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I'm looking for a simple tool to manage some files where the file name does not suffice -- that is, I want to be able to put a sentence or paragraph long description for some of my files. (imagine writing a sentence or two on the back of vacation photos)

Is there any tool to do this? I've looked at Tabbles, but it doesn't do exactly what I'm looking for, and also seems a bit overkill for a task of this simplicity.

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In what way would they be attached? Appended to the end of the file? Used as the file's name? – Andrew Lambert Mar 11 '12 at 9:37
What I'm thinking of is something like how Windows handles images: not only do you have the filename, on the side you have a preview of the image. So essentially the same function as what math's suggestion does -- instead of the image preview showing up on the side, I'll have a short blurb about the file. Is this possible? – honeymass Mar 11 '12 at 16:41
Which operating system? – iglvzx Mar 11 '12 at 20:04
Oh yea. I'm running Windows 7. – honeymass Mar 11 '12 at 20:18
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Technically, NTFS Alternate Data Streams (ADS) can be utilized to provide comments or metadata for any file. Windows XP took advantage of this with the Properties > Summary dialog for files. Microsoft removed this feature in Windows Vista, however, the ability to create ADS is still possible with the command line or other utilities.

I think the easiest solution would be to find a Windows Explorer replacement which supports comments or metadata for any file. Xplorer^2 is one such file manager. (I tried to find a free or opensource file manager with metadata support, but this feature does not seem to be too popular...) Anyway, for what it's worth, Xplorer^2 uses ADS for file comments.

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Why don't you place a file called README next to your files? Do not put info in file name as other file systems may not support long file names 256 chars are a typical limitation.

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