Dolphin is highly flexible and can be configured to meet almost any needs pertaining to filesystem navigation and file management. The major aspects of configuring Dolphin include the icons on the Tool Bar, the tools available in the user interface (UI) and how Dolphin acts in certain specific circumstances.
Configuring the Tool Bar
The Dolphin Tool Bar is the row of icons just under the Menu Bar. It provides ready access to many functions of Dolphin. You can configure the Tool Bar to contain the icons for the functions you use most.
The Dolphin Tool Bar in Figure 1 will probably not look the same as yours. I have added several icons to this one that are not in the default configuration.
Adding icons to the Tool Bar is quite easy. Using the Menu Bar choose Settings=>Configure Toolbar and the Configure Toolbars window is displayed as shown in Figure 2.
Simply drag the tools (icons) you want from the Available actions side on the left to the Current actions on the right. Drop them where you want them in the sequence. Once the icons are on the right side you can change their position by dragging them up or down in the list. You can click on Apply to make the changes and keep this window open or click on OK to apply the changes and close the window.
To remove a tool from the Tool Bar, drag it from the Current actions panel to the Available actions panel and it will automatically be placed in the correct alphabetical order in the list.
The tools I find most useful that are not on the toolbar by default are the following:
- Up button, which along with the Back and Forward buttons allows you to navigate the directory tree structure. The Up button always takes you to the next higher directory level, while the Back button takes you to the previously viewed directory. The Forward button takes you to the directory that you just left.
- The New Tab button allows you to add a new tab to the Workspace so that you can have more flexibility in the number of folders (directories) you can work with simultaneously. Note that you can drag a file or folder from the visible tab to the background tab (“LinuxBook” in Figure 3) and drop it there and move or copy the object to the directory named on the background tab.
The Places and Folders panels on the left side of the Dolphin window allow you to navigate to various locations. The Information panel provides a view of useful information about the the selected file or directory, including a view of the image if the file is an image. It also shows some of the text of various types of text and word processing files.
These panels can be moved to other locations on the Dolphin window. Grab the title bar of the panel you want to move and drag it to another location in the stack of panels or move it to the opposite side of the Dolphin window. It can also be dragged out to the desktop and undocked from the Dolphin window completely. Notice that the Folders and Places panels are stacked and that you can use the tabs to select which panel you want to interact with. Stacking the panels like this can allow you to use your valuable screen real estate more effectively.
Clicking on the diamond icon also undocks the panel and moves it out to the desktop.Clicking on the diamond icon while the panel is undocked redocks it back into its previous location in the Dolphin Window.
Any panel can be removed completely by clicking on the X button in the upper right corner on its title bar.
Refer to The Dolphin Interface for details of using these Panels.
Notice in Figure 1 that there are two tabs and that the displayed workspace is split into two sub-workspaces. You can have multiple tabs with one or two workspaces in each tab. This allows a great deal of flexibility in managing files and switching between folders (directories) as well as moving files from one location to another.
The Dolphin Preferences (Menu Bar=>Settings=>Configure Dolphin) allows you to configure the basic look and behavior of Dolphin.
The Startup tab provides configuration for the default folder Dolphin is to display when it is first launched. The Documents folder in your home directory is a good place to start and should be the default setting already.
You can also specify that Dolphin starts in Split View with two Workspaces instead of the default one. The editable location bar allows you to edit the path displayed in the location bar to move directly to a new folder to display. Otherwise you can navigate using the various Panels, the icons on the Tool Bar and the Workplaces themselves.
The View Mode tab allows you to define the visual characteristics of each of the three viewing modes, as well as some general properties that apply to all views. The General tab allows you to specify whether all folders are to use the same viewing properties, which I like because I prefer the Details view for viewing all folders. The other option remembers a specific set of properties for each folder when you change them. For example you may want your basic home directory (folder) displayed in the default Icons view but a directory filled with many files to be displayed in Details mode.
The primary attributes that can be changed in each of the three view modes are the fonts and their size, the icon sizes and the size of document previews when they are shown. The Icons view also has options to define whether the grid arrangement is arranged in rows or columns.
You must press the OK or Apply buttons to make the changes you have selected.