Saturday, February 9, 2013

Its much easier to put up something simple, so my second rational ergonomics post will be (relatively) simple!

Today, while "working", I was doing some stuff with svg files (on Windows). I love file explorer views with nice large thumbnail previews of images. It makes a lot more sense than dry detail views, or manually going to another bit of software (like Bridge or GwenView) to preview files when all you wanted to do was drag/drop your image to another application.

This will be primarily a Windows 7 post, post however this should apply well to XP and Vista machines, and possibly even Windows 8, although I cannot test it.

Of course, you will need appropriate permissions to do this on your machine, so it may not be best to try this at work.

By default, Windows opens SVG's with IE. Not to insult anyone, but, ew. Firefox is just as capable of doing this, and just as inappropriate.

A better default is Inkscape (or if you have it, Illustrator). In case you don't know simply right click on any SVG file, select properties, and use the Change button next to Opens With (as see below) to access the program dialog. You can either use Inkview or Inkscape to open SVGs. Unless you do a lot of heavy SVG manipulation, I suggest opening with Inkview by default.

SVG File Properties (Windows 7)
Change Program Defaults (Windows 7)

However, this won't change the Windows thumbnail view, although admittedly the Inkscape Icon is a much more pleasant thumbnail in my opinion. To change that (I'd love to see Inkscape do this natively btw), you can use this free, open source windows explorer extension. Check which version of Windows you have (32 vs 64 bit), and download the corresponding signed version of the installer here.

After you install, you'll need to restart Explorer, so either launch your Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Delete -> Taskmanager) and manually shut down explorer, and restart, log in and out of your account, restart/shutdown, or my favorite, open a Cmd-line (Win+R & cmd & Enter) and run:

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe

Or if you prefer memorizing Windows shortcuts you can use the methods mentioned here.

You should be good to go!

Credits: - There are some other useful svg preview tips in here you may want to check out. :)

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