Chapter 7. Nautilus File Manager

Modifying the Appearance of Files and Folders

The file manager enables you to modify the appearance of your files and folders in several ways, as described in the following sections.

Icons and Emblems

In icon view, the file manager displays your files and folders as icons. You can add emblems to your file icons and folder icons. An emblem is a small icon that you can add to an item to visually mark the item. For example, to mark a file as important, you can add an Important emblem to the file icon to create the following visual effect:

File icon with Important emblem.

For more information on how to add an emblem to an icon, see the section called “To Add an Emblem to a File or Folder”.

The following table describes the structure of the file icon:

Component

Description

Important emblem.

Emblem. This emblem is the Important emblem.

Text file icon.

Icon that represents the file. This icon might contain a preview of the contents of the file.

Icon caption.

Icon caption. You can modify what items of information are displayed in the icon caption.

The file manager includes default emblems for the following types of item:

  • Symbolic links

  • Items for which you have the following permissions:

    • Read permission only

    • No read permission and no write permission

The following table shows the default emblems:

Default Emblem

Description

Symbolic link emblem.

Symbolic link

Read permission only emblem.

Read permission only

No read permission and no write permission emblem.

No read permission and no write permission

To Add an Emblem to a File or Folder

To add an emblem to an item perform the following steps:

  1. Select the item to which you want to add an emblem.

  2. Right-click on the item, then choose Properties. A properties dialog is displayed.

  3. Click on the Emblems tab to display the Emblems tabbed section.

  4. Select the emblem to add to the item.

  5. Click Close to close the properties dialog.

To Add a New Emblem

To add a new emblem, perform the following steps:

  1. Choose Edit->Backgrounds and Emblems.

  2. Click on the Emblem button, then click on the Add a New Emblem button. A Create a New Emblem dialog is displayed.

  3. Type a name for the emblem in the Keyword text box.

  4. Click on the Image button. A dialog is displayed. , click Browse. When you choose an emblem, click OK.

  5. Click OK on the Create a New Emblem dialog.

To Change the Icon for a File or Folder

To change the icon that represents an individual file or folder, perform the following steps:

  1. Select the file or folder that you want to change.

  2. Choose File->Properties. A properties dialog is displayed.

  3. On the Basic tabbed section, click on the Select Custom Icon button. A Select an icon dialog is displayed.

  4. Use the Select an icon dialog to choose the icon to represent the file or folder.

  5. Click Close to close the properties dialog.

To restore an icon from a custom icon to the default icon specified in the File Types and Programs preference tool, right-click on the icon then choose Remove Custom Icon. Alternatively, click on the Remove Custom Icon button on the Properties dialog.

To change the icon that represents a file type, use the File Types and Programs preference tool.

To Change the Size of Items in a View

You can change the size of items in a view. You can change the size if the view displays a file or a folder. You can change the size of items in a view in the following ways:

  • To enlarge the size of items in a view, choose View->Zoom In.

  • To reduce the size of items in a view, choose View->Zoom Out.

  • To return items in a view to the normal size, choose View->Normal Size.

You can also use the zoom buttons on the location bar to change the size of items in a view. Table 7.3, “Zoom Buttons” describes how to use the zoom buttons.

Table 7.3. Zoom Buttons

Button

Button Name

Description

Zoom Out button.

Zoom Out button

Click on this button to reduce the size of items in a view.

Normal Size button.

Normal Size button

Click on this button to return items in a view to normal size.

Zoom In button.

Zoom In button

Click on this button to enlarge the size of items in a view.

The file manager remembers the size of items in a particular folder. The next time that you display the folder, the items are displayed in the size that you selected. In other words, when you change the size of items in a folder, you customize the folder to display the items at that size. To return the size of the items to the default size specified in your preferences, choose View->Reset View to Defaults.

Using Views to Display Your Files and Folders

The file manager provides several ways to display the contents of your files. The file manager includes viewer components that enable you to display particular types of file in the view pane. For example, you can use a web page viewer to display HTML files in the view pane. You can use a text viewer to view plain text files in the view pane.

You can also use the file manager to open a file in an appropriate application. For more information, see the section called “Opening Files”.

The file manager includes views that enable you to show the contents of your folders in different ways. For example, you can show the contents of a folder in the following types of view:

  • Icon view

    Shows the items in the folder as icons.

  • List view

    Shows the items in the folder as a list.

Use the View menu to choose how to display a file or folder. You can also use the View as drop-down list to choose how to display a file or folder. When you display a folder, you can specify how you want to arrange or sort items in the folder. You can modify the size of the items in the view pane. The following sections describe how to work with icon view, list view, and views of files.

To Choose a View in Which to Display a File or Folder

Choose the type of view in which to display the contents of a file or folder from the View menu.

Alternatively, to choose a view, choose View->View as. Select the view that you want to use from the Open with Other Viewer dialog, then click on the Choose button.

You can also choose the type of view from the View as drop-down list. The View as drop-down list is located at the right side of the location bar.

You can display different folders in different views. The file manager remembers the view that you choose for a particular folder. The next time that you display the folder, the file manager displays the folder in that view. To return the view for the folder to the default view specified in your preferences, choose View->Reset View to Defaults.

To Arrange Your Files in Icon View

When you display the contents of a folder in icon view, you can specify how to arrange the items in the folder. To specify how to arrange items in icon view, choose View->Arrange Items. The Arrange Items submenu contains the following sections:

  • The top section contains an option that enables you to arrange your files manually.

  • The middle section contains options that enable you to sort your files automatically.

  • The bottom section contains options that enable you to modify how your files are arranged.

Choose the appropriate options from the submenu, as described in the following table:

Option

Description

Manually

Select this option to arrange the items manually. To arrange the items manually, drag the items to the location you require within the view pane.

By Name

Select this option to sort the items alphabetically by name. The order of the items is not case sensitive. If the file manager is set to display hidden files, the hidden files are shown last.

By Size

Select this option to sort the items by size, with the largest item first. When you sort items by size, the folders are sorted by the number of items in the folder. The folders are not sorted by the total size of the items in the folder.

By Type

Select this option to sort the items alphabetically by object type. The items are sorted alphabetically by the description of their MIME type in the File Types and Programs preference tool. The MIME type identifies the format of a file, and enables applications to read the file. For example, an email application can use the image/png MIME type to detect that a PNG file is attached to an email.

By Modification Date

Select this option to sort the items by the date the items were last modified. The most recently modified item is first.

By Emblems

Select this option to sort the items by any emblems that are added to the items. The items are sorted alphabetically by emblem name. Items that do not have emblems are last.

Compact Layout

Select this option to arrange the items so that the items are closer to each other.

Reversed Order

Select this option to reverse the order of the option by which you sort the items. For example, if you sort the items by name, select the Reversed Order option to sort the items in reverse alphabetical order.

The file manager remembers how you arrange the items in a particular folder. The next time that you display the folder, the items are arranged in the way that you selected. In other words, when you specify how to arrange the items in a folder, you customize the folder to display the items in that way. To return the arrangement settings of the folder to the default arrangement settings specified in your preferences, choose View->Reset View to Defaults.

To Resize an Icon in Icon View

In icon view, you can change the size of the icon that represents an item that is displayed. To change the size of an item in icon view, perform the following steps:

  1. Right-click on the item that you want to resize, then choose Stretch Icon. A rectangle appears around the item, with a handle at each corner.

  2. Grab one of the handles, then drag the icon to the size that you want.

    To return the icon to the original size, right-click on the icon, then choose Restore Icon's Original Size.

You can also resize objects on the desktop.

To Modify the Behavior of a View

You can modify the behavior of a view in the following ways:

  • Specify that the view is the default view for a particular file or folder.

  • Specify that the view is the default view for a file type or all folders.

  • Specify that the view is an item in the View as submenu for a particular file or folder.

  • Specify that the view is an item in the View as submenu for all of a particular file type or for all folders.

  • Specify that the view is not an item in the View as submenu for a particular file or folder.

To modify the behavior of a view perform the following steps:

  1. Choose View->View as. An Open with Other Viewer dialog is displayed.

  2. Select the view that you want to modify from the table in the dialog.

  3. Click on the Modify button. A Modify dialog is displayed. The following table describes the options on the Modify dialog:

    Option

    Description

    Include in the menu for item-name items

    Select this option to include the view in the View as submenu for this type of item.

    Use as default for item-name items

    Select this option to use the view as the default for this type of item.

    Include in the menu for item-name only

    Select this option to include the view in the View as submenu for this item only.

    Use as default for item-name only

    Select this option to use the view as the default for this item only.

    Don't include in the menu for item-name items

    Select this option to exclude the view from the View as submenu for this type of item.

  4. Click OK, then click Cancel to close the Open with Other Viewer dialog.

Note

You can also modify the actions that are associated with a file type in the Edit file type dialog in the File Types and Programs preference tool. To open the Edit file type dialog, click on the Go There button.