File Naming Convention - Why can't I rename the Piper Arrow III folder?
As many of us have already started buying a bunch of addon products for the hobby that we love, managing the files in the Community" folder is gonna be a chore that we will have to deal with from now on, especially as load times increase as a result. For me, I've started a naming convention in an attempt to organize all of my folders in the "Community" folder. Here is an example of my file naming structure by category, (Aircraft, Airport, Livery, Misc. and Scenery).
Aircraft - Piper PA-28 III v0.2.0 - JustFlight - Purchased Content or
Airport - TNCM - Princess Julianna Int'l v18.104.22.168 - AWDesigns - Purchased Content
Livery - CRJ-550 - AirCanada - Free Mod
Misc - IFR Lessons v1.3 - FSAcademy - Purchased Content
Scenery - Global AI Ship Traffic v1.0 - Free Mod
The reason I bring this up is because after I purchased and installed Just Flight's Piper PA-28 Arrow III I tried to rename the installed folder for the Piper PA-28 Arrow III to the naming convention shown above and now it doesn't work. If I rename it back to the original folder name that the installer installed it as it then works. Is there anyway we can rename this folder to something else and have it work or am I stuck with Just Flight's original naming convention? Thoughts on other ideas of organizing the "Community" Folder?
I know where you are coming from here and agree with the need to organise addons but re-naming the addon folder itself may not be the best idea as there is yet to be any convention that developers use. Therefore changing the folder name may make it hard or impossible to keep addons updated.
A far better solution that works for me is to use MSFS Addons Linker. Its main benefit is to remove all addons from the default Community folder allowing us to place our addons in a root location of our choice and then create any number of nested folders below this.
I use an example like:
—-original JF folder name
—T45C Goshawk master
—-original IFE foldername
Using this method achieves what you are trying to do without having to change the developer’s folder name.
The other hugh benefit of this approach is when it comes time for the dreaded World or sim update as it is then so quick and easy to turn off all addons without having to either rename or delete any files.
@antonvs Thanks for the insight. I'll definitely look up that MSFS Addons Linker? Is it pretty easy to use?
Easy enough, but it does take a bit of effort to set up the folder structure. Once you put in the effort its a breeze to maintain. It is also very stable, have never had an issue with it. Orbx have been offering the use of symbolic links for their products for years and Addons Linker works with their products as well. I have a second root folder that works with their “Orbx Central” tool.
For what it’s worth, I use AddonsLinker as well and love it for managing add ons. HOWEVER, I tried renaming the Piper Arrow III folder in AddonsLinker and it no longer worked. I needed to leave it named as is, then it worked in Linker.
@RedAdirondack The trick with Addon Linker is to have a master folder for each addon which can include readmes and .pdf files etc, this master folder can have any name that suits, then under this folder you copy (not move) the (undnamed) addon folder from the default community folder. Finally delete the original folder that you just copied. This works equally well for freeware addons as well, by leaving the folder name unchanged it is easier to follow updates. Remember it is the folder above that can have any name you like.
You can not and should not rename the folders JF installs. In MSFS addon linker, you can have as many folders as you want to place your add-ons in but you keep your add-ons named as they are.
For instance, you can create a folder named "ADDONS". Inside that folder make one named "PAYWARE". Inside that folder create Folders named "AIRCRAFT", "AIRPORTS", "SCENERY", etc. Move the folder/files JF installed in the community folder for the Arrow into the nested AIRCRAFT folder. As long as you point MSFS AddonLinker to the top ADDONS folder it will find all mods inside it, whether they are nested down a few folders or not.
Here's a video that was really helpful for me on this subject...
"Hey guys, as the new update is getting closer, we take a look at some house keeping things to make sure you get the best experience. In this video, GibboIreland gives us an introduction to MSFS Addons Linker, which is a handy free tool to help you manage your Community folder! By having the real location of your Community folder elsewhere on your system, through the use of "symlinks" it allows you much greater control of your Community folder. Via presets you can very easily enable and disable any of the content of your Community folder, and customise it further to enable only select content. "
This one's really good as well: