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  1. #1
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    streamlining the GUI (5.1 SP2)

    I'm sure these issues were covered when XP was new, but now as XPpro it's new to me (I skipped all the intervening money-drains since Win98SE). There are features I like very much - particularly the decision to retain Windows Classic Style - but I would appreciate help on these others:

    1] How can I get rid of all reference to JASC Paint Shop Pro? It was included as a one-month free trial either with XP or by Dell. I have changed the program to open graphic file types to Irfanview, using Explorer/tools/folder options. That gives me the Irfanview Favicon but leaves me with a "Paint Shop Photo Album Picture" inscription in the file Type column of Explorer. That's about 22 characters tooo long for me.

    2] I am desperate to shorten path lengths. I changed My Documents to ARC (short for archives), which XP accepted at the top of the folder tree in Explorer. However, further down the tree, in the C: drive structure, it still appears as My Documents and I find I'm refused access to alter it.

    Worse still, the path is cocuments and SettingsUsernameMy Documents. This tautologous title "Documents and Settings" alone fills the available space for filename in the open and save dialogs of several programs I use.

    3] The only way I've found to shorten these path lengths is to use a short username, but actually the entire business of USER imposes a subdirectory level I'd like to do away with. Administrator is me. Username is my name. Default User is me. All users are me. So how can I get rid of this level?

    4] Is there somewhere a switch I can set that makes XP remember all the individual settings I select for folders, so that I don't have to switch from Thumbprint to Details every time I open a picture folder, for instance, and so that I can retain a 36-char filename column in my photo folders?
    All help gratefully received!

  2. #2
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    Re: streamlining the GUI (5.1 SP2)

    4) Select Tools | Folder Options (in Windows Explorer)
    Activate the View tab.
    Tick the check box labeled "Remember each folder's view settings".

    Note: by default, Windows XP "remembers" the settings for only 400 folders. Download and install the free utility TweakUI from Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP. This lets you set the number of folders (Explorer > Customizations) to a higher number, e.g. 1000 or 4000.

  3. #3
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    Re: streamlining the GUI (5.1 SP2)

    >>1] How can I get rid of all reference to JASC Paint Shop Pro? It was included as a one-month free trial either with XP or by Dell. I have changed the program to open graphic file types to Irfanview, using Explorer/tools/folder options. That gives me the Irfanview Favicon but leaves me with a "Paint Shop Photo Album Picture" inscription in the file Type column of Explorer. That's about 22 characters tooo long for me.

    <UL><LI>In any Explorer window, go to View/Folder Options/File Types tab (or Control Panel/Folder Options).
    <LI>Scroll down to the extension.
    <LI>If there is an Advanced button, click it & change the description.[/list]If there is no Advanced button, you'll have to edit the registry. The only way I know is to go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, search for the entry, & change the name of it's default value. e.g. if you want to change the description for "Microsoft Word Document" to "Doc", you go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTWord.Document.8 & on the right side, you can change the default value to "Doc". BEFORE MAKING ANY CHANGES, backup the registry.
    ---------------------------

    >>2] I am desperate to shorten path lengths. I changed My Documents to ARC (short for archives), which XP accepted at the top of the folder tree in Explorer. However, further down the tree, in the C: drive structure, it still appears as My Documents and I find I'm refused access to alter it.

    Hmmm. I changed My Documents to Data with no problem. Actually, it's the same folder. I assume that your talking about My Documents that shows up at the top & also the one under Documents & SettingsUserNameMy Documents. I notice that the names on the start menu remain My Documents, but I think that's a registry tweak also.
    -------------------------------------

    >>Worse still, the path is cocuments and SettingsUsernameMy Documents. This tautologous title "Documents and Settings" alone fills the available space for filename in the open and save dialogs of several programs I use.

    >>3] The only way I've found to shorten these path lengths is to use a short username, but actually the entire business of USER imposes a subdirectory level I'd like to do away with. Administrator is me. Username is my name. Default User is me. All users are me. So how can I get rid of this level?

    As a new user of XP myself, I've thought of the same things. However, I rarely go through Documents & SettingsPhil etc. While you can use the TweakUI, as Hans suggested, you might not want to. You can set up icon shortcuts on the desktop, start menu, or use keyboard shortcuts to get places. Also, you can download a utility called DirNow!, which is much faster to use than navigating Explorer windows or trees. As far as the long pathnames, what I've done is gone to Control Panel/Folder Options/view tab/ & uncheck "Display full path in the title bar". I find that more useful for the taskbar anyway. Then I show the Address bar in Explorer windows. It not only tells you where you are, but you can copy & paste it, if you need.
    Hope this helps,

  4. #4
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    Re: streamlining the GUI (5.1 SP2)

    For 1] Did you uninstall Paint Shop Pro? Try using Irfanview to establish it as the default program for the graphic types you want. In Irfanview go to Options | Set File Associations and select the file types you want.
    2] How did you change the name. In Windows Explorer right click on the My Documents folder at the top and select Properties. You'll see that this is just a shortcut named My Documents that points to a particular file. There is an option to move it to the folder of your choice. Does not even have to be on the same drive. This is the best way as well behaved application programs will automatically take your change into account. TweakUI (mentioned by Hans) will allow you change the location of many 'special' folders.
    3] You can't do away with the user level of folders. XP is a multi-user OS. This is the mechanism chosen to support multiple users. The Administrator account is a separate account from the your Username account. You should have a strong password for it and only use it when some other account won't accompish what you need. If you move My Documents using one of the methods above you don't need to worry about the whole 'Documents and Settings' stuff.

    Joe
    Joe

  5. #5
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    Re: streamlining the GUI (5.1 SP2)

    Thank you, Hans:
    I used to have an old Tweak UI off a magazine, used it in ca. 1998, and since then forgot all about it! Right enough, some folder settings have been retained OK -- I must have just gone beyond the 400 limit.
    All help gratefully received!

  6. #6
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    Re: streamlining the GUI (5.1 SP2)

    Joe - that sounds really hopeful, thank you.
    1] Yes, for sure I uninstalled Paint Shop Pro - just innocently assumed that would get rid of its Photo Album as well. I now have.
    2] Must have missed the option - will let you know how I get on.
    3] OK, we're stuck with the User Level but can side-step it per 2] above. Good.
    Sydney
    All help gratefully received!

  7. #7
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    Re: streamlining the GUI (5.1 SP2)

    Once again, I thank you, Phil.
    I actually depend upon seeing the full path of my current doc most of the time, up there at the top window-frame - that's not a problem to me, and doesn't cannibalise window area like the address field does. My problem with long paths results from restricted space in dialogs.
    I'll give you an example of the trouble long paths give me, that I don't think shortcuts or icons could overcome. Shrink.com, the JPG-shrinker, has a 36-character field for Open file identity, starting with the drive letter. I need to make sure the file I'm about to shrink is the one in the correct subdirectory. I can check the filename using the End key, but the immediate parent folder is the critical one. Since my filename is composed of subject and hints to enhancement steps used, it can use up all the 36 characters, so I don't see the folder name in the Open field. Solution - the Home key? Not so: all it shows me is cocuments and SettingsUserMy D.

    I'm going to see if I can use Joe's ruse, and then I'll certainly look into DirNow! as well

    Sydney
    All help gratefully received!

  8. #8
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    Re: streamlining the GUI (5.1 SP2)

    If you download and install TweakUI for Windows XP, you can use it to change location of special folders. For example, if you want to use c:arc as "My Documents" folder, create it first, then open TweakUI (Start | All Programs | Windows XP Powertoys | TweakUI), navigate to My Computer | Special folders on the left pane, then on the right pane select "My Documents" from the drop-down list, click "Change location" button, read and accept the warning and choose a new folder (C:arc) on the Browse window. Click OK.

  9. #9
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    Re: streamlining the GUI (5.1 SP2)

    Do not use an old TweakUI. Get it and others from Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP.

    Joe
    Joe

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