DO 12: What's New

Well, it's official… DO12 has some killer features!

Before presenting my summary of the features, I'd like to point you to the outstanding "new features" video put together by Leo. It's really rich, so you might want to watch it over several sittings!

Of course I was always going to upgrade to DO12, but, as usual, until I put in the long hours tinkering with the help of the manual and enlightened guidance on the forum, the concise release notes on the Beta page didn't make it immediately clear to me what bells and whistles the upgrade would mean. Now I think I get it, and I'm pumped.

On this page I've tried to make sense of the new features I've tested and to summarize them in one convenient place. I've tried to start with some "easy stuff" so we don't get bogged down right away in some cool but more complex features. The page is a work in progress. You may also want to consult my page about how to upgrade to DO12.

Disclaimers and Apologies

The features below are those that jumped out at me and that I had time to test. You may like to know where the official list of new features can be found:
✱ by pressing F1 in Opus and navigating to the Release History / Directory Opus 12 section of the documentation.
✱ on the Opus 12 beta announcement.
✱ on the DO12 release notes.

Non-Standard Toolbars
When I explain how to set up a feature, I often refer to the menus on my toolbars, which are non-standard—though simple to install through this website. Sometimes I've referred to the standard menus, but often not. Sorry about that—if I have the time, I'll try to revise the page to reference the standard menus when needed.

(direct link)


For easy navigation, here are some jumping points to the features on the page:

Tab Colors
Tabs in a Column
Fill Columns
Multiple Labels
Enhanced Image Viewer
Column Filter
Sort your Files Manually
Relative Age and Relative Size Graphs
Status Icons
Redesigned Rename Functionality
Regex in Filter Bar
Conditional Buttons
Improved Script Preference Page
More New Features
What's Missing?

(direct link)

Tab Colors

You can now assign a color to a tab. Since I work with numerous tabs in a dual lister, I find this feature handy to quickly identify certain tabs. Just right-click the tab and select Set Tab Color.

tab colors

If you mean the tab to stay that color, remember to save your lister (on my toolbars the option is under the Prefs button).

(direct link)

Tabs in a Column

In case this suits your needs, you can now display tabs in a column (vertically) rather than in a row (horizontally).

script preferences

To activate this, play with tab position under Prefs panel / Folder Tabs / Options.

(direct link)


In your lister, you can now have horizontal and / or vertical gridlines. I find the horizontal ones useful as I often work with many columns and need to relate data to the far right to file names on the far left. On this picture, the horizontal gridlines are turned on, and their opacity set to 75%. You'll find this options under Prefs panel / File Display Modes / Details / Grid lines.


(direct link)

Fill Columns

It used to be that the width of a column (such as a file's name) could be hard-coded or set to auto, letting it expand to the size required by the column's values (subject to optional max and min parameters).

Now you can set a column to fill the space left available by the other columns. I find this to be a useful improvement, especially for the stem of file names, which can take up from zero to hundreds of characters. In the picture below, the leftmost column is set to fill, taking up all the space left over from the hard-coded columns to the right. This is why the last file's name is truncated.

fill columns

The fill column is set up in folder options. After pressing the Folder button on my toolbars (or Folder / Folder Options on the standard toolbars), here is how my default lister now looks:

fill column

There are other options and refinements which you'll discover in the Folder Format menu and the manual.

(direct link)

Multiple Labels

Multiple labels It's now possible to apply multiple labels to a single file. In the image to the right, the third file has multiple labels applied:

✱ Red
✱ Bold
✱ Italic
✱ An icon filter for the "movie" file type

The labels and shortcuts under my toolbar's Labels menu now apply labels cummulatively.

label button

(direct link)

Enhanced Image Viewer

The image viewer is greatly enhanced. For instance, you now can:
✱ Customize the toolbar just like any other toolbar (Alt-click or right-click, Customize)
✱ Mark images as you page through them. The marked images are added to a collection. To mark or unmark an image, press M. To navigate between marked images, press Ctrl + Left/Right arrows instead of Page Up / Page Down.
✱ Edit metadata
mark images

Two tips:
✱ in full-screen mode, press F10 to see the file name
✱ you can rename the file by pressing the classic F2 rename shortcut

In DO11 I had switched to the lightweight and highly configurable JPEGView, as I wanted to be able to control the viewer with custom shortcuts. In DO12, I am switching back to Opus as the main viewer—one less application to manage.

(direct link)

Column Filter

When adding a new column to a lister (right-clicking the column bar), after you press more, the column-selection panel now has a search box. On the image below, I have typed "status" in order to locate the new Status column.

Column filter

The same search box appears when you click the Folder button on my toolbars (Folder / Folder Options on the standard toolbars)

(direct link)

Sort your Files Manually

Traditionally, if you've wanted to organize your files in a custom order that wasn't directly obtainable from existing columns, you've probably had to resort to various alphabetization tricks, such as inserting numbers at the front of your file names.

Manual Sort In Opus 12, in addition to sorting on multiple columns, you can now sort your files manually. Right-click a column, then pick Sort By (at the bottom) / Manual Sorting / Enable. You can now drag the files and rearrange their order. The spanner icon at the left of the column names lets you turn the manual mode off.

In my toolbars, for the time being, I've added a "Sort this folder manually" item to the Folder button's pull-down menu.

(direct link)

Relative Age and Relative Size Graphs

With very little work, you can ask Opus to display a small graph in the back of the Date and Size fields, showing the relative size and age of a folder's various files.

Column filter

To enable this, just search for "show relative graphs" in the Prefs panel and check the two boxes.

(direct link)

Status Icons

There is a new Status column. (You can quickly toggle it through my toolbar's Prefs button / Custom Shortcut Repository / Add Columns). The column displays labels from a new Status group which by default includes Checked, Important and Flagged, but you can add your own status labels—such as "To Do"—in Prefs panel / Favorites and Recent / Labels.

Status column

To get you started, I've put commands that display the status column and toggle each of the default status icons under the Labels button. I haven't added hotkeys as I haven't decided yet how to use the feature, but you can add your own as usual by Alt-clicking the icon (or entering Customize mode your favorite way).

Status menu

(direct link)

Redesigned Rename Functionality

In DO12 the rename dialog has seen a thorough overhaul:

✱ For quick, non-programmatic renames, the developers have chosen an original model that works delightfully well: apart from the familiar modes, you can now record a "macro" by placing your cursor in the file name and performing such operations as typing, cutting and pasting.
✱ For coders, scripted renames are now beautifully integrated into the interface, including the ability to add custom options to the rename chrome when selecting a preset.

Some background on file renaming software
File renaming software is a field I survey now and again, and to be entirely fair, I feel that for non-coders the new renaming interface is not as powerful as that offered by the best standalone software. However, that is to be expected, in the same way that we don't expect the internal Image Viewer to compete with Photoshop. The model that seems to have become the paradigm for file renaming software is that of building a pipeline of simple rename operations. For instance, the first operation might select the characters between the first and second dash and capitalize them. The second operation might delete everything to the right of the third dash. This is the model embraced by Gillmeister Rename Expert on Windows and Name Mangler as well as A Better Finder Rename on OSX—the three renaming programs I have found most intuitive recently. By the way this is actually the only field where I've found better software on the Mac than on Windows, but then again I'm not a Mac expert.

With this caveat out of the way, my sense is that for most of the renaming operations performed by non-coders, DO12's new renaming tool should perform extremely well as it is easy to use, and it strikes a great balance. For coders, the sky is the limit as scripts are better integrated than ever.

For my part, I use regex for most of my presets, but for quick operations I can see myself using the macro mode more and more.

Preset Panel
The preset panel has moved to the left. You can now group your presets into families. When you click the star to the left of a preset, it moves up to a "Favorites" category.

Rename presets

Macro Renames
Creating a renaming macro couldn't be easier. You check the Macro Operations box, then you start editing the New Name field in the list of files. In the example below, I have:

✱ placed my cursor in the first file name of the New Name column.
✱ pressed the End key twice to move the cursor to the end of the file name. From the fact that the file names are now right-aligned, you can tell that the end of the file name is now the reference location for the macro.
✱ typed a space character. In the preview, gauging from the location of the cursors, you can see that the space character has affected all file names.

Macro renames

From there, I could type a suffix such as "temp".

While I was manipulating the New Name field, Opus inserted a macro code into the macro box:

Rename macro code

Users are not expected to learn the syntax for these macro codes. If you had to do that, you'd just use regular expressions.

Apply, OK and Undo
Two helpful novelties in the DO12 rename dialog are the introduction of the Apply and Undo buttons. At first they can cause some confusion, so it's worth explaining how they work.

Rename Apply button

In the dialog above, note the difference between these two possible actions:
✱ If I press OK, the files will adopt the names in the New Name field, and the dialog will close.
✱ If I press Apply, the files will adopt the names in the New Name field. The dialog will stay open, the Current Name field will update to reflect the new names, and the New Name field will show what would happen if the rename was applied again (see picture below).

The Apply button therefore gives you the option of chaining several rename operations on the same file without closing the dialog.

Here is what things look like after I've pressed Apply once:

Rename undo button

There are three things to notice:
✱ As mentioned above, the Current Name reflects the rename just applied,
✱ We now have an Undo button that would revert the rename just applied,
✱ As mentioned above, the New Name field gives a preview of what would happen if we hit Apply again.

After hitting Apply, if you don't wish to undo or apply another rename, you can press the Close button.

Other features of the new rename dialog
✱ There is now a checkbox to ignore the extension. I find this helpful in regex mode as I don't have to dance around the extension.
✱ Recursive renaming has been expanded, showing a preview for subfolders and offering to rename the folders themselves.

Rename Scripts add Custom Options
Rename scripts are extremely simple to integrate as the script editor expands to the right of the rename window. Your scripts can even create custom options that appear on the rename panel's chrome, as with the checkboxes below.

script preferences

The checkboxes are from a simple script I wrote to showcase rename scripting in DO12. You can look at the whole thing on the rename scripting page.

(direct link)

Regex in Filter Bar

This had been a wish of mine for a while. Now it's reality! You can use regular expressions in the filter bar.

To activate this, check Prefs / File Displays / FAYT and Filter Bar Options / Use regular expression

(direct link)

Conditional Buttons

DO11 introduced conditional toolbars; DO12 has conditional buttons. Using a simple line at the top of the button's command, a button can either be hidden or grayed out unless a certain condition is met. For instance, on my toolbars, I have turned the "Image Convert" button into a conditional buttons that only appears if an image is selected.

To do so, all I had to do was to insert this line at the top of the button's code:


I'm sure there are many use cases for this feature. Please send your ideas through the comment form at the bottom.

(direct link)

Improved Script Preference Page

Under Scripts / Preferences, for scripts that support direct configuration, you can click on the script name to open the config dialog.

script preferences

There is also an info field at the bottom for the selected script, and you can add columns.

(direct link)


✱ The status bar can now display play times for mkv and the (ever unpopular) wma formats.
✱ The new uncompressedsize column shows the size of an expanded archive
✱ Change a column's alignment (Left/Right/Center) under Pref panel / Display / Fields
✱ Under Folder / Folder Formats, you can now reset a folder to its usual format, reverting recent changes you may have made.
✱ Visual editor for script dialogs. That's probably a big one if you write a lot of scripts—so far my scripts haven't used dialogs so I haven't tested the feature.
✱ Remove the Win10 Opus launch delay with Pref panel / Launching Opus / Remove Startup Delay.
✱ When you check the "create multiple folders" box in the new folder dialog, instead of entering folders line by line, you can enter them on a single line using the syntax a|b|c, and even create them under a root using the syntax top\a|b|c

(direct link)

More New Features

The list of changes in Opus 12 is huge. For the official list, press F1 in Opus, and navigate to the Release History / Directory Opus 12 part of the documentation.

Upgrading from Earlier Versions
If you're coming to DO12 from an earlier version, you may also want to look at this page:
What's New in DO11

What's Missing

What's missing in DO12? Nothing!

Seriously, there are already more features in this program than anyone could hope to absorb unless he made it his full-time job.

Well, okay, there are always a few little things that can be improved or added. Visit my short wishlist and feel free to add some ideas on that page by using the comment form.

My Directory Opus 12 Toolbars

You can download the DO12 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.

To install my toolbars for DO12,
✱ Download the latest version of both 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 12 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 12,


 How to Upgrade to DO 12

Be the First to Leave a Comment

All comments are moderated.
Link spammers, this won't work for you.

Kindly note that I will not reply to general Opus tech support questions (but feel free to ask about issues directly related to my toolbars).

To prevent automatic spam, we require that you type the two words below before you submit your comment.