Carson, May 2004
Windows 98 through Vista and 2003 Server; Microsoft Internet
Explorer version 6 or higher, 40MB hard disk space
is a comprehensive suite of integrated Windows desktop,
file access and file management tools which provides a
large number of features and functions to help organize
and manage folders, document files, digital photos, music
files, web pages and just about everything else stored
on your computer. The "suite" isn't composed
of a bunch of separate modules - or at least it certainly
doesn't look or feel like that. In fact, as you move from
function to function ExplorerPlus is as seamless as Windows
Explorer, just vastly more powerful.
say in tones dripping with sarcasm, "another file
management utility. Just what I need." Think again
folks, because the file management utilities you've ignored
(or occasionally glanced at) in the past are the file
management utilities that could have saved you a lot
of time and effort then and now. If you haven't looked
seriously at any of the others, do yourself the favor
of looking at ExplorerPlus. If this one doesn't please
you, nothing will. To get yourself started after installing
the demo version, all you have to do is start using the
right-click context menu pop-up, one of the most robust
and versatile implementations of this Windows operating
system feature we've ever see. You can perform almost
every primary ExplorerPlus function from the context
menu. Right-click on anything displayed in ExplorerPlus
and a context menu will pop up filled with a large range
of selections which vary depending on what you've clicked.
A lot of work went into this functionality and it's a
genuine efficiency that saves time and effort.
best on the feature and function list has to be the built-in
Dialog Tracker. While the most configurable implementation
of this type of file & folder tracking function is
the standalone AccessFolders from Shelltoys, Novatix'
design is excellent. DialogTracker literally tracks the
files and folders you access. No matter what program
you're using, the Open, Save, or Save As dialogs will
display a small group of three icons next to the Help
and Close gadgets in the title bar. Clicking the Dialog
Helper icons displays a list of files and folders you
recently accessed, and by clicking one of them will take
you directly to that file or location. No more clicking
endlessly through drives, folders, network drives, network
folders, etc., etc., to get at a file you accessed only
a few minutes before. Very handy.
thing we really like about ExplorerPlus is its configurability.
You can tweak almost every aspect of this utility, from
its basic functionality and appearance to the many ways
in which you can use and work with the program. It's
not quite a desktop replacement for Windows, but for
anyone who has to get in and out of lots of different
files every day, using ExplorerPlus will help say goodbye
to My Computer and Windows Explorer.
of the feature and function list in ExplorerPlus is quite
extensive. Display two folders or drives at the same time
(dual pane view - horizontal or vertical) for really fast,
efficient file copying, moving and management. We also
liked the built-in file conversion feature, especially
handy for image files. The built-in FTP module is simple
and functional for quick uploads and downloads and you
can set up and save a list of sites you regularly visit.
The built-in MP3 player is the simplest possible thing
- useful for quick song previews. The file viewer is one
of the best we've seen in this sort of situation and we
couldn't stump it even with some older Lotus 123 and WordPro
files. Another feature which has appeared on many people's
radar lately is the ability to perform multiple file renames,
especially useful for all the digital camera owners out
there who are struggling to organize and rename long lists
of sequentially numbered files.
includes a file synchronization feature for all of us poor
and downtrodden citizens forced to shuttle work between
home and office. In conjunction with file synchronization,
you can also use the little encryption function to restrict
access to files on your computer or removable drives. And
if you're afraid of forgetting what the files were for
in the first place, you can always use ExplorerPlus to
add notes to files, something which is often much handier
than creating a separate ReadMe file to describe the contents
of a folder.
is developed by SendPhotos, Inc. (formerly Novatix), the
same gang who develops the fabulous SendPhotos Gold e-mail
software. The company seems to have brought the same thoughtful
attention to user friendliness and design to ExplorerPlus.
The program competes directly with some heavy-hitters in
the Windows file management segment including Christian
Ghisler's TotalCommander and V-Com's PowerDesk, Clear & Simple's
DiskJockey 2000, PentaWare's PentaSuite 7 and a variety
of lesser lights, but ExplorerPlus is clearly just as powerful,
has a slightly larger feature set than all of them and
a much better looking user interface. Did we mention the
right-click context menus?
minor screen redraw problems in the Search dialog - the
file extension column was messed up after resizing the
column while a search was underway. It appeared to have
picked up text from the file name column next to it and
didn't redraw properly until the search activity stopped.
It's a fairly common problem with many utilities. DialogHelper
is not fully configurable - you can't save a set of regularly
accessed files and folders - and we're seriously considering
howling at Novatix to add this functionality. It would
really help to put ExplorerPlus over the top.
looking user interface. Excellent search function with
quick searches for files and text within files using FastFind.
Search with or without wildcards, across multiple drives
and even across networked or shared drives, using a wide
range of built-in file filters and attributes. The Tools
menu contains one-click links to Windows Add/Remove Programs,
disk formatting (floppy and HDD). Powerful file viewer
which includes about 200 different document and image formats
as well as an Adobe PDF file plug-in. It's possible to
create extremely detailed displays: dual pane with folder
view in one pane and detailed view in the other plus thumbnails
plus full image/document view all at the same time. Speedy
file archiver for ZIP, RAR, LHA, CAB, TAR and all other
popular file compression formats. Highly configurable functionality
and user interface - customizable. DialogHelper keeps a
separate list of file and folder accesses for every program,
a thoughtful and useful feature. ExplorerPlus is also stable
- no crashes, no lockups, no accidents in the weeks we
used the software for this review. We're still using it
by the way; definitely a keeper. Recommended.