I have a document library containing hundreds of folders each with a single word document. Each document has an approval status column set to "Waiting Approval". I would like to change the value for all of the files to "Approved" at once, similar to how SP Designer allows you to check-out/in multiple files at once (even though they are in separate folders). Can this be done? It's taking 3 people several days to make these changes, which is ridiculous in my opinion. Thanks.
Create a view that displays all items without folders, it's in the Folder options when you create the view. Be sure to include any columns you wish to modify. Once done, go into Actions, Edit in data sheet view. Toggle the field you want to edit, then you can drag that down to apply it to all items.
Batch check in, it can be used to edit column values for multiple documents at one time and check them in.
You can try approving "Manage Content and Structure" Under Site Actions. It gives you the flexibility to select multiple items and perform your action. For this feature to enable publishing feature of your site must be activated.