Best Practice Ezine #35 – Colour Code Folders

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Best Practice Ezine #35 – Colour Code Folders

The purpose of this week’s tip is to make it easier to find your folders in Windows Explorer.  By colour coding folders containing important files, they will stand out from that sea of yellow folders.

I see this colour coding idea as working on three levels; firstly, Guy’s challenge for you to investigate the folder settings, secondly to pass on this tip to friends (and if you are a network administrator, to your users).  Thirdly to extend your creative skills by designing your own icons.

Find that ‘Customize’ Tab

Each folder in XP and Windows Server 2003 has a little know ‘Customize’ tab.  If you have not noticed this setting before, then right-click any folder, properties, and there it is – ‘Customize’ on the very last tab.

Remember that our goal is to colour code folders.  Now my idea is to cheat and actually click on the ‘Change Icon’ button and choose a different style of Icon for each type of folder.  Whereas I merely use a different built-in icon, Pauline has a neat Icon generating program which really does produced differently coloured folders.  She got the program from Google by searching for: Icon Generator.

If you are looking for a more ‘meaty’ tip then check out Tools4Ever

If you do not have the time to make your own icons, then there is a good supply of shapes in the %SystemRoot%\system32\SHELL32.dll file.  Indeed this is the default location that Explorer provides when you click ‘Change Icon.  An alternative icon source is: system32\moricons.dll.  I suspect that there may be interesting icons in other .dll files in the system32 folder, do let me know if you find any.  Else take Pauline’s tip and make your own icons.

Back at the Customize Folder, there is ‘Choose Picture’ option.  This sounded exciting, but personally, I found it disappointing because my lovely colour pictures only displayed in the thumb nail view.  While I never use the Thumbnails view, I appreciate this is a case of: ‘One man’s meat is another man’s poison’.


Improve your chance of finding a folder quickly by introducing colour coding.  Just right-click a folder in explorer, select Properties and check out the Customize tab.  Impress your friends by passing on this tip.  Take colour coding to the limits by getting an Icon Generator.

See more interesting Windows desktop tips

 • Windows 8 Explorer  • Ezines  •E 201 AutoHotKey  •Activate Administrator Win 8

E 127 Basics  •E 126 LCD  •E 109 Office  •IP Address Tracker

E 113 Notification  •E 78 Home Drive  •E 40 Alt Gr  •E 35 Colour Folder  •Wake-on-Lan