Sunday, August 7, 2011

Customizing Windows 7 Explorer Infotip

Expanding on my previous post on
Customizing Windows 7 mp3 infotip to display album, song title, in this post, I try to explain a little more on customizing Windows 7 Explorer infotip in a generic manner, for any type of files already recognized by Windows.

A registry entry in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\ contains settings for how Windows behaves for different types of files, according to the file extension. Very often, for each extension, an entry named "FullDetails" as well as "InfoTip" exists.

The "FullDetails" entry contains all the file information that Windows understands for this type of file. For example, for a MP3 file, information such as "System.Music.AlbumTitle" and "System.Audio.EncodingBitrate" are available, representing the album title, or the audio bitrate of the the MP3 file.

The "InfoTop" entry, in comparison, contains the file information that Windows will display, when you hover the mouse over a file in Windows Explorer. It already contains some sensible values, but if you would like more information, or a different set to be displayed, look inside "FullDetails" to find the property that seems closest to the information you're trying to display, and insert that property into the "InfoTip" entry, in the order you desire. Properties are separated with a semi-colon (;).


To give another real-life application, the default information displayed for JPG picture files are only the file type (JPG), the date taken, rating, the size of the picture (in pixels), and the size of the file.

Or in other words, the registry Infotip entry contains the following properties by default:

I would like to display more information in the Windows Explorer infotip, so I changed the registry entry to:

Now, I no longer need to open another program just to see various technical details for the image.

For completeness, image files are historically named JPEG. Therefore I would apply the same changes to "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\.jpeg" so that the same information is displayed for JPEG files.