We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Windows Vista's best-kept secret: file stacking

I've done my fair share of Windows Vista-bashing over the years, but the OS has a lot of hidden talents. One of them is stacking, a handy way to organise the files contained in any given folder.

Suppose you have a folder packed with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. Wouldn't it be nice if you could divide them into 'stacks', with one stack for each file type? Alternately, if you have a folder that contains a large quantity of files, it might be helpful to organise them into alphabetical stacks: A-H, I-P and Q-Z.

Windows Vista SP2 review

Before you get started with stacking, keep in mind that Vista makes no changes to the physical location of your files. Rather, stacks are really just virtual folders, and they're temporary to boot. Thus, you can feel free to fiddle and experiment without worrying that you'll mess anything up.

1. Open a folder containing some documents, photos, MP3s or whatever.

2. Right-click any open area within that folder and mouse over Stack By.

3. Choose the kind of stack you want: Name, date modified, file type, size and so on. Note that the available options will differ depending on the kinds of files in the folder.

Stacking in Windows Vista

Presto: Vista creates your stacks, which appear under the banner of 'search results'. That's what I mean when I say they're temporary: stacks are really just a filtered, folder-specific form of searching.

If you want to save a stack for future use, click the Save Search button up on the toolbar.

Neat, huh?

Rick Broida writes for PC World

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model