Increase Your Productivity By Adding Tabs To Windows Explorer

If there is a way to increase productivity when performing file management operations, you can always count me in. I guess this is something I inherited from the Norton Commander days.

Today I stumbled on a find that I consider a “real find” that you may be interested in; especially if you are someone that is proficient in working Windows Explorer to perform file and folder operations. It is a third party application, called TabExplorer.

What TabExplorer does is simply this: it adds tabs to Windows Explorer.

TabExplorer

The beauty of a tabbed file manager is that you can toggle between the tabs to perform file operations in a much more effiicient (and quicker manner).  TabExplorer needs some polishing, but I think you will find it makes for a great add-on for Windows Explorer that can be toggled on or off.

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An Online File Sharing and Storage Service to Seriously Consider Called 4shared

Is it just me or are we going through a technology change with these tablet computers like never seen before? As a result, and being an owner of a tablet pc (Toshiba Thrive), I am now really looking at the online file storage options that will enable me to reliably post, share, stream and retrieve files from a source in the cloud. Recently I put up two posts about Microsoft’s Live SkyDrive that you should consider for online file storage:

SkyDrive – Your Password Protected Hard Drive in the Cloud

Ways to Sync Your SkyDrive Files To Your Computer, Tablet and Smartphone

4sharedToday, I want to share with you another online file sharing and file storage service that I have been testing out and have been quite pleased with. It is called 4shared .

4shared

4shared will give you 10GBs of space right off the bat; plus another 5GBs, when all is said and done. What I found with this service is that they really have made an effort to cover all bases to ensure that you can access, share, and store your files anywhere there is internet service and from just about any platform (whether it be your desktop, tablet PC or smartphone). The features of this service is too numerous to list and if you are interested in seeing a comparison of their paid service, versus their FREE service, then [ click here ] . I think you will find that the FREE service will meet your needs.

What I like about 4shared is that they have an android app to perform file operations from my Tablet PC and another android app to stream music from my 4Shared account to my Tablet. The various interfaces that 4Share provides to access your files, whether it be their desktop syncing app or file manager, their online interface or their mobile file manager apps; I found all of them very easy to navigate and understand. Mobile apps are available for Symbian, Blackberry, Android, and iPhone .

If you have any questions about 4shared, I encourage you to visit their FAQ (frequently asked questions) page [ here ]. Overall, I have been using the daylights out of this service, especially the music search, storage, streaming and sharing functions.

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Liberate Your Flash Drive with LiberKey

Managing apps on a flash drive can be a real challenge even for the polished IT professional. Flash Drives have given us the liberty to transport files from PC to PC and the ability to run apps (software applications) directly from these little buggers. Again the problem that occurs is the ability to manage and organize what we place on these drives.  I can remember when flash drives first came out and developers started creating portable apps. These apps were far and few between; however, today the portable apps available number into the hundreds.  You literally can create a computer on a stick…

To help manage what you place on your flash drive and to help you decide what apps to install, I use a portable menu management utility called LiberKey.

LiberKey

The abilities of LiberKey are phenomenal and will, in a sense, take complete charge of your drive. The most important feature I like about LiberKey is after I select the apps I want I can go back at anytime and have LiberKey update the apps to the current version. As a matter of fact, being big on flash drive usage, this feature alone is worth its’ weight in gold. I do not know how many times I have installed a portable app on my flash drive and never take the time to perform updates.

LiberKey is FREE; is host to over 292 applications that you can select from; plus, if you are not in the mood to specifically select what apps you want to install, you can actually take the lazy man’s way out and download a complete suite of apps in a batch.

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Show The Real Size of Folders On Your Computer

When collecting music, photos, videos, etc. on your computer the amount of space being taken up can add up very quickly.  Granted, most hard drives in today’s world of computing will handle the load; however, I still recommend that you practice good file management and monitor the amount of space you are using to eliminate any potential problems.

So, if you are a packrat of music, photo and video files, which can consume a great deal of hard drive space,  I suggest using a utility, such as SizeOnDisk to monitor and determine how much space you are consuming and how much space you have available.

I recently started using SizeOnDisk and I like the fact that it is available as a portable application (<400K) and the fact it is quite fast in giving results. Another fact I personally enjoy with SizeOnDisk, as a software reviewer, is that it is in the active development stages.  I love following the development stages and improvements of software as they come about.

The first time you run SizeOnDisk, you will be presented with the following Window.  To get a read on a drive or a specific folder on your computer, click on the open folder and make your selection.

SizeOnDisk

For example, I selected a folder on on my PC where I store most of my files and SizeOnDisk provided the following results (number of folders, number of files, file size and size on the disk).

SizeOnDisk

SizeOnDisk is a plain and simple utility that serves one purpose and serves it well.

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[Did You Know?] You Can Select Multiple Files That Are Not Grouped Together

Have you ever been in your Pictures folder (or another folder) and wanted to copy a select group of pictures (or files) to another folder or destination and they are not grouped together. Most people, in that case, will individually click each picture (or file), right mouse click, select copy, then go to the destination folder and and right mouse click and select paste.  This can be very time consuming if you have numerous files.

There is a much easier way to accomplish the task that I find most people do not use. Using the same scenario, hold down the “Ctrl” key on the keyboard and left mouse click (highlight) the individual files you want to copy.

CTRL

When done, keep the mouse pointer on one of the highlighted files, right mouse click, select copy (or whatever you want to do), then go to the destination folder, and right mouse click and select paste. You can perform other operations, such as cut or delete, using this technique.

The point here is to use the “Ctrl” key to individually select multiple files that are not grouped together to perform whatever operation you desire to perform. The Pictures folder was used as an example only.  This function will work in any file folder and sometimes even in applications, such as Microsoft Word, to select text that is not grouped together in a document, etc…

BONUS TIP:  Tip: Keyboard Shortcuts – Manage Your Windows with Alt

[DID YOU KNOW?] is something NEWhere at What’s On My PC and will be an ongoing project that will give you tidbits or bytes of computer information that I find that is really useful or unique.  If you have anything that you would like to see posted in the future, that may be helpful to others, feel free to let me know by leaving a comment below.

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An Enhanced Windows Explorer Replacement

We currently have available on Windows based computers a built in file management utility called Windows Explorer. This utility, which is a major component of the operating system, provides you with a graphical user interface to browse (and view) the file system on your computer. For the life of me I never could understand why Microsoft never implemented tabbed browsing in Windows Explorer. Maybe Microsoft felt that a great majority of computer users are intimidated by Windows Explorer and it was best to keep it simple.

Anyhow, if you are into file management and you want a Windows Explorer that offers a tabbed browser experience, then I recommend taking a look at Explorerplusplus (Explorer++) .

Explorer++

The beauty of tabbed browsing is that you can manage multiple instances of files and folders in one window. I actually have come to prefer the tabbed browsing interface over multiple pane interfaces. As a matter of fact, here of late, I have been testing numerous types of these file management utilities (even wrote about a few here on the blog) and Explorer++ is in the running as my “go to” file manager.

Explorer++

What I like?

It has a clean appearance (not cluttered or bloated) and is very similar to the Windows Explorer, as we know it.

It is fast and smooth running…  I currently have Explorer++ pinned to my Windows 7 taskbar. It definitely loads faster than Windows Explorer and performs file management operations faster. For example, I can right mouse click on a file or folder and the standard Explorer context menu loads quickly with minimal lag time.

I like the idea of my drives being available on a toolbar where I can quickly access their contents.  Lay your mouse pointer on a drive letter and immediately see the size of the drive and the free space available.

There is an option on the menu of Explorer++ called “Actions” that provides you the ability to merge, split and destroy files. When destroying a file you can do a one or three pass overwrite to make the file nearly impossible to undelete.

You can double click on the tab bar to open/close tabs.

You can lock tabs to the bar.

You can open to the Command Prompt from any folder you are working from.

You have option of bookmarking your favorite folders.

You can save a directory (or folder) listing to a text file.

Explorer ++ can be  run from your flash drive (as a portable app).

In the end, I am finding that the developer has went to great strides to make Explorer++ an user friendly experience; and,  it is my hope that the development cycle continues with this program.

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A Simple, Powerful, and Portable Dual Pane File Manager for FREE

One of the joys of being a tech blogger is that on many occasions a software developer will contact you about their creations. I get especially excited when it is a developer that is developing FREE software and wants me to help get the word out.

Recently I had SE-SOFT.COM point me into the direction of their site which features a variety of portable apps that can be used on your flash drive (or computer). I encourage you to visit their site to take a look at SE-TrayMenu, SE-Screensavers, SE-Explorer, SE-RSS Tools and SE-Media Player. If you are wondering, the “SE” is an acronym for “Smart & Easy”.

Out of the batch of software presented at SE-SOFT.COM, the one that jumped on my plate was SE-Explorer.

SE-Explorer

If you are into file managers, and portable at that, this one is definitely worth a look see. When I started testing SE-Explorer, my initial reaction was, “just another dual panel file manager”, when I realized that SE-Explorer was a whole lot more than that. This app provides a variety of built-in tools to explore the files and folders on your PC. In essence, this app is a packaged deal where panels can be opened to present various tools such as:

Dual Pane File Manager
File Explorer
Command Prompt
File Search
Size Scanner
Compare Files
Compare Folders
Web Browser
Media Player

Another feature I really liked was in the dual panel file manager. When you right click on a file, a very basic (what you really need) menu appears instead of the typical lengthy explorer (system) menu. For example, if you right click on a file or folder, the following menu will appear.

You can, of course, get to the regular Windows Explorer “system menu”, if need be, by clicking on “System Menu”. This type of layout is excellent, especially if you do the typical file management operations (such as rename, copy, move or delete).

I could go on more about this app, because the more I use it, the more I find another gem buried within. SE-SOFT.COM, PLEASE continue to develop this app further.  It will surely be a winner…

Main Features:

  • Clear tabbed interface
  • Different file browsers: dual panel, classic windows explorer, command prompt
  • Enhanced file search function and embedded size scanner
  • Media player for audio, video and flash files: MP3, WAV, AVI, MPEG, WMV, SWF, FLV, etc.
  • Picture viewer which supports most popular image file formats
  • Archive explorer for ZIP, RAR, ISO, 7Z, MSI, CAB, etc.
  • Resource view for executable files and icon libraries
  • PDF and DjVu, DOC and WRI, Html Help and RTF documents view
  • Text viewer with syntax highlighting
  • Compare folders by content including subfolders
  • Text file compare (difference)
  • Hex viewer for binary files
  • Dll Inspector with resources/dependencies/classes and interfaces views for executable files
  • Web Browser for web and email files
  • TTF Font files view
  • XML structure view

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