Some of my Opus Preferences


Here are some Preferences that I really like and haven't mentioned earlier.


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Preventing the folder tree from shifting left and right as you navigate

Prefs / Folder Tree / Options / Horizontal Scrolling Style / Windows 7 (no scrolling or scrollbar at all)


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Preventing Opus listers from breeding like mad

With this setting, when you click a folder on the desktop, it opens in a new tab in the current lister.
Prefs / Launching Opus / Explorer Replacement / (checkbox at the bottom:) Open external folders in a new tab


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Improving navigation with folder shortcuts

If you often use two distant folders together, you may find it convenient to have them contain shortcuts to each other. By default, shortcuts are listed as files (.lnk extension) but you can change that.
Prefs / Folder Behaviour / Sort shortcuts to folders like folders.


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Improving selection method in the folder tree

In the folder tree, to select a folder with a short name, you have to focus the mouse on the name. Selection is easier if you can click anywhere on the folder's line in the tree.
Prefs / Folder Tree / Appearance / check "Full-row selection".


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Making it easier to work with Opus preference (.ocb), icon (.dis) and theme (.dlt) files

These files are actually zip files with a different extension. To work with these files, instead of renaming them each time, tell the Opus zip handler to open them!
Prefs / Zip Files/ Zip extensions / add .ocb;.dis;.dlt
Inside the ocb file, you will find lots of ocx files that are actually xml. Right-click one of them, Open With, then select your favorite text editor to open these files by default.


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Inline Renames: Controlling Selection and Cursor Position

Under File Operations / Inline Rename, there are options that control how your cursor works during inline renames.

I played with the "retain cursor position" option for some weeks, then decided to turn it off as it drove me mad. When you rename a list of files and use the up and down arrow keys to navigate from one file to the next, it keeps the cursor position in the file name, for instance between the fifth and sixth characters.

The "Default Selection Mode" option controls which portion of the name gets selected and where the cursor gets placed when you press F2. At the moment, instead of selecting the entire file name, I am playing with "Cursor at Start", as I find that I often only want to change a few characters in the stem of a file name. We'll see if this option also drives me mad after a while.

One new feature that I find useful in DO11 is that you can now specify new "break characters" where the cursor jumps when you use Ctrl + left / right arrows 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.


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Keeping flat view or checkbox modes when changing folders

When I select the flat view or the checkbox mode, I want to keep that mode as I shift folders, until I turn it off, which is easy with the Flat view button and the Checkbox button.
Prefs / Folders / Folder Behavior / uncheck the "cancel checkbox mode" and "cancel flat view mode" boxes.


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Tweaking the sort order of file names

In the phonebook, Alan Bulldozers comes before Alanis. What about in your file display?
This tweak does not live in the Preferences, but under the Folder Options button. (Yes, Opus needs therapy when it comes to folder options.) At the bottom of the display tab, I like keeping the "Word sort" box checked.

Another sort order tweak (new in DO11) is to tell Opus to 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 in DO10 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"


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Increasing control in the file display

When a file display is full, there is no empty space where to right-click. This is not a problem if clicking other fields than the name does not select files. While we're at it, turn on the option to go to the parent folder by double-clicking an empty space in the display (fields other than the name count as empty space). (To improve on this feature, look up the Lister Double Click script.)

At this stage, you can do away with the .. at the top of each lister, as you have many options to reach parent folders (Backspace, breadcrumbs etc.)

Prefs / File Display Modes / Details / File selection style: Full-width of the Name column.
Prefs / File Displays / Mouse / Double-click on the file display background / Go to parent folder.
Prefs / Folders / Folder Display / uncheck Show '..' parent item in folders


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Seeing the play time of audio and video files in the status bar


opus status bar

Prefs button (F12) / Display / Status Bar. In the text box, replace everything to the left of {rpad} with this:
{sf}/{tf} files, {sd}/{td} folders, selected: {sba} {h!}
(playtime: {smp3}){h!}

For details of the syntax, while you are on that Prefs page, click the question mark at the top right of the Prefs dialog box. Here is the code for my current status bar shown above, which is inspired by Leo's November 2011 status bar.


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Better readability for Metadata Pane

I like it with a classic yellow on dark blue.
Prefs / Search Box / Metadata Pane


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