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Author Topic: SOLVED: desktop icon manager/grouping  (Read 10705 times)
mitzevo
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« on: January 22, 2007, 10:00:55 AM »

Hi there,

Was wondering if it's possible to make an app that controls how desktop icons are displayed.
Desktop icons by default when created are place on top left of screen or more so under the previous icon on left part
of the desktop.

Is it possible to, say, have a program to control where new icons are placed? For example:
all new .txt files are placed in a designated spot, or box on the right side of the desktop..
and shortcuts are placed on left, while .doc files are placed on the right side on the bottem..

Imagine the desktop split in 3 parts, each "box" is an area where icons will go

I know this would help me alot because I have work files (mainly .doc's) and work unrelated files (like what ever).
Some times I will make a background wallpaper with sections with titles like: "temp", "work", etc.

Ok hold on, let me find an old background I used for a little while..
* mitzevo searches for it..



see how I have a section for temp files.. Now that I've gone thru great pains of attaching that image I might as well do some mock ups of how some program might manage icons..
* mitzevo dabbles..

ok see this attempt at trying to convey my meaning...




the grid like or division like lines could be toggled/turned on/off, what ever the user wants.. or maybe this is just an unneeded feature.. anyway
maybe this could be the beginning of an advanced desktop organizer with regions that can be controlled..

any ways does any one have any thing to say about this? I tried looking for some thing like this a while back and only found desktop icon position savers, and related.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2007, 10:25:13 AM by mitzevo » Logged

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nudone
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2007, 11:37:50 AM »

good idea. i'd find this kind of tool useful too as i use the desktop as a storage and a work area with plenty of icons scattered around the place.
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2007, 06:53:01 PM »

I very much like this idea, but couldn't find a way to organize the icons through command line (even though that infor is stored in the registry in a binary key).
Can somebody help?
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lanux128
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2007, 07:20:17 PM »

cranioscopical wanted something like this. more in this thread and also here..
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2007, 07:54:42 PM »

mitzevo,
This one looks very close to your ideal http://www.sharewareconne...op-organizer-arranger.htm:
thanks go to mimiihu and lanux128 for a great deal of help in this area!
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Chris
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2007, 01:51:59 AM »

i've downloaded and had a quick play with Desktop Organizer & Arranger and it's not really the solution to the problem as it doesn't automatically move icons for you - it only saves their position after you've layed them out. it also creates a very ugly grid on screen AND immediately after installation it said my trial period was over. so, unfortunately i'd have to say it's not a quality piece of software.

is there no way of moving icons with autohotkey?
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2007, 05:46:44 AM »

is there no way of moving icons with autohotkey?
I should have thought of the ahk forums before. Here's an interesting thread: http://www.autohotkey.com...p;highlight=desktop+icons
I shall look into it smiley
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nudone
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2007, 06:16:50 AM »

looks promising then..?
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2007, 06:27:32 AM »

It sure does!
What was suggested in that thread works perfectly!
If you'd like to test it, i've attached a small demo that will move any icons on your desktop to a position you define.
(for this to work properly, you must uncheck the "align icons in grid" option)

[edit] btw.. this to-be program needs a name. any suggestions?[/edit]

* NewScript.ahk (0.42 KB - downloaded 171 times.)
« Last Edit: January 23, 2007, 06:33:24 AM by jgpaiva » Logged

nudone
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2007, 06:56:54 AM »

good to see you've got it working.

for a name, er, i'd say 'iconmove' but i'm sure mitzevo can suggest something.

is there no way of getting it to work with 'align to grid' as that's how i keep my desktop looking nice.

edit:
i see that it does work with 'align to grid' enabled anyway.

so, will it be possible to match icons by their extensions? this could also be extended to move/copy files from the desktop to a specified folder, i.e. a file finishes downloading onto the desktop and is then automatically moved to a folder according to it's file type.

i must say the moving of icons/files/folders on the desktop is the more important feature for me. my workflow is usually just to save all 'working' documents (mainly images but could be anything) onto the desktop and then move them around the screen so i know what is what simply be its location on screen.

beyond this, of course, i'd just like to add that it would be very nice to be able to save a number of desktop icon layouts.

i'm wondering how are you going to cope with it moving icons to locations that are already occupied by an icon - the default action by the system appears to be to move the current icon down on screen. when the bottom of the screen is reached the icons then wrap around to begin positioning themselves from the top of the screen.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2007, 07:13:52 AM by nudone » Logged
jgpaiva
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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2007, 07:12:52 AM »

Well.. I'm not sure, but i think it might not work with 'align to grid'. We'll see.
Right now, i'm trying to sort out how to find out the positions of the icons on the desktop, let's hope someone answers my request at the ahk forum.
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2007, 09:31:43 PM »

jgpaiva, I'm watching this with great interest  Thmbsup
As lanux128 very kindly pointed out, I'm looking for something specific http://www.donationcoder....um/index.php?topic=6497.0 and I think you're on to how to handle it.
Sometimes I despair that what seemed to be the better OS's fade away; if only the Amiga or OS/2 had been taken up and properly developed...sigh.  Shunting icons around like this, for example, was a  piece of cake under OS/2.
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Chris
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2007, 04:36:34 AM »

Oh, I got an answer in the ahk forum, and now i know how to manage the desktop icons with it.
So, i can get started on this program! cheesy

Here's my current idea:
The desktop is divided into a 6-part grid, 2 lines of 3 parts. (not custumizable at first)
Each of those parts has user-defined rules, based on the file's name, filetype, size and date.
for each of the parts of the grid, a icon distance is defined such that it only fits one icon, which appears in the middle of it. When a new icon is detected, which should be in that grid, that distance reduces to half and the new icon is added. This means that each group will be easily distinguished from the next, and that there'll never be space missing in any group. (although you probably wouldn't like to put 100000 icons in one group, probably Wink)
This last part is why the 'align to grid' thing would have to be off.
Also, the group count would start in the top-left group, and count left-to-right on the top row and right-to-left on the lower row. The 6th group (bottom left), would be where the icons that don't fit any rules in the other groups would be put.

So...Let's hear opinions and redefines of this concept, please! (also, feel free to find terms that make more sense then mine, so that we can talk about this in a decent way, and i can make a help file that is readable)
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2007, 07:45:36 AM »

I stumbled across DeskSave and remembered this thread; not that I'm thinking that DeskSave is an answer here... just of interest:

Quote
Features of DeskSave 7.0:
  • Saves the icon layout according to current user and screen resolution
  • Restoring works properly, even if 'Auto Arrange' or 'Align to Grid' (Windows XP) is activated
  • Accepts command line parameters
  • Auto restore at resolution change or program start
  • Starts with Windows, if desired
  • New: Import and export function
  • New: Undo after restoration
  • New: Provides backups of current and saved layouts
  • New: Supports English and German language
  • Optional shell extension for the desktop, thereby easy access to functions without background process
  • Very small size (DeskSave.exe: 66 kB, Shell extension: 68 kB)
  • No setup routine, just unpack the archive and DeskSave is ready
  • Easy deletion of all saved layouts and all settings, DeskSave is completely removable
  • Supports Windows 9x/NT/2000 and XP



from www.desksave.de
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lanux128
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« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2007, 08:22:46 PM »

good find, Perry! thumbs up eventhough it's not what mitzevo wanted but since it's only 82kb, it'll come in handy as a USB-app.. smiley
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Mandork
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« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2007, 07:02:46 AM »

I was just going to ask if anyone knew of a thing like this...

Some background:  I have a somewhat complicated directory structure, so I have made a few shortcuts to frequently used folders that are nested inside other categories and folders.  A typical path is something like this: 

C:\Documents and Settings\Dad\My Documents\Me\Downloaded Articles\PhD Related\Spanish Language

I'd like to clean it up but I'm not sure how, to be honest...and I also use EndNote 7 for my references, and many of the said articles are hyperlinked to the appropriate pdf files.  I don't know if EndNote will understand to change the links if I move the folder that holds the files somewhere more sensible, like C:\Articles.  But I digress.

I was thinking that I would like to assign "zones" to the desktop so that shortcuts to system folders and non-system folders stay in a group together.  Ideally I could sort each group by name in the usual way, e.g. right click->arrange icons by name. 

Are we all talking about the same thing?  Sorry, I'm a bit dense...
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2007, 08:40:54 AM »

Actually, i hadn't thought of that, Mandork, but the idea of having the program use the links of the shortcuts to determine where to place the icons is a good idea.
I think that'll have to be another option of this program Wink
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James Sterrett
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« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2007, 07:38:01 AM »

Perry --  Thank you!

From the site's description, Desksave should do  exactly what I came to this thread looking for.   dance  beerchug
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mitzevo
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« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2007, 06:40:41 AM »

lanux128, yes that's right - this is not what I had in mind  Grin
there are a few good desktop programs (like the one Perry mentioned) that keep the layout of the desktop, wallpaper, etc. allowing you to save profiles and switch between them for work, gaming, dev, etc.

but what I did have in mind was a more advanced desktop manager that allows you to sort the desktop, where certain files appear, etc.

 smiley
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mitzevo
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« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2007, 11:13:27 PM »

and im still wanting a good desktop manager.. tongue

let's recap.. I'm looking for a nice desktop application that pretty much overlays (or sits on top of) the desktop.
Think of it as an invisible grid. Now I forgot what I was  going to say.. I'll have to finish later tongue
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« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2007, 12:26:12 PM »

I am not sure I completely followed all of the requests, but it brought together an intriguing idea.  What if the "zones" were created such that a smallish zone (maybe the top half of the screen for example) was shortcuts to other zones.  Then say two or three zones taking up the lower half would change based on the shortcut selected.  Then you could go to the "Work Zone" for example, and the lower half would show work related shortcuts on the left and documents and other data links on the right.  Then you could quickly switch to the "Play Zone" to play your tower defense game, for example that would be in the lower left zone when it replaced the "work" icons.  Sort of a partial virtual desktop.

Just a thought to any interested in such an idea...Personally, I just use FARR and am done with it. Wink
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tomos
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« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2007, 01:08:33 AM »

I am not sure I completely followed all of the requests, but it brought together an intriguing idea.  What if the "zones" were created such that a smallish zone (maybe the top half of the screen for example) was shortcuts to other zones.  Then say two or three zones taking up the lower half would change based on the shortcut selected.  Then you could go to the "Work Zone" for example, and the lower half would show work related shortcuts on the left and documents and other data links on the right.  Then you could quickly switch to the "Play Zone" to play your tower defense game, for example that would be in the lower left zone when it replaced the "work" icons.  Sort of a partial virtual desktop.

Just a thought to any interested in such an idea...Personally, I just use FARR and am done with it. Wink

I've always wanted something like that - was considering various virtual desktops but didnt want other aspects of same (I use a deep/high[?] taskbar & like being able to see everything thats running)

My idea was different desktops with the same taskbar. Maybe e.g. Win/Tab (or Win+1 etc) through your Work/Edit/Tools/Etc desktops  smiley

I use FARR as well but if you cant remember the name of that seldom used programme ...
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« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2007, 02:01:32 PM »

I use FARR as well but if you cant remember the name of that seldom used programme ...

That is when I use the "Not Quite Dead" Start Menu... tongue


See here if you don't get the joke...
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mitzevo
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« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2011, 11:38:13 AM »

Sorry to bump this old thread, but I was just searching the forums and came across this app, StarDock Fences (via this thread: Re: IDEA (Concept Follow through): Small program that Show/Hides Desktop Stuff +), which is exactly what I was looking for back in '07 Grin:

Quote
Quick History
"Fences", originally "Desktop Icon Organizer", was started in 1999 as a tool to help standardize desktops across PCs, back in the author's high school "web-editors club" computer lab. (Screenshots from / download the 2003 prototype edition) It wasn't until 2007 when the idea was first publically announced and brought for discussion around the web. About a year later the program finally got its chance at a Vista-compatible remake, and in 2008 Stardock proudly announced its new product, "Stardock Fences"!    

@http://www.stardock.com/products/fences/about.asp
« Last Edit: August 12, 2011, 12:05:49 PM by mitzevo » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2011, 10:18:41 PM »

http://www.stardock.com/products/fences/

Have you considered Fences, free for personal use.
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