Just about every PC user will spend at least some of their day managing files, and it doesn't take long to realise that Windows Explorer really isn't up to the job. It's slow, inefficient, short on features and regularly gets in your way, ensuring every task takes longer than it really should.
You don't have to put up with this, though. FreeCommander is a powerful, yet compact alternative file manager that comes packed with productivity-boosting features to make your life easier.
This starts with the dual-pane interface. Each pane can display a separate folder, making it very easy to drag or drop files, or compare the contents of two folders. And a pane can also have multiple tabs, just like a browser. If you usually work with one of four or five main folders, say, then create a tab for each one and you'll be able to jump straight to it in a single click.
FreeCommander makes it very easy to select files. If you want to select a particular group of images in a folder, for instance, there's no need for the usual repetitive Ctrl+clicking (although that works too) - just click Select Group, enter a file specification like "spain*.jpg" and you're done.
Once you've chosen a set of files then FreeCommander can manipulate them in many different ways. A batch renaming tool can automatically rename your selected files in a few seconds, for instance. You can also modify file time stamps, create archives (including self-extracting), split huge files into smaller and more manageable chunks, securely delete sensitive documents, and more.
And a lengthy list of extras includes a file viewer (hex, binary, text or image formats), integrated FTP client, and the ability to create and verify MD5 checksums.
Note that this is a beta preview of the forthcoming FreeCommander XE. See an extensive new feature list here: http://www.freecommander.com/fc_logchanges_en.htm
It can be a little intimidating for PC beginners, but if you feel like you've outgrown Windows Explorer then FreeCommander could be a sensible next step. Download the program and try it for yourself