Windows Vista Tips And Tricks

Hide Desktop Icon Text on Windows Vista

By now, some of your program icons should be so familiar to you that you don't need the text underneath it to tell you what it is. Let's make an example of good old Internet Explorer. All of, by now, know what the Internet Explorer icon looks like. Do you really need the text underneath it telling you that this icon represents Internet Explorer? Didn't think so. Wanna get rid of the text? Thought so! Just right-click on the shortcut, and choose "Rename" - hold down the "Alt" key and type in 255 using the keypad (to the right of the keyboard). Don't use the number keys on the top row of your keyboard though - they won't work - so save your time and frustration! Got a laptop? Normally you can turn on NumLock and then use the little number keys next to the regular letters on your keyboard. Did you even know those were there?

But wait, there's more. If you order now you get a set of Ginzu Knives absolutely free when you order. No, that's not right. But there is more and it's important. The first shortcut on your desktop you change, just one Alt+255 will do the trick. But for the next shortcut, you’ll have to enter it twice (Alt+255, Alt+255). The third shortcut you change? You have to enter it three times (Alt+255, Alt+255, Alt+255) - got the idea? Here's why. The Alt+255 character is blank, so the shortcut filename is actually just named with a character that is completely blank. Anyone whose been using Windows for any length of time at all knows you cannot have two files with the same name in the same folder. Right? Right! So each time you remove the text from an icon on your desktop you're actually entering a blank character, which in Windows wisdom is a name. So you cannot have two icons with the name "blank" got it? So while the first icon you change can be labeled "blank" (no text) the next one must be "blank blank" (Alt+255, Alt+255), and the next "blank", "blank", "blank" (Alt+255, Alt+255, Alt+255) and the next one.... well by now you either get this or your don't.

(What's that you say EB? No, I'm not swearing at the readers! We're talking about something official here...the "blank", "blank", "blank" are not swear words. I'm trying to teach our readers something! Hmmm EB is always interrupting me!)

Excuse the interruption, folks. There's a few more things we need to cover here before we move on. 

1. If you use this tip to rename a folder, you will not be able to rename the folder back using the right-click rename. And, I cannot tell you why that is. Only those with greater arcane knowledge than I can explain this. So be careful when renaming a desktop folder using the info in this tip. If you've already done it (because you went off and started renaming everything on your desktop before you finished this) the only way you can rename the folder back to what is was is by opening a command prompt and change directory to the one containing the folder (in this case C:\ Users \YOUR USER NAME \DESKTOP), and run the command: ren “Alt+255” “NewFolderName”  . You will need to actually type the Alt+255 character(s) exactly as shown. It will appear as a space. Then where it says "NewFolderName" type in the name of the folder.

One final note. Recycle Bin doesn't follow any of the above rules :)


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