Thursday, January 10, 2008

Free Commander

It's no secret that the Windows file explorer is pretty much useless for anything other than getting frustrated. When I was looking for a dual-pane file explorer replacement, I found xplorer2, an excellent piece of software that does all kinds of nifty things. The only problem is that it also costs $30. I went ahead and bought it after hearing rave reviews, and then last week I happened upon Free Commander, a free alternative to xplorer2.

The nicest, and most obvious, feature of Free Commander is its dual-pane display, allowing you to view two directories at the same time, and easily copy files between them. Besides that great feature, it also has the following advantages over the horrible Windows file explorer...
  • You can click anywhere in the path of the current pane to quickly navigate to that part of the path. For example, if I am in D:\Dev\Projects\SuperWidget, and I want to quickly get to D:\Dev, I just click on the "Dev" part of the path and I'm there.
  • Open a command prompt window at the current directory.
  • Extra tree view in addition to the flat file/directory listing.
  • A drive bar over each pane that lets you quickly get to another drive.
  • Color-code your files based on certain specifications. For example, I color all of my read-only files blue.
  • Built-in archiving and unarchiving.
  • Easily access your favorite folders (also allows you to pick a favorite for the inactive pane).
  • Easily access your favorite tools.
  • Easily access your Desktop, Control Panel, My Documents, and Start menu items from the toolbar.
  • Display subdirectory sizes.
  • Built-in file viewer.
  • Incremental searching for files as you type. This also limits the arrow keys to only those files that match.
  • Incremental file filter that you can toggle on and off.

There is much more than I could list, and those are just the highlights that Free Commander can do. So check it out, and put away that piece of crap that ships with Windows. Oh yeah, and did I mention that it's free?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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