Saturday, 31 March 2012

Integration of Direct Folders with Xplorer2

I usually have loads of data in deeply nested folder structures. Navigating between these folders is painful in Windows because of its selective amnesia when it comes to remembering which folder I last used to open or save documents. I started using Direct Folders because it provides configurable pop-up shortcuts to folders and saves loads of navigation time. Great stuff.

With the advent of Windows 7, Windows Explorer has plumbed new depths so I now use Xplorer2, a Windows Explorer replacement with a host of functionality and configurability. I've selected the option that gets it to replace Windows Explorer but Windows still launches Explorer dialogs for file opening and the like. For this reason, and also because I'm so used to using Direct Folders, I've configured the pair so that Direct Folders opens the selected folder in a new tab in Xplorer2. This is how to do it:
  1. With DirectFolders running, Right-click the DirectFolders Taskbar icon and select Configure... from the menu.
  2. Select the Options tab.
  3. In the Misc panel, select Open folder in: Custom and enter the following command into the text field:
    C:\Program Files\zabkat\xplorer2\xplorer2_64.exe /R:%1
    (Substitute the location of your Xplorer2 executable as appropriate)
  4. Select OK.

Test it by selecting one of your Direct Folders shortcuts. It should launch Xplorer2 with the selected folder displayed. If Xplorer2 is already running it will launch another Xplorer2 window.

If you want it to launch the folder in a tab in the same window, do the following:

  1. Look in your Xplorer2 program folder and find and run the advanced settings editor. For me this is C:\Program Files\zabkat\xplorer2\x2SettingsEditor.exe
  2. Allow it to close Xplorer2 if it asks to do so.
  3. In the Settings Editor, scroll down to the Single window mode option and select Always open new tabs in a single window.
  4. Select OK.

Now try launching DirectFolders shortcuts with Xplorer2 running. They should appear in new tabs in the same window.