File Management -- Xplorer2 Lite (version 188.8.131.52)
Xplorer2 Lite Screen Shot (click on the image to enlarge)
Windows used to come with a file manager that could be configured with two panes. It made moving files from one folder to another easy by using the drag and drop method. Later versions of Windows came with Windows Explorer that could not easily be configured with two panes. When I bought a new computer with Windows XP, I set out on a quest to find a good two pane file manager. I found what I wanted with Xplorer2 Lite. I probably use a file manager more than most people because I not only use it to move files around, but also just to navigate and open files. The advantage is you can double click on any file and launch the application that goes with it. The only requirement is that you have to know where your files are saved.
After I initially installed Xplorer2 Lite, I really didn’t like it that much until I extensively customized the toolbar. I was able to put the most frequently used functions on the toolbar and was still able to use other options with the pull down menus. The screen shot shows the toolbar after I changed it from the default. The left most pane is a navigation pane like the one in Windows Explorer. It doesn’t show any files but is used to navigate the active second or third pane. The “Tree” button will toggle the navigation pane on and off.
A very useful option is the ability to bookmark a folder. The bookmark can be named anything and once set, you can navigate directly to frequently used folders. A useful feature is in the file renaming option. When you rename a file, it only highlights the beginning portion of the file name but does not highlight the period or the extension. This eliminates the need to do any manual highlighting and you can just type the new file name. You can manually highlight the extension and change it, but it is not usually a good idea because the extension is what tells Windows the application to launch when you double click on a file.
The default "find" option opens the Windows search function which I don’t like. The help file shows how to change the registry so that when I click on "find" it opens “Super Finder” that I have reviewed on my site. I was a little apprehensive about changing the registry because if it gets messed up things will stop working. I found it was easy by following the following steps:
- Exit all running instances of Xplorer2.
- Start regedit by clicking on the Windows Start button, click on "Run..." and type regedit. Then click on OK.
- Locate HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ZabaraKatranemia Plc\xplorer2\ in the left pane.
- In the right pane, double-click on szExtFindFiles to open a new window called “Edit String”.
- Type in C:\Program Files\SuperFinder\SuperFinder.exe into “Value Data:” (unless you changed the default location when you installed Super Finder).
- Click on “OK” to close the “Edit String” window.
- Click on the “Edit” pull down menu and then click on “Modify”.
- Close the registry.
I did encounter a small problem that was easily fixed. When I closed Xplorer2 Lite, I would get an error that said, “the instruction at "0xXXXXXXXX" referenced memory at "0xXXXXXXXX”. The memory could not be "read".” I read on a forum that by disabling a shell extension called "IZArcCM.dll", which belongs to a freeware compression zip utility named “IZArc”, made the problem go away. I fixed the problem by uninstalling IZArc and deleting the IZArc subfolder from my program files folder that contained the dll.
I have tried just about every freeware file manager that is available and consider Xplorer2 Lite the best. FreeCommander is pretty good and would rate it as second best. Before Xplorer2 Lite was released, I used 2xExplorer for more than a year. It was created by the same people that made Xplorer2 Lite. I would rate it now as third best.
The documentation states that Xplorer2 runs on Windows 95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000 and XP. The download consists of a compressed file, xplorer2_lite.zip. When unzipped, one file is produced, xplorer2_lite_setup.exe. Double click on xplorer2_lite_setup.exe with your file manager to install. After installation, the executable is xplorer2.exe.