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Working with folders

 Folders are represented by this icon in the user interface:

To enter a folder double-click, hit enter or right-click Open on the icon. Folders can also be opened in a new tab or window by using the context menu of the Folder icon.

The central part of Desktop can contain multiple tabs, each showing a different folder. Folder navigation works for each tab independently.

New tabs can be added by the blue button at the right edge of the tab bar or by using the Ctrl+T keyboard shourtcut.

There is a drop-down menu available at the right edge of the tab bar showing the actual list of open tabs. This menu can significantly ease the tab navigation if there is a large number of tabs open in a given Desktop window.

Reaching folders and files outside the Metview folder hierarchy

Metview's "home" folder is $HOME/metview (unless changed by using the -u command-line start-up option). To reach files outside of this folder and its sub-folders, you must create links to those files. Do this by right-clicking on an empty part of the Metview desktop and select Create New… Link to File or Create New… Link to Folder. The link will appear with italicised text. When the mouse cursor hovers over the link icon, the status bar shows the path to the real file or folder.

Folder navigation

Folder navigation is based on the Back, Forward and Up arrows and on the breadcrumbs, which are all located in the toolbar. The breadcrumbs consist of the Home icon and the folder hierarchy to the right of it, including the arrows in-between them.

Each visited folder is added to the folder history, which can be accessed via the History menu.

Both breadcrumbs and history items have a context menu, which allows opening the folders in a new tab or window.

Folder view properties

View modes

There are three folder view modes available:

  • Classic icon view: icons are freely movable and icon labels are rendered below the icon pixmaps
  • Simple icon view: icons are freely movable and icon labels are rendered to the right of the icon pixmaps
  • Detailed view mode: icons and their properties are displayed in a table format with sortable columns

The view modes can be set for each tab separately through the View menu or by using these toolbar icons:

Changing icon sizes

The status bar features an icon size slider to change the icon sizes in the current folder (sizes between 16 and 96 pixels are available).


Both folders and tab-sets can be bookmarked. Bookmarks can be accessed either via the bookmarks menu or the bookmarks sidebar.

There are various ways to bookmark a folder. It can be done with:

  • the Bookmarks menu
  • the context menu of a Folder icon, folder tab or breadcrumbs item
  • the context menu of the Bookmarks sidebar
  • the bookmarks icon at the right hand edge of the navigation bar

Finding icons

Metview's folders can become cluttered with icons. Usually it is best to put related icons into well-organised sub-folders, but not everyone works like this!

Fortunately, Metview provides some ways to find the icon you're looking for.

Icon filtering

Metview features a filtering facility for finding icons in cluttered desktops. Just press Crtl+F in any of the folder views to bring up the icon filter bar at the bottom of the folder view.  By typing in a filter term for name or/and type the icons not matching the filter are greyed out in the Folder view.

Icon search

The Search icon dialogue can be started up from the Tools menu on the menu bar.

This dialogue provides an advanced interface to search for icons in the entire Metview folder hierarchy according to name, type, contents and other search criteria. The search options are grouped into these three tabs:

  • Basic: specifies the folder and the name and type of the icons to be searched for
  • Contents: specifies the containing string to be searched for in  ASCII icons
  • Properties: specifies the date, time, size, owner and group of the icons to be found

Once the search criteria are set, click on the Find button to start searching. While search is in progress the results are automatically listed and each icon found can be looked up in its own folder view using the Locate in folder view action from the context menu.

Archiving/extracting icons

Archiving icons

Icons can be archived into a tar, tar.gz and tar.bz2 format by using the Archive as action in the icon context menu. Archiving is always based on the current selection. The resulting archive file is placed in the current folder and its name is generated from the first icon in the selection. Note that an icon may be part of a chain - any embedded icons will also be included in the archive.

Extracting icons

For archived formats (e.g. tar.gz) Metview offers the Extract action in the icon context menu.

Sending icons in email

It is possible to send icons in email from Metview by using the Send action from the icon context menu. When this action is triggered a tar.gz file is generated behind the scenes by resolving all the necessary dependencies (see Archiving icons) and all the needed icon descriptor files are also added to the resulting archive file. Having generated the tar.gz file a dialogue pops up, where the recipient can be specified.

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  1. Thanks for these tips on how to manage Folders in Metview.

    However, given the title of this page I think that how to Create, Move, Rename, Delete and Navigate Folders would be better explained with some specific examples.

    ( for instance, a user has a group of files in a folder which is not in the Metview path. How can the user tell Metview to look at that specific folder ? How can the user Rename that folder ? )





    1. Hi Eduardo,

      Thanks for the comment - I agree that in particular we should document how to reach files and folders that are not in the Metview path. Although we touch on this in Data Part 1, it should be here too, with an example of linking to an external folder.