Folder customizations-Setting a folder background in Windows XP
Windows 9X had a unique customization feature-users could set a custom background in folders. This background could be any .jpg, .gif, .bmp file or for that matter, any picture file. Users upgrading to Windows XP were surprised and rather disappointed to find this feature missing. After a bit of research, it was found out that it was still possible to use this folder customization, but there was not GUI (Graphical User Interface) to accomplish this. Now I am going to elaborate on how to achieve this.Let me first tell you that it is a very simple process and does not harm your system in any way. OK, so lets start off step-by-step.
To make things simpler, I will use an example. Let us suppose I am customizing a folder called myfolder which is located in C: drive and I want to use picture.bmp, which is located in C:\My Pictures, as the folder background.
Step 1- Open up notepad, the native text editor in Windows. Type in the exact line below:
Note: The above line contains only zeroes and not the alphabet O.
Specify the picture to use: Now, in the next line we will specify the picture that we want to use as the background for the folder. We will do this by typing the following line:
Let me elaborate the above-mentioned process. The image to be used as the folder background is specified through iconarea_image. So you can type in the exact path to any image of your liking after the “=” sign as shown above.
Specify the icon label color: Additionally you can also specify the color of the icon labels. This color will be used to display the icon labels in that specific folder. This one is a bit tricky but very easy if you get the idea. The icon label color is specified through iconarea_text. The value for the color is specified in a 24 bit 0x00bbggrr format (b,g and r stand for blue,green and red respectively) which specifies how much blue, green and red to mix. The values will range from 0 in decimal or 00 in hexadecimal to 255 in decimal or FF in hexadecimal…sounds complicated but is very simple.
Lets say that I want the icon labels green in color. So in this case, I will not mix any blue or red but just green. So the value will be 00x0000FF00. Note the values of blue and red are 0 (since we are not using any of those colors) and the value of green is 255, which, when converted to hexadecimal is FF. Now specify the value of the color as shown below:
To convert a decimal number into hexadecimal, open up Calculator (Start>>All programs>>Accessories>>Calculator) and set the view to scientific (view>>scientific). Enter the decimal number and then select the 'Hex' radio button. The number will be converted to hexadecimal
At the end, your Notepad window should look something like this (may differ according to your selection of image file and color):
Step 2- Now we will save the contents in a file called desktop.ini in the folder that we are customizing (in this case the folder is C:\myfolder). From the File>Save option save the file as desktop.ini and put the file name in double quotes as shown in the picture below to maintain the .ini extension
Step 3- Now we will have to give the folder system attribute. This can be done very easily through the command prompt. Open up the command prompt through Start>All programs>Accessories>command prompt. Type the following and press enter (remember we are using myfolder as an example, so the path name may vary accordingly for you) :
Attrib +s “C:\myfolder”
Additionally you can hide the desktop.ini file.
The command prompt window should look something like this :
That’s it, done !! The folder will now display the picture of your choice in the background and also display the icon labels in your specified color. My customized folder turned out to be something like this (I have turned off the common tasks pane for you to get a better view) :
Some other sites that may interest you:Windows XP Expertzone Meet the Indian MVPs MVP Kelly Theriot's Site full of registry tweaks MVP Doug Knox's site
Contact me at anandoATmvpsDOTorg
© Copyright Anando Jyoti Chatterjee Microsoft-MVP 2003. All rights reserved.