Navigating files and folders in Windows has – it’s true – become easier with each successive release, but there’s still one major problem that’s never been addressed by Microsoft: the single folder view. Despite the existence of the Favorites Bar, copying or moving files from one folder to another usually involves opening two separate folder windows.
You then manually have to manually browse to the source and destination folder before you can drag files between them.
File explorer tools are ten-a-penny, with the most notable improvement being that you can view two or even four folders at once in single window, making copying and navigating a quick and easy affair. Multi Commander only offers a choice of single or dual panes for viewing folders, but you can open multiple tabs in each window, allowing you to create shortcuts to favourite folders that you can easily switch between for file management purposes.
A large number of buttons – all customisable - sit underneath the two panes giving you access to shortcuts, selection tools (such as images or MP3 files), system tools and various folder-based tweaks, like being able to hide DLLs from view. It also comes with built-in capabilities for accessing the Registry, viewing remote folders via FTP and opening a range of compressed archives, including 7zip, RAR and TAR in addition to Zip.
There are some useful tools thrown in for good measure: manage file and folder permissions, forcibly end stubborn processes, pack and unpack archives and create symbolic links and junctions in addition to regular shortcuts. There are also basic media management tools and a built-in file viewer for peeking at the code behind a file, all adding up to a tool that is well on its way to becoming your one-stop shop for all matters file-related.
The program interface is fully customisable, but a little drab and overwhelming for our liking in its default state – however, there’s little doubting its raw power and potential, and the fact it’s now free makes it a tool well worth checking out, although the author has warned it may revert to a paid-for license in the future.
A decent stab at providing a comprehensive file-management tool, packed with useful features and infinitely more attractive now it’s completely free.