2xExplorer is an easy to use yet very potent and extremely efficient alternative to the standard windows Explorer. It combines the user-friendliness of the latter with the increased efficiency and advanced features of good-old dual-pane file managers like Norton Commander. It is a package that will appeal to the power user, yet its similarity with Explorer will ensure that less experienced users will not be driven away either.
Why would you want to make 2xExplorer your default file manager? Allow me to demonstrate...
It's better than Explorer
2xExplorer does whatever the windows explorer will do for file management, but goes much further, filling some glaring omissions in this product:
Note that all these goodies — including file synchronization and thumbnail viewers — are available in both filesystem and zip folders (where this feature is available, e.g. windows XP/ME etc).
- Dual pane layout, with intelligent communication between two independent panes
- Powerful selection engine, for easily building up selection patterns for items before file operations
- File filters, both for selecting and for displaying files
- Drivebar navigation, for accessing quickly all the drives installed on a computer
- Keyboard shortcuts for nearly all its commands, for efficient everyday use
- Complete file date information, utilising Creation and LastAccessed information as well as the normal Modification date.
- Proper path resolution, including UNC and relative paths (e.g. "C:" as opposed to "C:\")
- Printing of folder contents, find results and other statistics
- Proper file sorting, based on extension (alphabetically)
It is a modern version of Norton Commander
2xExplorer is every bit as efficient, useable and addictive as NC, without being a verbatim copy of the original masterpiece. The design and operation borrows many new improvements brought by the latest win32 desktop "philosophy", improving the ease of use:
- Full drag/drop and shell context menu support, for integration with the desktop
- Separable tree view; one can have both the tree view and the two contents panes visible at the same time
- Multifunctional address bar, for specifying folder names and visual filters, plus for running windows or DOS applications.
- Dockable Thumbnail bar, for previewing popular graphics formats (jpg, bmp, gif, etc.) plus HTML and M/S Office documents.
- Efficient navigation, supporting bookmarks, folder history and internet-style back/next folder navigation
- Shell namespace browser, allowing the browsing of non-filesystem folders like ControlPanel etc. If you install a shell extension for FTP and/or ZIP content browsing, 2xExplorer will integrate with that too (does so already for zipfolders in winXP & 2000).
- Autocompletion for paths and other frequently typed information.
- Copy pathnames of selected items and preview bitmaps, simplifying clipboard transfers.
- Optional single-click activation schemes for both views and tree, to match your usability patterns.
It offers many useful tools
Except for the regular file management, 2xExplorer has the following tools embedded in the program, which could easily be distributed as stand-alone products:
- Text editor/viewer. It offers whatever Notepad lacks: unlimited file sizes, font/color selection, powerful search and replace, toolbar, keyboard shortcuts etc. It also features a HEX and a RTF viewer, plus many useful tools for programmers of all sorts.
- Folder synchronisation. Forget the shortcomings of Briefcase. The dual pane layout of 2xExplorer can be used to compare the contents of any two folders. The synchronisation is based either on simple date/size information, or on full binary contents comparison. Complete sub-trees can also be examined using the unique Mirror Browsing tool.
- Find files command. This is more powerful than the standard windows item, allowing more search criteria, hence files can be located with greater precision. The search results can be fed to any of the regular panes for further processing.
- Folder subtree data. Similar to TreeSize, this feature can generate information about the number of files and associated storage for a complete sub-tree beneath some folder. The results are presented intuitively in a tree control.
- Batch file creation. Using a command template
to be applied on each one of the selected files, 2xExplorer can automatically
generate MS/DOS batch files ("*.bat"). By executing these scripts
complicated operations can be performed on any arbitrary set of files (e.g. mass renaming of filename extensions, touching date stamp info, etc.)
- Advanced file management. 2xExplorer has built-in commands for touching file dates, splitting & merging large files, shredding for complete file destruction etc. For NTFS partitions hard links can be created, too.
2xExplorer was developed mainly with the "advanced" user in mind. A host of features, as the smart keyboard accelerators, persistent properties and command history throughout the program, ensure that 2xExplorer is a utility that can be used day-in/day-out with maximum efficiency an minimum frustration. However, the less experienced user is not scared away either. The resemblance to the standard Explorer and the various "helping hands" offered (e.g. in the form of status bar explanatory messages, tooltips,
etc.) should allow any user who is fairly comfortable with windows to feel
straight at home using 2xExplorer.
Don't just take my word for it, see what other users have to say about 2xExplorer:
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