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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> The best Windows file manager and utility EVER.
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12/20/2009 04:23:23 PM · #1
I've tried them all... Going way back to even Norton Commander (if you remember that).

I work with a lot of files, photos, graphics, XML, program source, you name it. I'm always searching for a better way to deal with these, and find them quickly.

Windows Explorer is actually very good, especially the latest in Windows 7. To name a just a couple of my favorite third party file managers I've used, and like:

FreeCommander (absolutely free, donation ware)
XYPlorer (which I paid for)

For a number of years, I've used a combination of these two file managers--freecommander has a nice two pane system which is great. XYPlorer now has that, but it's greatest strength has always been its incredibly fast search capabilities.

BUT.... About a month ago, I found the ULTIMATE file manager. It's not free, and is actually pretty expensive, but before the end of my 60 day free trial, I happily forked over the $60. That's testament alone.

It's called Directory Opus. I'm not sure why I never tried it before...because I am always on the watch for something better.

It has a great interface; flexible, not in the way, it's fast, integrates and replaces Windows Explorer completely, has a great search engine with regular expressions and booleans, batch rename capability that works. I highly recommend you try it. Even if only for the 60 days. It's just elegant. Whereas it usually only takes me a week or so to find out what my latest software is "missing", or what it can do better, this one has provided for, an adopted to, my every file management need.

Well there's one other utility piece of software I highly recommend. And it's free. It's called "Search Everything", and it is a great way to find files. Like the built in windows search engine, it indexes files. But in this case, it only focus on file names, not contents. Sound limited? Well yes, but if like me, you need to find a file by name, this can't be beat. It displays the results instantly for all disk drives you index. Not even 2 seconds. Instantly. I've used lots of search engines, and this one's the best for finding files by name. (Directory Opus does this too, but it's not indexed.) Try it...you won't regret it.

That's all. I'm just an end user of these, not connected. But they've made my Best Of list. I wouldn't run a PC without either of these anymore! And I thought I'd share.


12/20/2009 04:46:39 PM · #2
I'm confused, the word "best" and "Windows" appeared not only in the same sentence, but right next to each other. Next, the world will implode. :)

I looked at the screen shots, very interesting. Very cool too that it has FTP support!

I do remember norton commander, loved it. I replaced it with Turbo Navigator.

12/20/2009 04:56:53 PM · #3
Thanks... Will check it out. (Anyone remember PCTools for DOS?)
12/20/2009 05:11:51 PM · #4
Originally posted by nshapiro:



BUT.... About a month ago, I found the ULTIMATE file manager. It's not free, and is actually pretty expensive, but before the end of my 60 day free trial, I happily forked over the $60. That's testament alone.

It's called Directory Opus. I'm not sure why I never tried it before...because I am always on the watch for something better.

It has a great interface; flexible, not in the way, it's fast, integrates and replaces Windows Explorer completely, has a great search engine with regular expressions and booleans, batch rename capability that works. I highly recommend you try it. Even if only for the 60 days. It's just elegant. Whereas it usually only takes me a week or so to find out what my latest software is "missing", or what it can do better, this one has provided for, an adopted to, my every file management need.


Hey you sure you're not connected? Because if not you should be looking into getting a job presenting a shopping channel. You are quite adept at the old 'Hey you should try this! I did and it's awesome!!!!' sales pitch....

Message edited by author 2009-12-20 17:13:12.
12/21/2009 12:09:58 AM · #5
Originally posted by Louis:

Thanks... Will check it out. (Anyone remember PCTools for DOS?)


XTree Gold!
12/21/2009 12:12:34 AM · #6
Originally posted by thompp1:

Originally posted by Louis:

Thanks... Will check it out. (Anyone remember PCTools for DOS?)


XTree Gold!


Yep, and let's not forget edlin.
12/21/2009 01:43:56 AM · #7
Thought I'd post a screen shot and while doing that, I remembered one of the best features of all for RAW shooters who use sidecar files.

This is the one file manager I've found that lets you specify a pattern of files to "hide". In other words, you can hide all the Adobe sidecar files so they don't show up and "dilute" the directory listing. They are still there and operational, and you can quickly set them to unhide if you want to see them in a listing. That's something I've been looking for for quite a while!

Here's a screen shot of the way I use it most the time. Note that the right pane you see is a preview of a PDF file that's currently selected in the bottom file pane. The preview allows paging etc. DirectoryOpus comes with a built in preview app, and can also use apps on your system (like Acrobat, as you see here. Note also it's using the 32 bit version of Acrobat to preview on my 64 bit system. I think that's part of the solution, since Acrobat doesn't preview well in 64 bit systems otherwise.)

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_840980.jpg

(If your wondering, the PDF file you see is file from my online publishing work.)

BTW - Directory Opus is running as a 64 bit app; there's also a 32 bit version if that's your OS.
12/21/2009 01:57:40 AM · #8
Originally posted by nshapiro:

I've tried them all... Going way back to even Norton Commander (if you remember that).

I remember NC very well. But I was a PcTools fan. MS-DOS Executive came out after a while. It may not have been the very best file manager at the time but definitely put a new spin on things and was very exciting.

These days I don't need a 3rd party file manager but in fear of being called a fan-boy I won't even mention why ;)
12/21/2009 09:51:54 AM · #9
Originally posted by TrollMan:

Originally posted by nshapiro:

I've tried them all... Going way back to even Norton Commander (if you remember that).

I remember NC very well. But I was a PcTools fan. MS-DOS Executive came out after a while. It may not have been the very best file manager at the time but definitely put a new spin on things and was very exciting.

These days I don't need a 3rd party file manager but in fear of being called a fan-boy I won't even mention why ;)


Not to flame a PC/Mac debate, I'll mention that I searched desperately for a good file manager on the Mac..finder just didn't do it for me with all the files I have--it lacks many important features like filtering (and having a folder tree pane). But I never found one I could live with. Rage Mac Explorer wasn't bad...it had a nice folder tree, but it was very basic in it's feature set and it crashed a lot. Path Finder was interesting and had a lot of potential, but it never clicked enough with me to fork out the $39.95. MUCommander (a Norton commander clone) was too limited IMHO--though it did provide the prerequisite multiple file directory panes.

I'm sure for most people with limited file sets, Finder and Explorer seem to be "enough". But for those with lots of files, and who like to keep them well organized according to their own system, nothing beats a really good file manager!

BTW for those who do a lot of FTP (like me), and need to keep files sync'd on their server and local folders, I have another (Windows) package I love. I was content for a long time using SmartFTP for FTP transfers, but it really doesn't have comparison and sync abilities. One that works wonders is Beyond Compare 3. It also works to compare local folders and sync them (e.g., if you are keeping a backup on an external drive).
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