DO 11: What's New

This page aims to present new features in Directory Opus 11 as I try them out. It's a companion to my page about how to upgrade to DO11, and it's a work in progress.

Of course the list of new features can be found on the What's New page and the Opus 11 beta announcement. There are also tons of great ideas on the forum, some of them on the DO11 Update Tips thread. But it often helps to read the same material in different words. When possible, I'll try to link to relevant forum posts.

Location Bars at the Top of Each Lister

path bar in directory opus 11

In the image above, we now notice a nice improvement in DO 11: Each lister has its own path bar. On the keyboard, you can target that location bar via F4, and return to the file list by pressing Escape or Enter.

This means that the path bar in the Operations Toolbar is redundant. We can remove it. That will give us lots of real estate that we may later use as we learn about the new features.

✱ Either remove the old location bar manually. You will need to add a full-width spacer.
✱ Or download my toolbars for Directory Opus 11 below. These are the new version of the toolbars I have honed over several years. They work exceptionally well in most contexts, and you can see them at work in my tour of the Opus interface.

The File Display Border is now a Toolbar

path bar in directory opus 11

Look again at that green file display border in the image above. It is now a toolbar that can be configured like any other: adding buttons, functions and so on.

In Prefs / File Display / Borders, you can specify the name of that toolbar. This has a lot of potential. I am sure I'll soon be adding a File Display Border toolbar to my set of shared toolbars.

Labels now stored on the file system

On DO10, file labels didn't follow a file as you moved it from folder to folder. For instance, a file labeled with a red color would lose its color when you moved it. Now files keep their labels, at least on NTFS drives. Fantastic!

Easier navigation of file name while renaming

When you rename a file inline (for instance by pressing F2), you can now specify new "break characters" where the cursor jumps when you use Ctrl + left / right arrow to navigate the file name. By default, the cursor jumps to the space character. I added the dash, underscore and period.

How? Prefs / paste wordbreak_char_names in the search box / enter -_. in the text field.

Ignore Prefixes such as "The" or "An" when Sorting

In a list of files, you may want to avoid sorting files starting with "The" or "An" at the letters T and A. This was possible before through folder formats, now you can set that globally.

Prefs / Folders / Global Filters / "Ignore prefix when sorting" / paste something like "An |The " to ignore "an" and "the"

Jobs Bar (File Transfer Queues)

Sometimes you launch several copy or move operations at once. Keeping track of those operations used to require digging in the transfer queue. In Directory Opus 11, below the status bar, a new "jobs bar" shows a button for each of the ongoing copy or move operations. When you click on the button, it opens the usual transfer queue with progress indicators.

jobs bar in directory opus 11

The jobs bar comes with settings that allow you to minimize the transfer queue by default, so that it doesn't get in the way. Also, you can remove the queue from the Windows taskbar, so that it doesn't interfere with Alt + F4.

To set all this up:
✱ Prefs / File Operations / Progress Indicators
✱ Check "Display the jobs bar automatically when starting a new job"
✱ Check "Prevent progress indicators from showing on the taskbar (or in Alt + Tab)"
✱ Check "Minimize progress indicators" and "Only when the jobs bar is visible"

For a nice "shell look" like on the picture, set the Jobs Bar to a monospace font such as Consolas in Prefs / Colors and Fonts / Fonts / Jobs Bar

Preferences give immediate focus to the Search Box

In DO10, in the Prefs menu, you had to press F3 to get into the search box. The new implementation is more economical: as soon as you click the Prefs button (or the F12 shortcut on my toolbars), you land in the search box.

Given that the search box is the best way to use the Prefs menu, this makes a lot of sense.

A Whole New World for Keyboard Power-Users

As you can tell from my shortcuts page, keyboard shortcuts are a big part of my workflow. But I was running out of possibilities with Ctrl + Shift, Ctrl + Alt, Ctrl + Win... And had started going to mash sequences such as Ctrl + Alt + Shift with great reluctance.

In Opus 11, you can use multiple key combos: for instance, Ctrl + O + E. This opens vast possibilities: this Ctrl + O + E could stand for "Open with" Editpad. Then you can have a series of related shortcuts: Ctrl + O + P for "Open with Photoshop", and so on.

If you have cool ideas for such sequences, please send them over! There's a comment form below. In the meantime, here are a few to get us started.

Key combo + C + Key: Toggle Column (courtesy of abr), e.g Rating, Bitrate…
Key combo + S + Key: Sort bu column, e.g Date, Size, …
Key combo + O + Key: Open with application, e.g. Photoshop, Editpad…
Key combo + D + Key: Drive letter A, B, C… (At the moment, this is Alt + drive letter in my toolbars, and I might keep it that way)
Key combo + R + Key: Rename using preset, e.g. Uppercase, Lowercase…
Key combo + R + Key: Rate the file (1, 2, 3 stars…)
Key combo + F + Key: FTP a given site

This thread discusses opening a pop-up menu when the initial key combo is pressed.

Conditional Toolbars: Toolbars that Appear Depending on Context

In DO10, you specified the toolbars you wanted to see, and theses were the toolbars you saw in all contexts—in all listers, view modes and paths.

In DO11, you can create sets of toolbars that get activated (replace the defaults) in certain contexts:
✱ when a certain lister is opened
✱ when a certain layout is activated
✱ when a certain view mode is used (e.g., when viewing thumbnails)
✱ when a certain folder format is activated
✱ when navigating to certain paths

I'm aware that my present coverage of this feature is quite weak. On the forum, there is a lot of excitement about this feature, and examples of what people are doing with it.

For my part, I am still pondering how to use it. The reason is that I feel that I am using a set of toolbars that already work exceptionally well in most contexts: see my tour of the Opus interface, which showcases my toolbars.

If anything, instead of swapping toolbars, I would prefer what I call conditional buttons, i.e. buttons that pop onto my default toolbars in certain contexts. For instance, when clicking on an image, audio or video file, a few buttons pertaining to these file types could squeeze into an empty space of the default toolbars.

I will be following discussions about how people use the new feature and updating this section as my thinking evolves.

Dual Status Bars

In dual listers, the default is now to have one status bar per file display, instead of the one big bar for whichever display is active. So far, this is working well for me.

New Column: Thumbnails

You can now add a "Thumbnails" column to the file display. This means that you no longer have to be in the Thumbnails view mode to see thumbnails: for instance, you can have thumbnails in details mode.

I mostly work in details mode in dual listers, where space is a premium, so I haven't yet figured out how I will use the feature. But I am sure I'll make good use of it—perhaps in Explorer mode.

Setting a Variable that Keeps its Value (after reboot)

I'm not using this yet but want to keep it in mind: the @set directive now lets you store values into variables that persist beyond the current command. The scope of these variables can be the source tab or the destination tab; it can be the current file display or the current lister; it can be global; and it can even survive a reboot.

There's an example of it here.

Context Menus Easier to Configure

In customize mode (ALt + Click), in the "Context Menus" tabs, context menus can now be configured in the same way as toolbars—quite convenient.

New Scripting Interface and Script Add-Ins

Before DO11, users could program scripts into their buttons and rename functions. Opus 11 introduced a new scripting interface that lets coders develop add-ins that vastly expand the program's functionality (yes, that's possible).

Even if you're not a coder, you may benefit from this thanks to the beautiful scripts contributed by the Opus community. For more info, see the page on Opus Scripts.

Shortcuts to Sort by Columns that aren't yet Shown

In DO10, it was possible to add columns via a button or shortcut using "Set COLUMNSADD". Now, while adding that column, you can also sort by that column.

For instance,
SET SORTBY=+md5sum
would add the md5 checksum column and sort by that md5 checksum.
To create such shortcuts, you'll want to consult the list of keywords for columns.

Find As You Type Improvements

Some functions have been added to the FAYT fields. I use filter bars rather than FAYT, so haven't yet looked at these changes in detail.

Feature Requests

Conditional Buttons. Buttons that pop in a pre-defined place on a toolbar in certain contexts (for instance when you select an image file)… for me, that would be more useful that the conditional toolbars introduced in DO11. See this forum thread if you'd like to comment on conditional buttons.

Colors for Jobs Bar. We can already set the font, it would be nice to be able to do the same for colors in Prefs / Colors and Fonts / Fonts / Jobs Bar

More New Features

The list of new features in Opus 11 is truly huge. This page only contains the features I have either found immediate use for, or had time to think about.

For the official list, see the What's New page and Jon's announcement of the Opus 11 Beta.

My Directory Opus 11 Toolbars

In this section, you can download the DO11 version of the toolbars I have honed over several years. They work exceptionally well in most contexts, and you can see them at work in my tour of the Opus interface.

So far, I've only removed the Location Bar, which has become redundant with the path bars at the top of each lister.

To install my toolbars for DO11,
✱ Download the zip file for Playful_DO11v0.2 toolbars
✱ In the path bar of a lister, type "/buttons" (without the quotes). This opens the folder that contains all the toolbars
✱ Copy the two toolbars from the zip file to the /buttons folder you just opened
✱ Right-click an empty space on any toolbar. Turn off the old Playful toolbars, turn on the new ones. I find that it's easiest to turn them on in this order: Menu_Playful, Operations_Playful.
✱ If you like what you see, remember to save your default lister again: Ctrl + Alt + F5 or Prefs Button / My Lister: Save + Default.
✱ Also right-click an empty space on any toolbar and pick Toolbars / "Set as Default Toolbars Set". Otherwise when you shift to a different lister, Opus 11 will revert to the default toolbars.

That's it for now. I'll be adding to this page over the coming weeks.
As usual, feel free to send your comments.

Wishing you good health and lots of fun with Directory Opus 11,


 How to Upgrade to DO 11

1-1 of 1 Threads
Alex Lopes – Brazil
March 10, 2014 - 12:58
Subject: Thank you.

I love this app and thanks for your time to bring us this beautiful article! :D

Sorry about my poor english.

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