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Enabling Access to iFolder

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Trent Badger

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Posted: 22 Aug 2003
 

For many users, iFolder has provided a safe haven for their work. However, the accessibility of iFolder via the Open/Save dialogs of the native environment, the Office productivity suites, and Windows Explorer, needs improvement. This document outlines several methods to improve accessibility to your iFolder in Windows XP:

My Computer

Windows XP and Windows 2000 allow third party software developers to extend the Windows Shell to include special folders. These special folders can be accessible in 'My Computer' (Figure 1), the 'Desktop' and in all tree controls that explore or navigate the file system (Figure 2).

To have iFolder appear in 'My Computer' requires editing the registry to add new shell objects. Several editors exist to easily add new shell items without directly editing the registry. One such editor can be found at the following Web site: http://www.tropictech.de/software/shellobject/. Download the editor and install it.

Disclaimer from Web site: Note that this program uses some undocumented registry entries to do what it does. You are completely on your own with whatever the results may be. We tried the program on different computers and it works and does no harm, but we don't guarantee anything. We are in no way responsible for the results.

Using Shell Object Editor

Once installed, it can be accessed in your Control Panel, or a Program Group Icon. To add a new shell object, launch the program, select 'Create new?' and follow the Wizard instructions.

Step 1
Enter a name and description that you will recognize as your iFolder directory.

Step 2
Select the first option to include iFolder as a shell object, and have it behave like a folder. Then select the Browse (?) button to browse to your iFolder. Select the Folder you designated as your iFolder during the installation of iFolder.

Select an icon for your iFolder. You can use the default, or use one of the iFolder icons in this ZIP file: ifolder_icons.ico- ifolder_icon3.ico.

Place the icon in a logical folder on your system (the iFolder program directory is recommended) and then select it by browsing to the path where you placed it.

Step 4
Specify who will have access to the new iFolder shell object and the position of the new icon (where it will show up.)

Step 5
Special flags may be set on the new shell object folder you are creating. See Help for information on these settings. Click Finish to create the new shell object. You should now have an icon in the Other Category (if selected to appear in My Computer) of My Computer as in Figure 1.

Shell Open Save Dialogs

Additional access to your iFolder can be provided through the Open and Save Dialogs of your favorite applications and Office XP productivity apps. The Photoshop Open Dialog has been extended, for example, to show iFolder in the Places Bar on the left of the dialog. Any application that uses the common Windows Open and Save dialogs is automatically extended when you add iFolder to the common dialogs.

To add iFolder to your system's common Open and Save dialogs, you can also edit the registry. Several editors also exist to modify the registry to accomplish this task. An editor provided by MaDdoG Software is available at the following Web site: http://www.maddogsw.com/placesbar/. Download the application and follow the instructions to install and run.

Note: The common dialog can only display five places in the Place Bar. You can add any combination of places in the Place bar up to the five maximum.

You have the option of adding any combination of Folders or Special items to the list. Special items include 'My Documents', 'Desktop', 'My Computer', and more.

To add iFolder to the places bar, select Add Folder, and browse to your iFolder to select it. Once you have added your iFolder, select Test to see it in action. Continue and add up to four more places to your place bar. When finished, select Apply. You now have a set of places that better support the way you work.

Office Suite Open Save Dialogs

The open Save dialogs of the Office productivity Suite can also be modified and extended to include your own places in the Places Bar. You can add up to five additional places, including the five provided by default. You can modify the defaults, but it does require editing the registry, or using an application similar to the Places Bar editor by MaDdoG software. To find an editor, search for 'Places Bar Editor' on the Web.

To add five of your own places in Office, open Word or another office application. Once open, select Open from the File menu. To add your iFolder directory to the places bar, first browse to the folder in the right panel and then select it. Once selected, select Tools and then select Add to "My Places".

Once added, you will note a small arrow (triangle) at the bottom of the places bar.

Selecting this arrow will scroll the places bar list down to reveal the folder you just added. To move it further up or to the top of the list, right-click on the new 'Place' and select Move Up. You can add up to five more items to the places bar and organize them similarly. You can only remove the places you add. You cannot remove the default items using this method. Selecting the newly-added iFolder icon takes you directly to your iFolder without having to browse for it.


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