Different icons for different image formats (Win7)?
January 10, 2018 3:39 AM   Subscribe

I would like different icons for e.g. JPEG, TIFF, BMP files. I have tried using FileTypesMan which unfortunately can only change image icons as one without distinguishing between them. Has anyone come across a solution?
posted by Kiwi to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you use IrfanView or a similar third party photo viewer, go to C:\Program Files (x86)\IrfanView and make a copy of "i_view32.exe" and call it "i_view32_tiff.exe". Repeat until you have an executable file for each file type.

Now, set your tiff files to open by default with the new executable "i_view32_tiff.exe". Repeat for the other file types. Then with FileTypesMan I think you'll be able to set a different icon for each file type.

Sorry, not on a windows machine at the moment, so I can't test this.
posted by gregr at 8:34 AM on January 10, 2018

Yes, to explain why gregr's fix works: the icon doesn't correspond to the type of file, it corresponds to the program that will open it. Right now, you probably have the same image viewer opening JPEGs, BMPs, TIFFs, etc. If, for example, you associate TIFFs with Photoshop and JPEGs with the internal photo viewer, the icons will then be different. You need to assign a separate program for each type of image document, and gregr's solution is a way around it.
posted by AzraelBrown at 11:15 AM on January 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thanks, I'll try it when I'm at my PC tomorrow. I use Picasa to view images if that makes any difference...
posted by Kiwi at 12:42 PM on January 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

I love and recommend IrfanView FWIW
posted by exogenous at 1:06 PM on January 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

AzraelBrown's answer is not entirely correct. There's in-depth and complex documentation on file types on MSDN, but conceptually the way that file-types are mapped in Windows goes something like this (I'm going to pick on 7-Zip, which is a single program that by-default registers different icons for the files it handles, and I have it installed so I can easily refer to it):
  • A program registers a file type that corresponds to a roughly-generic type, like Word documents or HTML files. In 7-Zip's case, it registers "7-Zip.rar" as a type named "rar Archive", and "7-Zip.zip" as a type named "zip Archive", each with their own (different) icon reference, but both pointing to "7-Zip.exe" as the handler for the type.
  • The program then registers the specific file extension as a particular file type, for example, 7-Zip maps the ".zip" file extension to be handled as a "7-Zip.zip" file, and a ".rar" file as a "7-Zip.rar" file
In this case, what appears to be happening is that all of the image extensions being handled by IrfanView are being mapped to a single file type (I don't have IrfanView installed, so I don't know the specifics, but I imagine it'd be like if 7-zip just declared a single type, like "7-Zip.archive" and mapped both ".zip" and ".rar" to it). This can be disentangled, but without a program to do the necessary wrangling, it's a manual process that involves editing the registry. Given that, I'm not entirely sure that gregr's approach will necessarily work; it's worth a shot, but I haven't tried it myself. If it does work, it will be because Windows (or FileTypesMan, if you use that) decides that it needs to use a different underlying file type when you point it at the copy of the program.

I know that this is kind of a non-answer that is unlikely to directly help with the problem at hand, but if you *are* comfortable with editing the registry, it's possible you could fix this yourself directly. (It's also possible that you could completely bork your file associations, so be sure to back up your registry before you try.) If not, perhaps it'll help you get closer to a solution.
posted by Aleyn at 12:36 AM on January 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

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