Cool New Features That I'd Like to See in Opus

Directory Opus is beyond awesome. But even God can be improved, right? Otherwise why would we have mosquitoes and train wrecks?

On this page, I present some features I would love to see in Opus. Then I ramble about some features I'd like to see improved. Then, in the comment field, it's your time to agree, disagree, discuss, or add your own wish list!

Hmmm… This is embarrassing. With DO11 then DO12, Team Opus has pretty much cleaned out my list of wanted features!

Here are the few that remain.

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

Comparing Preferences with Default

Sometimes you want to know exactly what changes you've made in the Preferences menu compared with the default configuration. It would be sweet if you could generate a report showing how you've changed your prefs.

Multi-Part FTP

FTP can be painfully slow because of how ISPs shape our traffic. To transfer large files, I reluctantly use a small utility called BitKinex. I would much rather have multi-part FTP built right into Opus.

Existing Features that could be Improved

Team Opus keeps coming up with new features and improvements. Not only is that kind of work never finished, but everyone has their own ideas about what features would improve their file manager.

This is a large topic, and I'll just throw in my two cents about two places where I could see a little improvement. (I guess that makes a total of four cents.)

Two Cents on The Rename Panel
The rename panel in DO12 was a terrific improvement. As a user of regex, I always loved the regex presets. Now we can arrange presets into families, and in many cases the new and easy-to-use macros will be even faster than using a regular expressions. Then for coders, rename scripts are beautifully integrated, so the sky is the limit.

Having paid compliments to the macro model, I'm sure it's a work-in-progress and there are places where the macros can be improved:
- finer grain while selecting. For instance, how would you select text between the first and the second dash?
- operations on selected text. Once you've selected the text between two dashes, how do you capitalize just that part?

The macro model is original and it works perfectly for simple renames. However, and I may be wrong, in the long run it seems to me that it will be hard to achieve the same renames with macros as can be achieved with the paradigm that currently dominates standalone renaming software—a pipeline of operations in selected chunks of the file name.

And maybe that's okay: just as the image viewer will never be Photoshop, the rename panel will never be Gillmeister Rename Expert or (on OSX) Name Mangler and A Better Finder Rename.

Two Cents on The Utility Panel
The manual says that the utility panel "acts as a container for several different functions". One possible translation is that the utility panel is a generic box for functions for which the Opus coders haven't yet had time to design a dedicated GUI. That multi-function container must be convenient from a software development standpoint, and for users it's certainly wonderful to have the functionality even if a pretty GUI isn't quite ready. Nevertheless, from from a user experience standpoint, I find the utility panel to be the weakest part of Opus. I'm sure the developers are aware of it, and I'll patiently wait until they have time to make GUIs for some of the features it hosts.

Here are three functions in the utility panel I would definitely use more if they had a better interface:
✱ The Synchronize function
✱ The Duplicate Files function
✱ The Find function

The utility panel also gives access to several logs (such as the Undo Log). For these logs, I find the utility panel to be an appropriate interface.

What About You?

Well, that's it for my wish list. Feel free to contribute your own "wishlist thoughts" below.

 Opus Resources

1-9 of 9 Threads
Paul – London
January 04, 2019 - 23:21
Subject: File previews

Is there any way to add file previews of lesser-known products. I am currently using Sefif Affinity Designer (a vector drawing programme) which it would be handy to preview.
November 08, 2017 - 02:01
Subject: Scrolling buttons

I would LOVE to see the scrollable button banks just like Directory Opus on the Amiga had. I LOVED that feature!
David C Stevens – Berlin, New Jersey USA
July 07, 2014 - 15:31
Subject: The Other Manual in PDF

Do you have your wonderful DOpus 11 "The Other Manual" in an off line version or in a PDF? Thank You. David
Reply to David C Stevens
July 27, 2014 - 13:31
Subject: RE: The Other Manual in PDF

Hi David, Sorry about the delay. I don't have the website as a PDF. Do you happen to have an ebook reader? There is a Firefox plugin called GrabMyBooks that is really good at making an ebook out of web pages. Wishing you a fun weekend, Andy
Bob Gregory – United States
March 31, 2014 - 08:18
Subject: Awesome job

I have also read the 800+ page manual for Opus 11 and still can't remember half of what I have read. "Dear Opus" helps me remember the best parts of Opus, those parts that most users will want and need to know. Thank you for an excellent job creating this site. It will be most valuable for all Opus users, especially the new ones. Job well done.
January 31, 2014 - 04:56
Subject: faster search

Built in fast incremental search similar to Everything (voidtools). Current search is slow on large disks.
maarten vd berg – netherlands
December 15, 2013 - 02:15
Subject: history of text which I typed in search boxes

I miss history of items I typed in search boxes. Like the searchbox of the google toolbar for windows explorer. Would like to be able to close the utility panel with the ESC key.
Deb – Illinois
September 10, 2013 - 07:55
Subject: Search Form

I love your "unofficial manual"! I upgraded to version 10 last January, but never installed it. Your description of the features and your toolbar customization info has made the difference— I've now installed the upgrade on 2 of my 3 computers. However, as I move from one computer to another, I recall things I read on your site that I have trouble finding again. Can you add a search box, so I don't have to re-read through everything? Thanks much
Reply to Deb
September 10, 2013 - 09:03
Subject: RE: Search Form

Hi Deb, Thank you for writing. I was sure I had a search form there, but I had forgotten, thanks for reminding me. It's there now, in the right column, above the social links. Wishing you a fun week Andy
April 25, 2013 - 15:16
Subject: Broken Link

Hi. Just thought you might like to know the link to the regex tutorial on this page doesn't work. Thanks.
Reply to Wally
April 25, 2013 - 22:42
Subject: Re: Broken Link

Wow, thank you! That's now fixed. :)
mick – UK
November 15, 2012 - 13:38
Subject: Utility panel

It would be great to have a floating utility panel.

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.