Synchronizing files in Dropbox without having them in the Dropbox folder, possible?

Standard

Short answer: no.

Long answer: sort of.

Now maybe thinking “huummm so, you’re just wasting my damn time?”, to answer that, no, I’m not, as far as i know there is no way to have files outside the Dropbox folder being synchronized, BUT, when you finish reading this post you will know something that will certainly fill this void.

Meet, Link Shell Extension

I’m going to keep this short, the creator of the application has done a nice work documenting everything so, there’s no need for me to copy paste with different words. This context menu application adds the possibility to use a system feature that creates a one way shortcut called symbolic links or hardlinks, which differs from a normal shortcut because the later is just file pointing to the destiny file.

So, now that you know Link Shell Extension, let’s get back on track. The gimmick here is that, the original files will be stored inside Dropbox folder, afterwards you just need to use this application to create a Hardlink (for files) or a Junction (for folders).

 

Practical usage of Link Shell Extension with Dropbox:

– You want to synchronize a folder with Word documents but maintain access to them through your Documents folder.

  1. Just put the folder anywhere in your Dropbox
  2. Select the folder
  3. Right mouse button click
  4. Click on “Pick Link Source”
  5. Go to your Documents folder
  6. Right mouse button click on the folder
  7. Drop As> Junction
Practical usage of Link Shell Extension without Dropbox:
-Like me, you have your music separated by Artists in your Music folder, but there’s always the problem of music with multiple artists.
  1. Well, usually there’s always a “main” artist so, put the original file in that artist folder
  2. Right mouse button click on the file
  3. Click on “Pick Link Source”
  4. Go to the other artist folder
  5. Right mouse button click on the folder
  6. Drop As> Hardlink

 

This has all sorts of applications, i will describe in another post how to use this is UDK to keep your files synchronized !

 

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