XPExplorer Views
August 17, 2007 10:45 AM   Subscribe

Exploer views in XP: Is there a way to effectively manage these? The only way I know to change views is to a)change each folder view manually, or b) go to Tools>Options>View>Apply (this view) to all folders. Any software or tips?

Basically, I want all my photos viewed as thumbnails, but other folders in details view, etc. I DON'T want to go through every folder and manually set it...
posted by Zimm to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
What do you propose for folders in which there is a mix of images and other files?
posted by rhizome at 11:37 AM on August 17, 2007

Mainly, I use details view for everything. However, I want the My Pictures folder to display thumbnails. If I could just change the My Pictures folder and have it apply that view to all subfolders, that would be perfect. Seems simple enough in my mind, but I can't find a way to do it.

(Note: I use Picasa, but occassionally just want to browse to a file in windows).
posted by Zimm at 11:48 AM on August 17, 2007

I've recently been using xplorer2 lite, which manages folder views manually. The reason I mention it is because it streamlines MANY other functions. It has tabbed browsing and dual panes for moving files around. It remembers the last selected file in each folder.

These and other features save so much time if you find yourself clicking through the same folder trees repeatedly.
posted by FissionChips at 12:51 PM on August 17, 2007

Oddly enough, the problem is that your photos are in the "My Pictures" folder! If you pull up the properties dialog for that folder, by right-clicking on the folder name and selecting "Properties", you will NOT have the option of customizing it.

Select a different folder, one that isn't specific to XP, and pull up the properties dialog. Notice that a Customize tab is now available. This tab will do the job for you. Simply select "Pictures..." and "Also apply..."

So... To do what you want, you will have to move all of your photos out of the "My Pictures" folder to some other folder, or you can simply move them down a level to "My Pictures\YetAnotherFolderName".

There's probably a registry setting that suppresses the Customize tab on the "My Pictures" folder, but I didn't dig that deep...
posted by shinybeast at 10:37 PM on August 17, 2007

Hmmm... That SO did not work. I'll try again!
posted by shinybeast at 10:47 PM on August 17, 2007

OK. Apparently, XP has conflicting view settings which caused my scheme to fail miserably. I did some searching and came up with this awesome script by Keith Miller.

From the readme:

FolderViewMaster v3.1
by Keith Miller

This script allows the user to customize a folder view and then have that view applied as a template for all its subfolders and any new folders created within the folder. It will prompt you to select a folder, then pause while you set everything to your liking: folder type, icon style, choose details, column order, column width, etc. When you resume the script, these view settings are applied as a template for that folder's subfolders. When it is completed this process you will have the opportunity to select another folder for processing. If a folder has already been processed it will not be affected by processing its parent. This allows you to apply one view to My Music and all its subfolders, another to My Pictures and all its subfolders, and then apply more general view to My Documents that would affect all subfolders except My Music and My Pictures. When selecting a folder, you will also have the option to block selected subfolders of that folder from being processed. This allows you the option of preserving previously saved views.

Each time this script is run, it will create a folder with the name YYYYMMDD-HHMMSS, indicating the date and time the script was run. Within this folder will be:

Undo.reg - a file containing all saved views and any other values modified during the run. Merge this file to undo all changes made.

One or more files named: FolderTemplate--Bag< #>.reg

These are reg files that contain the template settings. They can be handy if wish to know which 'Bag< #>\Inherit' key contains template info. Advanced users can then edit this key so that only certain settings are inherited.

3.0 -> 3.1
Refined code so that Internet Explorer windows are ignored & can remain open during run.

Thanks to David Candy, Kelly Theriot, and the folks at SysInternals for RegMon.

I tested the script and it worked for me. Very nice!

Two things I noticed while running the script... It can take a LOOOONG time to set your folder view depending on how many photos you have, and it can take a LOOOONG time for the script to wrap up. You WILL eventually get a dialog informing you that the script has finished. Just be patient.

Hey, I'm really happy with the end results. Using Explorer to browse photos has always been a real pain the ass. Now it's much friendlier!
posted by shinybeast at 1:10 AM on August 18, 2007

This sounds exactly like what I'm looking for. Thanks a bunch!
posted by Zimm at 6:39 AM on August 18, 2007

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