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Bug 164398 - Column width is not saved in list view
Column width is not saved in list view
Product: nautilus
Classification: Core
Component: Views: List View
Other All
: Normal enhancement
: ---
Assigned To: Nautilus Maintainers
Nautilus Maintainers
: 410361 557081 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Reported: 2005-01-17 23:07 UTC by mcquaidster
Modified: 2021-06-18 15:55 UTC
See Also:
GNOME target: ---
GNOME version: Unversioned Enhancement

Description mcquaidster 2005-01-17 23:07:03 UTC
Nautilus seems to autosize the folders to the length of longest item.  Most of
the time this works great, but if a directory contains an unusally long
filename, it can be cumbersome to navigate the dir at the size a person
specified of the actual window for spatial nautilus.  The user can either resize
the name tab, or make the window larger.  I choose to resize the name tab and
expected it to stay the next time I was in that directory, but it resets to
length of longest filename.

If in the the future the users wants back default resizing behaviour, view/reset
to defaults should take care of this.

Also, it would be nice if this was on a tab by tab basis.  So if a user resizes
name, it will not change but the rest (size, type) would continue to autosize.

Other information:
Comment 1 mcquaidster 2005-01-24 01:08:32 UTC
Actually just using this a bit more I think it's a little more clunky.

Nautilus in list mode (spatial or browser) does set the length of the name,size
columns to the longest file of the location of where you first opened nautilus.
 Every directory you select thereafter does not get automatically resized.  

So if I am navigating my home which has an unusually long file name, the name
column gets set appropriately, but if I then go to say /var/log which has all
it's file of very short names, the column still remains the length of where I
first started nautilus.

So I propose two things:

1) make it so it always resizes appropriately as a user navigates to other
directories and not just the first directory open.

2) If the user overrides the default autosizing it remembers that for that
specific directory but continues to auto resize for other directories until the
user adjusts those as well.  The default behaviour of autoresizing should be
reset by reset view to defaults.

So maybe this should be split in two different bugs with #2 being an enhancement
but I believe #1 is a bug and would be the logical behaviour since it does auto
resize columns on the first directory.
Comment 2 mcquaidster 2005-02-12 05:42:50 UTC
Ok, I did a little more testing and now I understand how this works.  Nautilus
was still making the name the size huge even though I moved/renamed my unusually
long filenames.  Then I realized, that in another directory I had been to in
nautilus had an even longer filename, and sure enough, when I went to that
directory the name size was the exact same length of my unusally long file in
that directory that I had only been to once in nautilus.  

I can see the logic, make fields fit longest encountered filename, but to apply
this size globally and make the user have to manually readjust the lengths each
time is klunky.  Well, it will keep the user adjustments for that session, and
as long as they stay in the same mode (list mode, icon mode).  If a user goes to
a directory where they specified icons, and then go back to a dir where they
have it in list mode, it will autoresize again to the largest file length
encountered regardless if that file is actually in the current dir.

Please change this behaviour.  I'm constantly resizing them.

Just make it auto resize tailored to each directory, not the longest it
encountered somewhere that the user might never go there again.  AND, if the
user manually adjusts it, remember those values until the user resets to defaults.
Comment 3 mcquaidster 2005-03-07 20:09:22 UTC
Am I totally off base with the problem I'm describing?  Maybe something like
even 'yeah this is not the functionality desired in nautilus' if thats the case.  
Comment 4 Sebastien Bacher 2005-05-08 20:14:54 UTC
"menu length of toolbar menu items" ... are you speaking about how large are the
Comment 5 mcquaidster 2005-05-08 20:26:58 UTC
Yes, I'm actually speaking of the length of the actual column titles. eg. name,
size, type, date modified etc.  As I mentioned above, I found the length to get
get really long if you visit a directory with a long filename.  I've now tried a
distro with 2.10 gnome so it's seems slightly different.  If I launch nautilus
and go to home which has all short filenames, the name column is manageable. 
But if I go to another directory that has a ridiculously long filename it auto
adjusts name to that length of the longest name.  Fair enough, but if I then go
back to home it still uses this really long name column length, so then I start
adjusting them.  

I'm saying it should autoadjust the length of the columns each time when
visiting directories so the column are always just long enough.
Comment 6 mcquaidster 2005-05-08 20:29:27 UTC
In addition, of course it should do this for all columns, just using name as an
example as it's usually the column most affected.

Comment 7 Sebastien Bacher 2005-05-08 20:52:36 UTC
I'm not sure than changing to column size on every folder is a good idea
Comment 8 mcquaidster 2005-05-08 22:22:24 UTC
Please explain.

Because as is, when i first launch nautilus in my home directory which at this
time has short file names, the name column is sized just right (so auto
resizing) to the length of them.  Then when I go to a directory with a long file
name it's again auto resized to it's longest filename.  BUT, when I go back to
home it retains the length of the last folder I just visited which was unusually

So in the above senario, auto resize does happen but only for longer files, just
not for shorter.  I'm saying do it in all circumstances, not just as it
encounters  longer filenames.
Comment 9 mcquaidster 2005-05-08 22:40:49 UTC
And to add to this, as is, auto resizing half way (i.e. only when nautilus
encounters longer filenames) is what annoys me.  So either do it all the time
(encounters large and then smaller file names, it resizes) or give me an option
to not do it at all.  I'd love an option to check that says 'let me size all
columns and then they'd stay that way no matter what directory i go into'  Now,
this suggestion would concur with what you just posted as you say autoresizing
is not a good idea.

I'm just saying do it all the time or not at all.
Comment 10 Sebastien Bacher 2005-05-12 19:00:10 UTC
right, that's an issue
Comment 11 mcquaidster 2005-05-13 04:07:25 UTC
Thank you.  I hope an option to turn off resizing entirely would be added as
well.  Maybe even something in gconf at least.  Not sure if this would be a
seperate feature request.
Comment 12 Allan Day 2010-07-09 09:37:18 UTC
Seems like this is a list view issue. Changing title and component accordingly.
Comment 13 William Jon McCann 2012-08-14 00:53:42 UTC
*** Bug 410361 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 14 André Klapper 2012-08-14 07:31:56 UTC
Patch available in .
Comment 15 Allan Day 2014-09-25 18:05:09 UTC
*** Bug 557081 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 16 André Klapper 2021-06-18 15:55:51 UTC
GNOME is going to shut down in favor of
As part of that, we are mass-closing older open tickets in (resources are unfortunately quite limited so not every ticket can get handled).

If you can still reproduce the situation described in this ticket in a recent
and supported software version of Files (nautilus), then please follow
and create a new ticket at

Thank you for your understanding and your help.