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By default (at least in my installation), pinned items on the taskbar will be "icon only" when they have no active windows, but when there are active window, the icon expanded to include text (typically some portion of the title text).

I'm looking for a way to either:

A (preferred option):
For any single pinned item, force this pinned item to always display as just the icon even if it has active windows.

OR

B (acceptable option):
Force ALL pinned items to always display as icon only in the taskbar

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With regards to setting this sort of option on a finer setting (ie, application by application), you may wish to see superuser.com/questions/35304/…. –  DMA57361 Jan 12 '11 at 22:41
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4 Answers

up vote 0 down vote accepted

I found a solution! This little application allows lables to be hidden per application ID. I think it is exactly what you and I have been looking for.

http://rammichael.com/7-taskbar-tweaker

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Right click the taskbar and hit Properties. From here, check the Taskbar tab and set the Taskbar Buttons option.

You want to hide the names of the programs, which Windows refers to as "Hide Labels".
This means using the Always combine, hide labels option.

If you want to hide labels without enabling combining, check out the SU question Hide taskbar labels without combining for some advice in that area.

These will affect every taskbar icon.

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Is there any way to affect ONLY pinned items while keeping behavior of regular non-pinned buttons the same (e.g. non-pinned buttons have icon+label while pinned items are icon-only)? –  Robert Jan 12 '11 at 22:49
    
@Robert Not that I am aware of, and a quick web search (after seeing your comment on Joshua's answer) has yielded no results either I'm afraid. –  DMA57361 Jan 12 '11 at 22:54
    
This plus your comment above answers my question. This is a more specific version of the question alluded to in your comment superuser.com/questions/35304/… Someone may want to merge them. –  Robert Jan 12 '11 at 22:55
    
@Robert, I wouldn't worry about merging. Some duplication is good, and this question is subtly different from the other. –  DMA57361 Jan 12 '11 at 23:07
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Right click on the Task Bar and choose Properties. You should see two drop down boxes the second one is "Taskbar Buttons:" change the option here to "Always combine, hide labels".

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This would work if I wanted to hide the labels for ALL taskbar buttons, but I'm looking to hide the labels ONLY for pinned taskbar buttons, but still show the full label for non-pinned buttons. –  Robert Jan 12 '11 at 22:36
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"Combine if taskbar is full" has that effect. It looks like this:

Taskbar element, unlabeled

Note how the two pinned apps (XAMPP and Explorer) are only represented as buttons, while the other two apps have labels. If I was to launch one of them, it'd look like this:

Taskbar element labeled

Is that what you need?

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Afraid not. The point was to have pinned items stay icon only even when they are launched. while having all other windows (in my ideal world) not combine and show labels. Probably I am going to just suck it up and replace the taskbar with a dock such as rocketdock (as I did when I had XP). I was hoping with the taskbar improvements it could work for me, but I really hate the expanding pinned icon (even though it ought to be just a minor annoyance), and really need to have the labels for less frequently used things. –  Robert Jan 13 '11 at 15:48
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