Let's say I have an icon on desktop "personal folder". What I actually see is the icon and "perso..." -- so the question is how to display full name, no matter how long it is. No shortening, however line breaks are fine (so for example it would be displayed in two lines "personal" and second "folder").


Have a look at the HIDDEN CUSTOMIZATIONS mentioned in xfdesktop's README:

If you're using the icon view, and would like to change how the text looks, you have three things you can change: the opacity (transparency) of the rounded text background, the color of the rounded text background, and the color of the text itself.

You'd want to add something like this to your ~/.gtkrc-2.0 file:

style "xfdesktop-icon-view" {
    XfdesktopIconView::label-alpha = 75
    XfdesktopIconView::selected-label-alpha = 100
    XfdesktopIconView::ellipsize-icon-labels = 1
    XfdesktopIconView::tooltip-size = 128

    XfdesktopIconView::shadow-x-offset = 1
    XfdesktopIconView::shadow-y-offset = 1
    XfdesktopIconView::shadow-color = "#ff0000"
    XfdesktopIconView::selected-shadow-x-offset = 2
    XfdesktopIconView::selected-shadow-y-offset = 2
    XfdesktopIconView::selected-shadow-color = "#00ff00"

    XfdesktopIconView::cell-spacing = 6
    XfdesktopIconView::cell-padding = 6
    XfdesktopIconView::cell-text-width-proportion = 2.5

    base[NORMAL] = "#00ff00"
    base[SELECTED] = "#5050ff"
    base[ACTIVE] = "#0000ff"

    fg[NORMAL] = "#ff0000"
    fg[SELECTED] = "#ff0000"
    fg[ACTIVE] = "#ff0000"
widget_class "*XfdesktopIconView*" style "xfdesktop-icon-view"

According to this XFCE forum post,

XfdesktopIconView::cell-text-width-proportion = 2.5

should be what you're looking for (try a higher value).

Edit Reading more of the thread I linked, I gather that

XfdesktopIconView::ellipsize-icon-labels = 0

should do a better job (that's already in the README excerpt... well, I didn't notice it).

  • Many thanks! In my case, it has to be just this line inside, because when I pasted everything, I got RGB components in label shifted. However the problem is now this -- it is done in expense of the grid size, every cell is huge, so I can have ~12 icons on the screen. – greenoldman Mar 7 '12 at 15:32
  • Does fiddling with the other cell-* values help, i.e. reducing the spacing and padding? – sr_ Mar 7 '12 at 15:52
  • Yes, but it is only padding. The main problem is, XFCE set the size of the cell according to longest visible text (in case you use those settings). So it could work, if I could get rid of grid (for example). – greenoldman Mar 7 '12 at 16:04
  • 1
    @macias could you try what I edited? :) – sr_ Mar 7 '12 at 16:15
  • You are great! Thank you, it solves the problem. – greenoldman Mar 7 '12 at 19:47

In my home directory, I had to create a file called .gtkrc-2.0 as there wasn't an existing one. In this new file I entered and saved the following:

style "xfdesktop-icon-view" {
    XfdesktopIconView::ellipsize-icon-labels = 0
widget_class "*XfdesktopIconView*" style "xfdesktop-icon-view"

Nothing else was needed in that file, just the code as written above. When ellipsize-icon-labels is set to 0, there is no truncating of the filenames. When it's set to 1, then there will be truncation.

When you've saved the above, just log out and back in again for the changes to take effect.

This answer is based on the README as found at the xfce git repository.


With the transition to GTK 3, the CSS syntax that GTK requires has changed slightly. I found that placing the following lines at ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css solves the problem:

* {
    -XfdesktopIconView-ellipsize-icon-labels: 0;

It is the same ellipsize-icon-labels parameter that is changed, just different incantation.


I was only interested in seeing full item names on my XFCE desktop, and here's what I did: I copied the lines above to my gtkrc-2.0 file but everything was spaced out and full of different colors; so I deleted everything except for a few lines:

style "xfdesktop-icon-view" {
    XfdesktopIconView::cell-spacing = 2
    XfdesktopIconView::cell-padding = 2
    XfdesktopIconView::cell-text-width-proportion = 3.1

widget_class "*XfdesktopIconView*" style "xfdesktop-icon-view"file:///home/ionutz/Desktop/gtkrc

Now everything looks normal and the items on my XFCE desktop have full names; all you have to do now is change the number from the XfdesktopIconView::cell-text-width-proportion = 3.1 line; try 3.2, 3.5 etc. and log out and back in to see what it looks like and if you like it.

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