Flat View - Hiding folders that would be hidden otherwise

After spending days reading forum posts and trying to find a solution to my problem (namely, turning on Flat View will show folders that are not shown otherwise) I decided to post a feature request (and rant about it a bit, just for the sake of relieving tension).

FR: Could you add an option in the preferences that would make Flat View heed the hide filters, please?

Given that this comes up frequently year after year, I think that showing files/folders one would not expect is equally (or rather more) confusing as not seeing something one expects to see.

Except that showing those hidden objects can be easily turned on/off by toggling the global filter with another button. This would make them visible in Flat View also. Meanwhile, that extra checkbox for Filter folders in Flat view, which is suggested as a work-around, does not really work around. On the contrary, it makes things quite a bit worse.

My use case for Flat View (besides having an oversight of the general folder structure) is to quickly find files. That is, I turn on Flat View and immediately turn on the Filter Bar as well and begin typing known parts of the filename. This is the process in more than 90% of the cases. Works like a charm. I'd be thoroughly surprised if other people weren't doing this.

Now, every time I'm in a project folder that is a git repository, Flat View becomes unusable.

  • Either Filter folders in Flat view is unchecked and I cannot find anything quickly because the contents of the .git folder get in the way. Filtering won't help because it does not remove the dozens of subfolders in .git and they will clutter the screen. Using Flat View with no folder could help but I need to see the folder structure.
  • Or Filter folders in Flat view is checked but that almost completely maims the filtering. The filter will no longer be applied to files but to top-level folders which renders it utterly useless.
  • I tried changing Folder Type Format for Flat View but that didn't help either https://i.imgur.com/EbvWa5D.png

My opinion is that if/when people hide something, that's because they don't want to see it. Neither in normal nor in Flat View. If I want to see hidden things, I turn off the "hiding". I'm not afraid of accidentally missing those files, there's a big ugly indicator in the status bar warning me if any files are cowering in the shadows and I can make them visible if I want. But Flat View pushing them into my face unsolicited is surely not a good idea. And that Filter folders in Flat view only made a couple of things more difficult or nigh impossible to achieve. It takes extra effort to re-hide something that was hidden before and then it breaks a few more things.

Could you add an option in the preferences that would make Flat View heed the hide filters, please?

If you're searching a git repository, using Tools > Find Files > Advanced might make the most sense. You can exclude the .git folder entirely in that case (Subfolder, No Match, Name .git).

Maybe it would make sense for Flat View to have separate filters for files and folders. It's not something we'll be able to add immediately, but we'll keep it in mind for the future.

Having separate filters for files and folders in Flat View is definitely a good idea, but I think, the Flat View would benefit much more from applying the hide filters, which it currently doesn't do.

For my everyday use case, Flat View + Filter is superior to Find Files (Simple or Advanced) in many ways. Or at least it could be if not for the unhidden folders getting in the way).

  • Adding/modifying the correct filtering criteria is much easier with near-real-time feedback provided by the results.
  • It also keeps displaying the folder structure for folders not having any items matching, making the relocation of those files in the Flat View is much easier. The Find Files does not do that. Yes, it still shows where those files are in the Location column but as Find Files puts everything in a collection and that's in another tab.
  • Find Files is much slower. Only the Simple version allows for immediate search condition input as it sets focus to the Name matching editbox by selecting the text there. Meanwhile, it lacks the ability to exclude things from the search result, you need the Advanced version for that. But the Advanced version requires hitting the desired editbox with the mouse first. It's slow, especially if the search must be repeated because the criteria were incorrect or simply need to be refined.

I only use Find Files (Simple/Advanced) when I'm searching for something where the search condition is something very complicated (eg. involves attributes) or have to include contained text in the search condition. When that's a requirement, it performs excellently.