Opus Quick-Start: A Tour of the Interface

Before we start configuring Directory Opus, I'll give you a tour of the interface. This tour is also a Directory Opus primer, as we'll run into most of the program's power functions. Just so you know, everything is configurable, so if you don't like something, you can probably change it.

If you skipped the first page, I should let you know that
This page does not guide you through the
standard Directory Opus interface, but through
an optimized interface that's easy to set up,
the Dear Opus interface.

You may already know the standard Opus interface. In the Dear Opus interface, it's not just that the icons have changed. The menus have been reorganized in a logical way.

At this stage, please do not worry about remembering keyboard shortcuts. You can later refer to the keyboard shortcuts page for a beautifully organized list of shortcuts.

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

"Faraway" picture of the menus
The left side
Source and Destination
Two named menus
Location Bar
The Toolbars
The "Select" Menu
The "Tools" Menu
Happy Place ("default") button
Pics button
Flat button
Check button
Preview button
Show button
Styles button
Back button
Forward button
Up button
Star button
FTP button
Drive List
File Display
The right side
Undo button
Sync button
Prefs button
Folder Options button
Labels button
UAC button (Microsoft shield icon)
Help button
New button
Copy button
Move button
Rename button
Delete button
Convert button
Archive button
Properties button

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First, here is a "faraway" picture of the menus

directory opus optimized interface (Please don't focus on the colors as you will choose your own.)

So that we can see everything better, I split a screenshot of the interface into two halves: left and right. You will set your own colors (or leave the default untouched), so if you don't like the colors I chose, please don't focus on them.

A reader suggested to me that for some people, following this tour could be easier if you already have the toolbars running so you're able to play with the buttons. Installing the toolbars is fast work and you don't lose your configuration, since a couple of clicks will let you show or hide the old toolbars at any moment. If you'd like to follow along with my toolbars, skip forward to install the icons and the toolbars, then press your browser's back button. Note that the Home ("Happy Place") button won't be functional unless you also set it up.

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Left side
Okay, we're ready for the tour. Let's start with the left side!

directory opus 10 optimized ui left

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Source and Destination
The first thing I'd like you to notice is the green bar at the top of the file display. Opus can work with a single file tree like Windows Explorer, or with two file trees. That's how I use it most of the time because it makes it easy to copy and move files. The idea is that there is a "Source" folder and a "Destination" folder.
Learning about Opus is like an Easter egg hunt. There are treasures everywhere!
The Source has the green bar, the Destination has the Orange bar. If you click on a folder on the right side, it will become the source. The top bar on that side of the display will become green, while the one on the left will become orange. If you scroll up to the first picture, you'll see the two displays side by side. After you install my toolbars, you will be able to use Shift + Spacebar to toggle the focus ("shift the space") between the left and right (or top and bottom) listers. By shifting the focus, source becomes destination and vice-versa.

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Two named menus
The second thing I'd like you to notice is that this interface only has two named menus: "Select" and "Tools". For how my brain works, that's as many abstract boxes as I need to handle. Now everything fits logically in these two menus and in the pull-down menus of the relevant buttons. What's left in the Select and Tools menus are features that I don't use all that much.

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Location Bar
path bar in directory opus 11

The third thing I'd like you to notice is that in the image above, notice that the green bar is a path bar (location bar). 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.

The Opus path bars are quite wonderful. You can click at the end to copy the whole path. You can click any part of the path (or "bread crumb") to navigate to that folder. And you can click on the arrow after each bread crumb to display a menu list that contains each of the subfolders. Windows Explorer now has something close to this, and it's really nice so see that it is slowly catching up to about a thousandth of Directory Opus's cool features.

ghost path in directory opus 11 location bar
In the picture above, at the end of the path, notice the "dearopus" folder in light gray? It is a "ghost path". One neat feature of the Opus path bars is these "ghost paths": when you move up from a folder, the path bar shows a faint trace ("ghost") of the previous folder's name at the end of the path, letting you return there with one click.

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The Toolbars
Okay, let's dive into the toolbars. I hope you're excited, because learning about Opus is like an Easter egg hunt. There's a yummy piece of chocolate in shiny wrapping paper at every corner.

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default The "Select" Menu. This menu (which is part of the first toolbar you install) gives you great control over which files you select. Its features probably won't matter if you only have twenty files in your display, but they can save you lots of time when you have two hundred. For instance, you can:

invert a selection you already made—the selected files become deselected and vice-versa.
✱ Deselect all files ("Select None" option, or Ctrl + D like in Photoshop).
✱ Select all the files that have the same base name as the current selection, or all files that have the same extension.
✱ When comparing two folders in the source and destination, you can select all the source folder files that do not exist in the destination folder… or select the files in the destination folder that match the selected files in the source.
✱ Create elaborate selections with the "Select by Pattern" option. In the simple mode, you can type something like *.(jpg|pdf) to select jpg or pdf files. In the advanced mode, you can build very complex selection patterns, such as "all images over 2560 x 1600 pixels created before January 1st". You can also make grep-style selections (some day, please make sure to check-out my regex tutorial).

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default email The "Tools" Menu. Many features that could be considered "tools" reside under their own buttons, such as the Archive button and the Convert button. As a result, the Tools menu (which comes with the Menu toolbar) is more manageable and mostly populated by a few fairly esoteric features. For instance,

✱ the Split command lets you split large files into smaller chunks, while the Join command lets you glue these pieces back together. (Another use of the Join command could be to glue twenty text files together.)
✱ The Print / Export Folder Listing function lets you list (and save) everything that is in a folder tree. This can be convenient if you ever want to look at (or share) a text file that shows the entire content of your music or movie collection.
✱ One feature you may find yourself using is Email Files (shortcut: F11). It emails the selected files directly from Opus, provided you have entered your ISP's SMTP information in Preferences (Prefs button or F12) / Internet / Email. The Email Files function has a counterpart in the Archive button with the "Zip and Email Files" function, accessible via the analogous Shift + F11 shortcut.
✱ There is a menu item to Run a Command Prompt from your current folder. I use its the shortcut all the time (Ctrl + Shift + R).
✱ One of the more esoteric functions in the Tools menu is the "CLI" (Command Line Interpreter), a door into the world of Opus's powerful macro commands.
✱ The Script Add-In submenu give you access to expanded functionality available if you install the scripts on this page (easy and worthwhile).

✱ At the bottom of the Tools menu, you will find functions to schedule a computer shutdown, and to cancel a scheduled shutdown—handy when you'd like your laptop to say "good night" after it finishes downloading a huge file.

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default Happy Place ("default") button. The first focus of the interface is to take you back quickly to your default (and perfectly customized) workspace whenever you need to. It's easy to get lost in subfolders. In Adobe apps such as Illustrator and Photoshop, when I stray too far from my standard layout, I restore my default workspace. For me, that's a key feature. In my customized Opus interface, the big smiley button takes you right back to your happy place. Its shortcut is Shift + F5. (In most apps, including Dopus, F5 on its own means "refresh", so adding the Shift key in order to refresh to the default workspace feels right.)

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pictures Pics button. This button is meant to give you a perfectly configured layout to browse your pictures. Its shortcut (F6) rhymes with "Pics". It brings up the Images style, which you can configure just right for your needs (I'll show you how later). For me, the Images style opens with a file tree, two vertical file displays and a Preview pane. The left file display has my main picture folder, in detail view for quick file access. The right file display has the exact same folder, in thumbnail view for visual navigation. Navigation lock is turned on, so when I dig down to a subfolder on the left, the right side follows. At the very right, the Preview pane helps quickly browse the pictures.

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hammer Flat button. For me, the flat view is one of the most useful features of Opus. When you have lots of files in a long tree structure (a typical situation for a music collection), the flat view lets you see (and handle) the files in all the subfolders, all at once. There are several modes, which can show all the folders along with the files, or just the files. Clicking the button quickly toggles the "no folders" flat view mode (shortcut: F10 key). The pull-down menu gives you access to the other flat view modes.

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checkbox Check button. The checkbox mode allows you to select multiple files by checking boxes. This can be very useful in a long list of files where you could lose a complex selection with one wrong click. Clicking the button quickly toggles the checkbox mode. One particularly good use of the mode is when you need to select a few pictures from a long list, whether to copy them or to delete them. You can click on a picture, decide whether to keep it, check the box, then click on the next picture (opening it or previewing it in the Preview pane) without losing your selection.

As always on Windows, Ctrl-A selects all files in the display. What is novel is the shortcut to deselect everything: the F5 key. The button's pull-down menu has two related functions that let you switch an existing selection of files from one mode to another.

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preview Preview button. The Preview pane is quite wonderful. It shows you a preview of the selected file—not just for pictures, but for all kinds of files. If you use your arrow keys to navigate down the file list, the Preview pane can give you a quick glimpse of what's inside a pdf, a Word document, a spreadsheet, an html file. It can even let you preview the "contents" of system fonts! (I'll show you how to make a font layout to take advantage of that.) The preview is not always instantaneous, but it can still save you time when the only other option is to open and close a series of documents. The button quickly toggles the Preview pane. (Shortcut: F8 key. Think of the "8" as the eyes in lOOk.)

The pull-down menu gives you access to a slideshow function that cycles through the selected image files (or all of them when none are selected). It also contains the Upload to ImageShack function, which uploads a jpg to a free hosting service and gives you links to use the image on websites or forums—convenient when you don't want to host it yourself. At first I thought I'd zap this button as I didn't feel like creating an account with yet one more service, but it turns out you don't need to register for the feature to work.

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show Show button. As in Windows Explorer, the file display has several modes: details, thumbnails, etc. Clicking the button repeatedly (or pressing its F7 shortcut) will cycle through these modes. The pull-down lets you select a mode directly. It also gives you access to other "Show" features. For instance, you can show or hide grid lines in the file layout, the folder tree and the status bar. You can also show or hide system files and hidden files.

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styles Styles button. The "Happy Place" layout uses two vertical displays. Clicking the button (shortcut: Ctrl + H) toggles the dual display between vertical and Horizontal mode. In the pull-down menu, there is a related shortcut (Ctrl + E) that toggles the display to Explorer mode (single lister), and back to dual.

The button's pull-down menu also has the list of styles: "Dual Horizontal", "Explorer", "Images", "Filmstrip", and others that you define. The Styles button lets you select any of these style modes directly. At the bottom, it also lets you pick your saved layouts, such as My Lister (the Happy Place) and the Font layout that we'll create together.

Let's now move to the navigation bar on the second row.

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back Back button. Takes you back to the previous folder. The pull-down menu has a list of the folders you just visited.

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forward Forward button. Takes you "forward" to the folder from which you just clicked the back button.

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up Up button (or "Go" button). Takes you to the current folder's parent folder. Of course there are faster ways to do this: on the keyboard, just press the Backspace key; on the mouse, double-click any empty spot in the lister (if you have followed this setup tip).

The button's pull-down menu lets you open the parent folder in a new tab or lister. The "Go to First Folder" item (Alt + Page Up) refreshes the tab location to what it was when you opened it. The "Open file's folder" item opens a selected file's containing folder, useful in collections and flat view.

The menu also includes a "Shortcuts to Misc Locations" submenu, which I have set up to collect shortcuts to locations Windows users often need to access. For instance,
✱ The "Drive" sub-menu has shortcuts for all the drives from A to L: Win + Shift + Drive letter, e.g. Win + Shift + C to go to the C drive.
✱ Alt + Home for your Computer,
✱ Shift + Home for the Desktop (relies on a script, see shortcuts section),
✱ Alt + Delete for the Recycle Bin (relies on a script, see shortcuts section),
✱ Alt + 6 for C:\Program Files (x86) (see this tip for drive-independent version),
✱ Alt + 4 for C:\Program Files (think 64 bits) (see this tip for drive-independent version),
✱ and others that I add with every version of the toolbars.

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star Star button This button gives you quick access to folders you specify. In my view, it's better if you don't use this feature for favorites—after all, if you use a folder all the time, it should be a tab. Rather, I use the Star button for hard-to-find folders that I only occasionally need, such as the Hosts folder. More about this below. (Shortcut: Alt + 8 because of the "*" above the "8" on the keyboard.)

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ftp FTP button. For me, FTP integration is a wonderful feature of Opus. An FTP site is a place with some files, just like a folder, right? Opus knows it, and it displays FTP sites in the standard file display, just like another folder. Within the FTP button, you can add as many sites as you like, and organize them into folders. It's then a short step to opening one of your favorite FTP destinations in a tab, and to save that tab as part of your default layout. I have abandonned Filezilla! (But only since making the custom button linked a few lines below.)

For a quick upload, Opus FTP is hard to beat, not only because I always have Opus running, but also because the Filter bar at the bottom of each pane lets me find my files in a hurry. I also use the custom "Squash" function (Ctrl + Slash) from the Copy button to bypass confirmation dialogs. By turning on Navigation Lock ("Navlock"), with the the FTP folder on the right and the source folder on the left, I'm also able to click on a subfolder on one side, and to have the other side follow automatically. That's magical! For servers that support site-to-site connections, you can even drag and drop from one FTP site to another. In the Tricks section, I explain how to add a custom button to the FTP menu (and a shortcut) that automatically opens the local folder of your choice in the left file display and the target FTP site on the right.

Extra: Advanced FTP for Admins. In 2012, I splurged and paid all of ten dollars to use Opus's Advanced FTP function, which I had not understood before and would have used years ago had I known about it. This function lets me open the root of my webserver (which I cannot access through regular FTP) in a tab, like another folder! If you are able to connect to your server through pUTTY, the connection details are the same, because this works through SSH. My VPS has a Parallels Power Panel, standard on a cPanel/WHM VPS. Until I discovered this Opus feature, downloading files from the VPS was a royal pain, as I had to use the clunky "file manager" or copy them to a public folder I could FTP into. WinSCP probably does the same, but if you already have your file system humming in Opus, why downgrade to Windows 3.1?

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drive list Drive List. This pull-down menu allows you to quickly select one of the currently connected drives—including external storage devices such as USB sticks, cameras, Kindles and so on. This feature is part of the Operations toolbar that you can download on the next page, but it doesn't show on the screenshots above because I haven't updated them. The button lives between the path bar and the "New" button.

Note that the location bar (path field) at the top of each lister gives you another way to access each drive: click the black arrow at the very left of the bar (before the letter C, for instance), and a menu of drives appears.

As I mentioned in the section about the Up Button, there are also shortcuts to each of the drives from A to L: For instance, Win + Shift + F goes to the F drive.

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Tabs. The default layout takes full advantage of tabs, showing your most-used folders. It's up to you to set them up (we'll talk about that later).

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File Display. The standard file display is white. The one shown here has colors. Later, I'll show you how to customize your display, but in the meantime, here's a must-know trick: while holding down the Ctrl key, if you move your mouse's scroll wheel, you can shrink or magnify the file display's text and thumbnails. Awesome! As in many programs, you can also zoom in and out with Ctrl-Plus and Ctrl-Minus, and return to the standard size with Ctrl-0.

My columns here are optimized to save space on a laptop screen. If you click for a moment to go back and take a look at the picture of the left file display, you'll see that to save space in the name column, the file names are shown without their extensions. The extensions appear in the second column, allowing you to sort files by extension. This field replaces the standard "file type" field, which uses more characters. The date field shown here is optimized for space.

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The right side
Now let's look at the right side of the interface.

directory opus 10 optimized ui right

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undo Undo button. In Opus, not only can you undo the last file operation (Ctrl + Z), you can undo a whole series of file operations. This button quickly toggles the Undo log. The pull-down menu has three items. The first shows an "Undo List" populated with operations that can be undone (the same operations as in the Undo panel, but with fewer details). The second item in the pull-down lets you undo a Tab close (with the same shortcut as in Firefox: Ctrl+Shift+T). The third lets you undo a Lister close operation.

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sync Sync button. The Sync panel lets you perform various synchronization jobs between the source and destination folders. You can synchronize in one direction or both, and choose a number of options. The Sync button toggles the Synch panel. Pay attention to whether the small padlocks on the right are locked, because they control whether changing the selected folder on one side also changes the selected folder on the other side.

The button's pull-down menu gives you access to another neat panel, the Duplicate files panel, which, as you probably guessed, helps you identify files that exist in multiple places. The results are shown in a file collection of your choice. As in the Sync panel, the padlock can help you select folders faster. The MD5 mode is particularly useful when files are identical but names not. When you check "Delete Mode", the results are shown in checkbox mode, with all the duplicates already selected, ready to delete. The Filter box lets you narrow down the kinds of duplicates to look for, html files for instance.

The Sync button's pull-down menu also lets you turn on the all-important Navigation Lock feature (shortcut: Ctrl + K), also known as Navlock. Navlock synchronizes navigation (rather than content): as you click into homologous folder trees, the left and right displays stay in sync, left following right or right following left.

Next in the pull-down menu comes the Slave Tabs feature (which you can also activate by Ctrl + Shift + clicking a tab). It's a kind of "super navlock". Whereas folders in Navlock can get out of sync (when you are exploring mirror paths), folders in slave mode are always in sync, because they are slaves of each other (they are the same folder). This allows you to view the same folder on both sides of the display, possibly in different view modes (such as "details" and "thumbnails"). Also, the tabs are linked, so that if you move away from both tabs then return to one of them, the other lister automatically switches back to the slave tab.

Last, the pull-down menu has the Link Tabs feature (which you can also activate by Ctrl + clicking a tab). It links the two active tabs, so that if you click other tabs in both listers then click back on one of the linked tabs, the linked tab on the other side automatically becomes active.

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prefs Prefs button. Opus has a huge Preferences menu. When you don't know where you're going, it could be daunting if the Opus team hadn't programmed a very sweet filter box at the bottom of the Preferences box. opus prefs You type in a word or two, press Enter, and the menu shrinks down to the relevant options, with a red box in each of the submenus to draw your attention to the appropriate fields. It's simply the best interface I've ever seen for a Preferences menu. The Prefs button quickly opens the preferences menu (shortcut key: F12). Focus is given to the Find box, so you can start typing to filter the preferences.

The button's pull-down menu gives you access to the "Backup and Restore" feature, which lets you export (and restore) your entire Dopus configuration, and even export your Opus installation to run on a USB drive for when you're troubleshooting your grandpa's computer (if you have shelled out the ten dollars for the USB license, well worth it in my opinion). The pull-down also lets you save and manage your listers. And it lets you manage file types, for instance letting you specify that PHP files are part of a new group called "Code", or letting you choose what actions to offer when you right-click a jpg file.

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folders Folder Options button. When you're new to Opus, you may think that all the program's options live in the Preferences menu, especially when you consider how large that menu is. But no, to set up the columns in the file display, you use the Folder Options menu. It's good to know this at the outset as that is a bit counter-intuitive, but once you've lived with Opus for a while it seems very natural. That being said, the Preferences also have folder options (Folders / Folder Display, Folder Format…). This is one of the areas where Opus seems to have a split personality disorder.

Clicking the Folder Options button directly opens the folder options dialog. The pull-down menu gives you access to other folder-related functions.

I don't use the Folder Formats function, which lets you specify that a folder is a movie folder, or some other recognized type—handy if you like Opus to switch the view based on the content of your folders. The Merge Folders button by Leo (presented here) allows you to merge multiple folders into one. The pull-down menu also has several folder tab functions, as well as Navlock (a repeat from the Sync menu) and the folder format lock.

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labels button Labels button
opus folder label colors The Set Label function lets you pick a color for some of your files or folders—this really helps you find your way around a large collection of episodes of a series of videos you're watching out of sequence! In the image to the right, notice the very easy shortcuts to quickly colorize a file or folder (Ctrl + Alt + 1 through 9) or to remove the color (Ctrl + Alt + 0). I have added colors, and you can change them in Prefs / Favorites and Recents / File and Folder Labels. In the same Pres menu, you can make a "wildcard label assignment" to colorize all files of a kind, for instance all php files, or any group of files that you're able to specify with wildcards or regular expressions.

Status menuAs of DO12, you can set custom "status" fields that show in a separate column. Read about status icons on my DO12 page.

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uac UAC button (Microsoft shield icon). I don't use UAC, so for me that button is always grayed out. But if you do use UAC, this button lets you elevate your permissions to Admin level for a set amount of time, for instance five minutes.

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help Help button. Clicking the button opens the help file, which is extremely rich. The pull-down menu gives you access to a number of miscellaneous features. There is a link to the "Quick-Start Guide" (this website). There is a link to a reorganized list of "official" Directory Opus websites (and Ctrl + F1 opens the Opus forum). The menu also gives you access to all the logs. What logs? Earlier, I mentioned the Undo log, but there's also a File log, an Email log and an FTP log. Note that in the File log (which keeps track of file operations) and the FTP log, there's a save button that lets you save all operations to a text file to examine them at your leisure. The pull-down menu also contains the Update checker, the License manager and the About box.

The next section of the lower toolbar mainly has to do with file operations.

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new New button. At first blush, it looks like a click of this button quickly creates a new folder (shortcut: Ctrl + N). But look closer at the new folder dialog box: if you check the Create multiple folders box, you can create multiple folders in one go. Just type their names, separated by pipe characters, for instance 1|2|3. To create nested folders, you can type 1\2\3. And to create multiple folders under a root, you could type something like a\1|2|3. I always leave the "multiple folders" box checked because it still lets you create single folders. The button's pull-down menu gives you access to other "New" functions, such as "new text document" (shortcut: Ctrl + T).

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copy Copy button. Clicking the button immediately copies items selected in the source (green display) to the destination (orange display). No need to copy-paste! This is a one-step operation that relies on the Source (green display) / Destination (orange display) model. The shortcut is Ctrl + 1 (for moving, it is Ctrl + 2). You can also click Ctrl + J to "jump" (duplicate) files and folders in the current tree.

The pull-down menu contains a "Squash" function (shortcut: Ctrl + forward slash) that I created to update destination files without asking—great with FTP. (The Copy Force function below it is even more forceful: if a destination file to be overwritten is in use, it is replaced when you reboot.) I also added a "Create Symlink" function (shortcut: Ctrl + backslash), which creates an advanced kind of shortcut that can be extremely valuable for backups. It also contains two functions for quick synchronization jobs: "Update All" and "Update Existing".

One function I love is "Copy Filenames" (shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + N), extremely convenient when writing documentation. "Copy Pathnames" (shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + P) is similar. Another function I love is Copy Add (shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + C), which adds the selected files to the "To Paste List", letting you repeatedly press Ctrl + Shift + C (instead of Ctrl + C) until you are ready to paste.

For html heads there's "Copy hyperLink" (Ctrl + Shift + L), which fills the clipboard with a fully formed html href tag using the file name. In the same vein, Leo's brilliant "Copy img Link" (Ctrl + Shift + I) fills the clipboard with a complete html img tag for the image selected, complete with width and height.

Then there's Copy MD5 Checksums (Ctrl + Shift + 5) and a number of other copy-related functions, from the esoteric to plain cut-and-paste. The Paste File & Folder List feature is presented here.

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move Move button. In one click, this button moves items from the source (green display) to the destination (orange display). Again, no need to cut and paste! The shortcut is Ctrl + 2 (Ctr + 1 is for copying).

The pull-down gives access to the "Move As" function, which lets you change the names of the files you are moving. I also included a "Move Up" function, just a placeholder for a shortcut (Ctrl + Shift + U) that moves files "Up" to their parent directory—a task I find myself doing all the time.

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rename Rename button. Clicking this button opens the powerful rename panel (shortcut: Shift + F2, in honor of the universal F2 inline rename shortcut). In this panel, you rename a group of files in a single sweep. The "Find and Replace" mode lets you replace parts of a filename with other text you specify. You can also perform complex rename operations using the syntax known as "regular expressions" (regex).

If you don't know any regex, Opus has you covered with the intuitive macro renames. Read about macro renames on my page about DO12.

Macro renames

The rename panel has too many cool functions to list: stored presets, sequential numbering, metadata, an undo button and more. And for coders, the sky is the limit as there is an integrated rename scripting interface.

The Rename button's pull-down menu gives you access to convenient quick-rename functions: rename to uppercase (Ctrl + Alt + U), rename to lower case (Ctrl + Alt + L), Number Files, Make Web Safe, Time-Stamp Names, Convert Underscores to Spaces, Convert Dots to Spaces, and more. Note that the humble rename function (clicking on a file name or pressing F2) has powerful features of its own.

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delete Delete button. Sends items to the recycle bin. The pull-down gives you access to "Secure Wipe", which handily replaces a shredding utility, and other delete functions. The shortcut to the "Clear Quick Filter" function (shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + X) is handy when you want to clear the filter bar without moving your hands from the keyboard.

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convert Convert button. This buttons, which only appears when an image file is selected, opens the image conversion dialog. This is handy for resizing and converting batches of images when you don't have time to argue with Photoshop. The pull-down menu gives you access to quick conversion options: Rotate Left, Rotate Right and Make Thumbnails.

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zip Archive button Clicking this button opens the archive creation dialog, which has several formats (zip, rar, tgz, 7z, tbz2). RAR is a proprietary format, so encoding only works if you have WinRAR installed. The dialog has options such as splitting and password-protecting archives. The Archive button's pull-down menu has other archive functions such as "Files to Separate Archives" (handy for a long list of files that all need to be zipped separately). The Zip and Email Files function (shortcut: Shift + F11) is similar to the "Email Files" function (shortcut: F11) found in the Tools Menu. It zips and emails files straight from Opus, really fast—check it out! For email to work, make sure to enter your ISP's smtp server under Prefs (F12) / Email.

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properties Properties button. Clicking this button gives you the classic file properties system window (shortcut: Alt + Enter). Quite often, the Metadata pane (accessed via the pull-down menu or just F9) gives you even quicker access to the information you need. This pane also allows you to edit a file's metadata, which can be quite handy for a quick edit of an untagged audio track. The pane has "back" and "next" buttons that let you move between files. (For advanced metadata editing, I use an ancient program called Tag & Rename.)

The button's pull-down menu gives you access to other features, such as changing a file or folder's color in the display (a repeat from the Folder Options menu), setting its description, and modifying its attributes.

 Setting Up the Dear Opus Interface

1-6 of 6 Threads
October 26, 2019 - 10:18
Subject: Movie button doesn't work fully


I'm trying out your toolbars and I noticed that the Movie button only works for Search IMdb. Is there anything that I could do to fix it?
Reply to Stephen
October 26, 2019 - 16:01
Subject: RE: Movie button doesn't work fully

Hi Stephen, these buttons are designed to work if you've set up the Movie Filename database. http://www.dearopus.com/filename-database.html Can't recall if I have the latest version of the script on the Opus site, if it fails to work let me know and I'll have a look. Regards
Ron Hirsch – Boca Raton, FL
July 31, 2013 - 21:34
Subject: OCD file for Opus

Thanks for your email re my comments on providing a complete a OCB file. I understand your words on the OCB file. So how about this. Take a virgin install of Opus, and add in all the customizing options you have created, and offered to the users. Then create an OCB file for that, and offer it. Advise the users to create their own backup OCB file before activating the one from you, should they decide they prefer their own, which can readily be reactivated if they desire. Of course once they use the OCB file from you, each user would have to personalize the final result with his/her special needs et al.
Reply to Ron Hirsch
August 15, 2013 - 16:49
Subject: RE: OCD file for Opus

Hi Ron, Thank you for your last message and sorry for the delay. I spent the last two weeks on a chainsaw and wanted to be able to focus before replying to your constructive message. > Take a virgin install of Opus, and add in all the customizing options you have created That's a terrific idea, hadn't thought of that. After mulling it over, I see one stumbling block---maybe you'll have ideas to address that. Let's say I post an OCB file today, using a fresh install of The question is what to do when 10.6 comes out, and so forth. The toolbars will take advantage of new features, calling for a new OCB. A new OCB calls for the latest Opus version. Another fresh install is way too much work: to fully configure Opus from scratch takes me several hours. Upgrading the former fresh install is not an option, since the fresh install will have been a trial version (I don't have any licenses to spare for this purpose). I suppose further trial versions can be installed using virtual machines, but a new trial might not know what to do with an old OCB. I like your idea, definitely a big step in the right direction, but I don't yet see how to make it work over time. Maybe you'll see it more clearly than I can. Wishing you a beautiful day, Andy
Ron Hirsch – Boca Raton, FL
July 31, 2013 - 02:11
Subject: Your great material for Opus

Your material is the greatest since sliced bread. I've used Opus for many years, and there are still a wide range of features that I don't know exist.When I update, I check to save my settings et al, I miss out on lots, as often the menus change, and that complicates my use of help, and the paths to reach things, as things aren't always where they were in the prior version. You have offered lots of "pieces" for the Opus program. Have you considered offering the complete file for all your customizations, which could then presumably be used by anyone, via a clean install to get everything in there using the "Restore Settings" capability"? Of course personal elements woold have to be removed first. And I then think that you could easily charge a small amount ($5-$10) for that file. I know I would readily pay that for it.
Reply to Ron Hirsch
July 31, 2013 - 08:00
Subject: RE: Your great material for Opus

Hi Ron, Thank you for your very kind message—what a treat. Like you, I've always thought that sharing the whole configuration file (the OCB file) would be a wonderful way to go. But the more I looked into it, the more I became confused about where the "private" elements live, and what to take out. I started a forum thread on that topic, but it went nowhere. Then I realized that the feature set changes so fast that the recipe for "cleaning" an OCB file today might break tomorrow. You know how things can move around in the menus? More so in the OCB file. Then there are increasingly intricate features such as file tags (which means that Opus keeps a list of Your files matching a certain tag.) In short, too complex. :) Wishing you a fun week, Andy
October 26, 2012 - 05:16
Subject: 'Hidden gems'

I've been using DOpus for almost five years now and bought versions 9 and 10, and I really don't like the fact that there are all kinds of things that I could find useful, but just aren't made obvious anywhere. It's not my biggest niggle, but occasionally it is frustrating… To be fair, usually when I've found out a feature that does something I know I've wasted time on ;)
My tip - reading through the release notes and the details of bugs that were fixed is the best place to find out all kinds of things you didn't know existed.
Sabine – Germany
October 16, 2012 - 12:13
Subject: Thank you for your beautiful tutorial

Hi Andy, Thank you so much for your efforts to put this great in depth tutorial together. I am still relatively new to DOpus (since 3 weeks) and your site has been the first one of its kind I found (after the forum). I have it opened in my browser since then and used many of your tips. It helped me a lot to get familiar with DOpus and building my personal perfectly customized 'DOpus realm'. I just love DOpus and am wondering how I could live without it all my computer life before ;-)
Your tutorial is of invaluable help to get familiar with its complexity and learn to make use of all its functions. Thanks again for your great work!
Vince – Norhern Virginia
August 09, 2012 - 03:38
Subject: Thank you

Just a quick thank you to add to the others. I have been blissfully unaware of the depth of functionality that DO has to offer. I have dedicated this week to going through your tutorial and my excitement over this piece of software has taken on a new life. I show this to anyone who asks and it blows them away. Your configuration has increased my productivity, plain and simple. Thanks
Reply to Vince
August 09, 2012 - 09:14
Subject: Re: Thank you

Hi Vince, thank you so much for you message. It was a big treat to read it this morning. I had been wondering if anyone had been able to find the tutorial since a few weeks ago when I blew the original one it into a multi-page 'subsite'. Also thrilled to hear that my configuration is helping you get more out of your system. That's what it's about… Man, I REALLY LOVE OPUS. Warmest wishes, -Andy

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