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Rearranging Photos In Their Folders

Dorothea from Harpers Ferry, WV writes:

Windows 7 won’t let me re-arrange photos in their folders. Once they are uploaded, you cannot drag a photo to a different place in the same folder. Is there a way to make this rearranging possible?

Hi, Dorothea.

As far as I’ve ever discovered, there is no way to rearrange photos inside a folder “freestyle”.  If I were to venture a guess as to why, then it would be because “remembering” what – to the computer would look like a random arrangement – would be too much of a burden on the file memory.  Remember, that in the wild, computers are basically logical creatures, and it is just impossible to tame some of that logic out of them.  So whereas the arrangement that you want may be logical to you, it is not logical in the grand scheme of things.

Having said that, there are several ways that Windows WILL allow you to rearrange your photos.  The first, and one that I rely heavily on, is the creation of sub-folders.

If you are using a full window, then the “New Folder” option will appear at the top of the pane.  If you are using a compact window, then simply click on the double-arrows at the right of the top to see it.  Click there.

You can really create as many of these as you want, name them whatever you want, and then move the photos that you want into that sub-folder.  So, say that you want to get all of the photos of your cousin Bobo together.  You could just create a sub-folder called “Cousin Bobo” and stick them all in there. 

Back to Windows.  Once you’ve got all of the photos in the correct sub-folders, Windows does offer several logical ways to arrange your photos, both off of a right-click in your folder.  When you click, make sure that you click into an empty space in your folder; between, above or below the photos, otherwise you’ll get options for the photo rather than options for the folder.

The first of these is called “Arrange By”.

Here you can arrange the photos by the month or day that they were taken, or by rating or tags.  Rating and tags are added by right-clicking on the thumbnail that you want to add these things to, right-clicking, clicking on “properties” all the way at the bottom of this menu, and then clicking on the “details” tab.

You add a rating by simply clicking on the highest star that you’d like to rate the photo.  Tags are added by clicking in the empty space under the stars, which will open a dialog box for tags.  So you can simply tag all of the photos of cousin Bobo and then, once you’ve tagged them all, arrange by tags.

The second of these is called “Sort By”.

Here you can sort by date, tag, size, name or rating.  If you click on the option “more” at the bottom, then you can set many other variables, including assistant’s name.

Hope that this helps!

~Randal Schaffer