Monday, July 31, 2006

Exploring - new, better way!

Explore in style!

Practically, there are alternatives to everything. Often, when you explore the alternatives, they might give you surprising, yet rewarding results. The case still holds well with your Windows Explorer. If you explore the alternatives to your version of Windows Explorer, equally surprisingly, your experience may count enough that you may want to stick to the new alternative you fish out for yourself since now; you may not want to settle for less.

Yes, you can find a number of utilities, more powerful, feature full and having more functionality than Windows Explorer. Adding to it, some of these utilities are absolutely free for you. So, why are you still stuck to your kind of Windows Explorer? Here are some available alternatives for your Windows Explorer as third party software. Now pick the one that is most suitable for your need and liking.

You may remember that in the old days of DOS, there exists a DOS based popular file manager called Norton Commander. That single program had added host of functionalities to your PC, no one had imagined at that time. Suddenly, the mysterious and curious file operations in DOS became visible and open to all with Norton Commander. By Norton Commander, file management became easy to perform and you were able to know what you are doing and what is being done in your computer. Then, Windows File Manager arrived with earlier version of Windows OS, followed by Windows Explorer with Windows 95. They lets you perform basic file management, and for added functionality, you have to take help of third party software. For example, if you want to view content of a file prior to opening it, it is not possible in Windows Explorer. Here, you need Quick View. Further, built in Zip file Support is not available in Windows Explorer except in Windows ME. For all these and other functionality, either you have to take help of add on or plug in for your Windows Explorer from third party software or you have to use stand alone applications for your particular need like Quick view and ZipMagic etc. In situations like these, alternate applications having more functionality help you tremendously in improving your productivity. Some such utilities are described below:


This Explorer Style file manager is very popular for its rich features. This utility is being regularly carried on i.t. CD. You can find free version of Power Desk on Resource section of i.t. CD. Its more powerful version, PowerDesk Pro is available as commercial software. You can set PowerDesk so that it can replace the Windows Explorer altogether. When you launch Windows Explorer, Power Desk is launched which gives you added functionality to you. PowerDesk consists of following additional features:

· It is full-featured, powerful file manager.

· It has built in file finder

· Power Desk has Dual pane view which can be set horizontally or vertically and is extremely easy in file copying and moving in different drives and directory by dragging and dropping.

· Power Desk gives you full and integrated Zip and unzip capabilities within its explorer window. It shows compressed files as folders and can show its contents before file operations.

· It extends full support of QuickView and QuickView plus [if installed] for viewing files within its view pane. A number of graphics file format and Word and Excel format files can also be viewed within its preview pane.

· Power Desk has a customizable launchbar, from where, you can add or remove shortcuts to launch your favorite applications.

· Power Desk has viewer pane that can be made “Floating”

· There is a professional version of PowerDesk called PowerDesk Pro. The Professional Version comes with a number of additional features, such as:· FTP capabilities, Powerful integrated file viewers, Size Manager, Folder Synchronizer etc.

Once you install this application, soon you will forget about your Traditional Windows Explorer since you may never need it.

Magellan Explorer

Magellan Explorer is a Windows file, archive and FTP management utility, which has a familiar, dual window interface that makes copying, moving and comparing your files extremely easy. Magellan Explorer has integrated FTP and archive clients, which means that internet sites and compressed archives, such as Zip files, can be opened if as they were normal folders. You can move seamlessly between them using Bookmarks, History and Back / Forwards buttons just the way you do in your web browser. It has built-in tool chest that gives you the ability to display the size of highlighted folders, find files, and synchronize folders, time stamp files and much more with a single click. Magellan Explorer is fully customizable and it is possible to configure almost every aspect of Magellan Explorer, from how you select files down to the color of individual buttons.

Nico's Commander

Nico’s Commander is a Norton Commander like file manager with exciting features such as application buttons on task bar that you can configure to start your

favorite applications with single mouse click. Nico’s Commander has built-in zip and unzip function with ability to create self extracting ZIP archives and archives that span several floppies. Nico’s Commander also has built in file search capability that can search for strings inside files. It can compare directory and file and has built-in text editor without limitations that Windows Notepad has.

Nico’s Commander has FTP compatibility that allows you to transfer files over Network. It can print ASCII files in one or two page on a sheet. It has command prompt with command history that is very helpful to you if you prefer to work on command lines like UNIX. You can find a button called ExitWin in Nico’s Commander that allows you to exit and restart Windows or to shut down or reboot your machine. It means, you never need to exit to Nico’s Commander environment and click start button even for shutting down your machine.

Turbo Browser

This utility can be termed as futuristic File Management tool for your Windows. It supports almost all variety of file operations like file view, convert, print, compress, encrypt, copy, move, paste, delete, and batch process files all within Turbo Browser. Other conventional file management and Internet functions are also fully supported.

Turbo Browser supports Preview of traditional files like HTML, ZIP and E-mails, documents, spreadsheets, images, clip arts, and some multimedia files with its integrated viewer. You can configure its filters to view these files in several ways, such as in native, ASCII or binary format. You can view or listen to any number of multimedia files and set to slide show for hands-free operation with its Auto-view function. You can also preview the files that are stored in cache and Recycle Bin. You can also view compressed files from inside ZIP and E-mail without unzipping them.

Turbo Browser also comes with its built-in zipping, unzipping, decoding and disk spanning capabilities. Turbo Browser’s integrated conversion program can convert graphics in multiple formats including auto color reduction, which can save your precious storage space. Further, Turbo Browser can convert complex and formatted documents and spreadsheet files into plain ASCII text format which is very useful to you if you want to send them across internet as plain text.

Turbo Browser has integrated text editing feature that allows you to identify text and HTML code in the file list. It can give you fast preview, facilitates edit, and save the changes, including convenient ruler and cursor position indicator for added convenience while working with large text files.

Amazingly, Turbo Browser’s integrated printing feature can print graphics, document, spreadsheets, file list in ZIP and E-mail, Hex, and entire file list, without asking you to run the native applications.

Turbo Browser has a Searchbar which is designed to find files quickly. Similarly, there is another tool called Qbar which is designed to organize and automate your work. You can customize the Turbo Browser’s Qbuttons in the Qbar with processing engines to export or backup files, convert file formats, print files, autoview files, and play background music. You can drag and drop files from different folders, drives or even from computers into existing Qbuttons or into an empty area to create new ones.

Besides these, there are more than two dozen other File Managers available for you to try out. They are equally powerful, Feature rich and fast applications since normally they are tiny applications; on an average, less than 2 MB in size. Let us take a quick view to some of these.

· File Quest:

This application supports all versions of Windows and acts as Windows Explorer replacement having extra capabilities.

· Super Explorer:

It is a tool for Windows 95/98/NT that act beyond Windows Explorer Capabilities and is extremely easy in use.

· Easy Explorer:

You can manage your files easily and effectively with this file manager that supports Windows 95 up to Windows 2000.

· Explore 2000

It has Dynamic and recursive folder comparison tool along with its usual file management tools. But it is for only Windows 95/98/ME.

· Secure Disk Explorer

This program has some built in security features along with its file management functions. It supports Windows 3.x/9x.

· Hot Data Navigator

It has unique, flexible multi window interface that is really helpful if you work in multiple windows at a time. You can use it on your Windows 95/98 and NT machines.

· Power Drawers 2000

It is a unique file management utility known for its special interface. It supports all 32 bit versions of Windows.

· Directory Opus

It is a good Windows Explorer replacement if you want some speed in managing your files having large directory trees. It supports all 32 bit versions of Windows.

· Accel Man

If you combine file manager with Multimedia player, graphics viewer, text printer and some more functions, then what you get is Accel Man. It is available for Windows 95/98/NT/2000.

· Xplorer Plus 2000

It is a better replacement for your conventional Windows Explorer having some path breaking extra features. Try it on your Windows 95/98/NT machines.

· Dommelen Explorer

Managing files with several windows are never so easy with Dommelen Explorer. However, presently, it is available only for Windows 98/NT.

· Windows Commander

Way beyond Norton Commander, Windows Commander is known for its shell utility. You can work with it in all version of 32 bit Windows.

· AnyWhere

You can simplify your file management chores with this utility which is available for all versions of Windows.

· Drag and File Gold

It is a utility that can replace your Windows Explorer with some extra goodies. It works on Windows 95/98/NT

· Turbo Navigator

Navigate through your files and directory in style with Turbo Navigator. It is available for all versions of Windows.

· WinNC 2000

This utility is like NC, but for Windows. And it is available for Windows 95/98 and NT.

· 2xExplorer

If you want to manage your files more efficiently, then look no further. 2xExplorer is the utility for you. You can use it on all version of 32 bit Windows.

· Singularity 2000 Filemanager

It is a simple yet fast file manager for Windows NT/@\2000.

· File Master

File master is a file manager that also has FTP capabilities. It supports Windows 95/ NT.

· Gset Explorer

It has built in support to view for more than 50 media file format. You can use it on Windows 95/98 and NT machines.

· Frigate

It supports all version of 32 bit Windows except Windows ME and has built in support for many compressed files.

· File Maven Pro

It also has dual directory type window that make your file management easy. You can use it on all version of 32 bit Windows.

· Twin Explorer Plus Image

It is a Windows Explorer replacement utility with extra capabilities. It is released for Windows 95/98 and NT.

· WinBrowser

It is an alternate tool for Windows Explorer having some automated features. It works on Windows 95/98/NT.

· Universal Explorer

You can go way beyond the file management capabilities of Windows Explorer with Universal Explorer.

· File Tiger

Manage your files with power of File Tiger. It has Dual pan for management of file operations along with other host of features.

Among the above listed software, except some commercial software, most are Shareware and some, such as Easy Explorer, Fast Explorer, Twin Explorer, Gset Explorer, 2xExplorer, Turbo Navigator and Powerdesk are freeware. You can find some of these utilities on past issues of i.t. CDs. So, why, repeat; why you are still adhering to your traditional Windows Explorer when you have option to Explore in style?

Snapshot Descriptions:

  1. Explore1.bmp: PowerDesk : the powerful file manager- a regular on resource section of i.t. CD.
  2. Explore2.bmp: In PowerDesk, you can create short cut on its task bar or open documents etc. through single mouse click on task pan.
  3. Explore3.bmp PowerDesk has some innovative facilities such as only file name or directory name is copied instead of all its contents.
  4. Explore4.bmp In PowerDesk, you can make access instantly to any number of your favorite folders with a single mouse click. Simply add them once in your favorite button.
  5. Explore5.bmp PowerDesk is highly customizable, its every feature can be customized by its preference settings.
  6. Explore6.bmp In Powerdesk, you can view files in more than one way.
  7. Explore7.bmp Magellan explorer has dual window that makes your file operations easy.
  8. Explore8.bmp Every aspect of Magellan explorer is customizable.
  9. Explore9.bmp Magellan explorer add right click menu named “Voyage from here” on start button of Windows by which you can launch this utility.
  10. Explore10.bmp Age old, DOS based Norton Commander, popularly known as NC, is at your service.
  11. Explore11.jpg PwerDesk has Vertical / Horizontal or Floating preview Pan- set it as you like.
  12. Explore12.jpg Drag and File Gold has some very handy and useful file operation tools as buttons on its task pan which can be customized.
  13. Explore13.jpg Windows Commander can be installed with support of multiple languages.
  14. Explore14.jpg Windows Commander has host of other features that can be customized.
  15. Explore15.jpg Windows Commander has built in preview pan with some nice features.
  16. Explore16.jpg A sleek file management utility having task pan at the bottom of the window for easy access.
  17. Explore17.bmp Look at this, glamour less orphaned Windows Explorer! Do you still want to bear it when you have rich alternatives?
  18. Explore18.bmp Nico’s Commander _ another file management utility. You can add short cuts of your file operations in its task pan for single click operations.
  19. Explore19.bmp Give tribute to powerful, built in file viewer of TurboBrowser, a premier file management utility.

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