Advanced Sidebar-Confi guration Options

Although the Sidebar confi guration user interface is fairly complete, there are a few things you can’t easily do. Behind the scenes, however, the Windows Sidebar utilize special confi guration fi les named settings.ini to determine all of its configuration possibilities. If you don’t mind taking a small risk by editing these fi les with a text editor such as Notepad, you can perform various configuration tasks that are impossible with the standard Sidebar UI. Before you make changes, be sure to back up any files you’ll be editing. You’ll also want to quit the Sidebar before editing these files. There are two versions of settings.ini. The first is devoted to system wide configuration options and default settings, and is located in C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar by default. If you right-click this files and choose Edit, you’ll see the contents of this file, which should resemble the following (obviously, the details vary on a system-by-system basis):

[Root]
SettingsVersion=00.00.00.01
SidebarShowState=Imploded
SidebarDockedPartsOrder=0x1,0x2,0x3,
Section0=1
Section1=2
Section2=3
[Section 1]
PrivateSetting_GadgetName=%PROGRAMFILES%\windows sidebar\gadgets\Clock.
gadget
PrivateSetting_Enabled=true
[Section 2]
PrivateSetting_GadgetName=%PROGRAMFILES%\windows sidebar\gadgets\
SlideShow.Gadget
PrivateSetting_Enabled=true
[Section 3]
PrivateSetting_GadgetName=%PROGRAMFILES%\windows sidebar\gadgets\
RSSFeeds.Gadget
PrivateSetting_Enabled=true
loadFirstTime=defaultGadget

A second version of the Sidebar settings.ini file is available for each user. This file is located in C:\Users\[your user name]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar by default. This fi le has a similar structure, but will typically be much longer depending on how much you’ve configured Windows Sidebar. Here’s an example of what the first section of this fi le could look like:

[Root]
SettingsVersion=”00.00.00.01”
SidebarShowState=”Imploded”
SidebarDockedPartsOrder=”0x1,0x2,0x3,0x8,0x5,0x6,0x7,0x9,”
Section0=”1”
SidebarAutoStart=”true”
SidebarDockedPartsPage1=”8”
OneTimeRemoveGadgetMessageShown=”true”
Section1=”2”
Section2=”3”
PickerPosX=”482”
PickerPosY=”313”
Section3=”5”
Section4=”6”
Section5=”7”
Section6=”8”
OneTimeExitMessageShown=”false”
SidebarDockSide=”2”
SidebarAlwaysOnTop=”false”
SidebarDockMonitor=”0”
OneTimeHideMessageShown=”true”
[Section 1]
PrivateSetting_GadgetName=%PROGRAMFILES%\windows sidebar\gadgets\Clock.
gadget
PrivateSetting_Enabled=true
SettingsExist=”True”
clockName=
themeID=”5”
timeZoneIndex=”-1”
secondsEnabled=”False”
PrivateSetting_GadgetTopmost=”false”
PrivateSetting_SidebarDockedState=”Docked”

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Take a look at a few of these settings. The SidebarShowState option is set to Imploded in the code example. This means that the Sidebar will be displayed normally, and not in front of other windows. SidebarDockSide is set to 2, which is the right side of the screen. If you change this number to 1, the Windows Sidebar will be displayed on the left. In addition to the options shown here, there are a few other undocumented options. For example, if you’d like a certain gadget to never appear in the Add Gadgets windows, you could simply fi nd the gadget in C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets and delete it, but what if you wanted it to be available to other users? In this case you could simply add a line like the following to your user’s version of settings.ini:

PickerDefaultPackageSkipList=SlideShow.Gadget,worldClock.Gadget

This particular code would only make the Clock gadget unavailable. Obviously, there are many more settings possibilities. It’s also likely that an enterprising software developer will come up with a TweakUI-style application that provides the same functionality. Stay tuned to my Web site, the SuperSite for Windows, for any breaking news in this regard: www.winsupersite.com.

Source of Information : Wiley Windows Vista Secrets SP1 Edition

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