What Are Expanding Pockets?

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  • Written By: K.C. Bruning
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2019
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Expanding pockets can be found in a wide array of file folders. They may be in a folder with one or multiple pockets. More elaborate styles can have cover flaps, tabs for labeling, and additional pockets for discs or other media. The overall purpose of expanding pockets is for the file to have the option of extra space, but the ability to contract when there is less paper to file. While the pockets can be purchased for personal use, they are most popular in offices, where they are valued for their versatility.

One of the most common kinds of expanding pocket is a single section folder. It has a horizontal opening and the short sides of the folder are folded like the bellows of an accordion. For this reason, it is also often referred to as an accordion file. This kind of folder typically comes in dark brown, though it can also be purchased in a variety of colors.

There are also expanding pockets that come with several sections. Many of these kinds of folders also have tabs so that each portion can be labeled. Tabs may be oriented horizontally or vertically, depending on the style of folder. These pockets are commonly used for organizing projects, invoices, vendors, and other active items that tend to be kept together.


While most expanding pockets have a horizontal opening, there are some vertical styles. These tend to expand less, as they usually have fewer folds. Some have punch holes at the top so that they can be placed in folders with fasteners.

Expanding pockets are often built with more durable materials than standard manila file folders. As they are such a versatile product, they are made to last longer. The pockets are typically made of heavy, reinforced cardboard or plastic and have reinforced gussets. There are also some types with hangers for long term use in filing cabinets.

The most elaborate expanding pockets look similar to file boxes or briefcases. They are typically made of sturdy materials and often have several pockets, typically made of plastic or reinforced cardboard. These files also usually have tabs, a flap to cover the top, and a durable plastic handle for transport.

Expanding pockets can be purchased individually or in boxes of approximately ten folders. They are most commonly found at office supply and large general supply stores. A wide variety of pockets can also be purchased from online vendors.


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