Any file or folder whose name is preceded with a period (.) is hidden from view in Nautilus, and also won't appear in the list of shell commands such as ls, unless the user specifically chooses to view hidden files (ls -a, or clicking View ^ Show Hidden Files in Nautilus). So to hide a file or folder, just rename it (select it and hit [F2]) and then put a period in front of the filename. Gone. If the file doesn't vanish, hit (FT) to refresh the file listing.
To return the file to view, just remove the period.
If you want to make a file disappear from Nautilus' view of files (including the desktop) but still appear in command-line listings, add a tilde symbol (~) to the end. For example, to hide partypicture.jpg, change its filename to partypicture.jpg~. To hide text file, change its name to textfile~.
This might seem like a secure method of avoiding prying eyes seeing your personal files, but it's not really. For genuine privacy and security, you should encrypt files. See Tip 145, on page 188, and Tip 250, on page 289, to learn how.
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