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Functions: xplorer² Dual Pane File Manager
I'm not going over X2's entire suit of functions because you can go to ZABKAT and read about it yourself. Not only that, but if I were to go over every single aspect of X2 you'd probably be lying face down in your pepperoni pizza fast asleep. The power this thing has is astounding, however. So, let's hit a few of the incredible abilities of xplorer² and then give it up to you for further experimentation.
X2's main claim to fame, but far from its only function, is that it's a fully integrated dual pane file manager utility. Fully customizable as far as window layout and pane information, including columns, previews, and disk information. When I went looking for a replacement for Windows Explorer, I went looking specifically for a dual pane model. What I didn't realize was the power that came with X2, such as previewing documents, like PDF files, Word and Open Office files, and most image files, including video.
The basic layout of X2 is the three pane layout, which can be vertical or horizontal. So, for instance, you can have the folder tree on the left and then two panes on the right, each with different directory paths open. You can turn it into four panes by opening the “preview” pane to view files, such as image files or doc type files—without opening any other programs. Or, you can simply drag the preview window below the vertical panes, or below the directory tree. Once laid out, you can simply click to close the panes you're not using, such as the preview pane. If you need them again, another click and they're back in their same location. You can save entire layouts and load them in a click, too. X2 also remembers the last directories you were using, and opens to those directories. (Image: (1) Directory tree, (2) File Pane, (3) File Pane set to "thumbnails," (4) Preview Pane.)
Command Line Access
You can start DOS commands by typing “$” right from X2's path bar. Below we see the information that the command “$ ipconfig” generates. You can copy text from the returned information and paste command line arguments into the command line, too, unlike a normal CMD window. Typing ">" is the symbol for "run” and is the same thing as using "run" or typing in the search box in the Win7 menu. X2 also saves a history of your commands. Try that with a CMD window and see what you get. (Image: DOS command from X2's path bar and its output.)
Tabbed Directories and Directory Bookmarks
Tabbing often used directories can be a real time saver, and works just like a browser. If you want to stay on "pane 1" and open another directory in that pane, just hit “tab” and you now have a tab ready for more input. So, you can have two panes with tabs in each one, and each tab can represent different locations. This way you can have infinite directories open simultaneously in each pane. Next, if you have directories you use often, bookmark them. This is just like web browser tabs, except X2's bookmarks are for directory locations. If you find yourself drilling down into specific directories often, this is going to make your day. (Image: (1) Directory pane with tabs, (2) Second directory pane with tabs. This is a Side by Side layout without a preview or tree window.)
For file junkies needing to rename large batches of files, you can do it with X2's mass renamer. It's not as robust as programs specifically created for renaming, but it gets the job done for fast mass renames. For instance, let's say you dumped a load of vacation pictures into a directory. If you want to rename them “vacation_2011_001.jpg” then the mass renamer will do that for you quite easily.
There really isn't any need for a picture of this. You simply select your file or files and choose “Actions>shred.” It's a nice touch, but the shredder only overwrites with zeros, and only overwrites once, without any options. So, if you need to make sure your files are really, really gone, it's better to go with a high powered shredder (or a blow torch). For most of us, the overwrite with zeros method will suffice. If a future drive necromancer ever finds my hard drive, for example, they're going to think the early 21st century was pretty boring. I mean, they'll find this document, right? (I do, however, use a high powered shredder to shred old bluprints for my antigravity, perpetual motion vehicles the government and corporations have been trying to steal from me.)
Heavy Duty Search Utility (Not available in the free edition.)
A really powerful search tool that replaces the Window's search utility completely, complete with Boolean search options. You can search inside files, outside of files, behind files, text in files, filter your searches, and anything else file search related. (It even found a decaying salami sandwich behind my refridgerator.) I've compared X2's file search to the venerable Agent Ransack, and it works, at the very least, as well.
Synchronize Directories or Checking a Build
This isn't like synchronizing a backup, as it doesn't delete files or back them up. There are two options. The first one is a quick link to synchronize what you have already setup with the second option, which allows you to choose what type of synchronization you want. The output highlights files that you specify in the options panel. Perform the sync, and then do what you want with the results. Then we have a build checker. This option is for programmers, allowing them to check the builds of compiled files.
Select a directory or drive, and simply click “Find Duplicates.” This finds any duplicate files on your system. This is great for those multi-terabyte mp3 collections.
The scrap container is a window that keeps files you want to work on, without having to go find them again every time you need them. So let’s say I'm going to install some programs, then later work on a review, like this one, and I have a couple of RAW photos I need to get out to a client. I can pull those files into a “scrap container” and they sit there in their little container until I need them. The scrap container is simply a temporary box of file shortcuts, but with all the options that X2 supports.
Access to FTP and Webdav
Pretty much any directory you can open with another program, you can open it with xplorer².
A portable version is also available for the paid and free versions.
There are more features in X2, such as a fully customizable layouts and toolbars, but you should check those out yourself, if interested. For now, we need to wrap this up, so check out the conclusion.