Ubuntu – Can we (easily) turn off the line wrapping of icons on the desktop


I think this is really annoying. Can this easily be change, tweaked, finetuned to get it in one line? Or in one line and shortened?

enter image description here

Best Answer

  • Re.

    Can this easily be change, tweaked, finetuned to get it in one line? Or in one line and shortened?

    Ubuntu 18.04

    To get the icon text, however long, to be restricted to one line and shortened, one can use dconf-editor which may need to be installed on your system if it isn't already present: sudo apt install dconf-editor should do it.

    For this purpose, I created a file with just w repeated fifty times. This is what it looks like when I highlight it on the desktop:

    full name

    and without highlighting it:

    three rows

    Now, by means of dconf-editor, one can change it to just one row:


    I found I needed to log out and log back in to see:

    one row

    Edit: There's also a route to make the change using the command-line.

    From your terminal, run:

    gsettings list-recursively | grep ellipsis

    One of the lines in a default, clean install would be:

    org.gnome.nautilus.desktop text-ellipsis-limit 3

    You can confirm that by running:

    gsettings get org.gnome.nautilus.desktop text-ellipsis-limit

    and the "default" response will be 3.

    To change that to 1, run:

    gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.desktop text-ellipsis-limit 1

    You may need to log out and log back in to see the effect.

    Ubuntu Mate 18.04


    gsettings set org.mate.caja.desktop text-ellipsis-limit 1

    Again, log out and log back in.

    Xubuntu 18.04

    Here, the default is just one line, truncated. How many characters fit in on that line depends on the width of the characters involved:

    Xubuntu 18.04

    However, it is possible to increase the number of characters per line as well as the number of lines by increasing the space allocated to each desktop icon obviously at the expense of reducing the number desktop icons that'll fit on your screen. See here. This route works in Xubuntu 18.04 and in Xubuntu 19.10 provided an appropriate gtk theme is used. Both Greybird and Numix, present in a default install, are fine.

    Kubuntu 18.04

    Kubuntu offers a graphical user interface to control the number of rows icon text occupies from one to ten.

    Kubuntu's GUI

  • Related Question