What is the difference between Directory and DirectoryBackground?

One item I left off the list of special progids is Directory\Background.

Recall that Directory is the progid for file system folders (a subset of Folder which represents all shell folders, both file system and virtual). Closely related is Directory\Background, which isn't really a progid, but it is a place where shell extensions can register themselves. Specifically, it's where context menu handlers can register if they want to appear when the user right-clicks on a blank space of a file system folder.

Comments (7)
  1. MadQ says:

    Oh sure, NOW you tell me! Where were you four years ago when I drove myself nuts trying to figure this out?

  2. Worf says:

    MadQ: This article was written over a year ago, too!

    Heck, maybe two, given the length of Raymond’s queue.

  3. Teo says:

    Does this work on XP? Because I am using it right now and it appears that only Vista/2008 checks the "Background" setting.

  4. Medinoc says:

    Of course, on Vista in Details view, it is now very hard to click on the background.

    Why has the Explorer team seen fit to make Explorer’s full row selection impossible to disable via UI? (unless I’m blind)

    Sincerely, A concerned citizen.

  5. MadQ says:

    Medinoc: Just goes to show how tastes differ. For XP, I’ve got a nasty App_Init DLL hack that always enables full row selection for ListViews in detail mode. It also forces TreeViews always show lines, and forces both to always show the selected item(s).

  6. Worf says:

    Oh please tell me how to get lines back in treeview… it’s hard to calculate relative paths nor see parentage in large lists… the eye doesn’t follow vertically well, and it can be easy to confuse depths in trees.

  7. Medinoc says:

    @MadQ: You’re probably not using single-click mode.

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