How do you sell people on Directory Opus?

I was trying to talk to a friend of mine about Directory Opus, and he seemed to have trouble with even understanding the concept of additional features in a file manager, and customizing commands to make things faster and easier.

It's like when I explained how I use a text expander program to make typing long strings into a command line program to download youtube videos faster and easier. I wanted things downloaded in a specific way, specific format, and I wanted to retain specific information in the filename. He said that he wanted a list of these very specific commands preprogrammed, and would never make them himself. The problem is that, due to the specificity of your individual needs, this is not possible. He wants a ready to go solution perfectly ready for him, where he automatically knows everything that happens.

There seems to be a fundamental disconnect here. He has some things he wants to do in Explorer, but explains it poorly, and doesn't seem to fully understand it in the first place. For example, he wants to look at sequences of images, like comic pages, but wants to scroll down a large image rather than have the whole image shrunk to fit on the screen and make the text unreadable. I tried to explain that this is a viewing setting in whatever image viewer program he's using, but he seemed to have trouble really grasping that. His workaround so far is printing a bunch of images into a pdf, and then having me configure the default viewing settings in this specific pdf viewer program to be the way he wants, and then had me show him how to set this new custom viewer setting to be the default.

To me, this seems barely a step removed from a child who wants to run around and play outside, but doesn't want to learn how to tie their shoes. It's not a flattering comparison, but the refusal to learn the intricacies of the tools, and the incomprehension of clarifying what you want and recognizing the value of tools that let you implement your own custom solution is something I have trouble characterizing any other way.

What's going on with these people, and can they be reached and shown how useful tools like DOpus can be?

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It's like the difference between MS Paint and Photoshop, or Internet Explorer and Chrome. People seem to understand those examples but have never thought about file managers, because they aren't as popular, I guess. Or maybe because the exact "power features" each person needs in a file manager are more different/unique compared to the other examples.

Tell him to start with DOPUS Lite, if he knows how to download and install.
If he doesn't really care about that, then forget selling him on it.

I started him off with all 4 file managers from PortableApps. I'm thinking of pointing him at NexusFile to get him used to that kind of UI. I know NexusFile, but I don't know the various PortableApps file managers.

I helped him upgrade his computer to windows 10 so he could do VR stuff with it, so he's working with a fresh install and is reinstalling all his programs. I figure this is a golden opportunity for getting good organizational habits in. He's starting to back up all the installers he's using, which is a great start.

I would suggest starting them on Dopus lite - maybe it contains enough to get him to consider it.
I know some consider it pricey, but it does many things.

Why do you want sell something to people who apparently neither need it nor can comprehend it?

The request of this person to have a customized set of commands (provided that they can be defined at all) seems to be completely reasonable to me.

In a car I want to have a fuel meter, not calculate integral from a function of car weight, speed, fuel quality factor and who knows what else over time. You can fancy integrals, but demanding it from others is unrealistic.

Because there are products you don't know yet that you could need it. I guess many use the normal explorer and didn't even ask if their work with it could be so much easier and faster.

But for DOpus you need to be a user who handles files often, preferably daily. If not it will get hard to sell it with its features.

For me this question never arose, because DOpus had already convinced me directly with DOpus Magellan II on the Amiga. So you can call me a little fanboy, because I only use it on my Win PC because of my Amiga experience with it. But I must confess that I have never really used his full potential, so even I couldn't use all its feature to convince someone of it.

I've also known the Opus from the Amiga. I always preferred the Opus 4 rather than 5. Interestingly the simpler Opus 4 paradigm with a fixed lister is what ultimately PC Opus continues to use, so 5 was an innovative experiment (which still feels futuristic to me) that didn't roll forward.

On the PC initially I was wary of Opus' price (compared to other file managers), so I've tried extensively other file managers first (wasted some money too). What made me switch to Opus is not the nostalgia but the objective superiority of it over anything else.


You can't sell a file manager. Nobody needs a file manager. Let me explain:

When you go to the hardware store to buy a drill, what do you really need? A drill? Nope! You need a hole in the wall.

Unless you know what that "hole in the wall" is in the context of a file manager, nothing will work.

For me it was:

  • GUI
  • Dual Pane (multi-pane)
  • Mouse control

My first file manager was copy, xcopy, and then "Norton Commander" ...

XTree Gold.


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Yeah, I also was not on day one on the Windows DOpus version. I first missed that it exists for Windows and as I noticed it, it was too much behind Magellan II so I didn't find it interesting enough for the price. Over the years it got better and better and then it was on a sale and I used the opportunity, I mean it was 9. Since then, I would not want to miss it. And I would miss it more than Windows.

I liked DOpus Magellan II beside it's features because it was near a complete Workbench replacement.

Hm. When I was nine, the best thing I could hope for was a nice exercise book and a sharp pencil :smiley:

Luxury! When I was nine, we had to take notes with a hammer and chisel!


If we are at it - the first file manager I could afford:


I think that Directory Opus is one of the best pieces of software ever written. Directory Opus is in my "Software Hall of Fame". When I was younger I thought that everyone would eventually agree upon certain truths, or come to recognize that certain products where the best. The older I get I now see that 75% of people will never find the best products & ideas because they simply don't care. Most people are happy just get along with the basics in life. I'll continue to share with everyone that I can the benefits of Directory Opus, I'm always looking for the 25% of people who care about and who want quality products.


Please do not kill me :wink:

Directory Opus is not the best file manager. It is always the best file manager for ...

Directory Opus is the best file manager for people with specific needs, and I count myself among them.

I would not recommend Directory Opus to my sister-in-law. She uses Windows File Explorer with great success and satisfaction. That's what she needs. So it is the best file manager for her.

I'd say if you need to manage files a lot and do it fast, you'd be hard pressed to find a better and more customizable tool for that than Opus -- similar to how if you need to travel lots of distance and do it fast, you'd be hard pressed to find a better mode of transportation than an airplane :smiley:

So I agree with you, Opus is not the best file manager in situations where there is no need for extensive file management on a regular basis.

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