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|AveDesk: The Basics|
AveDesk is a nifty little program that can be used to replace or add icons to your desktop that function as shortcuts to drives, folders, or files on your hard drive. You can set the size of the icons to almost anything you like, default is 128x128.
Download & Install
First you'll need to download and install the program. After you've installed it, run the program. An icon should appear in your tray (highlighted in red), double click the icon to bring up the control panel.
Control Panel & Settings
Click on Settings > Default Desklet Properties. There will be 3 tabs of settings: Appearance, Label, and Advanced. You can look around in the settings to change them how you want. I've left mine as default for the Appearance tab. In the label tab you can set the font for the label, sublabel, the background for the label, and a few other settings. For mine I'm using the font Segoe UI, size 14 for the label and size 10 for the sublabel. For the background I used a transparent one (none, should be the first one). You can change the position of the label, I've set mine either to the left or to the right. You can adjust the positioning of the label by editing the Margin (distance from the icon) and the Max Height (will move up or down). For the Advanced tab I've left things as default.
Next we can setup the global settings. Click on Settings > Global Settings. I've left all of these as default as well. You can poke around to set them up to your own preference.
Adding a Desklet
Moving on...time to add some desklet icons. Click on Desklets > Add. The desklet you want to use for the shortcut icons is the PidlShortcut. There are 2 shortcuts available already in the settings, My Computer and Recycle Bin. Let's start with those.
My Computer & Recyle BinAqua-Soft or deviantART for some good icons.
The Label and Advanced tabs should be using the same settings we set earlier from the Global Desklet Properties. You can change any of the settings here if you wish to do so.
The Label Format tab is responsible for the information that is displayed in the sublabel. For mine I have just entered in the CPU and RAM stats.
When it comes to other shortcuts, like the Recycle Bin, hard drives, folders, etc you can display more information in the sublabel. Go ahead and go back to Desklets > Add > expand the PidlShortcut menu > click on Recycle Bin > then Add Item. It should now appear on your desktop. Right click on the icon as before and select Desklet Properties. You can follow the same steps as before to change the caption if you want, the label properties, etc. For the Recycle Bin shorcut, you will need to set the full and empty images separately in the Icon tab. You can use the system icons if you want, or check Use custom images and then click on the Set Image buttons. Most full icon sets will include full and empty recycle bin icons.
For my label format I am using the following which will display as X file(s) - X bytes (you can see how it looks in my screenshot above):
- %n file(s) - %s
Adding Other PidlShortcuts
- %f free - %t total %# %s used (%pU %%)
Once again you can see how it will turn out in my screenshot.
In the Icon tab, go ahead and set the image as the same one you used in the Appearance tab.
The Shortcut tab is important when creating your own desklet (as compared to the given My Computer and Recycle Bin desklets). For my C: Drive desklet I use C:\ for the shortcut.
Examples of other shortcut paths:
- C:\Mp3's - The shortcut to my Mp3's folder. The label format I use for a folder like this:
- %s %r - %f%r files
- C:\Documents and Settings\Stephanie\My Documents - My Documents folder (of course change the username to your own for the correct path). Label format:
- %f%r files - %d folders %# %s
Hopefully now you should be pretty familiar with setting up the PidlShortcut desklets. After you've gotten them setup and positioned the way you want, save the theme by going to File > Save Theme As > call it whatever you want (example: name of icon set). It will default save to the Docs and Settings\username\Application Data\AveDesk\Themes folder. When you restart your computer, AveDesk should load at startup and your theme will be loaded as well.
Don't be afraid to try playing with the other desklets AveDesk has to offer. For example, I'm also using the StickyNotes desklet for my ToDo lists. Just try adding it the same as the PidlShortcut and play with it.
For other information and help about AveDesk, visit the AveDesk forum at Aqua-Soft.