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Windows 7: possible to change list item height/spacing?


08 Dec 2009   #1

w7-64, w2k
 
 
possible to change list item height/spacing?

I was wondering if there's any registry val that controls the list item height and spacing of explorer folder windows, when using the List view mode?

For a while I thought something was off but wasn't sure exactly what, it felt like I was seeing less files and had to scroll more, or make windows bigger. Upon closer look that was correct, previous windows versions had smaller height (and no spacing) in list mode, using the screen real estate more efficiently. It has been a bit difficult to do searches, as the search terms are too generic to come up with anything useful.

Picture attached for clarification.



Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

09 Dec 2009   #2

w7-64, w2k
 
 

I'll answer myself to document the solution (or at least a solution). After not having found any registry keys, I went through some stylesheets in the usual suspects dll files.

It's done by editing a view values in an embedded xml resoure of ExplorerFrame.dll. The resource in question is xml stylesheet found under "UIFILE" / 40960. (I won't go into the editing specifics, there are plenty of those around the net in relation to customizing icons or disabling the Folder Band by editing dll resources.)

In the following 3 sections
<UICollection resid="collection.list.groups"
<UICollection resid="collection.list.ungrouped"
<UICollection resid="collection.list.insidegroup"

changing:

padding="rect(14rp,0,0,0)
to
padding="rect(0,0,0,0)

columnwidth="20rp"
to
columnwidth="17rp"

itemspacing="size(10rp,1rp)"
to
itemspacing="size(6rp,0rp)"


and the really compact list is back (yes it's Windows 7, changed the folder icons since last screenshot )


Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2009   #3

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

thanks Tweaker! i've been looking all over google for a solution for the spacing issue and i found this thread.

for those interested, here's what i did:
- i edited my ExplorerFrame.dll file with Resource Hacker (freeware tool) using the values Tweaker mentioned above. Since the text is basically one big blob, it was a little tedious to find the stuff i needed to edit, but thankfully Resource Hacker has a "find" command.
- replaced my ExplorerFrame.dll file in windows/system32. If you have trouble replacing the file, basically what I did was I took ownership of the file and renamed it (to ExplorerFrame.bak) then copied my modified ExplorerFrame.dll into system32)
- log off and log back in and that's it

question to admins or anyone: Am I allowed to attach or post a link to the ExplorerFrame.dll file that I edited?


Tweaker, do you know which values i need to edit to decrease the vertical spacing in details view? I tried looking through the DLL but all that text is so confusing...i tried changing some values that look like they might work but to no avail.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


31 Dec 2009   #4

w7-64, w2k
 
 

If I had to guess it would be

height="22rp"

there's only one occurence of that (inside a <style resid="details"> block), and 22 pixels is exactly the line size in details view. But I can't say for sure that it will work.


edit: for reference 17 would be the old windows height
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2010   #5

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

nice, it worked!
thanks tweaker!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2010   #6

w7-64, w2k
 
 

Tried it myself, and there is another padding tag so if you really want to squeeze it down to the original 17 size (only changing height to 17 will leave them at 19) you have to change the following too

search for: <UIItem resid="item.details"
following that there will be a
padding="rect(0,1rp,2rp,2rp)
which is changed to
padding="rect(0,1rp,2rp,0)
or if you don't want tall icons to cover the bottom pixel line of selections (this makes line 18 pixels instead)
padding="rect(0,1rp,2rp,1rp)


also to get rid of the oversized left window margin you can

search for: <UICollection resid="collection.details"
following that there will be a
padding="rect(14rp,0,0,0)"
which is changed to
padding="rect(0,0,0,0)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2010   #7

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

thanks, yeah i had fiddled around with those values already when i was looking to change the spacing in details view...basically i was editing everything that looked like it had something to do with details view

where you can change the left margin, i left it at padding="rect(2rp,0,0,0)" so it'll sort of match the margin of my list view.

and is it just me or is the folder tree on the left pane more spaced-out too? (it's not as annoying as the spacing was on the right pane, though, so it's not a big deal)

windows is really inconsistent when it comes to the UI, eh? well except for the fact that they basically spaced everything out (maybe for touchscreen users).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2010   #8

w7-64, w2k
 
 

Yeah the tree view has a larger line size aswell. I have all other panes hidden though, so haven't looked into changing any of those. Allthough they're also used in the File open/save dialogs, so who knows, maybe I'll have a look one day
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2010   #9

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Hi,

I would like to do this, and, indeed, I used the Resource Hacker tool, took control of the .dll file and replaced the settings as described. However, I mucked it up and when I logged off and on, Windows failed to start the explorer and I had to repair using the Windows 7 disk.

Is there an idiot's guide or could someone upload the .dll? Please can someone help as I'd like the spacing to be back to XP too!

Thank you!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2010   #10

w7-64, w2k
 
 

I'm not sure about the legal issues with distributing system executables and libs so I'll refrain from that. Did you use the latest res hacker, version 3.5.x? I'm not sure if older versions even load 64-bit dll's, but if they do it might be possible that messed something up.

As for making it fool proof. One solution, which would require a little extra work but pretty much super safe, would be to install windows under Virtual Box. Bascially so you can run windows inside windows as if it were just another app. There you can mess around without being afraid, if something goes wrong you can just restore from a snapshot. Once you have a working dll inside there you can copy it out to your real windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 possible to change list item height/spacing?




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