xplorer² Quick Start Guide
File exploring reinvented: Feel like home miles away from home

This bitesize guide describes the basic features of xplorer², a tabbed dual-pane file manager that maintains the familiar look and feel of the standard windows explorer while offering tons of advanced features. Unlike most alternative file managers that seem to require a PhD in computer science to figure them out, xplorer² offers a clean and shell integrated extension model for productive everyday file management. If you know how to use windows explorer you'll feel immediately at home; yet xplorer² can take you places you've never been before - not with explorer anyway!

xplorer² runs on all 32 and 64 bit windows platforms, and offers almost everything windows explorer does in an economical user interface based on the familiar tree/view window layout:

At the same time, it fills in all the gaps in the basic explorer model. Instead of filling in pages enumerating explorer's shortcomings, let us just say that xplorer² has all the features you'd expect for managing large numbers of files efficiently, and perhaps most importantly does so in a well thought-out user interface squeezing even the last drop out of efficiency via simplicity. It is not just about enumerating features, it is how they bind and blend together into a wholesome unit. The basic concepts are:

xplorer² also has some unique features that aren't available on any other file manager as far as we know. The so-called scrap containers are multi-purpose "shell documents", collections of files and folders from arbitrary locations. The concept is rather strange to getting used to but offers unparalleled flexibility allowing:

Scrap containers are also used for the results of the powerful file search command, a little masterpiece on its own right. If you wanted to search for files that had specific MP3 tags and were modified in the last week and are not owned by you then look no further! This is yet another unique feature of xplorer², empowering searches on any and all attributes you can see in the numerous columns (file details), combining them in boolean hyper-filters.

Apart from these major topics, there are many features and little productivity enhancers throughout the program, far too many to list in fact. It is recommended leaving the "Tip of the day" on for a while to learn about all these time-saving details.

If you are an "old hand" with computers and file management (i.e. you have heard of DOS and Norton Commander) you'll find xplorer² an optimal combination between command-line efficiency of yesteryear with all modern amenities and conveniences of today's user-friendly file management. Newer users will hopefully see what explorer has been robbing them of all this time!

With its small size (around 1 MB) and low system resource use, advanced multi-threaded multi-window design for speed and efficiency, customization, a clean minimalist interface and keyboard shortcuts for most frequently used commands, we trust you won't be disappointed for choosing xplorer² for your file management needs. In fact chances are you'll never look back to explorer or any other file manager.

The following sections will give an introduction to xplorer² and the things you can do with it. Some of the features described are not available in the free version; these topics are clearly marked with the [PRO] symbol. See this table for a list of features missing from the lite version.

NOTE: For the remaining of this document it is assumed that users are familiar with windows explorer and basic file management operations, including drag/drop (with left and right mouse buttons), shell context menu etc.
Note for international users
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Ribbon toolbar | Column mode

Browsing the shell namespace
Folder views | Sort and group | Folder view settings | Show or hide items via filtering | Previewing, viewing and launching items | Searching for text in files

Managing files and folders
Selection engine | Basic file management | Robust file transfer | Robust deletion | Mass renaming | Changing timestamps and attributes | Splitting and merging | File and folder comments (tags)

Scrap containers
Shell documents | The flat earth view | Mini scrap

Examine and maintain your filesystem
Comparing & synchronizing folders | Checking file transformations | Visualize disk space usage | Detecting duplicate files | Photo cleanup | Fuzzy groups | Convert groups to folders

Search for files and folders
Additional rules in hyper-filters | Search results | Saved searches | Windows Desktop Search | Quick search | Multi-function tool | Manage color tags

Automation of DOS (and windows) commands
$-Tokens | Command output redirection | Automatic script generation | Optional command line arguments

User interface automation
Macro commands | Programmable column

User Interface customization
Color coding filetypes | Keyboard customization | Toolbar customization | Toolbar skins | Storing hyper-filters | Program options

Customer support
Suspected bugs | Minimum requirements | Feature comparison table | Program registration | Ultimate (portable) edition | Credits


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