Integrating Emacs in your file explorer

Sometimes I have files that I want to open with Emacs, but I haven’t set the program to open to Emacs (for example, a log-file or .emacs). I found a nice hack for Windows machines in the internet (http://www.johndcook.com/emacs_windows.html#explorer).
Just create a file emacs.reg with the following text and adjust the path to your settings.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\Shell\Open In Emacs\Command]
@
@=”\”C:\\bin\\Emacs-23.1\\bin\\emacsclientw.exe\” -a \”C:\\bin\\Emacs-23.1\\bin\\runemacs.exe\” \”%1\””
Before you double click on this file, save your registry (you never know…). After double clicking you will have a extra option in your right-click menu in your explorer, which starts Emacs, if Emacs is not running and start the client if it is already running.

Filtering views and other nice features of my explorer replacement

Windows Explorer is good, but it does not have many features that makes my computer life easier. One thing I don’t like is that you can’t filter your view in an efficient way. Take for example this directory with my LaTeX files for one of my lectures:
 
 
If I want to open one of my tex-files, I have to search for it, or sort the folder. Directory Opus (DOpus), my windows explorer replacement, handles this very nicely.  Here is the same folder using DOpus:
 
 
Now, that is a difference! I have a global filter, that hides all the other stuff. Just change your preferences as follows:
 
 
Another nice feature is the filter bar:
 
 
When I choose “.tex” my folder looks like this:
 
 
 
But this is not all. You can highlight, change the background, etc. using your own filters. For example, I want to have all recently changed files to be highlighted. This allows me to see with one quick glance, which files changed, and should be committed to my subversion repository (Of course, if you use TortoiseSvn like I do, you see the red exclamation mark, but new files aren’t marked). In DOpus this would look like this:
 
DOpus is not free, but it is not very expensive. Furthermore, DOpus is already 22 years on the market. Recently, they started offering a light version that only costs about 30$ (but doesn’t have all the nice features of the Pro version).
 
It might be worth considering this explorer replacement…
 
 
 

Directory Opus: A great Windows Explorer replacement

I experimented with different replacements for the Windows Explorer. I tried several free replacements, but finally decided to buy Directory Opus (“Opus”). It can be found at http://www.gpsoft.com.au/index.html. It costs about 90 US Dollar. It has a manual of over 700 pages, so you can probably imagine that it will have many features. I have been using Opus for several years now, but never took the time of configuring it properly for my needs. Yesterday I discovered a nice article by Andy  (http://www.asiteaboutnothing.net/c_dopus.html) who shows how to make Opus more user-friendly. It is a great article and I implemented almost all his ideas.
 
Here is a screenshot of my normal Opus view with some of its features highlighed
 
dopus1.png (800x676 pixels)
 
There are several display modes possible (Windows Explorer Style, Dual Horizontal (my favorite), Dual Vertical, Commander, etc.).
One of the “killer” features of Opus is the possibility of using tabs. I have my most often used folders as tabs (see callout in the figure). I now can easily jump to these folders. Another nice feature is the grouped listing of files (lower pane) . You can adjust the background colors (the orignal background color is white). More features are the possibility of defining your own menubars, macros and easy filtering.
 
A nice feature is the flat view. In this view all the files in a directory and its subdirectories are listed. The next figure shows the flat view in which I filtered for all the files with the extension “gms”. I often use the flat view to clean up a directory by grouping all the files according to their extension and then sorting them according to their svn status.
.
 
As you can see, I added a colum svn-status, so I can see if I have to commit my files (TortoiseSVN, the shell extension for Subversion nicely integrates with Opus: You can see the status also by looking at the file icons). I use the colums SVN Status for sorting according status. In one of the usergroup posts (http://resource.dopus.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=13293&p=68105&hilit=button+svn#p68105), is a post with how to add buttons in the menu bar with subversion commands (see first figure for the buttons). This allows me one click to commit, update or check the status of a file or directory (all subversion commands can be found by using right click too).
 
You can download a trial version for 60 days. There is a 32 and 64bit Version. Unfortunately, I don’t earny a penny if you buy Opus…