The only thing that's bugging me is that for some document types (when the viewer is embedding an ActiveX control, I guess), the viewer window cannot be closed by hitting Esc.
You mean the separate viewer window, right? (Not the similar "preview pane" that is joined to the file display. Esc only closes the window not the pane, so I assume you're talking about the window but correct me if I'm wrong.)
I am in the process of re-writing the Opus ActiveX plugin so I'll see if I can make Esc close the viewer window. To be honest I had never thought of that before since I almost never view that kind of document in the viewer window. (In the preview panel I view them a lot, but if I double-click them they open in Word or Firefox themselves rather than an Opus viewer window. Personally, I only really use the viewer window for pictures.)
Plus, I can only open one viewer pane at a time. When trying to view another document, the existing viewer window is reused. I'm not happy about this, since in TC I often work with multiple viewers open.
Hmm, now I think you're talking about the preview pane since you can definitely open more than one viewer window in Opus. Select a file and use File->File Commands->Show Pictures
to open the file in a viewer window. Do it to another file and you'll get a second viewer window. Of course, if you use it a lot you can move the command to somewhere more convenient (e.g. a toolbar) and/or give it a hotkey. (And maybe rename it since "Show Pictures" doesn't really do the viewer justice, hehe.)
Also, the viewer in TC lets me switch between viewing modes live (ANSI, OEM, Unicode, UTF-8, Hex, etc), with a single keypress. The reason this is important is that sometimes I want to view html files rendered, but other times (more often) I want to view the source. Or try various encodings, to see which one works. I can't find a comparable feature in DOpus viewer (except View As Hex).
If you want the Text plugin to let you switch encodings you should send GPSoft a feature request since that's one of their ones.
To view an HTML file as text you could make a button/hotkey which runs Show PLUGIN=Text
although that will open a new viewer rather than switch the format of an existing one. You can change the format of an existing one using the menus, which allow you to tell it to use a different plugin, but it takes several clicks and probably isn't that useful if you want something you can click to quickly flick between things.
I guess I could add something to the ActiveX plugin to allow you to toggle between IE and a text display of HTML files. Should be fairly easy, thinking about it. I'll add that to my list. I'd find that useful myself now that you mention it.
In general, DOpus doesn't seem too friendly to keyboard-only navigation.
I don't use the keyboard much myself so I'm not in a position to disagree but you can put just about any command on hotkeys, as well as make hotkeys which jump the focus to certain parts of the window (e.g. left tree, or filter edit box, or whatever). I know there are one or two things that need fixing, like how you can open the Find panel with a hotkey but have to use the mouse to close it, but I think Opus is pretty keyboard-friendly, at least if you configure some hotkeys to do what you want.
The subfolder opens, with the first folder focused but not selected. If you press Enter now, nothing happens. If you press down arrow, DOpus will select the *second* subfolder, probably not what you want. To descend into the first subfolder, you have to press up arrow first. This could be easily fixed in the program, apparently the author just didn't care and users aren't bothered by this.
You've found the option to stop this happening so I guess it's not so important, but when you push Return it's the same as double-clicking all selected files. If no files are selected then nothing happens. As well as pushing Up you can push Space to select the file with the keyboard focus.
Having said that, it probably would make sense to have a special case where if return is pushed and nothing is selected then the file/dir with the keyboard focus gets "double-clicked". I'll send in a feature request along those lines.
I'm also missing the ".." entry in folder list for going up in a folder tree. Yes, I can see the up arrow above the list, but it's too tiny for fast clicking.
You could make two full-sized toolbar buttons which go up in the left and right sides if you just want a bigger target to click on. (There's already a toolbar button which goes up in the active side, of course.)
I use Backspace instead, but Enter in TC is much nicer: press Enter once to go into a subfolder, press Enter again to go up.
This, combined with your complained above about having to push an extra arrow key to select the folder you want to enter, seems more like you're just used to exactly how TC works and want Opus to be the same, even if it doesn't make a lot of difference.
In TC if you want to enter the first folder then you have to push down-arrow to skip over the ".." item, so it's as many keypresses as in Opus without the "automatically select first folder" option, and one extra keypress than in Opus with the option on.
If you've just entered a folder by pushing return and then want to go up, you only have to move your finger one key to the backspace key, and I'd say there is value in having one key which always goes up (Backspace) and another key which always goes down (Return).
Then again, if a program has been in development for years, is at version 9+ and has a huge user base, I guess I'm not a target user. I get that a lot recently, e.g. with UltraEdit, which has like a million registered users, who apparently don't mind all the usability annoyances, big and small, I have found in 30 minutes of playing with it.
You seem to be assuming that the little things that bug you a lot are shared by everyone else? Maybe nobody, or very few people, have noticed and commented on them before, but if you mention them to GPSoftware they'll tweak things? I can't tell you how many good ideas come from people which nobody has thought of or mentioned in the past, even when it's at version 9, and often people are amazed that they're the first to mention them.
Of course, some ideas take more convincing than others, but sometimes if someone mentions something it's an instant "yeah; never thought of that or used the program that way before, but they've got a point and it doesn't break anything else so let's do it" moment.
Joel Spolsky's "User Interface Design for Programmers" to all our favorite shareware authors, because many of them should really read those, for our benefit
Joel is strange for me. I seem to strongly agree with half of what he says and strongly disagree with the other half, with no middle ground.