Bypass Windows and speed up the management of files and folders

Bypass Windows and speed up

Handle files and folders faster than ever by reverting to the time before Windows. For the confident, Far Manager works like the file-management tools of yesteryear

Launch a web browser and visit the Far Manager website. When the site loads, click the ‘download’ link at the top of the screen.

At the next screen, choose the version nearest the top and click the ‘msi’ button (if you know you need the 64-bit version, click the little ‘x64’ link first, otherwise, don’t). If the File Download Security Warning dialogue box appears,

click Save and choose a location for the downloaded file. Firefox users should select Save File to save the download to Firefox’s default download folder.

Now locate and double-click the downloaded file and follow the installation wizard. At the end, click Finish.

Click the Start button, find Far Manager and click it once to launch the program. Its Spartan look may come as a shock.

Far Manager displays two file panes, both set to show its own ‘directory’ (or folder, as Windows likes to call them), so let’s start by practising moving around.

Use the cursor (arrow) keys to move the highlight up and down each list and the Tab key to move between the two panes.

Once you’re comfortable with this, use the cursor key to move it to the top where the two dots are and press Enter.

That will move you up one directory

At all times, the current directory ‘path’ is shown at the top.

Here we’ve navigated to a directory that has a couple of photos in it and used the cursor keys to move the highlight bar over one of them. Let’s copy this file from the directory on the left to the one shown in the right-hand pane.

Press the F5 key (which is one of the function keys along the top of the keyboard) and this dialogue box will appear.

As you can see, it’s asking if we want to copy the file DSC01339.JPG to the directory C:\Users\Rob\AppData\Local\Far2 – just press Enter to copy the file over.

Want to work with more than one file at a time?

Navigate to a directory that contains a group of files and then, starting at the top, press the Insert key.

As you do, Far Manager will highlight that file and move the cursor automatically down to the next one in the list.

If you want to deselect any of the files in the sequence, just move the cursor back up to it and press Insert again.

Here we’ve selected a group of files and pressed F5 to open the Copy dialogue.

Pressing Enter copies the files – and it works much faster than Windows.

If a directory contains lots of different file types (documents, photos, PDFs, spreadsheets and so on) and you want to copy just one type, press the plus (‘+’) key. By default, this specifies a wildcard filter which, when Enter is pressed, highlights everything in the directory.

To highlight only the JPEG pictures instead, remove the second asterisk (‘*’) using the Backspace key and replace it by typing JPG. Press Enter and all the JPGs in that directory will be highlighted, ready to work on.

We’ve offered just a flavour of what Far Manager can do but if you hanker after the old days of computing and remember the MS-Dos command prompt, look at the bottom of the screen: above the row of numbered function labels and you will see a familiar site – a blinking cursor next to a ‘>’.

From here you can type in old-style Dos commands to do perform tasks such as copying and moving files, creating new directories, moving between them and so on.

Here for example we’ve typed cd\users\Rob\pictures to switch to a specific sub-directory. All this and more is explained in the Help file – just press the F1 function key.