Filing papers means storing them in a secure location for simple and rapid access. If documents are not properly placed over time they might gather dust or get lost. A filing system is a record-keeping system of every organization. This contributes to a more organized, efficient, and transparent workplace. The filing system is categorized as Vertical Filing Systems and Horizontal filing systems.

Vertical Filing Systems

Vertical Filing means important papers are placed in files and kept in a standing position. This method overcomes the challenges faced in horizontal  Filing. 

Vertical filing is divided into two parts: folders and cabinets.


Folders are sheets to maintain documents securely. Folders are systematically labeled. Every folder carries documents of individual correspondents or consumers. Folders are maintained in chronological order or other suitable order. Here no holder is required to secure documents.


Folders are kept vertically in a steel or wooden cabinet. There are several drawers in a cabinet. The drawers are deep enough to hold the folders in a vertical position. Each drawer is fitted with a slider. The slider pushes the drawer backward and can be opened and closed. Guide cards can be inserted at appropriate places to divide the drawer into convenient sections.

Benefits of vertical filing

  • Files can be easily accessed
  • Other files are not disturbed
  • Folders are inexpensive with little maintenance
  • 1000 folders can be accommodated in a single cabinet with four drawers
  • Minimum floor space is required
  • There is ample scope for expansion of the filing facility.
  • Drawers have locks for the security of files
  • Fireproof cabinets are used to protect the files.

Drawbacks of vertical filing

  • The location of desired files may take time
  • The tall Cabinets take time to shift

Horizontal Filing Systems

The horizontal filing indicates the horizontal position of files. The papers, documents, and letters are kept in a horizontal or flat position in such a way that one is on top of another. The filing is made date-wise.

Horizontal filing uses folders namely Flat files and Arch Lever files. Both use cardboard folders with metal archives. Papers are punched with holes, then secured by a lever. Here papers lay upon others. Files are arranged in chronological order

Benefits of Horizontal filing

  • Simple  to operate
  • Papers are fixed on an arch so they can’t get lost
  • Documents can be referred to without removing them from the file.
  • The cost of maintenance is low.

Drawbacks of the Horizontal filing system

  •  The  system needs more office space
  • There is no scope for expansion
  • Require index to locate files
  • Not suitable for big companies

Vertical filing vs Horizontal Filing

Vertical filings, as opposed to horizontal filings, require less floor index. Vertical filing systems are useful and convenient for all enterprises. Vertical filing is responsive to changing company requirements. Horizontal filing is customary, and adapting to changes is difficult.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How is Vertical filing superior to horizontal filing?

The vertical system is flexible, as many files can be added with ease. However, under a horizontal filing system extension is impossible without turning the arrangements.

2. What is the purpose of a vertical file?

Vertical files contain reference materials on topics not covered by conventional materials.

3. What is the widely used filing method?

Alphabetical systems are widely used.

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