Set column width

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fenpeppertree
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Set column width

Post by fenpeppertree » 2015 Feb 06, 12:19

:eh: I cannot find a way to set an individual column to a specified width, and I am having a problem with the "Name" column being wider than I would like. If there is one file name longer than all the rest, I do not want the column set to accommodate this one file. I do not think the "Ctrl + Add" or the "Tools>Options>Advanced Page>automatically resize name column" options are what is needed.

For a program that touts having it all over "File Explorer", I would say it is sorely lacking in this department. File Explorer's "column to fit" for one column or "column to fit" for all columns is very simple, but Xplorer2 has no such thing. File Explorer also allows for resizing of individual columns by number of pixels. I really think Xplorer2, with all its "in depth and detailed" programming could take a simple lesson from File Explorer.

I am posting a couple of images of File Explorer's much appreciated column options that are available, and without having to dig around to find them.
Capture FILE EXPLORER SIZE JUST ONE OR ALL COLUMNS OPTIONS.PNG

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Re: Set column width

Post by Kilmatead » 2015 Feb 06, 13:04

Page 69 of the [url=http://zabkat.com/x2docs.zip]PDF Manual[/url] wrote:1. Drag the right-side border of any column header to set its width (obviously)

2. Double-click the right-side border of any column header to set the width of that column to the longest entry in the column.

Rather than adjusting the width of each column separately, you can adjust the width of all columns in one stroke: While the focus is in the folder pane, press CTRL+Gray+ (or use the View -> Autosize columns menu option). The width of all columns will be automatically adjusted to the longest entry in each column. On the other hand, if you want to fit all columns to the text in headers, press SHFT+CTRL+Gray+.
While such approaches may seem obscure to some users, placing such rarely-used options (aside from the dedicated option for the Name column which is the one most likely to require radical resizing) in too obvious a place just produces clutter.

As an opinion, that GUI gimmick for setting specific column widths in pixels just seems overly... um... yeah... maybe not... :shrug: The user couldn't possibly know how many pixels they would want without knowing the variable-width of the font the display itself renders in for the data in that column cell... and no one but a savant graphic designer could possibly predict spatially accurate font-weight pixel-metrics in their heads. Be a nice party trick, though. :D

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Re: Set column width

Post by kdaube » 2015 Jul 07, 08:08

I recently run into a problem with file names: I did not recognise the blank in front of the period before the extension. I had set folder options to use the default windows font (SegoeUI) which obviously has very narrow spaces. And with 73 the eyes are not that powerful any more.

Hence I decided to set the font in Xplorer to Consolas 11 and in the same effort to set up reasonable columns widths. For that I defined a file with name !_name-with-40-characters-(incl_ext).txt (it doesn't need any content) and cut/pasted it from root-folder to root-folder in my folder groups.
Double clicking into the right of the column headers, then updating the folder group - looks useful now.
xplorer2-column-widths.png

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Re: Set column width

Post by fenpeppertree » 2016 Feb 25, 11:11

I know this post is old, but I am still wishing Xplorer2 would do what Microsoft has done with selecting column widths. I do not see a problem with selecting a certain number of pixels for any individual column or all columns. There is only one size font being used, at least for me, and I could easily figure out what number of pixels would best fit whichever column I needed to adjust, just like in Microsoft's File Explorer.

To set a column width to the longest file name in the column rarely works, since there seems to always be that one file with an extra long name; that is why the column needs to be set at a certain fixed width, to accommodate the majority not the single extra long file. What I guess I would like to know, is how I can permanently set a column width for a column in a sub-folder, or if that is even possible.

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Re: Set column width

Post by nikos » 2016 Feb 25, 11:14

why bother with numbers when you can just drag-resize the column to the width you want?
once you set a column width it will stay like that for all folders

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Re: Set column width

Post by fenpeppertree » 2016 Feb 25, 22:11

What? I just opened a folder and set the "Name" column width, by dragging it to the width I wanted, but when I closed Xplorer and then reopened it to this same folder, it had gone back to whatever preset it was originally. How is this column width decided and where can I change it?

When you say all folders, what do you mean? I would like to set folders individually, and also sub folders, as need be.

Here is a .png image of Microsoft's File Explorer showing the "set selected column by number of pixels" feature, which seems to be simply added to the bottom of the "select column headings" box. It always has the current width of the column, and it is quite easy to take that number up or down to set the column width desired, and besides that it stays at that number for that individual column; there is no having to repeat the process every time you open the folder.
Capture Microsoft File Explorer column width option.PNG
I am not understanding how to set individual column widths so that they remain where I have set them.

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Re: Set column width

Post by Kilmatead » 2016 Feb 25, 22:42

Actions -> Folder Settings -> Save

This will save all the columns specifically used/displayed in the currently active folder as well as their individual widths. A popup will appear giving the option to assign these same settings to all the subfolders as well. (You may also wish to disable the Tools -> Options -> Advanced (Tab) -> Automatically resize Name column setting too, for obvious reasons.)

It should be noted that you only need to do this on specific folders which require "special" settings from the norm. If a folder has no previously saved settings (principally, if it has no desktop.ini file), it will just use the "last saved" pane settings from whenever x2 was last closed (with saved settings on) or Actions -> Save Settings Now was explicitly used.

Also, see page 235 of the PDF manual for optionally managing Customise -> Column Sets which may be used to quickly switch between different pre-saved column setups "on the fly" within any single folder (to temporarily override its current settings), without having to select/drag/change individual columns around each time.

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Re: Set column width

Post by fenpeppertree » 2016 Feb 26, 08:30

This solution did not work, including the sub folders or not; with either the "folder settings>save" or the "save settings now". The folder column name still reverted back to the preset it started with after closing and then reopening Xplorer. I did uncheck the "Automatically resize Name column".

OK, one second, I just checked to make sure the "Automatically resize Name column" was still unchecked, and it wasn't. I unchecked it again, applied the "folder settings>save", closed and reopened Xplorer, and same thing; column width not saved and the "Automatically resize Name column" reverted back to 'checked'. I also unchecked it again without trying to save any settings or anything, closed and reopened Xplorer; and the box was checked again. I am clicking the "OK" button, and not just using the "X" in the upper right hand corner to close the "Tools>..." dialogue box, which is what I thought might have happened at first.

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Re: Set column width

Post by Kilmatead » 2016 Feb 26, 08:45

Most likely you have used Explorer "replacement" mode, which always leaves an instance running even when you close x2. As an alternative, try closing x2 using <Alt+X> (instead of the 'X'-button on the window), and/or tick the box for Tools -> Advanced Options -> Global (tab) -> Don't stay resident when in replacement mode.

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Re: Set column width

Post by nikos » 2016 Feb 26, 08:54

things get super complicated if you are saving custom folder settings, so try to avoid it. For a few ideas see here
www.zabkat.com/blog/settings-headaches.htm

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Re: Set column width

Post by fenpeppertree » 2016 Feb 26, 08:59

I think I have solved the problem. Somehow one of my customized column sets (for Music) was set as 'Default". I changed that and everything seems to be good.
Sorry for the bother.

I do have a question regarding something else that always bothers me. The Size column does not allow for resizing, really. It always sticks right next to the column on its immediate right. This is always a bit irksome to me, because it seems so cramped with the other columns have a little space between. I don't understand why this column is so fixed and all the other columns are not.

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Re: Set column width

Post by fenpeppertree » 2016 Feb 26, 09:46

As long as we're on the subject, and I'm trying to do some organizing, I am having another dilemma. I have quite a number of epub files (books), and I have set a customized column set for this folder that includes column headings like Author, Publisher, Copyright, and so on, but when I click on the "Details" tab in the properties box for any of these files, none of these headings are listed, and besides that, what is listed, which is just the most general of details like type, size, folder path and so on, are not editable. This properties box is just a fixed set of basic file information that has nothing to with 'Details' about the book itself. I know with my music folder files, there are all the detail headings needed for audio (mp3) files, and they are all editable. Why are the book (epub) files different?

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Re: Set column width

Post by nikos » 2016 Feb 26, 11:10

if you check the plugins page, there is something for epub. It is listed as thumbnails handler but apparently it also does property columns. I haven't tried it but it may work for you

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Re: Set column width

Post by Kilmatead » 2016 Feb 26, 11:49

fenpeppertree wrote:The Size column does not allow for resizing, really. It always sticks right next to the column on its immediate right. This is always a bit irksome to me [...] I don't understand why this column is so fixed and all the other columns are not.
It's not "fixed" per se, it's just one of the few columns that is right-justified whereas most others are left-justified. As a rule (by Western LTR convention), numerical columns are right-justified while text-columns are left-justified. One suspects that Hebraic/Arabic columns would be the RTL reverse.

If you were to place (for spurious example) another right-justified column directly after it such as 'Characters [S]', you'd see more space between them. And yes, then you would find that column jumbled up next to its neighbour. :shrug:

There is no fix to this, short of placing such columns last in the line, or placing a "blank" column next to it (admittedly a silly idea), or as a last resort asking for an option to make numerical columns left-justified... which would probably send shivers of terror down the spines of Excel users everywhere. :wink:

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Re: Set column width

Post by fenpeppertree » 2016 Feb 26, 12:07

Ok, I get that the Size column should be right justified, but really! why does that have anything to do with the column to its immediate right being 'stuck' to it. Why can't the column to to its immediate right be edged off the "Size" column. It's really quite ridiculous.

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