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Author Topic: yet another file manager thread...  (Read 9901 times)
x16wda
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« on: April 08, 2012, 02:16:31 PM »

Anyone up for another alternate file manager thread?

I ended up buying a lifetime Xplorer2 Ultimate license recently, and it cost me only a wee bit more than my DOpus 2-pc license of a few years ago.  I couldn't stand Win 7 Explorer any longer (the reasons are legion) even though it has improved in some ways from the XP days, and even though I was hoping to find a satisfying free alternative, I couldn't do it.  I tried most of the other pay-fors as well, and almost chose XYplorer but ended up not going that route for several reasons.

I'm liking it more and more the more I use it and I'm very satisfied, but I'm curious about the main reasons folks choose one FM versus another.  Or even why people decide they don't want to use an alternative, even a free one!
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highend01
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2012, 02:44:51 PM »

XYplorer (Pro) in my case, because I really like it's scripting capabilities...
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rjbull
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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2012, 04:11:54 PM »

My first file manager, in early DOS days, was Xtree Pro.  When I wanted archive capability, I moved to a non-standard twin-pane file manager, Stereo Shell.  When StS ran out of steam on bigger discs and directories, I changed to freeware File Wizard, a Norton Commander clone with some extensions for LFNs etc.  By the time FW ran out of steam on even bigger discs and later versions of Windows, and didn't gracefully handle admin rights, even I had reluct antlyto accept the reality of Windows, and on the recommendation of my Fidonet sysop went for the superb Total Commander, the first thing I found that made using Windows almost semi-tolerable.  I've remained faithful for about 13 years.  NBut, I also have licenses for ZTreeWin, a native Windows 32-bit console mode extended descendant of the XTree concept.  That was primarily a nostalgia trip, but it's a very capable and responsive file manager.  Finally, I have a license for XYplorer, which I found extremely useful for file finding duties on the network at work.

In short, I use what I do because in a sense I always have.  The ones I use now are mainly lineal descendants of ones I used before, apart from XYplorer.
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rgdot
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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2012, 04:30:43 PM »

Long time ago I was happy with Ac Browser Plus, mainly because how well it handled thumbnails and looking in archives. It has been abandoned as far as I know.
In my early DC days I heard about Directory Opus, downloaded a trial and it didn't last long, can't say I remember why. Along the way tried a few others like CubicExplorer but have settled on XYplorer. Looking forward to "Native support for ZIP and RAR" being crossed off XYplorer's roadmap
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cyberdiva
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2012, 06:03:13 PM »

Back in my DOS days, I used and loved Norton Commander.  I don't remember what I did once I moved to Windows, but at some point I used Servant Salamander.  I never was able to feel the enthusiasm for that program that I did for Norton Commander, so I tried some others.  I was about to buy Total Commander when, for some reason, I tried Directory Opus.  I discovered that with DOpus I could have two directories open with detailed listings (which is my preferred setup) and yet, if I moused over a graphics file, I could see a thumbnail of the image without having to leave the detailed listing.   That immediately sold me on Directory Opus.  That was several versions ago, but I've seen no reason to look for another file manager.  DOpus does everything I want and more.  Its complexity is perhaps its one drawback, but that also makes possible the wealth of features I value.
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ewemoa
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2012, 08:33:14 PM »

Having difficulty with Windows Explorer in Windows 7, been looking for a good alternative.

Tried DoubleCommander and FreeCommanderXE for a bit and though they looked promising, neither feels quite ready yet.  Currently using CubicExplorer and finding it in its current state to be a bit more usable -- sadly no dual pane yet though:

  http://www.cubicreality.c...1575.msg8697.html#msg8697
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sicknero
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2012, 04:19:42 AM »

I've found that with the combination of QTTabBar, ClassicShell and FolderMenu v3, the W7 Explorer does pretty much everything I want. And none of it seems to slow down my PCs noticeably.


QTTabBar - Has the context preview capability and 'Sub-folders tip' like in TotalCommander and Directory Opus, and also tabbed browsing in Explorer which I use all the time now, and a very useful 'Filter' box.

ClassicShell - It's just great to have the Explorer toolbar icons back again. Gives you a very configurable Start Menu as well.

FolderMenu 3 - Just brilliant. An extra 'context menu' triggered by mouse-wheel click (by default.. you can change it) which you can fill with your own directory short-cuts, programs, functions like 'Toggle Hidden Files' etc. It works anywhere in Windows, including the open/save dialog (Except for in Firefox, where mouse-wheel click triggers the auto-scroll... but you can still access it via the System Tray). Can't praise this one enough : )

I also have FreeCommander and Q-Dir portable versions, although I never seem to use them any more.
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Jibz
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« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2012, 08:03:23 AM »

I used Directory Opus back on the Amiga, and Norton Commander on the PC until it was surpassed by Dos Navigatorw, which I used all the way up to Windows 98.

I use Directory Opus, Total Commander and XYplorer today, though mostly TC.

DO was an awesome replacement for the windows style folder browsing on Windows XP I think, it is an impressive program that can do so many things. It's just awfully expensive, and since I upgraded to Windows 7 I haven't really missed it enough to warrant the upgrade price.

TC looks horrible. What won me over about it was the way it allowed my fingers to work the same way they did back in the NC/DN days. If you are using the mouse then it is probably not as good as the others, but if NC keyboard shortcuts are hardwired into your brain, you feel right at home cheesy.

XY is great. There are so many things to like, and the developer is very active and keeps on adding nifty little features. Unfortunately he keeps on adding nifty little features and not the big nasty stuff that actually makes it unusable to me embarassed. The sad part is some of the problems are due to the language it was written in, and thus unlikely to be fixed.

I've tried xplorer2, cubic, free commander, altap salamaner, but none of them really struck that magic mix of features and efficiency for me. I liked xplorer2 a lot, and would probably have bought a license if it wasn't for the absurd licensing hoops to put it on an USB drive back then.
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Curt
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« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2012, 08:17:54 AM »

(...) the combination of QTTabBar, ClassicShell and FolderMenu v3, the W7 Explorer does pretty much everything I want. (...)

+1

-except that I am using QTTabbar 1.5 Beta 2, StExBar, Hyperionics FileBox eXtender (FbX), Better File Rename, TeraCopy Pro, and ShellToys. I do not love Windows 7, but these makes me prefer Explorer over Directory Opus 10 and XYplorer, that I have keys for. But of course I must now re-test Xplorer2; I have forgotten why I didn't like it.

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hpearce
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« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2012, 08:27:25 AM »

DOPUS is expensive but is highly customizable and will do/can do almost anything one needs to with a file manager making it worth the price.
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x16wda
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« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2012, 08:33:26 AM »

But of course I must now re-test Xplorer2; I have forgotten why I didn't like it.

Yah, with what, 30 or 40 options, it's hard to keep them all straight...  cheesy
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Steven Avery
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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2012, 09:54:40 AM »

Hi,

I accidentally had to restore from the recycle bin the other day.  Xyplorer was great, they had a built-in proper renaming.  Total Commander was giving me "dd21" file names (although they may have a utility or some special item for this.)  

For registered products I am used to Total Commander, but I would like to be comfy with Xyplorer and xplorer2.  e.g. The search function on Total Commander is not as well integrated as one or both of those. I find no problem with mouse and TC.  Sometimes I find that another one deletes files that TC balks at.  There are tons of little usability areas where each one shines. 

All three are real fine.  Free Commander is the other one I like, fully free (but not quite on the same overall level) and Q-Dir also looks free interesting.  Right now I am working with what I consider the big three, TC xpl, xyp. (Opus is of course up there as well, except for the $ problem.)

Steven
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2012, 10:27:01 AM »


I'll second Classic Shell. Like it or not, many of us mid-level users "learned computing on XP". So when Win7 (and maybe Vista before that) just decided to move things for the sake of moving things, I was among the many annoyed users. Classic Shell fixed a lot of it (though a few minor things slipped by, no biggie there.)

While not really a tool, I just also turned off most of the visual bling and brought it back more to a classic icon handling.
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yksyks
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« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2012, 12:29:07 PM »

I can't imagine working without my beloved ZTreeWin. If you're keyboard freak like me, I bet nothing can beat it regarding the speed and effectiveness of work. I'm bringing it everywhere with me on a flash disk.

The new upcoming version (at the moment in beta), includes mode for bulk managing directories. Definitely worth trying!
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timns
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« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2012, 12:51:51 PM »

I'd like to weigh-in on the side of DOpus. It's a large, complex program but if you commit to it, there's probably nothing you cannot set up.

For example I have a button that converts a list of files on an FTP server into a series of URL's in a single click, and another that opens a number of source tabs based on the contents of downloaded zip files. My two favourites!

This and a lot more is achieved within DOpus itself from its built-in features, and I think that level of automation is probably unique to the program.

But then that's me: I am lazy and get very offended if I have to do repetitive tasks. Every time I feel like something is more effort than it has a right to be, or may be error-prone, I start searching for a way to fix it.
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rjbull
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« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2012, 03:32:50 PM »

I can't imagine working without my beloved ZTreeWin. If you're keyboard freak like me, I bet nothing can beat it regarding the speed and effectiveness of work.

Console mode makes it amazingly responsive.  Generous license, too, and so is the license for Total Commander, no upgrade fee in 13 years.
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fenixproductions
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« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2012, 05:38:51 PM »

TC only but I must say that I've probably tested ALL of them.

There are few reasons against other managers but I'd rather focus on main TC advantages:
  • plugins - amongst hundreds of them content ones are used by me the most. They not only give nice column views but are also usable for renaming, view filters or… files names colouring. There are so many places for them that I can't even write all them down without deeper thought.
  • speed - somehow other FMs were always slow for me (DO being sad leader for that). Placebo?
  • explorer.exe - TC does not rely on Windows Explorer, other FM - may do. Such feature may not be usable for portable scenario or when you need to resurrect someone's system. On the other hand: copying with explorer can be bothersome if one of the files fails.
  • *.ext - It may be just me but I don't like to have full file names: name must be in separate column and name only. I like to group files by their types because more likely I remember the kind of work I am at (oh! few PSDs to edit). TC makes it easier.
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tomos
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« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2012, 04:53:02 AM »

As someone who works a fair bit with images, but needs/wants a file manager (not photo-management) I gotta say I'm disappointed by *all* the big file managers. DOpus is the most image friendly, but even there there are some very basic image needs ignored (and I have posted in the forums & made official requests without success).

Still it's what I use and I do like it - I am really a fairly basic user, but I do have it customised enough to make my life easier (I made a series of posts in the Configuring Directory Opus for Fun and Profit thread).

I find it strange that they hide so much of it's power in the default install, XYplorer is much more open & accessible that way.
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Tom
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« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2012, 06:25:02 AM »

(...) the combination of QTTabBar, ClassicShell and FolderMenu v3, the W7 Explorer does pretty much everything I want. (...)

+1

-except that I am using QTTabbar 1.5 Beta 2, StExBar, Hyperionics FileBox eXtender (FbX), Better File Rename, TeraCopy Pro, and ShellToys. I do not love Windows 7....

Yes exactly ... I forgot to mention all the other extras I use to make W7 do what I want it to, in the way that I want it to ... TeraCopy, AgentRansack, AdvancedRenamer, 7zip, EditPad, FSViewer, the list goes on and on.
 
On the plus side I do like the W7 "Preview Pane" a lot, I use it loads ... even though you have to a; install a codecs pack (I use Shark), b; Use Ramesh's "Preview Config" to tell W7 that you would please like it to display in Preview all the file types you've just installed the codecs for, and c; leave WMP as the default handler for all media files otherwise the Preview Pane just stops working...

But surely this has always been an essential part of the sheer fun of being a Windows user... the immense feeling of satisfaction and completeness that you get from adding endless 3rd party apps to make it behave how you want it to.... smiley
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« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2012, 12:03:55 PM »

Whatever file manager I would be using (currently "xplorer2"), for me the most important file management related tool is not a file manager but Listary - it makes navigating so much faster and easier after remembering two keyboard shortcuts (it works great with xplorer2).
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x16wda
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« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2012, 01:44:39 PM »

« Last Edit: April 10, 2012, 01:46:18 PM by x16wda; Reason: hey, the /quote was after the quote part and before what I wrote! what did i miss? » Logged

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DonL
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« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2012, 02:49:07 PM »

As someone who works a fair bit with images, but needs/wants a file manager (not photo-management) I gotta say I'm disappointed by *all* the big file managers. DOpus is the most image friendly, but even there there are some very basic image needs ignored (and I have posted in the forums & made official requests without success).
Interesting, tell me more. I'm currently thinking about developing XY more towards the needs of photographers...
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rjbull
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« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2012, 03:32:29 PM »

[...] TC advantages:
  • plugins - amongst hundreds of them content ones are used by me the most. They not only give nice column views [...]
  • *.ext - It may be just me but I don't like to have full file names: name must be in separate column and name only. I like to group files by their types

I struggle to set "nice column views"   embarassed

For grouping files, I usually just sort by extension.
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tomos
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« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2012, 03:47:18 PM »

As someone who works a fair bit with images, but needs/wants a file manager (not photo-management) I gotta say I'm disappointed by *all* the big file managers. DOpus is the most image friendly, but even there there are some very basic image needs ignored (and I have posted in the forums & made official requests without success).
Interesting, tell me more. I'm currently thinking about developing XY more towards the needs of photographers...

There must be a lot of other people out there who work with images but need a filemanager, not photo-management.
Me, I use images for work, mostly scans: tiffs, jpegs - colour, greyscale, "lineart" (just B/W).
I also use images (photos/scans) for keeping records.
I also use dopus for 'casual' personal photo use.

Important things for me are:

  • A viewer with a separate full window where I can go through the images in the sort-order they are showing in the filemanager
  • A viewer that "talks" with the filemanager - if I start off by opening image #1 from the filemanager in the viewer, and work my way through to image #53 -if I close the viewer then- I want image #53 to now be selected in the filemanager - or at least to have focus
  • An easy way of opening the image currently in the viewer in an external editor
  • An easy way of copying the filepath of the image currently showing in the viewer
  • Consistent handling of different image filetypes; easy way to zoom in and move around the image (e.g. to check quality; or read some text in the image)

I have XY as well, can have another look at that and get back to you - probably better in your forums though :-)
FWIW you can see my Dopus image toolbar here (I mostly just use the rotate buttons)
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Tom
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« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2012, 03:43:52 AM »

Important things for me are:

  • A viewer with a separate full window where I can go through the images in the sort-order they are showing in the filemanager
  • A viewer that "talks" with the filemanager - if I start off by opening image #1 from the filemanager in the viewer, and work my way through to image #53 -if I close the viewer then- I want image #53 to now be selected in the filemanager - or at least to have focus
  • An easy way of opening the image currently in the viewer in an external editor
  • An easy way of copying the filepath of the image currently showing in the viewer
  • Consistent handling of different image filetypes; easy way to zoom in and move around the image (e.g. to check quality; or read some text in the image)
It's all there in XY already.
Conc. the "separate full window", you have a "full screen preview" in XY which might not be exactly what you want.
Conc. "easy way to zoom in and move around the image" XY has its famous "Mouse Down Blow Up" (mouse down on thumbnails pops the image in original size and "move-aroundable"). I have never seen anything better anywhere.

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