With the addition of tabs and the existing Power Mode, I can't help but compare Directory Opus with another similar program, Total Commander. For a long time now, I have been trying to put my finger on why I keep turning to Total Commander when I want to use Directory Opus in what is called "Power Mode". I've finally figured it out, and I want to explain the very subtle differences, and I hope these can be incorporated as new features. As I see it, the requests are rather minor, but then again, I'm not a programmer.
Ability to lock tabs (and a "special" kind of lock also)
Total Commander can lock the tabs in two different ways. One way is a normal lock, where if you try to open a directory in the locked tab, a new tab will open with the new directory. Another very useful lock method is "Locked, but directory changes are allowed". What this means is that if you select a directory in the locked tab, the directory can change in the locked tab. However, if you go to another tab and return to this locked tab, it will automatically revert back to it's locked directory. Also, if you navigate to other directories in this special locked tab, you can always click on the "home" or "root" button, which will send the tab back to it's locked directory. Just for reference, when you press "home" or "root" for an unlocked tab, it will send the tab to the root directory (eg "C:"). These two lock methods are very, very useful.
Additional right-click, left-click option for Power/Detail mode.
This one is very subtle. If possible, could you add a clicking option in the preferences that says "select, but do not add to selection set". In Power mode, I like to set the right-button to "normal drag select", which will add files to a selection set as I drag over them. However, sometimes, when I have a few files selected, I want to double-click on another file, or single-click on it (to rename, for example), but I don't want this file to be added to the selection set, nor do I want the selection set to be cancelled or changed in any way. This is the same things as the gray outline that appears around a file name as you use the keyboard to navigate through files when in Power Mode, the only difference is that it gives this ability to one of the buttons of the mouse. I know this doesn't seem like a big deal, but it is one of the main reasons why I feel Total Commander is easier to use in Power Mode.
Ability for tab settings to apply to all directories until tab is closed.
I actually don't know if Dopus is capable of this or not, but I haven't figured it out. When I have a tab set to Power mode, and I change the directory, that tab is not in power mode anymore, it'll go to whatever my default mode was. Is there a way for that tab's settings to stick to whatever it was on before the directory changed? This applies to filters, sorting method, view mode, etc.
Allow using "Esc" as a customizable hotkey.
This is just a minor thing, but I'd like to be able to assign the "Esc" key in the keyboard. Just as an example, I'd like to be able to press "esc" to deselect everything when I'm in power mode.
If any of these features ring true to others please respond. I feel like I'm being very nitpicky here, but to me, these little things make a big difference in functionality. Furthermore, I don't think I'm removing any functionality from Dopus with these requests, I think I'm only adding options, which is always good in my opinion. Thanks.
I for one think you've explained yourself pretty well and clear... my two cents:
Tab Locking... It's been brought up before here on the forums, and while I don't use 'Power Mode", I would still like this feature as well.
Additional mouse-click control in Power Mode... Again, while I don't use Power Mode I was playing around with it today for a topic posted by another user. The topic turned to opening 'selected' files vs. files that had 'focus' (i.e. gray outline) and I thought that there had to be users out there that might want on the fly control over this beyond just the option in Prefs that affects this...
Ability for tab settings to apply to all directories until tab is closed... If I change (view mode at least) then it definitely 'sticks' when I navigate to other folders. I don't know why it's not for you or what option I might have changed that causes this, but YOU might want to take a look at 'format lock' feature?
Customizable hotkey... I think this is a good idea and fits in with something I would personally like to see change... which is to set context sensitive key bindings. For instance, inside of File Collections I would REALLY like to be able to set the key to perform a Delete REMOVECOLLECTION instead of a 'real' delete...
steje, I'm glad I'm not the only one.
I was pretty sure that there was already a way to have the settings stick in a tab, I was just making sure. I'll go back and take a look...
You mention these file collections...I don't think I've explored this feature. I'm going to have to look this up. That's why I love Dopus, there's all these things in it!
That's a reasonable idea. That said if you want to keep a folder you can use a button/hotkey/mouse-click which is defined to open the selected folder in a new tab. But I can see the advantage of locking a folder in a tab because it is easy to forget to click the right button and end up losing it. (But then it's also easy to navigate back to it...)
Why not make a set of buttons which go to your desired folders rather than use tabs for this? Functionally it is exactly the same -- when you want to go back to a given folder you click its button -- except that you don't have a button/tab remaining selected which tells you where you came from (which doesn't make much sense to me anyway and seems against what a Tab control is supposed to do).
Don't see why not, although I doubt that many people would understand it and use it. I guess ex-TC users will as I've heard it mentioned before.
In the rare cases where I've selected some files, then need to double-click some other file, and I don't want to lose the original selection I just open another window for the same directory and do the double-click in there. Seems a lot simpler than complicating the selection process.
If you want the directories to always appear like that then you just need to configure everything in Folder Options to be the way you want it.
If you've adjusted the settings in a tab temporarily and want to use those settings when you change folders then you just need to click the little lock icon in the statusbar which holds the current folder format (etc.) when you change directories.
This has come up before. I think there may be some issues with customizing Esc and being able to close dialogs etc., although if it's not a global hotkey then I don't see why you shouldn't be allowed to redefine it, since Esc does nothing in a lister at the moment.
For the "Locked, but directory changes are allowed" thing and having a way of quickly returning to the locked folder path:
I was also going to suggest that this could be done "now" using buttons. The reason I didn't was that I already have FOUR toolbars... and I just don't have the toolbar real-estate except for maybe on my pathbar. This is especially true since there are about 4 folders in my tab group that I'd see myself 'locking' in this fashion regularly... so that means four additional (or at least two double) buttons) that I'd have to create . Nah... I love custom toolbars, but I already find that I sometimes have to pause and say ok - what button am I looking for.
I think the attractiveness of this being made a folder tab option is that presumably, you could right click on a folder tab and select a new "lock mode" option, that when set would alter the behaviour of the "current" go root command we already have on our toolbars. It would also let you use this functionality on the fly without having to set up a button in the event you 'find' yourself in a folder other than your 'normal' favorite or tab members.
If setting a flag that the generic/universal go root command to key off of to go back to the 'locked' or 'remembered' folder proves too kludgey, perhaps a specific go switch could be added that expressly looked for such a key - like go FOLDERLOCK or something. Personally, I would then bind a hotkey to such a command rather than a toolbar button.
(Man, I really didn't intend to blab so much....)
That's a good point that I hadn't thought of. A dynamic way to lock a tab or button (or whatever) so clicking it goes to whatever the current directory is would be more convenient.
I guess right now I save temporary layouts in this situation. This works for me because I don't have many permanent layouts so it doesn't make a mess. You can quickly save the current lister(s) to a layout with a single click and some typing.
If the add-to-favourites command allowed you to specify a subfolder in the favourites tree then that would be another way to quickly add the current directory to a toolbar (which was showing just a subfolder of the tree -- that you can do already). But even then your comment about space for more toolbars still stands.
I still don't feel tabs are right for this though, it just seems weird that you could be looking at a tab, click another, then click back to the original tab and be seeing a different directory to what it used to show. But, equally, nobody would be forcing me to use such a feature so I'm not against it or anything.
Yeah... actually the:
[quote]if you go to another tab and return to this locked tab, it will automatically revert back to it's locked directory[/quote]part of it would NOT be something I'd be interested in... just the home/root mod to get you back to the 'locked folder' path...
Maybe a good way to make it work would be:
Each tab remembers the first path it displayed.
If a tab is already the active tab and you then click it again, it goes back to the remembered path.
An option in the tab's right-click menu allows you to remember the current path (and forget the old one).
That way you can still flick from one tab to another without losing your place, but you can also easily jump back to the remembered folder (via a double-click if the tab isn't already active).
Sounds like a good way to go about it... though the double-click thing (even if not active) currently closes the tab...
nudel, your suggestions sound good, I'd be very pleased to see them implemented. I think that having a lot of control over the tab funcionality would be very popular with users. If you take Firefox as an example, the tab-clicking extension is one of the more popular extensions.
The locked tabs sounds great!!!