It was suggested that I post this information here from a discussion on the FB Group - so here you go. These are my go-to, must-haves on every computer we own.
Over the years I have found a few applications/extensions that have helped me unzip, organize and install/save my font and design files. Especially when I purchase from the DB/FB $1 sale when there are so many to unpack. All these instructions begin with the assumption that you’ve already downloaded your files from the website. This is wordy, but it will honestly take you longer to read this than put it in action.
These are the links to the various applications I use:
Total Commander: https://www.ghisler.com/download.htm
SVG Viewer for Windows Explorer: https://code.google.com/archive/p/svg-explorer-extension/downloads
Dropbox: I keep an extensive set of folders by category that I move my SVGs into once they are unzipped. I can also access all these folders from all my workstations so no matter what desktop/laptop/ipad/tablet I choose to work on, I still have access to all my files (I sync all my folders to a local drive).
This is the link to a video I made if you want to see everything in action.
7zip and the SVG viewer are free and Total Commander is a paid program - worth every penny and not very expensive. Dropbox is a paid service that most people know of. There are many other cloud-based storage services out there to choose from and would work just as well. We started with dropbox years ago and have no plans to change - it’s worked great for me.
A lot of people already know about 7-zip, but if you don’t it’s worth taking a look. I can highlight all my zip files and choose where to download them (all that are highlighted will be unzipped in the same location), but you can have them unzip into their own directory of the same name of the zipped folder. For example, on the upcoming $1 sale at DesignBundles I will create a folder called 062420DB (the date of the sale) in my Downloads folder that I will UNZIP all the purchased files into. I will see the name of the newly created unzipped folder coincide with the name of the zips. (I’ll use this 062420DB folder as a reference as I explain what I do in the following paragraphs.)
From here I use Total Commander. Total Commander is a hidden gem - I can pull up any folder in my system in this program, tell it to show ALL FILES, tell it to sort by extension, go down to all the SVGs (or .ttf, .otf, .dxf…or whatever file type you’re trying to target) and highlight them. With a series of steps I can move all those files at once, in a matter of seconds, anywhere I want them. I put them on the first layer of the 062420DB folder, so when I go back into that folder in Windows Explorer I will see them first thing and, with the following extension, I can view thumbnails of all the SVGs instead of having to open each one or renaming to know what I have to choose from. Another way and a quicker way of choosing file type is by listing it out in the “only files of this type” line by typing “*.filetype” ie: *.svg You can also choose multiple file types this way by separating with a comma: ie: *.svg, *.ttf, *.otf. Doing it this way captures all the file types you choose within your folder designation.
There are many functions you can use with Total Commander. Move, delete, copy etc. More uses than just what I’ve described above. I used it to clean out my Dropbox and was able to clear out about 400,000 files that I didn’t need to keep and cleared out about 1/2 of my storage ability. (I’m a design hoarder and DesignBundles and FontBundles are my enablers).
The SVG thumbnail viewer is by far something I will never be without. It’s just that - if you open Windows Explorer and set your view setting to Medium or larger, you will see a thumbnail of the design. This is so helpful in countless ways. It seems like I’m doing it an injustice by only giving it 3 lines of text…
After everything is pulled to the top layer of the folder, the first thing I do is move all the zip files to a folder on Dropbox called “Archived Zip”. This is just something I do in case I want to see everything that I downloaded at a later date or if I need one of the files I deleted. This might not be for everybody - I’m a “what-ifer” so I always think about what might happen and try to cover a base. I do wish I had started with a system of categories in this folder by Vendor/Website. But it’s not how I started and would be a daunting task to undertake now. Apparently, I didn’t “what-if” thoroughly.
I also go through the same process with the font files. Then I install all of those and move them (the .ttf/.otf/.woff) to a folder on Dropbox called “Installed Fonts.” This is not the system folder for fonts and, if desired, you could just delete these after you install them. If I had started this at the same time I bought a font management program I think I would do this a bit differently based on the ability of the management program. But…another post, another day.
In Dropbox, for my SVG and other images, I have an elaborate system of folders labeled by category (ie: Abstract, Animals, Cats & Dogs (because I’m a pet person), Holiday-Halloween, Holiday-Christmas, Plants & Trees, etc, I have a ton of categories and I’m sure it’s probably more detailed than it actually needs to be, but I made a category for anything I thought I might search for.
Now for the sorting: I open 2 Windows Explorer windows and resize to view side by side. I view the 062420DB folder in one, where I can see the SVG thumbnails. In the 2nd WE window, I show my category tree (usually “list” view). I move each SVG file (plus any other format I want to save) into the category I want it and in the top layer, as well.
After all the files I want to keep are sorted, I’ll still have folders left over, most likely filled with other formats. I used to save everything in their respective categories, and then realized I will never use some of these file types, which are just taking up storage space on Dropbox. Now, I usually throw what’s leftover in the trash because I will probably not use them. Plus, I can always get to them again from the .zip file I saved in the “Archived Files” folder.
This all seems like a lot of steps, and I know I’m wordy, but in reality, it probably takes me less than a couple of minutes to unzip and pull out all the file types I want to save. From there it could be 5 minutes to sort them into the categories. It takes just a few seconds to pull out the font files and install those at one time.
I hope you find this useful!
Petra (aka JaneSmith)