When it comes to Windows Explorer, I prefer to see the files listed in detailed mode. The main reason for this is that I get all the information that I need on the screen. I see file names and types, as well as the size, and the last modification date. The other modes, especially the thumbnail display modes, but also list mode, display only file names in the Explorer window. You also find hybrid modes there, tiles for instance displays the name, type and file size, but it does to wasting lots of valuable screen estate.
Windows Explorer's detailed view mode offers the best overview of all the available view modes. It has one issue though that you will notice after using it for some time. Columns do not get automatically resized based on their item's length. The file name or type column is usually a lot larger than the modification date column, or the small size column. Even though that is the case, you will see that some file names are not displayed completely in the listing, as the filename column is not providing the room needed to display them fully.
While you can manually adjust the column sizes in the header, it is not really something that you'd want to repeat regularly for folders you are working with. How do you get Windows Explorer to display the file listing that you see on the screenshot above, to look like this?
Easy, you use the shortcut Ctrl+ for that. Just make sure the Windows Explorer window is active before you use the shortcut. You will notice that Windows Explorer will automatically adjust all columns based on the length of the longest value they contain. This usually means a long file name column, and smaller file size and date columns.
This only works in Detail view mode. You can change the view modes in Windows 7 with a click on the small down arrow underneath the search bar.
Adjusting the Windows Explorer detailed file listing with a shortcut is a fine thing. It is still not automatic, but Explorer remembers the layout at least for a while. Have additional Windows Explorer tips to share? Then share them with everyone in the comments.