The File Cabinet – A Utility for Creating and Maintaining a List of Folder Labels

Project/download page


7 Oct 2005 – First introduction.


This project assists in two important aspects of creating a filing system: deciding upon a set of headings; and creating the file folder labels themselves. It does this by providing an outliner type editor to edit a list of labels and by creating a acrobat (.pdf) file which can be used to print on a set of adhesive labels like Avery Filing Labels.

An outliner editor is useful because deciding upon a set of headings is time consuming and involves some trial and error. Examples (which can be used as templates) are provided to further speed up this process.

Once the list is created, it is used to create a printable acrobat (.pdf) file. In addition, an alignment page is generated to help set the alignment requirements of a particular printer. An index page of the file folder labels is also generated and when filed with the other documents is useful for quickly locating relevant information.

Other projects by this author include:



  1. Numbered file labels with up to four levels of sub-headings (eg.

  2. Using Avery 1/3 cut labels allows two lines of text per label at about 20 characters per line.

  3. As the label list is maintained over a period of time, only labels which have changed since they were last printed are automatically marked for re-printing.

  4. File labels marked can be marked as archived. This prevents the use of the file number and its listing on the file index and helps keep track of archived files.

  5. An index page of the active file folder label set is available for printing.

  6. In the label list editor, lines can be marked as non-label. This is useful for keeping track of file headings and classifications without requiring a folder. Non-label lines are included in the index print-out, but not the label print-out unless manually requested.

  7. It is possible to select which labels on a sheet are to be used for printing. If a sheet is partially used, the missing labels are skipped over.

  8. The print-out can be offset vertically and horizontally to account for margin offsets of various brands of printers.

  9. A single relatively small and portable executable.

Current Limitations and Future Work

  1. Operates as a single executable in its own directory. It does not “install” or register itself nor does it have a nice desktop icon to call up the executable.

  2. The GUI is a bit primitive and probably does not have an intuitive 'windows app' operation.

  3. Lots of higher level ideas come to mind though it's questionable whether they are worth the effort.

    1. Having drawers in each cabinet. That is, the physical location of the folder could be represented by a drawer.

    2. Notes attached to each folder describing contents.

    3. Drag and drop so that disk files could be accessed using the same organization as the physical filing system.

    4. Set visibility of the sub-heading level (like an outliner or file tree browser).

    5. Multiple cabinets.

    6. Search the list.

    7. Synchronize to a PDA – an exchange format with an outline would likely do.

  4. Changes made in the bulk editor also update the print status of the label.

    1. Lower level niceties and nice-to-haves include:

    2. Short-cuts for representing file numbers

    3. Direct access to record property with a right mouse click instead of a left mouse click followed by a right mouse click.

    4. Comments from the templates stored when the file is written back out.

    5. Storing the last label position printed for the next run of the application.