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Internet Explorer Tips

Customize Folders Part 2

IE4's Windows Desktop Update (shell integration) allows you to customize the view of your folders in almost any way you want!

Getting Started

Before getting started, we need to make sure Web View is enabled on your system. First, be sure that you've got the Windows Desktop Update (the easiest way to know this is if you see the Active Desktop). If you didn't install the WDU or you never downloaded it, go to Help | Product Updates and install the "Windows Desktop Update."

Now that you're sure you have the Windows Desktop Update, you need to be sure that Web View is enabled. Check View | Folder Options in Windows Explorer to make sure Web style is selected. Now, open My Computer to make sure Web View is activated ... if you don't see it, choose View | as Web Page.

Now it's time to start the fun stuff. Open the folder you want to customize and choose View | Customize this Folder. Here's where the fun begins.

You have the option to choose a background picture, but we'll concentrate on getting started with Create ... HTML document. Just follow the wizard to start your customization adventure.

Advanced Stuff

Now that we've gotten started, there's much more you can do. The folder's "Web View" is actually an HTML file itself - folder.htt stored in the folder which you're customizing. You'll also notice a new file - Desktop.ini. You'll need to know some HTML, but by customizing folder.htt, you can change your folder view. It's not recommended that you edit folder.htt with FrontPage Express, as you may modify some of the scripts on the page. On that subject, be sure to be very careful with editing folder.htt! Stay clear of the scripts unless you know what you're doing!

Desktop.ini lets you customize your folder even further. You'll probably be most interested in the PersistMoniker=file://folder.htt key of Desktop.ini. This lets you change the location of the HTML customization file; in fact, you can point the customization file of another folder!

The default folder settings are held in c:\Windows\Web\Folder.htt.You can edit this file to change the folder view of every folder, but be very careful and make a backup first!


That's all the time we have today =). Spend some time customizing the Folders, and have fun! If you've got any questions, feel free to email me Byron here at ActiveIE! Have fun, and enjoy IE4!


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