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Friday, October 12, 2012

8 Features That Changed In Windows Explorer in Windows 8

Microsoft has recently rolled out Windows 8 Developer Preview that can be downloaded from the developers’ official website here. We will shed more light on the much awaited operating system in the coming days. However, here is a quick tour about the major changes the new operating system has made in the Windows Explorer.

1. Enriched Explorer Pane:

The new OS has a full featured Windows explorer pane with buttons for almost every action that a user may need to perform for a folder or a file. The tasks range from the most basic copy/paste operation to the more pro uses like editing Advanced Security permissions. If you want to hide/unhide the options in the explorer pane, double-click on any of the tabs to hide/unhide it.

2. One Click Action:

As I had pointed out previously, there are buttons for almost everything. Some of them (that you may find useful) are cut,copy,paste,copy path,file history, add as email attachment, file properties, hide/unhide items, create zip archive etc.

3. The Up Button Restored:

This discontinued feature (present in XP) is restored back and this serves the job. However, with the address bar showing present folder directory quite prominently the Up button seems redundant.

4. Pause Option For Copy/Paste/Delete Operations:

Yet another addition that might be a great lifesaver for all Windows users. You can now pause any ongoing file transfer or deletion process.

5. Tabbed Grouping:

The all-at-hand explorer pane would have been more cluttered if there were no grouping. The developers have taken care of that in a nice way. You have tabs which groups containing buttons for related tasks. Also when you select a file you will get a file specific tab which lets you open the file with the default app.

6. Trendy “Open With” Menu:

Until now, the files with extension not linked to any application used to come up with a boring Open With dialog. The newer one, look wise, is what I would term a trendy one.

7. Edit File Details:

Select any file, go to the View tab and select the Details Pane. You will now be able to see the details of the file to the right of the Windows explorer window (previously this was at the bottom). But that’s just a styling change. What impressed me is that you can edit the details of the file right from there without firing up the file Properties dialog.

8. Title Bar Shortcuts:

Last but not the least, Windows Explorer has made the title bar even more useful with an option to add your favorite buttons (from the Explorer Pane) to the title bar of the Windows explorer window.

True that more is always complicated. But to me the blend seems fine. Also, I find the interface more productive if considered the fact that you no more need to do a right click (or use keyboard) and then choose some option to do all these tasks. That’s atleast two clicks. A click saved each time makes the count a million a year for even the most lazy Windows user. That’s my view. We would love to hear about yours.

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