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anything better than Object Dock 2 Plus?

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For years I've been looking for a way to display my Desktop files in a sidebar or side panel "thing". A kind of quick show/hide side panel that I can easily access when I have a program running in full screen view. I can't remember what I've tried in the past, nothing worked how I needed, but I recently discovered that Object Dock 2 Plus does come very, very close to what I've always hoped for. (The free version of Object Dock doesn't have "folder tabs", which is what I required.)

The image below is showing my Desktop files in an Object Dock "Tab". You'll see that I've collapsed some of the groups. The tab works just like a regular Windows Explorer Folder, in that you can drag and drop files, delete them, copy them, etc. There is no need to setup which files are displayed like a static toolbar; the tab shows a "realtime" view of the desktop's (or any other folder) contents.

Now, this would be perfect except for a few issues:

1) The "tab" doesn't appear to remember the file display icon size, i.e. I set it to "small icons", next time I restart the machine, the files will be in "medium icons" size. Obviously, I'd prefer it to remember what I set.

2) It would be better if I could filter out some files permanently. This isn't such a big deal as I could just set the tab to view something other than my Desktop, a folder with only certain files types inside. But, I'm lazy, and I'd like to keep throwing loads of stuff on my desktop whilst I'm working with them - so filters would be handy.

3) I know I'll find more to complain about as I keep working with the Object Dock Tabs. I've only had the program a day.

Now, the reason for posting: This is the best tool I've tried that does what I want and it's not too bad a price (about £11 with 10% discount I found online). But, it's not PERFECT.

I would not be surprised to learn that there is a better tool (probably free) that does this auto hide tab function display. The important bit, though, is that it is NOT a "toolbar"; there is no need to configure which shortcuts or files/folders to display before it starts working - it just shows everyting in the set folder, i.e. it updates in real-time.

Now, I'm wondering, maybe something like autohotkey could just make a modified folder appear like a side panel - AND make it autohide until triggered by the cursor hitting the side of the screen.

Or, maybe there's something already better at the job than Object Dock 2 Plus.

I tried to do something similar with Directory Opus but, as far as I can understand, you can't have different toolbar layouts saved in Directory Opus. You can have different "Lister" layouts but they don't remember specific toolbar arrangements - if they did then I could simply have a Lister that hid all menus and toolbars and just showed folder contents.

Aare there any suggestions, other than just use a "toolbar" or add a new drop-down menu like "toolbar" to my Taskbar. I'm on Windows 7 so I can't even drag system "toolbars" away from the main Taskbar like you could years ago.

As I mentioned above in item 3)...

I've now found that Object Dock doesn't really do a good job of hiding itself. No problem if you only have a single monitor, you won't realise that the toolbar/tab is only moving off screen - it isn't collapsing.

So, now I've enabled my other monitors, the "hidden" Object Dock bars are simply moved off my main screen and onto the peripheral monitors.

And, quite frankly, that makes the program ABSOLUTE TOTAL RUBBISH.

Interesting.. I could take my Launchbar Commander code (which has auto hiding features that i think work pretty well now, and on multi-monitors), and instead of showing a docking bar, show the contents of a standard file explorer view..

However, note that this would be a standard file explorer panel -- not the nice organization of files you show in your screenshot.  Or two panels, one showing folders and one showing contents of selected folder.

Wouldn't be too hard to add some filtering options based on date or extension, but im not keen on writing a whole custom file explorer display interface.

I've used ObjectDock for years, but in a more limited way. I have one tab bar at the top left of my left monitor, which rolls up. That works nicely for me.

I also use it to show only very important system tray icons, large in the lower corner. That way I can very easily see, at a glance: PC temperature, and if I have any email.

I used to also use it for quaint stuff like world clock, weather etc. but I subsequently moved to rainmeter which is spiffing.

This is a cool idea, nudone.  I was just about to suggest LBC.  I love LBC, so I'll welcome any of the mentioned additional features.


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