necessary could be in the old 8.3 file name system. The spreadsheet could then be used to store any detail that you like.


JackInCT - 13-10-2017 at 10:48

Quote:
Originally posted by marymary100
Simpler name with sort by date?


I have the date (of publication) as the first 'argument' in the file name; the trouble is that the author/origin/content can vary, and "simpler" COULD mean that I'd be unsure just what, especially the contents, are, i. e., I want to avoid opening a file that is NOT the one that I want, i. e., avoid guessing if it's the right file. I, ideally, would like to spell out in minutia in the file name what the pdf file is "all about" versus some other one.


JackInCT - 13-10-2017 at 10:54

Quote:
Originally posted by LSemmens
What about setting up a spreadsheet with links to the relevant file, which, if necessary could be in the old 8.3 file name system. The spreadsheet could then be used to store any detail that you like.


Your previous reply got Ye Olde Grey cells thinking in that direction as Plan B; I vaguely recall doing something like that quite some time ago in Excel, i. e. cella had a link to, and open up, a specific file when clicked on, and not necessarily another Excel file. I will have to research that. IF I can do that, I can simply put a shortcut for that spreadsheet on desktop and that would have the same functional purpose as a long file name in Explorer [each cell along with its comment would have an elaborate text "description" for each pdf file].


marymary100 - 13-10-2017 at 15:39

Quote:
Originally posted by JackInCT
Quote:
Originally posted by marymary100
Simpler name with sort by date?


I have the date (of publication) as the first 'argument' in the file name; the trouble is that the author/origin/content can vary, and "simpler" COULD mean that I'd be unsure just what, especially the contents, are, i. e., I want to avoid opening a file that is NOT the one that I want, i. e., avoid guessing if it's the right file. I, ideally, would like to spell out in minutia in the file name what the pdf file is "all about" versus some other one.


e.g. 13.10.17 Coalminingv1


JackInCT - 13-10-2017 at 16:03

Coalminingv1 or Coalmining did not get any relevant hits in Google. I recognized the date but I don't know what you intended.


marymary100 - 13-10-2017 at 17:08

You alluded to creating similar documents on the same day. coalmining v1 would be version 1. of the coalmining document.


JackInCT - 13-10-2017 at 17:35

Quote:
Originally posted by marymary100
You alluded to creating similar documents on the same day. coalmining v1 would be version 1. of the coalmining document.


Got it. The few times that has occurred I used, as an example,
016A-Quest 12 15 16....
016B-Quest 12 15 16....

The leading numerical characters is done so that Explorer sorts them out in chronological order; so on 12 15 16 I had 2 reports that day (that were #s 16 in the series); the author comes next in the file name, AND if BOTH were from the same author, I could then tell from the elaborate file name, the "topic".

Believe you me, I don't go out of my way to make this any more complicated/elaborate than I have to.

For what it's worth, this is very similar to the same problem as when you shoot a great many photographs over a few days of the same ongoing event, AND you have to decide whether you're willing to put the work into it to come up with, let's call it, an ID file name, or whatever, as to where the photo was taken, the occasion, and ALL the people in EACH pix. Having done a family genealogy, I can safely say from experience that IF that's NOT done, years done the road you will NOT remember who everyone is in the pixs, AND some, if not most, of the family members are deceased who would know that, and, unfortunately, the few that remain don't remember either.

I tried the 'cherished' childhood scrapbook photos form of stimulation from my mom's youth that, when she wound up in a nursing home, and she didn't usually remember despite my efforts at verbal question type prompts, and I never knew any of the people in them, and all my mother's siblings were long gone.


marymary100 - 13-10-2017 at 18:05

My friend spoke about sorting documents the way you describe but it seemed overly complex to me.


JackInCT - 13-10-2017 at 19:52

Quote:
Originally posted by marymary100
.... it seemed overly complex to me.


It most certainly IS! AND very time consuming too.

Some file find programs have a text search option, but I don't think that would work for PDF files content; but maybe there exists a text search program for PDFs.

By the way, doing hard copy printouts is not such a great option either, even when/if you annotate the top of pg 1 of each report with some type of a summary. They would need a ring binder to hold them all, and who really wants to cart that around.

I don't have a "personal" network/server. The problems laid out in this topic must be commonplace in a business of any size, and they must have a much more "elegant" solution with their tech resources than would be available to non-techie home users.


LSemmens - 14-10-2017 at 01:01

You could also just set up a simple folder structure where folders are sorted on name of document creator, then on date

e.g.
name
|
Subject
|
Date


JackInCT - 14-10-2017 at 02:08

Quote:
Originally posted by LSemmens
You could also just set up a simple folder structure....


The more I think it over, the more I'm favoring the idea of using Excel and linking each cell, along with an elaborate description, and a simple click on it to the file in question. I haven't done the necessary 'research' re the mechanism to link a file to a cell, BUT, there is one thing that I can unequivocally state--Excel is such an overwhelmingly popular piece of software, that if you want to do something with it [that you know nothing about re the 'coding', you don't have to use its Help to figure it out]; there are so many sophisticated users out there that someone somewhere, with a high degree of probability that there is, previously wanted to do the very same thing, and a Google type search will find not only their question, but a decent amount of knowledgeable response type hits offering VERY GOOD/WORKABLE solutions FOR YOUR PARTICULAR VERSION of MS Office.

The hits do tend to "fall off" quite a bit with the older versions of Excel, such as Excel 95; if there was ever a time I could see my way clear to spend the major money needed for MS Office Suite, it would be to do the only occasional need I have for the 'horsepower' that's built into Excel (and NOT for its VBA capabilities either-I find VBA coding daunting, even when some 'contributor' on a hit spoon feeds a questioner VBA coding about how to do something).


LSemmens - 15-10-2017 at 03:43

Don't spend gigadollars on M$ Office, Libre Office, or Open office will perform the same tasks as easily. I could certainly code it in Excel, but the Open Office Variants will have the same capability. Look under the <Insert> menu option for <insert hyperlink>


dr john - 19-10-2017 at 12:15

After entering a single search in google I found this.
http://www.rttsoftware.com/shelltools.html
it might solve your problem.

I always suggest using google to get an answer, it can be so easy. You should try it.


dr john - 19-10-2017 at 12:46

Or you could simply create a txt file that contained notes about the pdf in question, with the same name as the pdf file
eg
Learn-to-use-computers-v3-2017-10-19.pdf
Learn-to-use-computers-v3-2017-10-19.txt

saved in the same folder, sorted by name, they would appear one below the other and a quick double click would show your notes on each document.

If everything is in the one excel file and it gets corrupted or deleted, you have a problem.

Or if you wish to have the data in a single file rather than littering the folder with mutiple txt files, why not make a simple web page for each folder, where you list the files and give each a description of it and link to it. As a webpage can be created with any text editor and giving it a name like folder-27.htm, even if it is just simple text with no other html in it other than the link itself. The extension htm tells the browser to assume this is an html file and open it in the browser. That tiny bit of html code will then be correctly interpreted, even though in terms of a web page it is really badly written.

I just created a file in notepad in the time it takes to type this single line
<p><a href="Meister-Eckhart.pdf">Meister-Eckhart.pdf</a> is a document from one of my clients with lots of words in it about the following topics...</p>

then saved it in the folder which has several other pdfs in it with the name folder-17-notes.htm.

Double clicking on that file in file explorer and then clicking on the link means my browser opens the file, then opens the pdf whose notes I have just read. One text file per folder, and as many notes about as many pdfs as you like (they must be in that folder however, or you will have to learn a bit more about html.)
Not exactly difficult if you split your documents up on a sensible folder structure ie by main topic, and each folder has its own file with a name that includes the folder name (or even folder-sub-folder name). The use of paragraph tags ( <p>....</p> ) gives you one paragraph per file description. You could add more paragraphs about each file of course.
Simple text files like this can easily be backed up at regular intervals (or everytime you add to it)


JackInCT - 20-10-2017 at 16:13

Quote:
Originally posted by dr john
Or you could simply create a txt file that contained notes about the pdf in question, with the same name as the pdf file...quote]

Thank you for your suggestions with this.

I've been waiting for a deluge type day to spend the indoors time trying to figure out how I could do the chores I outlined in my first post in Excel, which, if successful, would entail leaving everything as is, with the exception of adding a desktop shortcut/pointer to the file; that would mean opening two windows; one would be the Excel file, and the other the PDF reader (which by default opens all PDF files).

As a stunning example of my computer expertise, I see that I have somehow made my reply a part of the quote which, as everyone can well imagine, is what I intended to do.


LSemmens - 21-10-2017 at 00:53

Think of the Excel file as an index, you will be able to click on the link in the file and it will automatically open the PDF without you having to go back to explorer and find the file and then open it.