Folder Picture

Folder Picture
Mac Tip #210/31-August-2005

When you open up a folder you see a nice white background with various icons or lists of files sprinkled around on it. All your folders look the same, too: black on white.

But how about adding a background picture to a folder to help make it more distinctive and just prettier? Here’s how.

Click on the pictures to see larger versions.

First prepare or find a picture and put it so you know where it is. It will need to stay in that place, so make a permanent home for it. Then open the folder you wish to prettify. Go to the View menu and choose View as icons. Next go back to the View menu and choose Show View Options.

Check the button to apply your changes to This window only (unless you want every folder to take these changes). Now scoot down to the bottom and click on Picture, then click the Select… button.

Now find your way to the picture you want to use and select it. Your picture will be applied as the background for the folder. The Finder doesn’t shrink or enlarge your photo to fit the folder so a size like 800 * 600 is probably appropriate.

To prepare photos select them in iPhoto and investigate the Share menu, Export option.

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  1. Miraz said:

    First a disclaimer: I’m no expert in Unix and command line stuff. If you try the following and something breaks then I take no responsibility.

    The Mac makes files and folders invisible by using a dot as the first character, for example: .htaccess .

    You can’t just rename a file or folder in the Finder to have a dot at the beginning; try it and an alert warns you off.

    But I experimented with using Terminal. I created a folder called ‘hidethis’. Then I issued a command to move it to ‘.hidethat’. The ‘hidethis’ folder became invisible and when I issued a command in Terminal to list the files in the parent folder I could see a directory called ‘.hidethat’.

    mv hidethis .hidethat

    ls -a


    (and many other files).



  2. LiL LiM said:

    if you want a folder to not be seen at all how do you do it?
    i know you have to make the folder white i can do that but how do you make the text white?

  3. Miraz Jordan said:

    Hi Nathan,

    I’m afraid I’m just not sure what you’re asking.

    If you’re asking how to switch around between seeing a list of files, or a whole lot of icons – one per file – or several columns of files the answer lies in the View menu:

    * as Icons
    * as List
    * as Columns

    Does that help?

  4. Nathan said:

    thats really cool, but quick question, how do you make your folders be a photo, line insted of it being the white and blue folder to being a character or a picture?

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