Tutorial:Customize the “Open” dialog box

by on October 29, 2007
in Computers, Tips and Tricks

This is a guest post by Siddharth

Hello friends,
Do you ever want to customize the “Open Dialog Box” of Windows XP ? Do you want to change its look and feel ? Do you find the navigation shortcuts useless. So here is a tutorial which will help you to customize the “Open Dialog Box” :cool:


In this tutorial I will basically tell how to customize the “Open Dialog Box’s” side icons through registry.You will also be provided basic information on how to change its other things also. :wink:

Before starting take a look at my open dialog box before modification:-

a>Click on start button.
b>Click on run.
c>Type regedit (Inbuilt registryeditor of windows)
d>Navigate to [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Policies]
e> Create a new key called “ComDlg32”.
f>Select the key made and create a new key called “Placesbar”.
g>After creating the key all the icons in the open dialog box will disappear.

You will get the following look

h>In the key “placesbar” create a new string value called “Place0” .
i>Edit it and type the path of the folder or drive u want.
j>U can have upto 5 icons in the open dialog box (i.e till place4)

After this you will get the following look:-


This trick also can be performed by using most of the tweaking utilities such as “Tune Up Utilities” ,”TweakUI” etc.

But If you dont want to do this trick with any utility then here is also a registry file to do perform this mod.

Create a new file with a .reg extension , put the data given below and save it.Right click and select “merge”.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 



Just retype the values of “Place0”, “Place1”, “Place2”, “Place3”, “Place4” to ur desired locations.

You can change the look of the “Open Dialog Box” by modifying %windir%\System32\Comdlg32.dll file in Resource Hacker and goto: Dialog -> 1552 -> 1033 .

Enjoy and any queries accepted.

UPDATE: Sindhu has shared a very easy-to-use application, which does the same work. No need to go through all the fussy procedure. Download PlacesBar Editor. Thanks Sindhu for sharing this piece of software.

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  • Interesting Haris.

    Hey what’s that E:\ drive? Masti about?

    Just curious.


  • @mani
    that E;\ drive masti contains nothing but the fun stuff like songs movies , wallpapers etc :wink:

  • Interesting post dude.
    Helping laymen become technology enthusiast at http://technofriends.wordpress.com

  • wasn’t expecting a post coz of the last post but surprise to find a new and nice post.

  • http://www.maddogsw.com/placesbar/#ScreenShots > more noob friendly this one ;) less editing

  • @Sindhu: WOW! That really is ‘noob-friendly’ :P Very easy-to-use application. I’ll update the post with this new app. Thanks for sharing it here :)