Some of My Recent Documents

The recently used documents feature is a good thing. I like having it in apps. I also like having it available system wide. Unfortunately, it always seems like the file I used recently doesn't show up on my recently used documents. I got tired of wondering why some files didn't show up in the list and did some quick checking. Here's a list of what will and won't show up under XP's Recent Documents.

Bluetooth File Transfer OutNo
Bluetooth File Transfer InNo
Copy/Paste from Network ComputerNo
File save from FirefoxYes
File save from Internet ExplorerYes
Attachment save out of an Outlook emailNo
Copy from flash card to C: driveNo
Copy/Paste from Network ComputerNo
Rename a fileNo
Open a text file in LemmyNo
Open a text file in NotepadYes

Now certainly a random app's inability to add to the Recent Documents list isn't Microsoft's fault. They document the API to use.

The part that bothers me is that the rest of these tasks don't result in the file on the recent documents list either. I can't tell you how many times I've copied a file or saved an attachment and then went CRAP, where did I just put that. Why can't these show up on the list?

While we're at it, why can't recently changed files show up differently in the File Explorer for a configurable period of time. Download a file, open the folder, and then spend 30 seconds scanning the files trying to remember the name of the thing you just downloaded. Maybe I'll have to write my own Bluetooth file transfer client so I can populate that list myself.

If anyone reading is running Vista and can check to see if any of these behaviors work differently, I'd appreciate it.


Jason said...

This inconcistency is exactly why I disable Recent Documents completely. It was so broken that it was useless.

It just so happened that right after I read your post, I saw a Firefox extension posted on Lifehacker that lets you customize where all of your downloads go at least. That's a start down the right path.

I agree, Windows explorer needs to start showing last few actions somehow though.

crturboguy said...

This is mostly in response to Jason, but why does FF need an extension for that? Isn't that functionality already available under options, main, save downloads to... ? Am I missing something here?