Show Full File & Folder Names on Mac Desktop

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Have you ever noticed that some files and folders show truncated names when placed on the Mac OS X desktop? A file or folder named slightly above a certain character limit is truncated with a series of three periods, something like “Mobile Documents Sync ‘is displayed as’Mobile Do… ync ”and so on. One of our readers came across this while setting it up up file sync between Macs with iCloud and wrote in that it was a bug, but it’s not.

The reason for the shortened file and folder names is actually due to the current icon grid alignment settings, and to display the full file or folder name, we just need to specify the grid spacing size of the icons to fit.

How to View full file names on the Mac OS X desktop

This works the same in all versions of Mac OS X:

  1. Close all Finder windows and go to the Mac desktop
  2. Click the “View” menu and choose “Show View Options” or just press Command + J
  3. Under “Grid Spacing:” click and drag the slider to the right to increase the width of the desktop grid, slide to the right until the full file name is displayed – changes will take effect live
  4. Close the display options for the desktop

Here’s what this looks like in modern versions of OS X, make sure you’re in the Mac desktop display options to find the correct grid spacing adjustment:

Stop folder and file name truncation in Mac OS X.

As you can see, Increasing the grid spacing of icons stops file name truncation on the Mac.

In previous versions of Mac OS X, the setting is basically the same, you may also want to change the display size of icons:

Show full file names on Mac desktop

Assuming the text size is 12-14, moving the grid spacing to about 3/4 is enough to show most of the full names of most files and folders, but for some extremely long file names you should move them even further . For larger text sizes, simply move the grid to a greater distance to display the full file names. As the changes take effect live, you can test the settings and see what works best for your needs, although you will soon find that grid spacing also directly affects how cluttered the icons feel.

There is a limit, and with extremely long file names there is no way to display the full name on the desktop, although you could show them with a wide enough Finder window and the “Name” sort fully expanded.

This trick also applies to folders viewed in Icon View, so if you’ve hidden the desktop icons, opening in a Finder folder (or any other folder for that matter) can be modified in the same way.

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Show Full File & Folder Names on the Mac Desktop: FAQ

Tutorial Summary: Show Full File & Folder Names on the Mac Desktop

In this guide, we told you about Show Full File & Folder Names on the Mac Desktop; please read all steps so that you understand Show Full File & Folder Names on the Mac Desktop in case if you need any assistance from us, then contact us.

How this tutorial helping you?

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What is actual time in which this method complete?

The time to complete the Show Full File & Folder Names on the Mac Desktop tutorial is 10+ minutes.

What are the supported Device?

Apple

What are the supported Operating system?

mac OS


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