WinSetView (Tool to Globally Set Explorer Folder Views)

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  1. Posts : 373
    Windows 10 Home 21H2
       #41

    This is a fantastic tool. It saved me hours of work.

    The manual is very detailed, and AFAIK contains everything you would ever need to know.

    However, at the risk of being controversial, I personally don't think the manual is needed. WSView reminds me of typical Unix tools. At first glance, the number of options frightens me to death. But all the options are simple. Set them once - or accept the defaults - then forget about them.

    To learn this tool, just press every button and observe what happens. After each step, just press CANCEL. Each option has its own CANCEL. AFAIK, changing an option does not actually take effect until you press "SUBMIT".

    BTW: If you accidentally press SUBMIT while experimenting, you can restore the original config at any time by pressing "Load Settings".

    Here are the steps I used to explore each option. I cancelled after every step.

    - Check Reset Views to Windows Defaults and observe the results. After that, press each buttons (except Submit).

    - Uncheck Reset Views to Windows Defaults.

    - Press Options. Read. Press L arrow.

    - Press Restore. Obvious. Press Cancel.

    - Press Load Settings. Look at Windows versions. Cancel.

    - Press Save Settings. Look. Cancel.

    - In the "Global" section, note that on your first inspection, The dropdown has "Details". So every other template below has Details in its dropdown.

    - I tried to check the Columns checkbox. It seems to be inactive - but see later.

    - Below the dropdown, observe: Name | Folder path | Date modified | Type | Size

    These are the column titles in the R panel of Explorer. To change these:

    - Press Columns button. In the child, press every button at the top, starting with "X". Undo any action that results while pressing a button.

    - Observe the values under the button that has 2 ticks. All the following are currently checked:

    Name | Folder path | Date modified | Type | Size

    Note the same line of values at top of the child, under "Global". That line changes if you add or subtract a field. Simples. So, that's where the column titles come from in Explorer R panel. L arrow to go back.

    - In the dropdown for Global, the default is Details. Select a different value. All other templates now have the new type. Reset to Details.

    - Uncheck the box for "Downloads". All options for that template disappear. So whatever options you currently have for "Downloads" will remain unchanged by WinSV.

    - Recheck Downloads, but uncheck Inherit and press "Columns". Now you can selectively alter any fields that differ from Global.

    I think I've covered everything. If not - try it yourself. You can always recover by using LOAD SETTINGS.

    I still haven't got my rather limited mind round the relationships between RESTORE, LOAD SETTINGS, and SAVE SETTINGS. I think you need to press all of them, then observe which folder is being accessed.

    You can see that RESTORE handles REG files, and "SETTINGS" handles INI files.

    I think the only time I would ever read the github manual is to read the paragraphs on Submit, Restore, Load Settings, and Save Settings.

    IMO, SUBMIT is a Windows-style "secret" option, where you don't know how it actually works under the bonnet unless you RTFM. Pity. Maybe pressing SUBMIT could launch an "Are you sure?" dialog. Part of that text could specify that info will be overwritten, but can be restored by RESTORE.

    Thanks.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 684
    Windows 10/11
    Thread Starter
       #42

    @OldGrantonian Thanks for the kind words and detailed analysis. I have a few, hopefully helpful, comments...

    I agree that the tool is mostly self-explanatory, but there are a few areas where the manual (Readme) clarifies how certain settings are related or simply clarifies what a button, such as "Save Settings" actually does. I also tried to make the manual something of a tutorial on how File Explorer views work.

    In an ideal world, every option would have on-screen help (e.g. via right-click pop-up). However, I had many requests for the tool to work in other languages when the first release was English-only. The current version supports 31 different languages and, in order to make that manageable, I had to keep the items that needed translating to a minimum. Much of the language file contents I was able to pull from Windows directly, but help topics would require a lot of hand-editing by native speakers. That's just not practical for one person writing a tool in their spare time. I wanted the tool to be as equal as possible in all languages, so having built-in help in English-only would be contradictory to that goal. The compromise was to put all the help in a Readme file and that is also much easier to maintain (I can update the Readme any time without worrying about doing a new release or introducing a bug). Yes, the Readme is in English only, but I'm open to contributors translating it and that can be done any time without touching the working parts of the tool.

    I think I fully explained Restore, Load Settings, and Save Settings in the Readme, but I'll try a different take on it here...

    In this context, "settings" means the choices (program options) made in the WinSetView graphical user interface (GUI), as opposed to Windows settings. Most users can ignore Load Settings and Save Settings, since the current settings are saved when Submit is clicked and are loaded to the GUI when the app is loaded. However, some users may want to maintain different sets of settings for various reasons and, for those users, these options exist. Load Settings and Save Settings do not change anything in Windows. They can be considered to mean "Load Settings (program options) from an INI file that I previously saved" and "Save my current settings (program options) to an INI file".

    Restore, however, means "Restore File Explorer views to a previous state". Each time Submit is pressed, a reg file is created to save the current File Explorer views. When Restore is pressed, any one of those reg files can be selected to restore the views to that point in time.

    One thing that I haven't yet mentioned in the Readme is that using WinSetView to set your File Explorer default views can potentially help with File Explorer performance and reliability. Since it clears out the BagMRU/Bags keys each time it's run (in order for the folder type defaults to replace individual folder settings), I think this should help make File Explorer run smoother. It certainly can't hurt.
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 373
    Windows 10 Home 21H2
       #43

    Once again, thanks for the great tool.

    Of all the Windows tools I've used, I can say now that WinSV is going to be one of the EASIEST to use.

    Reason: ALL the options are exposed - as in Unix and Linux. The user can choose her own subset of options - and ignore everything else.

    Normally, MS expose only a small subset of options, and hard-code the remainder. That's fine for the fictitious "average user", but more ambitious users need to hack the registry for unexposed options. Many of Shawn's excellent tutorials provide ready-made REG files.

    In my first post I said "See later" for a description of the small checkbox to the right of each dropdown under (for example) "Documents".

    If you select Documents, but uncheck Inherit, and select "Small icons" in the dropdown, then "16" is displayed in my checkbox. That means small icons can be displayed over 16 columns.

    Remember to re-check Inherit if you want to keep all keep all defaults until you understand what's happening. Note that re-checking Inherit causes "Details" to be redisplayed in the (now inactive) dropdown("Inherit" is a great feature, allowing massive simplification for the user - as well as easier understanding.)

    LesFerch said:
    One thing that I haven't yet mentioned in the Readme is that using WinSetView to set your File Explorer default views can potentially help with File Explorer performance and reliability. Since it clears out the BagMRU/Bags keys each time it's run (in order for the folder type defaults to replace individual folder settings), I think this should help make File Explorer run smoother. It certainly can't hurt.
    Even more great news !

    Thanks.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 684
    Windows 10/11
    Thread Starter
       #44

    OldGrantonian said:
    If you select Documents, but uncheck Inherit, and select "Small icons" in the dropdown, then "16" is displayed in my checkbox. That means small icons can be displayed over 16 columns.
    The "16" is the icon size. You can type in a different value to override the File Explorer default. For example, 32 would give you an icon size halfway between small and medium.
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 373
    Windows 10 Home 21H2
       #45

    Correct.

    I was just checking to see if anyone reads the manual - which they should :-)
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 27
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       #46

    Excellent work. Thank you for the tool.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 684
    Windows 10/11
    Thread Starter
       #47

    You're welcome. And, in case you're wondering.. I just accidentally deleted my last message as I tried to do a small edit (danger of using mobile).
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 27
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       #48

    All good.

    I didn't recall having this issue before with Group By but it does not seem to honor disabling it at least on new installs of Windows 10
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 684
    Windows 10/11
    Thread Starter
       #49

    Which folder? Downloads? New install, old install, all the same. It has to be run for each user, of course, as settings are per-user
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 27
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       #50

    The Downloads folder. But, I do redirect that to a new drive. The other topic with a PowerShell code change works for normal folders but didn't seem to affect the Downloads during an actual download when you select where to download.

    Using your tool fixed it.
      My Computer


 

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