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Dual Pane Explorer -- PLEASE, PLEASE!

    General discussion

  • You know, I would really love a dual pane option for Explorer.

    Lots of times (most times) when managing my files, I want a source window and a destination window to drag the files between.  

    It's such a bore having to open Explorer twice.  Especially when you can't just click the Windows Explorer icon on the new Task Bar a second time, because that simply minimises the Explorer window you've just opened!

    Instead you have to right-click the icon and choose a different folder in the list.  The new Explorer window pops up over the first one, so then you have to drag the second window clear before you can use them.

    So now you have this silly sequence:

        left-click; right-click, move-the-mouse, left-click; left-click-and-drag


    PLEASE give us some way of handling this better.  Either:

    1/ An optional dual-pane view for Explorer (like Director Opus, et al, offers)

    2/ A single click way of opening two, non-overlapping Explorer windows (my preferred option)


    Is there any chance at all of this, do you think?
    Friday, January 16, 2009 10:56 AM

All replies

  • Dual pane explorer sounds like an interesting idea, though, I'm not sure if I would use it. I've grown so accustomed to opening two explorer windows that it may be easier just out of habit. I would definitely like to see an idea in action too, even if I wouldn't use it much.

    On the part about opening a 2nd explorer window with a click, I found out just a day or two ago that a scroll-wheel click (mouse3) does just that! I was very pleased. I didn't even expect it to work, but it felt so natural. I find myself using the WindowsKey+E hotkey less and less now.

    Edit: Just thought I'd let you know the mouse3 click only opens the new explorer window if the first one opened isn't still in the default folder. This is to prevent accidental double-click I assume.
    Friday, January 16, 2009 11:40 AM
  • Shift + click on the taskbar icon will open a new instance of the application (if it supports it)
    Dual pane explorer would probably be quite hard to do since explorer just doesn't work like norton commander used to.
    If you need this functionality, go for specialized programs like FAR or Total commander.
    Friday, January 16, 2009 12:25 PM
  • I think they should just add tabs in Windows Explorer.  We have had tabs in IE and other browsers for a while now.  Just add it to Windows Explorer also please!
    Friday, January 16, 2009 12:40 PM
  • Great idea I do miss Norton Commander. You could always install Total Commander. But these days I always fall back to the default OS tools as they are on every machine I support unlike great third party apps.
    Friday, January 16, 2009 12:44 PM
  • velis74 said:

    Shift + click on the taskbar icon will open a new instance of the application (if it supports it).


    Yes, and I really like this feature.

    Unfortunately it doesn't work on the Explorer icon unless you first change the first instance away from the default location.

    I would consider installing a third party application (I prefer Directory Opus), but I would much rather stay with the standard Windows stuff for this.

    It occurred to me that I could start two instances of Explorer using a batch file, or something, but I don't think it would let me set the size and position of the two windows so they don't overlap.

    I think it would be better (and easy) for Microsoft to set something up so that two, non-overlapping, Explorer windows could be opened up quickly and easily.
    Friday, January 16, 2009 1:52 PM
  • Thack said:

    Unfortunately it doesn't work on the Explorer icon unless you first change the first instance away from the default location.

    I agree, this is unfortunate and also bugs me. Though I do use FAR for when I have more files to move around. Explorer is normally good for single file operations for me.
    Friday, January 16, 2009 2:42 PM
  • This could actually be really useful.
    Friday, January 16, 2009 3:39 PM
  • If I'm not mistaken, Windows Explorer is already a dual-pane explorer. There's the tree structure on the left and content view on the right.

    You can drag files/folders from the content view into folders in the tree structure. If you pause on a collapsed folder while dragging, the folder will expand.

    Although I have to admit a tabbed interface would be neat so you can quickly look at the contents of multiple folders without having to open new instances of Windows Explorer.
    Friday, January 16, 2009 5:29 PM
  • Hector Virgen said:

    If I'm not mistaken, Windows Explorer is already a dual-pane explorer. There's the tree structure on the left and content view on the right.

    You can drag files/folders from the content view into folders in the tree structure. If you pause on a collapsed folder while dragging, the folder will expand.



    Yes, it's still really clunky though, compared with having two "contents" panes open.

    When I said "dual-pane" I'm pretty sure most people understood that I mean two "contents" panes.
    Friday, January 16, 2009 5:51 PM
  • While I agree that native dual pane support would be wonderful, there is a great inexpensive file manager that meets all of my needs: Directory Opus.

    Works great in Win7 - give it a spin (they're in Australia and I'm in Georgia, so I'm obviously not affiliated w/ the company - though moving to Australia would be cool).

    JW
    Saturday, January 17, 2009 1:25 PM
  • Jim Wynn said:

    While I agree that native dual pane support would be wonderful, there is a great inexpensive file manager that meets all of my needs: Directory Opus.


    Works great in Win7 - give it a spin (they're in Australia and I'm in Georgia, so I'm obviously not affiliated w/ the company - though moving to Australia would be cool).

    JW



    Yes, I already use Directory Opus in XP and Vista.  There are other 3rd party solutions, too.

    I just think this should be built in to W7 (as an option - some people would like it, others not).
    Saturday, January 17, 2009 1:50 PM
  • Use Salamander when copying or deleting large files/dir's its 100x faster then how windows does it.. even in Windows 7!
     
    Saturday, January 17, 2009 8:01 PM
  • Have you turned on Navigation pane view?  Dual Panes has been in Windows since Windows 95, you mean you have been opening two instances of Windows Explorer to drag and drop files?  

    You do not use the tree structure in the left (pane 1) as your destination, and the right (pane 2) as your source to copy from?

    Shon
    Saturday, January 17, 2009 10:11 PM
  • I move files using copy/cut & paste. It doesn't actually copy the files to the clipboard, of course, just their names.  Right-click on the folder or a blank space where you want them to go and choose Paste. Violins!
    Saturday, January 17, 2009 11:54 PM
  • Total Commander is shareware and a powerful modern-day approach to the trusty Norton Commander.

    http://www.ghisler.com/
    Sunday, January 18, 2009 12:12 AM
  • I think it's a pretty interesting idea. Maybe a more code friendly method would be a recent folders drop down list on the left side panel?

    You could simply click on the left of your explore window and go back and forth between recent and previous folders to make transfering easier. That would be a fairly simple coding fix.

    Honestly I think it's a bit too late in development to add that feature. Maybe build 8 could offer something like that. Overall I agree and think it would be a pretty interesting concept, just wouldn't be a good idea for Win7 so late into the game.
    Sunday, January 18, 2009 12:49 AM
  • Shon Miles said:

    Have you turned on Navigation pane view?  Dual Panes has been in Windows since Windows 95, you mean you have been opening two instances of Windows Explorer to drag and drop files?  


    You do not use the tree structure in the left (pane 1) as your destination, and the right (pane 2) as your source to copy from?

    Shon



    Yes, of course I know how to do it that way.  But it's really clunky compared with having two instances of Explorer open (or, to be more specific, two Contents panes open, one for the source, the other for the destination).  You have to rely on the sluggish auto-scrolling in the navigation pane; you have to pause over each folder in the destination tree until it pops open; and you can't see what's already present in the destination folder.

    Honestly, when you've tried something like Directory Opus you just wish Windows came with an option to see the source and destination folders - in Contents view - simultaneously.

    So yes, for anything more than a quick move or copy of one or two files (for which I tend to use cut 'n' paste), I open two Explorer windows.

    What I'd like to see in W7 is an easy way of opening two Explorer windows from the Superbar with one (or maybe two) clicks; or some way of seeing two Contents panes simultaneously in one Explorer window.

    Like I say - this is nothing radical.  Explorer replacements offering this have been around for donkey's years (since Norton Desktop for Windows 3.1, as I recall), and there are numerous products on the market right now that offer it (my preferred being Directory Opus).

    So clearly there is a role for it.  But as this is a Beta test for the next version of Windows, I'm just saying it's the sort of thing that should be available "out of the box". 
    Sunday, January 18, 2009 1:12 AM
  • Fastest way for me to create this with keyboard would be :

    Win + E
    Win + rightcursor
    CTRL + N
    Win + leftcursor

    This will open 2 instances and position them on the left and on the right of the screen.

    or

    SHIFT click on icon
    SHIFT click on icon
    leftclick on taskbar, select Show windows side by side

    Helpfull ??

    Arjan Sin

    Sunday, January 18, 2009 2:35 AM
  • Agreed.  Having 2 windows open side-by-sie to drag files between is like, GUI 101, circa 1985.
    Please put it back MS.
    Sunday, January 18, 2009 2:39 AM
  • Arjan Sin said:

    Fastest way for me to create this with keyboard would be :

    Win + E
    Win + rightcursor
    CTRL + N
    Win + leftcursor

    This will open 2 instances and position them on the left and on the right of the screen.


    Yes, that's a good way, although there's no way an average user would work that one out.

    Helpful, thank you, although of course it's a workaround.  I'd like a clean solution in W7.

    Sunday, January 18, 2009 9:57 AM
  • Arjan Sin said:

    SHIFT click on icon
    SHIFT click on icon
    leftclick on taskbar, select Show windows side by side

    Helpfull ??

    Arjan Sin



    This one doesn't actually work in W7.  Shift+click activates the first instance.
    Sunday, January 18, 2009 9:58 AM
  • Grrr ...

    I've changed my explorer icon in the taskbar to point to my computer.
    If you change the default location of the explorer shortcut it will work.

    See this thread :
    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itproui/thread/6c2644be-12c5-40c8-8d51-5c49029e10f9

    Or search for this thread in this forum : "How to make the explorer quicklaunch icon point to "computer"?  (if the hardlink changes)

    Arjan Sin

    Sunday, January 18, 2009 10:12 AM
  • Arjan Sin said:

    Grrr ...

    I've changed my explorer icon in the taskbar to point to my computer.
    If you change the default location of the explorer shortcut it will work.

    See this thread :
    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itproui/thread/6c2644be-12c5-40c8-8d51-5c49029e10f9

    Or search for this thread in this forum : "How to make the explorer quicklaunch icon point to "computer"?  (if the hardlink changes)

    Arjan Sin



    Thank you.  But I think we need a simpler and cleaner way of achieving this in W7.
    Sunday, January 18, 2009 1:34 PM
  • I know it can be done with a Visual Basic script but haven't
    had the time (nor inspiration) to write it up.

    Then it would become one shortcut or key combo.

    Arjan Sin
    Sunday, January 18, 2009 5:02 PM
  • Arjan Sin said:

    I know it can be done with a Visual Basic script but haven't
    had the time (nor inspiration) to write it up.

    Then it would become one shortcut or key combo.

    Arjan Sin



    I agree.  I was tempted to explore the new Windows scripting facilities, but of course the purpose of beta testing is to identify bugs, shortcomings and feature requests, rather than work around them.

    As I say, I use Directory Opus, but would prefer the functionality to be easily accessible from within W7.
    Sunday, January 18, 2009 6:57 PM
  • Windows scripting cannot be used as the Windows key cannot be used in the SendKey method.
    Unless that has changed also.

    Arjan
    Tuesday, January 20, 2009 10:46 PM
  • Jim Wynn said:

    While I agree that native dual pane support would be wonderful, there is a great inexpensive file manager that meets all of my needs: Directory Opus.


    Works great in Win7 - give it a spin (they're in Australia and I'm in Georgia, so I'm obviously not affiliated w/ the company - though moving to Australia would be cool).

    JW



    HA! I used Directory Opus about 20 years ago on my Amiga computers. I loved having the side by side windows, with a whole bunch of actions at the bottom of the screen.
    Friday, January 23, 2009 4:14 AM
  • Jim Wynn said:

    While I agree that native dual pane support would be wonderful, there is a great inexpensive file manager that meets all of my needs: Directory Opus.


    Works great in Win7 - give it a spin (they're in Australia and I'm in Georgia, so I'm obviously not affiliated w/ the company - though moving to Australia would be cool).

    JW


    DOpus works great with W7?

     

    I guess you didn't take the "Replace Explorer" option - I did and ended up having to do another clean install.  Hope they'll have it ready for when W7 goes gold (or shortly after), it is a great file manager.
    Friday, January 23, 2009 9:04 AM
  • papachungo13 said:

     

    DOpus works great with W7?

     

    I guess you didn't take the "Replace Explorer" option - I did and ended up having to do another clean install.  Hope they'll have it ready for when W7 goes gold (or shortly after), it is a great file manager.



    May I suggest you inform Microsoft of this using the Send Feedback facility?  Microsoft, as well as the vendor, want to know about any application incompatibilities.
    Friday, January 23, 2009 9:38 AM
  • Thack said:May I suggest you inform Microsoft of this using the Send Feedback facility?  Microsoft, as well as the vendor, want to know about any application incompatibilities.

    The publisher of DOpus, GPSoftware is aware of the issues via their user forums.  I believe they are adopting a wait and see strategy before releasing anything for Win7.  I believe I sent feedback to MS as well.

     Shane


    Saturday, January 24, 2009 5:02 AM
  • " 2/ A single click way of opening two, non-overlapping Explorer windows (my preferred option)"

     

    If you want to open a 2nd copy of explorer from the taskbar, you can click with the middle button (or mouse wheel) instead of right-clicking-and-choosing-it-from-the-jump-list.

    Saturday, January 24, 2009 6:34 AM
  • Xplorer2 is working with Win7 fine... Dual pane, etc.  There's a lite version that's free. You can get it here.

     

    SirTazOfMania

    Saturday, January 24, 2009 7:19 AM
  • SoonerSkeene said:

    " 2/ A single click way of opening two, non-overlapping Explorer windows (my preferred option)"

     

    If you want to open a 2nd copy of explorer from the taskbar, you can click with the middle button (or mouse wheel) instead of right-clicking-and-choosing-it-from-the-jump-list.



    Yes, but they overlap, so you have to move them around (and possibly resize them).

    So much easier if we could just have two, non-overlapping windows (or panes) for one click.

    Saturday, January 24, 2009 9:59 AM
  • Having two panels is a basic need in order to compare directories.  I've been using Xplorer2 for a decade!  It can compare files and allow dragging files from one location to another.  I usually have multiple tabs within each of two panels. I was excited that there was a different File explorer (vs. windows explorer) in windows 10.  Very disappointed!
    Thursday, October 27, 2016 2:44 AM