Reviewed on May 02, 2013
Many people rely on Windows Explorer when using their PCs. It works well but has very limited features, which is why those who want more look for other alternatives. A great example is Multi Commander. This free file manager derives its strength from the fact that it allows users to do many advanced tasks with relative ease. In addition to standard features like viewing, renaming, copying and moving, the program includes such advanced functions as auto-sorting, auto-unpacking, searching, scripting and browsing inside archives.
Other useful features include:
- Dual panel layout
- Keyboard shortcut for all tasks
- Task automation
- Opening multiple folders using tabs
- Catching for faster browsing of files
- Completing tasks in the background
- Increasing functionality with the help of plugins and extensions
- Customizing colors and layouts according to individual preferences
- Compatibility with many file formats
- Filtering to limit viewable items
- Compatibility with 32bit and 64bit systems
- Comparing files and making relevant selections
- Hiding executable files and folders to improve security
Although Multi Commander comes in both installer and portable versions, we liked the ability to create our own portable versions from the installed program. We managed to install it on a USB storage device. We were immediately impressed when we opened the program because the user interface is distinct from the conventional Windows Explorer although it may be a little daunting to a beginner at first.
The dual-view user interface allowed us to click on tabs in one window and see the contents in another window. We could choose the percentages the windows would take or even select full pane width. The tabs allowed us to keep multiple folders open at the same time, which made it more convenient and faster to switch between them.
Another feature that pleased us was the ability of this free file manager to open different file formats without starting other applications. These formats include JAR, TAR, BZ2, GZ, RAR, ZIP and 7-ZIP. We could also view and edit properties of audio files. We used a hotkey to toggle between drives and renamed several files at the same time by specifying some renaming rules.
We compared several files and selected them based on different options, such as those that were similar.
Have you ever struggled to record the location of a particular file on your computer? Multi Commander makes the process as easy as pressing a button to copy the full path to the clipboard and pasting it where you want.
However, we did not like the fact that the "thumbnail view" made the folders too small. We tried several times to make them larger under settings but they would return to their original sizes whenever we restarted the program. The cursor also kept flickering, which can make it challenging to make the desired selection. It was also difficult to make it the default explorer but we created a shortcut on the desktop.
File management is important in any system, and Multi Commander makes it easier to deal with hundreds or even thousands of files. The program is ideal for experienced users.