Of late, I have been looking at various utilities which can improve your Windows Explorer workflow. In the recent past, I reviewed gems such as ShellExView, FileMenu Tools and PlacesBar Editor. Today, I will cover another brilliant app called Direct Folders.
Like the PlacesBar Editor, Direct Folders attempts to improve your productivity by providing quick access to your favourite files and folders. The way it works is ingenious. Once Direct Folders (DF) has been installed and configured, all you need to do is double click on an empty spot in any File Open/Save dialogue box. This will bring up the DF context menu, which provides quick access to the most recently accessed folders along with your own favourite folders. Alternatively, you can open the DF context menu through Hotkeys (keyboard shortcuts). Besides File Open/Save dialogue boxes, DF should also work in Windows Explorer, Total Commander and DirectoryOpus.
One of the best features in Direct Folders, which makes it stand out from any run of the mill app, is support for application specific settings. This means that you can set the default folder view to thumbnails or icon for a multimedia viewer like IrfanView, while using list view for applications like Microsoft Word. The Pro version goes a step further and allows you to specify default open/save folders for each application. It even tracks the recent folders accessed by each application.
Direct Folders also claims to automatically enlarge dialogue boxes to reduce the amount of scrolling required. However, this didn’t quite work for me (OS: Windows 7). The other hiccup I experienced was that the DF Context Menu could not be triggered in Windows Explorer by double clicking. However, the hotkeys (Win+Q and Win+W) worked perfectly. This is obviously something that is not supposed to occur and it is quite possible that it’s just my system acting up.
However, all these niggles can be easily ignored. Direct Flow delivered what it promised to and is indeed an app I don’t have any hesitation in recommending. The additional features offered by the Pro version are definitely handy but the free version is capable enough to make it a must have.
Download Direct Folders (1.28 MB)
Cost: Freeware (Pro version costs 14.95 â‚¬)
Version Reviewed: 3.61
Operating System: Windows All