How to make it possible to show the same file in multiple directories


I have a very urgent question if it is possible or if there is an application out there to enable showing the same file or folder in two or more different folders? My point here is to organize my file library in that way where if I have for example application that can be categorize as belonging to Security folder but it also applies to Admin Tools folder I would like to show the same file in both folders, and if later on I decide that it also belongs to Windows Server Security folder, then I could assign it there as well. Am I clear here?

Thank you a lot for your suggestions


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sunnycoderConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Here is a GUI based utility ...
Hi Peter,

Download the utility from

For folder, use linkd program

Or use windows shortcuts to achieve accessibility from multiple folders .. though view of original file and shortcut would be different, but it would serve the purpose

Yet another option is to download and install cygwin and use good old ln -s to create symbolic links

piotrmikula108Author Commented:
thank you, for your prompt response, but this seems kinda advanced and not very flexible solution, I'm talking more about program to be able to create a type of a matrix so you can visually see which file or folder belongs to what category of applications

let's say we have couples types of applications and three programs like below

                           SpyBot    NTbackup  Remote Desktop

Security                   x
Admin Tools             x                 x
XP                           x                                   x
Win2k3                    x                 x                 x

so I'd like to be able to assign according to changing factors where particular application shows under

is this more descriptive?

thanks again
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Hi Peter,

So you wish to generate an association between a folder and a list of applications. Am I correct?

If yes, then does this association has to be visible only through the application that you are using OR does it have to be reflected in the filesystem as well?
If all you want is maintain your own view of things - similar to the table you have shown, a table in excel should suffice.

If you wish to have filesystem associations too, then there is a need to create explicit links in the filesystem - this is exactly what the tools that I mentioned in the last post do!! Once you create such links, you can use windows explorer or any other filesystem traversing tool to view current associations.

Although the initial question doesn't your comment makes me point you towards something like Active Directory.

You can set a group policy that when a user has application X he also has the rights to see folder Y.

With stuff like Acces Based enumeration you can hide the folders people do not have the right to see.
Recap of ABE

ABE is the technology built into Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 that provides the administrator of a resource control over who can see shared folders and files. In essence, the goal of ABE is to keep users from seeing the files and folders to which they don't have access.

This is ideal for any organization that wants to hide files or folders under share points. If the user is omitted from the access control list (ACL) or is specifically denied the ability to read or list the resource, the file or folder will not be visible when browsing the shared folder resources in Windows Explorer. For HR-related resources, medical organizations, highly secure organizations or any organization that benefits from denying visible access to resources based on the ACL, ABE is an ideal solution.
piotrmikula108Author Commented:
i was just hoping i can have a graphical application where I can very quickly assign different apps or folders to differnet categories, I have hundreds of files and to manage that with command line tools would too tedious

do you guys have any other suggestions?

thanks a lot

Well seeing you want them to be restricted for some people I seriously doubt there is another way and I still believe setting up a proper Active Directory (or NDS equivalent) would be best.

It'll also make it easier to manage plus you get more options to fiddle with.

piotrmikula108Author Commented:
i don't need any restriction, I'm just building my knowledge base type of environment where I have different type of files that I would like to associate with different folders/types/categories


BoyBlueSkyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
As often is the case, the first answer (sunnycoder's) seems the best.  I have previously used linkd.exe and can personally vouch for its effectiveness.

You can download the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools for free here:

Also convenient, moving the folder to a new computer could be a simple as moving a hard-drive - not data copying, just physically moving the drive and redoing the linkd setup.  Be careful though!  Any changes (including deletions) are made in "both" folders as they are actually one and the same.  ^_^
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