17 December 2008

Directory Opus version

Directory Opus version - December 17th 2008

A free update for all Directory Opus 9 users is now available for download from GP Software.

Bugs fixed / minor changes:

  • Fixed problem multiple-line functions that modify the file selection (e.g. by calling the Select command) - it was possible in some cases for the first file to be processed twice.
  • The Compatibility Files feature now supports the Program Files (x86) folder in Vista/XP x64.
  • The Go SWITCHPATH command now supports aliases. The SWITCHPATH argument now supports more than one alternative path, to enable cycling through as many paths as desired. E.g. Go C:\ SWITCHPATH D:\ E:\ F:\ would cycle through the C, D, E and F drives.
  • Shift+F10 now correctly brings up the context menu in the Folder Tree.
  • Fixed a problem where some images converted from TIFF to JPG would not be recognised in Photoshop.
  • Fixed several problems with Drag & Drop in terms of the feedback cursor and behaviour on drop. The cursor you see should now correctly indicate the drop action in all cases.
  • Drag & Drop from SmartFTP to Opus now works.
  • Drag & Drop in List Mode now lets you scroll the list to the left or right by hovering at the edge of the window.
  • Fixed a problem with the Viewer Plugin SDK where paletted images provided to Opus did not correctly respect their transparency settings.
  • The Keep On Top function in the Lister window menu did not work correctly; fixed.
  • In Thumbnails mode, selecting a file by pressing the space bar now updates the viewer pane correctly.
  • The Copy EXTRACT HERE command now works correctly on folders as well as archives.
  • Fixed a problem whereby input focus could be lost after deleting a folder if there was a text file viewed in the viewer pane.
  • The Copy MOVEWHENSAME function did not work correctly between sub-directories under junction points.
  • The command sequence {sourcepath|..|nopath} now correctly gives the name of the parent folder rather than the current folder.
  • External commands run through the FAYT field (by typing >) now have their current directory set correctly.
  • Ctrl+Home/End now works correctly in Power/Details mode.
  • Fixed a problem with File Descriptions when used with files in a junction folder on a network drive.
  • The Flat View setting in Lister Styles now works correctly.
  • Fixed a problem where activating a style could create duplicate folder tabs in some cases.
  • The Author and Keywords columns now work correctly with recent Office documents.
  • Icon Sets stored in /dopusglobaldata are now correctly exported to USB.
  • Icon mode range-selection points are now correctly updated when files are added or removed from the list.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur if you dragged the Control Panel icon to a File Collection.
  • If a folder is open in a Lister and that folder is moved, the Lister now automatically updates to show the new location.
  • Button icon definitions now support environment variables.
  • ActiveX plugin: Fix for SWF (etc.) files not displaying if viewed directly from UNC paths.
  • Added support for Photoshop (PSD) CMYK and 8-bit indexed images.
  • Fixed several minor cosmetic bugs.

22 November 2008

FAQ: Change the color of the Name (or sorted) column

A new FAQ has been added. (List of all FAQs)

Change the color of the Name (or sorted) column

If you have changed your file display colors or background images but you can't work out why one of your columns -- usually the Name column -- is still using a different color then read on.

Go to Settings -> Preferences and open the Display section on the left.

  • The Display - Fields page:

    The Fields page is where you can set the colors and font styles used by specific columns. (For the purposes of this FAQ you can think of "columns" and "fields" as the same things.)

    (Aside: There's also an option here to reverse the default sort order of specific columns. In particular, this gives you the choice of sorting by newest or oldest the first time you click on the date columns.)

    At the top of the list there is a special entry called Current sort field. It's the only one enabled by default. That is where the sorted column's color comes from and thus where the Name column's color usually comes from, since the display is usually sorted by name.

    You can turn off the sort column's color by clearing the Custom color and font settings enabled checkbox. Or you can change the color by clicking on the Background color box.

  • The Display - Options page:

    On the Options page you'll find settings which let you specify how the various file display colors are blended together. The most important option here, in terms of the column colors, is the first one: Blend file background colors with background. Experiment with that to change the way the column colors are blended with the overall background.

    The other settings are worth experimenting with as well to see what looks best to you.

27 October 2008

Directory Opus version

Directory Opus version - October 27th 2008

A free update for all Directory Opus 9 users is now available for download from GP Software.

Bugs fixed / minor changes:

  • Fixed problem with File Collections introduced in which made it impossible to create new collections.
  • Fixed some duplicated hotkeys in the default Go menu; updated labels to the modern Vista forms (English version only -- 'Computer' instead of 'My Computer', etc.).
  • Added better error reporting to the Configuration Backup function.
  • Creating a shortcut to a File Collection now sets the icon for the new shortcut correctly.

25 October 2008

NVidia driver update tip if you get display weirdness

(If you don't want to see off-topic stuff like this then use the on-topic filter/label.)

No idea if this will help other people of if it was just my system but when I updated from some fairly old NVidia drivers to 178.24 a couple of weird things happened with my monitors.

TLDR: It seems the drivers apply your old screen-mode/monitor settings incorrectly with some odd results. Easy to fix.

1) After the first reboot the left monitor would not display anything at all once Windows had booted. It displayed a black screen and a message saying it was going into power saving mode except it never went into it.

Forcing the OS to put the monitors to sleep and then wake them up seemed to solve that, luckily.

(You can trigger the power-off immediately using a little tool I wrote a while back: "screensave.exe /poweroff" from http://www.pretentiousname.com/miscsoft/index.html#ScreenSave )

(The monitor that wouldn't show anything is my "primary" monitor where the NVidia control panel, command prompts, start menu, etc. all appear. I was running blind. Luckily I had mIRC set to open on the 2nd monitor and remembered my tool was installed and remembered that mIRC has a /run command. Luckily it worked!)

(NVidia really should make their control panel open on the screen the mouse is on, FFS.)

2) A bit later I noticed that everything on the left monitor was "wibbling" around, like scan lines were moving left and right in certain places. If you've ever put a mobile phone next to CRT and had it ring, it's like that. Except these are TFT displays hooked up via DVI.

This was really weird since swapping the cables over (at the video card end) moved the wibbling to the other monitor. So it was the graphics card, not the cables or monitors or interference from something near one of the monitors... Weird.

However, I solved that as well. At least I think I have, touch wood. If it happens to you open the control panel and change the screen resolution to something else. Apply that and then set it back to what it was.

When I did that for the screen with the problem it seemed to work and the problem then moved to the other screen. Doing the same thing for that screen seems to have made both of them fine now.

23 October 2008

Directory Opus version

Directory Opus version - October 23rd 2008

A free update for all Directory Opus 9 users is now available for download from GP Software.

Bugs fixed / minor changes:

  • Fixed problem with Advanced Filters where the value of a Size clause would not be correctly saved in some cases.
  • Fixed problem where the drag/drop menu for folders dragged from the tree with the right mouse button would not include all context menu items in some cases.
  • It is now possible to override the Use internal picture viewer option on a per-filetype basis by configuring the dblclk event.
  • Fixed a problem where .IFF files would always be identified as Amiga IFF on double-click even if they weren't.
  • Drag and drop from the third-party Internet Download Manager program now works.
  • Fixed range selection issue in List and other Icon modes (e.g. when a key has been pressed to jump to the first file beginning with that letter, pressing Shift-End or Shift-Home now selects the correct range.)
  • Moving a folder to a junction folder on the same drive, that points to a different drive, now works correctly.
  • The Dynamic Thumbnails sizer now correctly disappears if a dual-display Lister's only thumbnail display is closed when it is inactive.
  • Fixed rendering glitch with the 'auto-select previous folder' option with long folder names in Thumbnails mode.
  • Fixed rendering glitch in Theme dialog when theme names contain descenders (j, y, etc.).
  • Fixed problem with the Go command – if the Go OPENCONTAINER NEWTAB=nofocus command caused a new tab to be opened, the tree would sync with the new tab even though focus was not switched to it.
  • Fixed incorrect text in Replace confirmation requester when using the Image ROTATE command.
  • The Set Description for files within folders option in the Set Description dialog now works.
  • Fixed problem where the CreateFolder command could not create collections if the Collections folder was displayed under the Desktop in the tree.
  • The Clipboard is no longer cleared after a Cut & Paste operation if its contents have already changed.
  • Fixed rendering issue in Thumbnails/Icon modes with single-click selection enabled.
  • Fixed a problem that could cause Opus to crash if the Customize dialog was opened from the tray menu while Help was showing.
  • Copying multiple files plus sub-collections from a collection now works reliably.
  • Fixed potential 100% CPU loop error on malformed PNG files.
  • Fixed support for MP3 thumbnails when the thumbnail data is "unsynced".
  • The folder colors drop-down in the Add Folder dialog in Preferences Folder Colors section now works under x64.
  • Fixed a problem in MultiView plugin that could cause a crash when viewing files in zip files or on FTP sites.
  • Copy MAKELINK now supports the AS argument to specify the name of the new link.
  • Fixed crash in line rename if the string was deleted completely and then enter pressed.
  • Fixed problem with FTP passwords being stored unencrypted in tab groups.
  • Fixed problem with FTP passwords being displayed in tab tooltip for a locked tab.
  • Fixed rendering issue with glass status bars.
  • Updated ActiveX plugin.

9 October 2008

ActiveX Plugin

An update to the ActiveX plugin, version, can be downloaded from its page.

There's only one small change but it might be important to you if people send you Office 2007 documents and you're using an earlier version.

Changes in v3.1.0.7 (9/October/2008):

  • Requires Directory Opus or above.
  • You can now view Office 2007 documents if you have Office 2000, Office XP or Office 2003 and have installed the Office Compatibility Pack.
  • Note: If you have Office 2000 then this only applies to Word .docx files. Excel .xlsx and PowerPoint .pptx files still won't work in the viewer unless you have Office XP, 2003 or above.

30 September 2008

Have your say: Preferences tidy-up

I've just posted a list of ideas for re-organising parts of Opus's Preferences window. Before formally submitting the list to GPSoftware I thought I'd share it with the community in case anyone wants to add to or refine it.

If you'd like to have your say then please join the thread over at the Resource Centre:

(Update Jan/2010: Thread has been archived now. If you have any feedback feel free to post it at the forum.)

28 September 2008

Solid State Drives won't speed up your compiles

NOTE: This was written in 2008. SSD hardware is better now...

(If you don't want to see off-topic stuff like this then use the on-topic filter.)

(Since this was written, affordable SSD tech has improved a lot, so it may no longer be true.)

I bought one of the new SATA2 solid state drives (SSD) in the hope that it would speed up compilation of the project I'm working on. The project is a large and complex financial system. I've been given quite a powerful machine (quad core Xeon, four gig of RAM) to work with but compiling the beast still takes about 1.5 hours.

With the normal HDD I heard a lot of disk thrashing. By default Visual Studio was compiling four projects in parallel (one per CPU) and it seemed to build faster (or at least no slower) if reduced that to two. I thought that the HDD's seek time may be a bottleneck when those parallel compilers/linkers were writing so much data in parallel. SSDs have great seek times so I ordered one to see if it would speed things up.

It didn't. At least not this particular SSD (a new model which only just came out), with the particular project I'm working on and the hardware it was combined with. It didn't make things any better or worse. I tried moving the temp directory to the SSD as well (since Visual Studio writes a lot of data to TEMP) but that made no difference either.

I took the SSD home and tried it with some of my Opus-related projects (plugins etc.) in case it fared better with different hardware. The SSD seemed faster in my home machine than my work machine, probably due to a better SATA2 controller (or maybe a less imposing real-time anti-virus scanner?), but it made no difference to compilation times compared to my existing HDDs. (That said, I've got quite fast HDDs.)

I've got no benchmarks to show because it never made any difference whether the SSD was used or not.

I'm just posting this to warn people not to waste money on an SSD if the aim is to speed things up. You'll get better value out of a fast HDD.

I've heard that some SSDs don't even use less power than laptop HDDs, on average. (Since they don't have a low-power state they are always on. HDDs use more power when active but when they are inactive they use less. So, if what I read was correct, HDDs use less power on average unless you are reading/writing a lot of data.)

This isn't to say that SSDs are useless. They're silent and don't produce heat (which means less fan noise and less power spent on spinning fans). The one I have seems about as fast as an HDD, too, and it's probably difficult to get 2.5" HDDs at this kind of speed. I'd like one in my laptop. (Sadly, my laptop only takes PATA drives so I can't put the SDD I bought into it.) Just don't buy an SSD thinking that the improved seek times will benefit your desktop because chances are they won't.


It's an OCZ Core Series V2 drive. They've only just come out this month (yes, just a few months after the previous generation) and I failed to find reviews that compare them to other drives, or the older Core Series ones. Maybe other types of SSD are better. A friend posted me an interesting article showing that the OCZ Core Series (not V2) and some other SSD models had some big problems due to the controller chip they used but I don't know if the V2 uses the same chip or corrects those problems.

Someone also said that compilation isn't disk intensive so the whole idea was stupid... Uh, it can be disk intensive and seek intensive, especially with the amount of data both written and read by four huge debug builds running in parallel. (Large PDB and SBR files are read and written. Large binaries, too, and all the header files, source files and lib files have to be read, of course.) (It can also be memory and CPU intensive. Where the bottleneck is will depend on the project and other hardware.)

25 September 2008

Directory Opus version

Directory Opus version - September 25th 2008

A free update for all Directory Opus 9 users is now available for download from GP Software.

Bugs fixed / minor changes:

  • Fixed crash that could be caused by reading folders containing certain types of TTF fonts with the Description / Font name column on
  • Fixed problem viewing partially corrupted jpeg files (will now try to display as much as possible of the file)
  • A command that combines Select ALLFILES with Copy ZIP now correctly includes all files in the folder – previously the first file would be omitted.
  • Fixed cosmetic problem with focus item in List mode with file color blending enabled
  • FTP: Fix for Linksys NAS server returning illegal 451 error for remove directory command

22 September 2008

Directory Opus version

Directory Opus version - September 22nd 2008

A free update for all Directory Opus 9 users is now available for download from GP Software.

Bugs fixed / minor changes:

  • Fixed crash introduced in when using the Copy ZIP SENDMAIL function (and some other functions). Sorry about that! :)
  • Fixed cosmetic problem with long labels overwriting other columns in List mode when auto-size columns turned off.
  • The Power mode drag-and-drop configuration option for ‘immediate action’ now works correctly.
  • Updated ActiveX Plugin to Version
    • Improved handling/restoration of input focus when you change files while inline renaming and the ActiveX viewer is open.
    • Increased the amount of time that the plugin waits for focus to be taken from 5 seconds to 60 seconds.

(The ActiveX Plugin update really happened in; it was just missing from the change log.)

20 September 2008

How to view Open Office documents

You can use Open Office to view documents within Directory Opus via the ActiveX plugin.

To do this you must include the ActiveX Control option when installing Open Office. It is not part of the default install.

With that installed you can add the Open Office file extensions (and the Microsoft Office ones as well, if you like) to the Internet Explorer part of the ActiveX + Preview + Office + Web plugin's configuration.

18 September 2008

Directory Opus version

Directory Opus version - September 18th 2008

A free update for all Directory Opus 9 users is now available for download from GP Software.

Bugs fixed / minor changes:

  • The Properties command did not correctly display a multi-file Properties dialog if multiple files were selected.
  • The Remove All function in the Find panel did not correctly clear the list of locations.
  • When viewing fonts in thumbnails mode, an incorrect font could sometimes be used (e.g. a Serif font would sometimes be shown instead of a Sans-Serif font).
  • A line in an InfoTip definition can now be completely suppressed even if it doesn't actually display any fields itself. For example, {!coords}Location:{!} will display a line saying Location: if the image contains GPS EXIF tags, and will be completely hidden if it doesn't.
  • With two or more toolbars on the one line, the first button of all but the first and last toolbars would be slightly cut-off on the left hand side.
  • Fixed a problem where Opus could get confused about the shift-select start/end position when pressing Home/End followed by Shift-Home/End.
  • The Capitalize All Words Rename function now correctly handles accented / non-Latin characters.
  • Several problems have been fixed to do with image handling:

    • Scaling greyscale RLE8 bitmaps resulted in garbage.
    • The viewer now allows cropping of RLE4 and RLE8 bitmaps.
    • Scaling 1-bpp bitmaps forced the colour palette to black & white.
    • Fixed problems cropping 1-bpp, 4-bpp and "565" 16-bpp bitmaps.
    • Higher quality scaling of some indexed-color image types.
    • Fixed indexed color bitmaps having their palettes quantized to 16-bpc after some operations (e.g. rotation of RLE4 / RLE8 compressed images).
    • The viewer's Save As dialog now remembers the type you last used even after you close the viewer. The Save As dialog also now sets the initial file extension to match the initial type.
    • Fixed invalid bitmaps being saved if the input was RLE compressed. For example, some bitmaps could not be set as the Desktop wallpaper using Opus.
    • Fixed clipboard image copy not working if the viewer was set to Tile mode and was exactly the right size for the image.
    • Fixed problem that could cause some TIFFs to not be read.
    • Reject BMP files with invalid compression/bitcount combinations.
    • Fixed numerous problems converting low bit-depth images between formats.
    • Opus now saves PNG images using indexed-color mode, with the lowest required bit-depth, if there are few enough colors in the image that it makes sense to do so.
    • Opus now saves GIF images using the minimum color palette based on the number of colors actually used in the image.
    • Fixed image-conversion error number being overwritten by clean-up code.

  • Opus now supports legacy ID3v2.1 MP3 tags (e.g. written by very old versions of iTunes).
  • Fixed more problems when @set is combined with {sourcepath} in functions.
  • In Print Folder, the date/time column is now padded for 12 hour time formats to make sure it lines up when printing to a text file.
  • When the font of the Styles toolbar is set very small (e.g. 6 point) there is no longer an unwanted line displayed underneath the tabs.
  • The Paste AS command now allows you to specify the full path of the file to paste into when pasting clipboard text / images.
  • When two or more Toolbars share a row their buttons are now expanded so they are all the same height/width as the largest buttons on the row.
  • When dragging and dropping, the Target tooltip is no longer drawn over the top of the drag image in Vista.
  • Dropping files on Go BACK or Go FORWARD buttons (or those generated by Go BACKLIST etc) now works correctly.
  • Dragging a .dcf file directly from a zip file to a toolbar (in Customize mode) now works.
  • The Folder Tree Collapse non-selected branches option now works on the Favorites section of the tree.
  • Zip file extensions that have been hidden from the Tree are now really hidden.
  • The mycomputericon option for the Breadcrumbs field no longer causes the FTP site name to be hidden when on an FTP site.
  • Fixed graphical glitch in Collection Properties window when editing the collection's description.
  • When dragging a button without a label to a folder in Customize mode, the file created now correctly has a .dcf file extension.
  • Fixed refresh problems when renaming files to sub-folders (using "/") in inline rename mode.
  • Fixed quotes problem with + sign in {dlgchoose} command.
  • Fixed a problem that could cause MSN Contacts listed in the Contacts pane to double-up at times.
  • The EXIF Rotation option in the Image Convert function did not work correctly for images from some cameras.

The new ActiveX plugin (see the next post) is also included.

ActiveX Plugin

A minor update to the ActiveX plugin, version, can be downloaded from its page.

Changes in v3.1.0.6 (18/September/2008):

  • Requires Directory Opus or above.
  • Improved handling/restoration of input focus when you change files while inline renaming and the ActiveX viewer is open.
  • Increased the amount of time that the plugin waits for focus to be taken from 5 seconds to 60 seconds.

29 August 2008

Maya IFF Plugin

A new plugin allows you to view Maya .IFF files in the Opus viewer pane.

(Note that Maya IFF files are differnet to the Amiga IFF ILBM format which Opus handles internally. The plugin will not break IFF ILBM support and once installed you can view both types of IFF files without doing anything special.)

Go to the plugin's webpage for more information:


23 August 2008

Directory Opus version

A free update for all Directory Opus 9 users is now available for download from GP Software.

Bugs fixed / minor changes:

User Interface:

  • The Find panel's multiple folder selection system is now easier to understand. The Remove Folder button now only removes the selected item from the list and does not clear the path field as well. The Remove All Folders drop-down command now clears the entire path list and resets the path field to the lister's source path.
  • The Select Icon dialog's drop-down MRU list is now limited to 10 items instead of growing indefinitely.
  • The path field at the bottom of the Select Destination dialog now updates when an item is selected from the Recent or Favorites drop-downs.
  • It was possible to select text in the Output Window (Script or FTP) and delete it by pressing the delete key - this has been fixed.
  • The Output Window can now be closed by pressing Escape.
  • Fix for files larger than 2 gigabytes sorting incorrectly in the Find Window.

Listers & Display Modes:
  • Fix for incorrect alpha-blending of some toolbar/menu icons (e.g. Favorites).
  • Fix for crash which could occur when double-clicking an already selected folder in Thumbnails and Icon modes.
  • Fix for incorrect item spacing with some fonts in List and Icon modes.
  • The Rename INLINE=ext (and other parameters) command now works in Thumbnails, List and Icon modes.
  • Listers showing collections which are deleted will now notice and go to the collection root.
  • Fixed a problem where CD drive icons in some places would not update correctly when the disc was changed. Also improved handling of folder icon changes in folder tabs, breadcrumbs bars and folder trees.
  • Fix for problem with url/lnk targets not being displayed in the Description column on folder read.
  • Copying file paths to the clipboard is much faster, especially with large numbers of files.
  • If you select multiple files and push Enter the files are now launched in series instead of in parallel. (In particular, this works around a bug in Microsoft Word where it would open several empty windows if it was not already running and you launched multiple .doc files in this way.)

Flat View:
  • If the "Automatically sort new files" option was disabled, in FlatView (Grouped) mode items would appear at the bottom of the list making them appear to be in the wrong location. They are now correctly positioned at the end of the appropriate branch.
  • Fixed a problem with FlatView listers viewing a junction folder not correctly noticing file changes within that junction.
  • Fixed a problem when attempting to drag folders to their own parents in FlatView.

Folder Tree:
  • The Folder Tree now correctly detects changes to the Public (All Users) Desktop folder.
  • Newly created zip files are now sorted correctly in the Folder Tree (if Zip files are displayed in the tree).
  • Fix for zip and folder icons at the Desktop level sometimes disappearing when their corresponding items were modified.
  • Fix for painting artifacts in the Folder Tree when horizontally scrolling a full-row selection tree.
  • Fix for painting artifacts in the Folder Tree if folder tree has both colour and image set.
  • Fix for painting artifacts in Folder Tree if background image is set and new items are added to an open branch of the tree.

Context Menus:
  • Fix for TortoiseSVN 1.5 icons not appearing on the context menu under Windows XP.
  • Fix for only some files being added to the zip if the Add-to-Zip context menu item was used from Explorer's Search Results and the files were not all in the same folder.
  • Compatibility fix for certain context menu items (convertXtoDVD and HHD Hex Editor Neo) which pass 0 index to GetData instead of -1 as per the API documentation. Explorer allows/ignores 0 so Opus does as well now.
  • The "working directory" is now supplied to context menu extensions, where possible. (i.e. When it's a real directory and all selected items have the same parent.)
  • Fix for some context menu handlers when files are right-clicked in Flat-View or Collections.
  • Slight speed-up for context menu generation.
  • Fixed generic context menus being used instead of Opus's custom ones when folders or zips that were direct children of Desktop were right-clicked in the folder tree.
  • The Desktop folder now has a context menu when right-clicking on a folder tab.
  • Fixed potential crash with some context menu extensions when certain Filetype CONTEXTMENU commands were placed on toolbars. (Some context menu extensions don't cope with being initialised without a file list. Opus now avoids this.)
  • The ContextMenu command can now work on folders as well as files.
  • Fix for CryptoForge context menu not working correctly.

Status bars:
  • Status bars with customized background images or colors are now drawn using the current Windows theme (visual style) instead of the old Win95-style borders and grip.
  • When the resize grip overlaps part of the status bar (due to a thin window and/or wide status bar) the status bar elements now fade out towards the grip instead of being cut off abruptly.
  • On Vista, glass status bars (when enabled) have a themed resize grip instead of the old Win95-style grip.
  • Fix for incorrect alpha-blending of icons on Vista glass status bars (when enabled).
  • Glass status bar are now turned off for maximized windows. This is for aesthetic reasons and to avoid the difficulty of choosing custom text colors that are visible on both light and dark backgrounds (since glass goes very dark when maximized).
  • Glass status bars are now slightly "frosted" for better readability and to make the glow around text more subtle.
  • Text on glass status bars is now more similar to titlebar text in terms of default color & glow.
  • Bar graph frames on glass with f=2 are now solid white instead of black. New arguments f=4 and f=5 force solid black and white frames, respectively, regardless of glass.
  • New bar graph frame argument f=6 produces an indented border, the opposite of f=1.

  • Fix for left-hand, "themed" toolbars on Vista not adjusting their background when the status bar was toggled.
  • Fixed Vista rendering problem with truncated toolbar chevrons.
  • Under Vista, the "View Help" in the Help menu when on the desktop did not work.
  • Under Vista, RMB drag no longer incorrectly shows the no-drag cursor.
  • Under Vista, the Go /Desktop User XXX command now works correctly.

  • Fix for Explorer Replacement mode in x64 version - previously Opus was not trapping calls to Explorer made from 32 bit applications (e.g. Firefox).
  • The Windows Messenger 'Send File' function (Copy WINMSGR) did not work correctly under x64.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when reading Amiga icons on an x64-based system.

  • The Explorer Replacement exclusion list is now correctly checked even when Opus isn't already running.
  • Fix for Image Preferences where changing the "When Shared" setting to "Tiled" did not take effect until Opus was restarted (except for the "Standard" images where it worked immediately).
  • Fix for the Display - Images page in Preferences affecting some Color settings when reset to defaults.
  • Fix for the Folder Tabs background color always coming from Preferences, whether or not "use system color" was set, if an image was used for the Folder Tabs background. (The background color could have been wrong for images that didn't fill the Folder Tab strip or for images that were alpha blended with the background color.)
  • Fix for Office2003-style toolbar "custom" color gradient boxes being the wrong way around in Preferences.
  • Fix for Office2003-style toolbar non-"custom" colors overriding the "custom" color choices if the non-"custom" colors had ever been changed from the defaults.

Toolbars, Customization & Commands:
  • Fix for buttons imported from .DCF files always having their icons turned off if they used named internal icons.
  • It is now possible to display \t in a button label by escaping the slash - i.e. \\t.
  • Having the Copy WINMSGR=list command on a toolbar or menu now works even if the contact list has not been opened.
  • Dropping a drive from My Computer on to a toolbar in Customize mode now correctly creates a Go button.
  • Fixed a problem with commands that tried to set a variable using @set with the value {sourcepath$}.
  • The Set FULLROWSELECT command now allows you to toggle between 'select' and 'display' mode by specifying both options (e.g. Set FULLROWSELECT=Toggle,Select,Display).
  • Fixed a problem where a function with multiple CreateFolder commands with the READAUTO flag set could cause a dummy file entry to be displayed in the list.
  • Fix for label position being ignored with several types of generated buttons when used outside of context menus (i.e. on toolbars/menus):
    • Open-With menu
    • Sent-To menu
    • Shell-New menu
    • Context Menu (i.e. Filetype CONTEXTMENU on a toolbar)
    • Namespace Menus
    • Copy-to-Collection menu
    • Windows Messenger contacts menu
    • History, Back and Forward lists
    • TabGroup list
    • FTP site list
  • Copy COLLLIST now takes its icon from the button or menu item rather than forcing a particular icon to be used.

Media Files & Viewers:
  • Fix for Play window not auto-closing after playing MP3 files.
  • Play window now displays basic information for MP3 files.
  • Movie & GIF thumbnail borders now match the aspect of the video/image, instead of being padded to the full thumbnail size, when film sprockets are enabled. (This was already the case when sprockets were disabled.)
  • Fix for resource leak when generating movie thumbnails.
  • Fix for problem getting EXIF data from Fuji photos with corrupt GPS tag.
  • Fix for incorrect bitrate & datarate reports for some AVI and WMV files.
  • Fix for incorrect track number (+1) shown for WMA tracks from Napster.
  • Fix for garbled output when converting 16-bit images to GIF.
  • Fix for bug that caused Amiga icons (and possibly other low color-depth images) to be jumbled when reduced in size (e.g. when displaying very small thumbnails).
  • The MultiView plugin now re-opens almost instantly if it has been used recently.
  • The MultiView plugin now ignores XML files as it did an awful job of displaying them.

  • Small change to enforce directory listings as ASCII with TYPE A for rogue Compaq servers.

See also: FAQ: Why doesn't the auto-updater detect the latest version?

9 August 2008

MultiView plugin

An update to the MultiView plugin is available:

  • The plugin now re-opens almost instantly if it has been used in the last few minutes.

  • The plugin now ignores XML files as it did an awful job of displaying them.
With the old plugin if you moved from a .doc to a .txt to another .doc there was a slight dekay (~1.5 seconds) as the second .doc file was loaded. This was because when the Text plugin took over for the .txt file the MultiView plugin shut-down and when the .doc file was selected the MultiView plugin had to be started up again. The new MultiView plugin now remains active for a few minutes so that it is available instantly if you need it again.

(Note: All of this is moot if you are using the ActiveX plugin instead of the MultiView plugin. ActiveX is the default.)

You can grab the new MultiView DLL from the forum thread discussing the issue or wait for the next Opus update.

28 July 2008

Memory leaks aren't always the process's fault

See also: How to find components causing memory leaks, a follow-up to this post.

Shell extensions, video codecs and the like can be a real pain. On one hand, they are good because they let people hook their favourite programs into their file manager with minimal effort. On the other hand, any crashes or memory leaks caused by extensions are blamed on the file manager because they are in-process.

Almost all shell extensions and video codecs are in-process DLLs. By definition, these DLLs contain code which is loaded into the parent process, like DOpus.exe or Explorer.exe. If that 3rd-party code then allocates a lot of memory or crashes the program then Task Manager or the crash dialog will point to the file manager's process, not the extension's DLL. You have to investigate to find out what is really to blame.

Here's a good example.

Yesterday I was testing context menus in Opus as there have been some small code changes in that area. I wanted to check for memory leaks, using a folder with a large number of items, so I went to System32, selected everything and right-clicked while watching in Task Manager.

I was alarmed to see the DOpus.exe memory usage shoot up from 20meg to 1gig in the space of a few seconds! Even worse, the memory remained allocated after the menu was closed. Houston, we have a problem here...

My Opus configuration has most 3rd party items hidden from the main context menu. When I right-click I just see items for some internal Opus commands, one or two 3rd-party tools I use a lot (e.g. Tortoise SVN) and a sub-menu where I have moved everything else to reduce clutter. The huge memory allocation only happened when I opened that sub-menu so I knew it was probably related to context menu extensions. Due to the recent code change I still assumed Opus was to blame at this stage but I needed to narrow things down.

Context menu extensions can ask for the list of selected files in several different formats and it's up to the file manager (Explorer, Opus, etc.) to translate its internal list into the formats each extension asks for. I figured there might be a bug in the conversion code for a particular format which only a few extensions requested. That would explain why I didn't see the problem with my top-level context menu but did when I opened the sub-menu containing most of the extensions.

To test this theory I decided to check whether the memory allocation happened when one or two particular extensions were initialised or bit-by-bit for every extension. I enabled the context_menu_debug advanced option in Opus (described in the Crash/exit/100%CPU when right-clicking certain files FAQ under 2. Finding the Culprit) and loaded DebugView. Now I could watch the memory usage change in Task Manager while each extension's name was printed as it was initialised.

It was easy to see that the huge memory allocation happened when just one of the extensions, Acronis True Image Shell Context Menu Extension, was initialised. That seemed odd. It was possible that Opus had a bug producing data in a format which only this one extension requested but, on probability, I was starting to think the problem was the extension rather than Opus. I temporarily disabled the extension by adding its GUID (the long-number-in-curly-brackets that appears before the extension's name in DebugView) to the ignore_context_menus advanced option in Opus and, sure enough, the problem went away.

This raises another point: You can't always see which extensions are involved when a problem occurs. There are usually no items on the context menu from the Acronis True Image context menu extension. It's invisible unless you right-click the right type of file yet it's always called whenever a context menu is displayed. The Acronis extension, like many others, is added to the * file-type which means that the file manager always passes it the list of files whenever you right-click something (unless you've hidden 3rd party context menu items). Given the list of files, the extension returns a list of menu items to add. That list can be empty and often is. Unless you switch on context menu debugging you have no way to see the complete list of 3rd party code which may be slowing things down, leaking memory or crashing the process.

It was only at this point I did what I probably should have done right at the start: Test the same thing in Explorer. If both Explorer and Opus experience a huge memory leak while initialising a context menu extension then we can safely blame the extension. Sure enough, that's what I saw:

The jump in the memory usage graph is the point where I right-clicked and you can see that the memory stays allocated for good:

Phew, it's not Opus's fault, then.

The even better news is that the problem appears to be fixed in True Image 11.8101. I had been using the previous version, 11.8053, until I discovered this problem (which doesn't seem to be mentioned in the list of changes but was fixed by updating).

25 July 2008

Second Round: Vote for Opus @ Lifehacker

Lifehacker have chosen the top five file managers and now you can vote for which one is the best of those five:


Anyone can vote this time, not just members of LH.

11 July 2008

ActiveX plugin v3.1.0.5

Version of the ActiveX plugin has been released.

You can download the update from the plugin's web-page.

Changes in v3.1.0.5 (11/July/2008):

  • Requires Directory Opus or above.

  • Fix for Excel's formula bar appearing in the viewer when the window was (de)activated. (Workaround for another bug in Excel.)

  • Fix for clipboard not working when viewing HTML documents.

6 July 2008

ActiveX plugin v3.1.0.4

Version of the ActiveX plugin has been released.

You can download the update from the plugin's web-page.

Changes in v3.1.0.4 (06/July/2008):

  • No longer causes Excel's formula bar to turn off when using Excel itself (workaround for bug in Excel).

  • Always opens .PDF files via a temporary copy so the original can be deleted. (This doesn't seem necessary with newer versions of Adobe Reader but people complained so I've done it anyway. Maybe it's needed for Acrobat itself.)

  • Avoids opening most Movie and Audio extensions when inside of Zip files. (Since it's rarely desirable and it confused people that the Movie plugin would handle normal files while the ActiveX plugin handled the same types of files if they were inside of Zip files. Now neither plugin handles them.)

19 June 2008

Opus Resource Centre search plugins

Steve has added a convenient way to configure your browser to search the Directory Opus Resource Centre forums and downloads.

If you are using Firefox or IE7 (or Opera, probably) and visit the Resource Centre then you should see the search field indicate that search plugins are available. Click on the drop-down and you can install them.

There's one search plugin that searches using the forum's own search features (which are not brilliant for complex searches but give you a better overview of the results) and another that searches the forums via Google (which is better for complex searches, but shows results in a worse format).

In Firefox (version 3) you can tell a page is offering a search plugin by the way the search field's drop-down arrow glows blue:

Still in Firefox, note that after you install a search plugin you can assign keywords to it. These let you search the site via the address bar. In my example below, if I typed d activex into the address bar in Firefox I would search the Opus forums for "activex", via Google.

Things are similar in Internet Explorer 7. When a page offers a search plugin the drop-down arrow on the search field turns orange:

IE then lets you use those search plugins temporarily via the drop-down menu, and lets you add them permanently via the sub-menu shown below:

You can also create keyword searches in IE, although I think it requires some registry editing (or Tweak UI if you are using Windows XP).

1 June 2008

Preview Handlers for XP

Forum member Amirz has posted information on how to install several Preview Handlers designed for Vista so that they work in XP as well.

These Preview Handlers can them be used to view files in Opus via the recently released ActiveX + Preview + Office + Web plugin.

The post by Amirz can be found here:

Resource Center :: Plugins :: XP Preview Handlers for Directory Opus and above

30 May 2008

RVF (RichView) Plugin & Delphi source code

Sergey Tkachenko has released a plugin for viewing RVF (RichView Format) documents in Directory Opus viewer panes & viewer windows. The plugin also generates thumbnails for RVF files.

The plugin is written in Delphi and Sergey has included the source code. This should be really useful to Delphi developers interested in writing Opus plugins as it is (to my knowledge) the first time a complete Delphi example has been released with source code.

For more information about the plugin, and the RVF format in general, see the RVF File Viewer thread at the Resource Centre.

27 May 2008

dMC Tags: New plugin for various music tag formats.

This plugin hooks Directory Opus into dBpoweramp Reference to enable Opus to display tags and metadata for several additional audio formats:

  • .AAC .M4A: iTunes AAC and ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec)
  • .APE: Monkey's Audio
  • .MPC .MP+ .MPP: MusePack
  • .OFR .OFS: OptimFROG
  • .SHN: Shorten
  • .SND: Dalet
  • .SPX: Speex
  • .TTA: The True Audio
  • .W64: Wave64
  • .WV .WVC: WavePack
The plugin will also handle .OGG and .FLAC files if you have disabled the specific OGG/FLAC plugin which comes with Opus.

Please see the web page for the dMC Tags plugin for information on installation and limitations of the plugin:


Please note that dBpoweramp Reference is required and without it the plugin will not do anything.

16 May 2008

New, faster JPEG 2000 plugin

A JPEG 2000 plugin based on J2K-Codec is now available.

The new plugin improves on the old JP2Raw plugin's JPEG 2000 handling in several ways:

  • Much faster at viewing files.
  • Much, much faster at generating thumbnails.
  • Support for x64 (64-bit Windows).
  • Support for alpha channels (transparency).
  • Support for less common .J2C & .J2K code-stream data files.
  • Support for Unicode filepaths.
  • Support for Opus's USB-Mode.
  • Doesn't call abort() on decode errors. (An aspect of JasPer which I dislike even more than its speed.)
The new plugin continues support for:
  • 8bpp images.
  • 16bpp images.
  • Color (RGB) images.
  • Greyscale images.
  • .JP2 format files.
The older JP2Raw plugin is still needed for other image formats so don't delete it yet. In time the entire JP2Raw plugin will be replaced by several better standalone plugins; this new JPEG 2000 plugin is the first such replacement.

For download links and more information, go to the plugin's web page:

15 May 2008

Updated Plugin source-code

Updated C++ source code for my GIFAnim, NFO and TextThumb plugins is now available from my web page:


Source for the JP2Raw and Ogg plugins is also there (but is not new).

On the page you will see that I've written a little bit about each plugin from a programmer's perspective. Hopefully this makes the examples more useful as you can get an idea of the different kinds of plugins that can be written and see which plugins would serve as good examples for your particular project. (This certainly isn't an exhaustive list, though. There are no VFS (virtual file-system) plugins at all yet, for example.)

11 May 2008

NFO plugin

A minor update of the NFO plugin has just been released.

For more details see here: http://www.pretentiousname.com/nfo/#history

3 May 2008

Directory Opus version

A free update for all Opus 9 users - Directory Opus is now available from http://www.gpsoft.com.au.

Version – May 2nd 2008

Bugs fixed / minor changes:

  • Fixed a problem that prevented the copying of folders to an FTP site from working
  • Fixed a problem with file change detection through folder junctions
  • Fixed a crash when the Find Results were directed to a locked Folder Tab
  • Fixed layout of Rename dialog on 800 x 600 displays
  • Delete EMPTYRECYCLE command no longer blocks subsequent commands in the function when the recycle bin is empty

29 April 2008

Directory Opus version

A free update for all Opus 9 users - Directory Opus is now available from http://www.gpsoft.com.au.

Version – April 29th 2008

Bugs fixed / minor changes:

  • The new grp:XXX syntax in wildcard pattern matching did not properly resolve the name of the Filetype group (with the result that only the default groups Images/Documents/etc would work.)
  • Right-click / Rename on the Folder Tree incorrectly displayed the full Rename dialog (with an incorrect filename) rather than entering inline rename mode as intended
  • The ADD argument can now be used with the Clipboard SET command to add text to the existing clipboard contents.
  • There is a new ext2 modifier for file command codes (e.g. {file|ext2}). This is basically the same as the existing ext modifier except the period is omitted (so, for example, {file|ext2} might return txt whereas {file|ext} would return .txt)
  • Fixed a problem where Copy UPDATEALL and UPDATEEXISTING would incorrectly delete pre-existing empty folders in the target directory.
  • Swapped the key shortcuts for Delete and Edit in the Folder Aliases Preferences dialog to be more logical.

26 April 2008

Directory Opus version

A free update for all Opus 9 users - Directory Opus is now available from http://www.gpsoft.com.au.

Version - April 24th 2008

New Features:

  • Inline rename (renaming a file in the Lister by pressing F2 rather than through the Rename dialog) now supports the case-altering functionality of the full Rename dialog. When editing a name you can press:

    Ctrl + L lower-case all
    Ctrl + U upper-case all
    Ctrl + W capitalize all words
    Ctrl + P capitalize first word

  • Added a new SHOWPREVIEW argument to the Rename command. This lets you control the state of the preview display when opening the Advanced Rename dialog.

  • It is now possible to auto-generate a list of Rename Presets in a toolbar or button. To do this, use the command Rename PRESET=!list

  • It is now possible to refer to File Type groups in most places where filename wildcard pattern matching takes place. The syntax for this is grp:xxxx where xxxx is the group name. For example,

    Select grp:Images
    - automatically select all files matching the Images group

    Set SHOWFILTERFILENAME grp:documents
    - hide all files not in the Documents group

  • The FTP Address Book has a new Connect button in its toolbar. This lets you connect to a site directly from the address book.

  • FTP sites displayed in the FTP drop-down menu now have context menu actions - right-clicking on these gives you the option to Connect, Edit or Delete the site.

  • The FTP Auto-Upload functionality has been extended to support external programs that return immediately upon invocation, or do not return at all. Previously, Opus would wait until the program it launched had returned before prompting to re-upload the file, however this methodology fails if the program launched returns immediately.

    There are several new options in Preferences / File Operations / Options that let you configure the auto-upload monitoring. The default is Check for modifications when launched process exits - this is the old behaviour. The new Monitor options let you refine the detection of file changes.

    Monitor file until it changes means Opus will monitor the downloaded file indefinitely until it either changes or is deleted. Note that only the first change to the file will be detected using this option - if the file subsequently changes again Opus will not detect this.

    Monitor file for X minutes makes Opus monitor the downloaded file for the specified time. Any changes to the file within this time period will be noticed.

    Monitor indefinitely (until Opus exits) means that Opus will monitor the downloaded file indefinitely until either Opus exits or the file is deleted. Any changes to the file will be detected.

  • There is a new escwild modifier for file command codes (e.g. {file|escwild}) that makes Opus automatically escape any wildcard characters in the filename. This is useful if the filename is to be passed to an internal command that supports wildcards. For example,

    Select {file|noext|escwild}.*

  • The Full-row selection options in both Preferences / Lister Display Modes / Details Mode and Power Mode now have a new modifying option called Display only. If the Display only option is enabled as well, items will visually appear to be selected across the full row but selection of the item will only take place from a click on the item name (the same as when Full-row is disabled altogether).

  • There is a new Set FULLROWSELECT command that lets you control the full-row selection option from a button or hotkey. The parameters are:

    on       Turn full-row selection on
    off Turn full-row selection off
    toggle Toggle full-row selection
    display Command affects the state of the Display Only option
    select Command affects the state of the Full-row selection option
    power Affects Power mode
    details Affects Details mode

    If neither power nor details is specified the command will affect the current display mode.

  • The Copy ZIP command has a new keepfolder argument. Normally, if you run Copy ZIP on a single folder, the contents of that folder are added directly to the zip file, ignoring the actual folder you selected. If Copy ZIP=keepfolder is specified, the sub-folder itself (including its contents) is added to the zip file.

  • The Filetype NEW command now adds the name of the newly created file to a function variable called newfile. For example, to create a new text file and then automatically open it in Notepad:

    Filetype NEW = .txt
    notepad "{sourcepath}\{$newfile}"

  • There is now partial support for the Vista localized folder name system; in the Folder Tree and in the Breadcrumbs path field. This is the system where on a non-English computer, the underlying name of the folder does not change ( "Users" is still "Users") but a localized translation is shown in the user interface.

  • New, re-written ActiveX plugin. Supports x64, Vista Preview Handlers, improved MS Office compatibility, and several new web file types including MHT and URL files.

  • The Delete EMPTYRECYCLE command now lets you specify a single drive to empty the recycle bin for. For example, Delete EMPTYRECYCLE=c: would only empty the bin on drive C. The EMPTYRECYCLE command now also supports the FORCE argument, to prevent the confirmation dialog from appearing, and the QUIET argument to prevent the progress bar and audio feedback.

  • The Rename INLINE command can now take a single argument. If this is specified (e.g. Rename INLINE=single) then inline rename will only be activated if a single item is selected; if two or more items are selected then the Rename dialog will be shown instead.

Bugs fixed / minor changes:
  • Files renamed recursively (using the Rename files in selected sub-folders option of the Advanced Rename dialog) are now added to the Undo list and the recursive rename operation can be undone.

  • The BPM (beats-per-minute) column is now populated for WMA files as well as MP3.

  • The TextThumbs plugin no longer includes hidden files when generating folder thumbnails.

  • The advanced function editor now recognizes Ctrl + Insert, Shift + Delete and Shift + Insert for Copy, Cut and Paste.

  • Opus now supports "flat" menus (both popup and drop-down) when the option is enabled in Windows.

  • Adding the desktop folder to the virtual folder list in Preferences / Folders / Virtual Folders is now supported and means Opus will always display the real desktop folder instead of the virtual desktop.

  • The Shutdown Directory Opus when the last Lister closes option did not always work reliably.

  • In Flat View, renaming both a folder and a file in that folder at the same time (via wildcards) would cause the size of the file to be displayed incorrectly.

  • Fixed a problem where renaming multiple files inline (F2 in the Lister) could sometimes result in them not being re-sorted correctly once inline rename mode was exited.

  • Files created using the New menu (e.g. New -> Text Document) are now selected automatically once the inline rename of the new file is complete.

  • When renaming using Find & Replace, if a selected filename matches the replace string exactly, Opus would only rename as far as that matching file and would then prompt again for a pattern to rename the rest.

  • Recursively renaming files in sub-folders could cause an incorrect "prefix" to be added to the files in the sub-folders.

  • Creating a shortcut to a file collection now works if the collection name contains spaces.

  • The Copy MAKELINK=auto command now correctly names the link when it ends up creating a shortcut.

  • The Prefs STYLELIST SHOWICONS command now correctly shows icons when added to a menu.

  • The Join command now checks before it begins that the destination device has sufficient space to hold the joined file.

  • If there were three or more toolbars on one line in a Lister, the second toolbar did not display a separator line between it and the first toolbar.

  • In Customize mode, using cut on a menu item and pasting it to another toolbar now correctly removes the item from the first toolbar.

  • Opus can now show .WMF files (and display thumbnails) when they are inside ZIP files.

  • Sounds and Images defined in Preferences no longer get lost when they are located in sub-folders of the program folder.

  • It is now possible to undo a folder copy or move that results in a merged folder. Eg, if you move C:\Test to E:\ and E:\ already includes a folder called Test, the contents of the two folders will be merged. You can then Undo this to recover the original C:\Test folder, leaving the original contents of E:\Test intact (except where files were overwritten!).

  • Renaming files using the {mp3songlength} field now works correctly when the song length is less than 1 hour.

  • Opus can now work with ZIP files when they are stored below a directory with Unicode characters in the filename. Also, ZIP files themselves can now have Unicode characters in the filename. (Note though that the files within the ZIP file still do not support Unicode filenames.)

  • The Rename INLINE command's all, ext and end arguments did not work correctly.

  • Improved compatibility for MP3 ID3v2 tags with incorrect Unicode BOM.

  • The JPEG Quality field in the Image Conversion dialog now remembers its previous setting correctly rather than resetting to 0.

  • If any folders were filtered out of the display and you entered Flat View Mixed-No-Folders mode, those folders would incorrectly be revealed.

  • The {dlgopen} and {dlgsave} command sequences now let you specify the initial filename/path successfully.

  • Decreased the threshold at which Opus considers an image to be greyscale (affects the scaling routine used when generating thumbnails) to prevent misidentification of images with very little color in them.

  • Opus will now correctly detect file changes on junctions to drives without drive letters.

  • The Play dialog now supports the standard Opus "top-level" functionality.

  • Exporting and importing three-button buttons would lose the three-button state. (An exported three-button button would turn into a drop-down menu on import.)

  • Fixed sorting in the Folder Tree of ZIP files and the Vista Profile directory.

  • No longer shows incorrect {GUID}-style tooltips for folders in the Vista Profile directory.

  • Fixed a problem where docked glass/taskbar-style toolbars would disappear when the computer came out of hibernation.

  • Undoing a Clipboard PASTE command which created a text or image file (pasting text or image data from the clipboard to a file) now works correctly.

  • The Undo LISTMENU command now correctly respects the icon settings of the button.

  • The Viewer status bar now correctly updates when the currently viewed image is deleted.

  • If Viewer preferences set the left mouse button to toggle full-screen mode then you couldn't reveal the full-screen viewer's menu or toolbar by clicking the top and bottom edges of the screen. This now works.

  • The Select previous folder when going Up option is no longer overridden by the Automatically select first file in folder option.

  • Changes to the Animated GIF plugin:
    • Added support for Crop and Undo-Crop.
    • Added support for controlling GIF animations via keyboard media buttons (play, pause, etc.).
    • Interlaced (sub-)images shorter than 4 pixels were not decoded properly.
    • More robust handling of corrupt images.
    • Selection preserved when rotating.
    • Scrollbars no longer appear/flicker when scrolling large images with the scrollbars hidden.
    • Memory leak when rotating GIF images 90 degrees clockwise.
    • If the Viewer was configured to resize only for the first image then new GIF viewers always opened at the minimum window size. If the Viewer was configured to resize for all images then a similar problem cause slight flickering when changing from another image type to a GIF.
    • Fixed several bugs in Flatten layout code which sometimes resulted in unnecessary scrollbars and poor tile arrangement and window resizing.
    • Fixed rotating images, when zoom set to Fit-to-Page, resulting in scaled down images despite there being screen space for them to be larger.
    • The animation toolbar was impossible to use if the left button was configured to close the viewer or toggle full-screen mode.
    • You can now shift-click to select the image when the left button is configured to close, advance or toggle full-screen. (As well as Scroll, which worked previously.)

  • The {fileshort$} and similar "short" filename command sequences would incorrectly return the name of the parent folder if the filename in question was already a "short" (8.3) name.

  • If a ZIP file was open in Explorer and files from it were dragged to an Opus Lister, a temporary folder would be created (in the %TEMP% directory) that would be locked and could not be deleted until after a reboot.

  • Dragging files from Explorer ZIP to an Opus Lister would display a progress bar with incorrect file counts.

  • It was possible for the DESCRIPT.ION file to become corrupted if doing multiple simultaneous copy or move operations to the same destination folder.

  • The font selection control would incorrectly select a different font size if the currently selected size wasn't listed. (e.g. If point size 7 was set but 7 was not in the list then 72 would have been selected instead.)

  • The Filter field will no longer clear or affect unrelated filters. For example, modifying a File filter will leave any current folder filters untouched.

  • Drag and drops can now be consistently cancelled by pressing the alternate mouse button. (e.g. When dragging with the left button, press the right button to cancel.)

  • It is now possible for Lister Styles to trigger a folder size calculation if the Get Sizes option is enabled in the style's format.

  • Context menus added to toolbars using the FileType CONTEXTMENU command are now updated & refreshed whenever the current file selection changes.

  • Fixed a problem where Path fields (e.g. Path (Favorites List)) would not display the icon for the current folder correctly on Vista.

  • A drop-down Path (Favorites List) field now displays the entire contents of your Favorites list including any sub-folders.

  • Fixed a problem where the mouse could get in the way of keyboard operation of sub-menus. (If the mouse happened to be positioned over the parent menu, it would not be possible to open any sub-menus using the keyboard.)

  • Alt-clicking to edit buttons (when the option is on in Preferences) now works when the button is in the >> menu due to lack of space on the toolbar.

  • Improved support for MP3 album art (now handles the MIME type image/jpg as well as image/jpeg).

  • WMA thumbnail support was broken - now fixed.

  • The Zip Check Out command would cause an unnecessary folder to be created in the %TEMP% directory.

  • The Breadcrumbs Path field no longer uses the Office 2003 toolbar colors if the Office option is actually turned off in Preferences (in this case, it uses the system highlight colors instead).

  • If a Lister-local toolbar was turned off while in Customize mode, any hotkeys added by that toolbar were not correctly removed from the Keys tab in the Customize dialog.

  • The Remove from Collection command now works when both files and sub-collections are selected at the same time (the files are removed from the collection and the sub-collections are deleted).

  • The Viewer now displays more meaningful error messages when an error occurs opening the image file.

  • Fixed a problem in Vista where dragging a file out and back in to an Opus Lister could result in two "drag cursors".

  • The Viewer "Fit-to-page" option should no longer resize the window larger than necessary

  • The Viewer "Fit-to-page" option is now reapplied correctly when the image is rotated

  • Configuration backup and restore should now work correctly if any Styles or Layouts have Unicode characters in their names. Note that unfortunately this will not fix any existing backed-up configurations, but any new configuration backups should not have this problem.

  • Fixed a number of problems adding and extracting empty folders (or folders with empty sub-folders) to and from ZIP files.

  • Temporary files created by the filem command sequence modifier are now correctly cleaned up (deleted).

  • If a Lister opens when Opus starts up it should now correctly become the foreground window.

  • Fixed a problem with the Delete EMPTYRECYCLE command that would cause it to run one for each currently selected file.

  • Fixed a problem with multiple Select commands in the one function, when one of them uses {file} external command modifiers. For example,

    Select PATTERN="{file|noext}.*"
    Select PATTERN="~(*.jpg)" DESELECT

  • The CREATEFOLDER argument to the Copy command would cause an incorrect Undo entry to be added.

  • The Zip Extract To ‘xxxx' context menu command now strips any trailing periods from the name of the zip file before creating the destination folder (as trailing periods are not allowed in folder names).

  • When pasting clipboard text into the Create Folder dialog, any tabs are now translated to spaces instead of being stripped altogether.

  • The Size on Disk column now works correctly in the Print Folder command.

  • File permissions were not being copied correctly if the original files had no inherited permissions.

  • Folder permissions are now copied (if the option is enabled in Preferences).

  • Adding a Spacer field to a text-only toolbar no longer increases the height of the toolbar.

  • The Recycle Bin will no longer show as full if Opus restores a deleted file leaving the bin empty.

  • The Go DRIVEBUTTONS command with labels or lettersbeforelabels specified now works correctly with optical drives under Vista.

  • If the Folder Tree and Viewer Pane are both visible, it is no longer possible to resize the Viewer Pane so far to the left that it eats into its own splitter control's space.

  • 48-bpp PSD files are now displayed correctly in the Opus viewer.

  • Fixed incorrect transparency when dragging album thumbnails.

  • Fixed incorrect alpha-channel combining when dragging 32-bit icons.

  • The Exposure Bias column is now measured in "stops" rather than "steps".

  • Fixed incorrect rendering of Amiga icons in thumbnails mode.

  • Fixed rendering problem with the utility pane (Find/Sync/Duplicates) when it is placed vertically. (The tabs and buttons in the top-right corner can no longer overlap, and the buttons no longer move when the pane is scrolled horizontally.)

  • Adding or removing an extension to/from a File Type Group, where that group has a color assigned to it, now correctly updates the display of those files in any open Listers.

  • Taskbar toolbars now highlight correctly on mouse-over even if Windows-style highlighting in menus is enabled.

  • The width of a Spacer control after turning off Full-width is now set correctly.

  • Fixed refresh problems on 2000/XP when a docked toolbar is hidden/shown and rounded corners are enabled.

  • Fixed a problem where the Lister column headers could stay scrolled to the right (if you had, in fact, scrolled them to the right) when F5 was pressed to refresh the Lister.

  • FTP SSL - fixed an issue where server Date Channel Protection refused Private and only encrypts the control channel but leaves the date channel in Clear.

10 March 2008

ActiveX plugin v3.1.0.0

Version has been posted.

(Edit: Plugin installer links removed. The plugin now comes with the latest version of Opus so you should install that instead.)

Changes in v3.1.0.0 (10/Mar/2008):

  • Fixed USB export.
  • The 64-bit plugin can now use 32-bit ActiveX controls. This means 64-bit users can view PDF and Flash files and use 32-bit Windows Media Player codecs.
  • The 64-bit plugin's configuration dialog allows you assign extensions to 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Internet Explorer and Generic ActiveX controls. The default configuration assigns everything to 32-bit as many controls do not yet have 64-bit versions and this is what the OS itself does with IE and WMP.
  • 64-bit Users Please Note: You should disable or delete the separate PDF-ActiveX plugin (pdfactivex.dll), otherwise it will handle PDF files before the ActiveX plugin gets a chance, resulting in Adobe Reader opening in a separate window. I'll suggest to GPSoftware that PDF-ActiveX be dropped from 64-bit releases.
  • The plugin now runs all of its viewers in separate processes in order to isolate Opus itself from crashes.
  • Windows Media Player crashes after full-screen mode seem to be fixed as a result of the process isolation.
  • Moved text into StringTable resource to allow for localisation.
  • Configuration dialog uses system Message Box font. (e.g. Segoe UI 9 on Vista.)
  • Default configuration changes:
    • Added .zip to default Internet Explorer extensions. Shows you the contents of the selected zip file.
    • Disabled Microsoft XPS Rich preview handler by default as the Internet Explorer plugin is better overall.
    • Disabled Windows Media Player preview handler by default as the Generic ActiveX control is generally better.
    • Disabled Windows Mail HTML preview handler by default as using Internet Explorer gives fuller results (e.g. images).
Feedback: There's a forum thread for feedback on the new plugin. (You can also leave moderated comments here without needing to sign up.)

24 February 2008

64-bit ActiveX (Preview/Office/Web) plugin

The new ActiveX plugin is now available for 64-bit versions of Directory Opus.

This plugin allows you to view a variety of formats, including Office documents and HTML files, within the Opus preview pane.

It has been packaged together with the other recently-converted 64-bit plugins:

(Edit: Plugin installer links removed. The plugin now comes with the latest version of Opus so you should install that instead.)

32-bit users: Nothing new for you today. Do not download the 64-bit installer/zip as it won't work on your system.

Feedback: There's a forum thread for feedback on the new plugin. (You can also leave moderated comments here without needing to sign up.)

23 February 2008

64-bit Animated GIF, TextThumbs, NFO plugins

64-bit users:

64-bit versions of the Animated GIF, TextThumbs and NFO plugins are now available for the first time. They're packaged together in the installer and zip file linked below. Pick either of them, depending on whether or not you prefer to install things by hand. (To install them by hand, download the zip version and copy the DLLs to the /Home/Viewers alias in Opus.)

(Edit: Plugin installer links removed. The plugin now comes with the latest version of Opus so you should install that instead.)

More 64-bit plugins are on the way (and some already come with Opus, of course)...

(24/Feb/2008: Updated links above to the new installer/zip which include the ActiveX plugin.)

32-bit Users: Ignore this post. You've already got these plugins.

Directory Opus version

An update for Directory Opus is now available for download from the GP Software website.

Directory Opus Version

  • Added support for MP3 'BPM' (beats per minute) field

  • Added a new advanced option to disable the normal behaviour of the 'find-as-you-type' field when the same letter is pressed repeatedly. Normally this will scroll through all files beginning with that letter but with the fayt_firstchar_repeat option turned off, normal string matching will be performed

  • Navigation Lock was broken in the previous release, now fixed.

  • The 'Auto select first file in folder' option no longer steals focus from the Folder Tree

  • Fixed crash that could occur in Clipboard PASTE when pasting text (only happened in conjunction with WindowBlinds compatibility mode)

  • Fixed problem with WindowBlinds compatibility mode preventing Go LASTACTIVELISTER from working

  • Pasting text into the rename dialog now only strips spaces from the beginning or end of the pasted text if it would result in the new filename beginning or ending in a space

  • If the Go FOLDERCONTENT command is added to the All Folders filetype, this now works from the Folder Tree

  • Fixed a problem dragging files from a collection when multiple files in different paths are selected

  • Fixed a problem with Album thumbnail sizing and rendering, and a more general problem with Folder thumbnails when the state of the dynamic thumbnail sizing option was changed.

  • The ability to override the system Windows hotkeys (Windows-E etc) now works in 2000/XP as well as Vista

  • The 'Sort shortcuts to folders like folders' option is no longer ignored when coming out of FlatView mode

  • Fixed a problem with layouts that open multiple overlapping Listers - it was possible to end up with the active Lister behind a non-active one, and a click would not properly bring it to the front

  • Drag & drop from a RAR file with encrypted filenames no longer asks repeatedly for the password

  • Renaming a folder from the Folder Tree now updates the Undo List correctly

  • Fixed a problem with file change notification not working reliably beyond a junction point

  • Fixed a crash on Windows 2000 in the initial setup wizard

  • The Go SWAP command now behaves consistently in a dual-Lister and in a multiple single-Lister scenario

  • Double-clicking a .url file inside the Windows Favorites folder no longer displays a security prompt on Vista

  • Fixed a crash when logging actions on files with Unicode filenames

  • The Clipboard COPYNAMES command now operates on the Folder Tree when it has focus

  • It is now possible to drag and drop folders to the 'exclusion' list in Preferences / Launching Opus / Explorer Replacement. This can make it easier to add system folders that don’t appear in the Browse Folders dialog

  • Opus should now maintain the selection state of files that are overwritten by a 'safe-save' operation (e.g. Word)

22 February 2008

ActiveX Plugin v3.0.0.3

A new version of the ActiveX plugin is now available. You can get it from the the plugin's thread at the Resource Centre.

The plugin has had two updates since it was last mentioned on this page. Here's what's new:

Changes in v3.0.0.3 (21/Feb/2008):

  • Fixed, or at least reduced, problems when multiple Office viewers were open at once.
  • Fixed Excel not taking the focus after the file display was clicked and then Excel clicked.
  • Fixed focus being lost when the viewer has focus and is closed. (Fix required change to Opus as well as plugin, so won't be seen until the next Opus version is also released and installed.)
  • The plugin now attempts to restore focus back to the lister after documents are loaded.
  • The plugin tries to forward mousewheel messages to the viewer even when it is not active. This only works with some ActiveX controls.

Changes in v3.0.0.2 (13/Feb/2008):
  • Fixed Windows 2000 compatibility.
  • Fixed Office 2000 resizing.
  • Fixed Excel 2000 incorrectly displaying partial Web toolbar.
  • Fixed viewer window lock-up if viewer set to handle HTML files when double-clicked, and the HTML document was then scrolled to the bottom.
  • Fixed problems with Windows MAPI Preview Handler sometimes not responding, or causing the next file you view to be unresponsive. (e.g. When changing between .msg and .eml files a few times.)
  • Fixed bits of the ActiveX control sometimes being left over the Opus window after resizing rapidly.
  • Fixed loading Flash files with non-ASCII filenames via the Internet Explorer method. (Workaround for bug in Flash ActiveX control.)
  • Fixed problems caused by clicking links in Flash files when viewed via the Generic ActiveX method. These used to cause the viewer to exit and are now ignored completely (for security reasons). The Internet Explorer method, which is the default for Flash files, does not have this limitation.
  • Tested against standalone Office viewers without problems.

9 February 2008

Directory Opus version

Directory Opus

A new version is now available.

New features:

  • Rename script mode now has an alternative function that can be used for script languages that don't support "pass by reference" values.

    The original function definition (in VBScript) was:

    Function Rename_GetNewName ( strFileName, strFilePath, fIsFolder, strOldName, ByRef strNewName )

    with the strNewName parameter passed by reference. The new function definition is:

    Function Rename_GetNewName2 ( strFileName, strFilePath, fIsFolder, strOldName, strNewName )

    Note that the second function is called Rename_GetNewName2 and strNewName is no longer passed by reference. Instead, the new name for the file is provided as the return value from the function. In VBScript, this means:

    Rename_GetNewName2 = strNewName

    Both the old and new function variants are supported, so existing scripts will continue to work.

Bugs fixed:
  • When accessing a hidden network share (eg \\server\c$) the hidden share is now correctly shown in the Folder Tree.
  • Fixed a problem that could cause system namespaces like My Computer to appear very slowly for some people.
  • Jpeg file conversion/writing was broken in the x64 version, this has been fixed.
  • Flickr photo matching now displays a progress bar to indicate the length of the procedure.
  • Fixed a problem in Flickr synchronization that could cause Opus to erroneously remove photos from groups.
  • Fixed menu commands generated with the Marker MENU=File function. (e.g. Items in the File menu added inside system namespaces now work properly.)
  • Fixed a problem assigning some keys as hotkeys on French keyboards.
  • The status bar preview in Preferences now respects the configured colors for the status bar. Also, the {dlet} code is no longer ignored in the preview.
  • Dragging a file to an empty tab no longer causes a crash.
  • The standalone image Viewer menu is no longer editable and ignores Customize mode (it never supported editing, but would erroneously go into edit mode).
  • Mixing the rename command with user commands in the same function now works reliably (the user command now sees the new names of any renamed files).
  • Functions that use @admin to run elevated in Vista now work if UAC is disabled.
  • The archive bit is now set consistently when moving files between devices and on the same device.
  • Fixed a parsing problem with MS-DOS batch scripts user commands with a template and "&" in the body of the function.
  • The 'Select Zip File' dialog (shown using the Add To Zip... context menu function) now lets you create a new zip file on the desktop.
  • Password-protected zip files are now ignored when generating thumbnails and retrieving file descriptions.
  • Fixed window depth issue with Preferences dialog and plugin configuration dialogs (Prefs window would sometimes be sent to the back when closing a plugin config dialog that was on top of it).
  • Fixed a crash that would occasionally happen when opening the Plugins page of Preferences.
  • The time-only Lister columns now sort by time-only when clicked as opposed to date & time.
  • Changes made to a newly created Filetype function would sometimes be ignored.
  • Pressing control-backspace in the 'Find in' field of the Find dialog would remove the last path component from the field but the Find dialog would not notice the change and continue searching in the original path.
  • If a function has @set var = {dlgfolder} in it, cancelling the dialog folder now correctly aborts the entire function.
  • The meaning of the Go TABCLOSEALL=left and right arguments was swapped around.
  • Dragging and dropping multiple folders to a collection and selecting the 'copy as sub-collections' option no longer mixes up the sub-folder contents.

ActiveX Viewer Plugin version 3

This new version of the plugin is still being worked on and has not been extensively tested. There are some known issues, and probably some unknown issues as well. Feel free to install the plugin, and please do provide feedback, but keep in mind that it is a beta.

ActiveX Plugin

Version 3 of the ActiveX Plugin is a complete re-write with several improvements:

  • Support for Preview Handlers within Directory Opus. Preview Handlers are a new type of lightweight viewer used by Windows Vista's Explorer and Microsoft Office 2007.

    Vista & Office 2007 ship with several useful Preview Handlers for formats including Word, RTF, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, fonts, contacts, web pages, saved e-mails, various video formats, and more.

    Additional Preview Handlers are available on the net and some work on XP as well as Vista.

  • As before, support for Microsoft Office documents if you have Office or the standalone Office ActiveX viewers installed. The default configuration has also been updated to include the new Office 2007 file extensions.

  • Improved support for web documents. In addition to the old HTML support the plugin can now view MHT, URL and XML files.

  • New support for QuickTime .MOV files. Opus's Movie plugin is still the better choice for MOV playback if you have the required DirectShow filters installed, but now the ActiveX plugin provides a decent fallback for those who don't.

  • Generally improved compatibility. Several ActiveX controls which did not work in the past now work with this version.

  • Support for USB mode, meaning the plugin works when Opus is running from a portable device. (At the time of writing this has not yet been tested.)


Version 3 of the ActiveX plugin requires Directory Opus or above. It is currently for 32-bit installs only but a 64-bit version is in progress.


(Edit: Plugin installer links removed. The plugin now comes with the latest version of Opus so you should install that instead.)


The new configuration dialog allows you to specify which types of ActiveX controls should be used to view different files. You can also disable certain Preview Handlers entirely if you find they get in the way of other viewers which you prefer. (Some are disabled by default, for example Vista's plain-text handler.)

Word document:

Excel document:

MHT web page archive:

QuickTime .mov:



Shockwave Flash:



29 January 2008

Hide Language Bar from UAC Secure Desktop

Off-Topic: This post isn't about Directory Opus, but we thought it might be useful to some of you anyway. Remember that you can use the on-topic label and on-topic RSS feed if you only want to see Opus news.

Hide the Language Bar from UAC Prompts on the Secure Desktop

Update: See the comments for an alternative method which is probably much better!

Some time after I installed Vista the Language Bar started to appear on the secure desktop. The secure desktop is the darkened screen where UAC prompts appear, unless you've disabled the secure desktop or disabled UAC completely. I only ever use one keyboard language so this extra thing on the screen isn't useful to me and is slightly distracting/annoying.

A quick Google found several other people trying to remove the Language Bar but no answers. I hunted through the registry and discovered how to do it and figured I'd post the information here (and on my web site, because weblogs are rubbish for finding non-recent things) so that others can find it.

  • Run RegEdit.exe (as an administrator)
  • Go to HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\CTF\LangBar
  • Change the ShowStatus value from 0 (zero) to 3 (three).

RegEdit screenshot
(Click image for full-size version.)

That's it! Easy when you know how. It looks like the secure desktop inherits its settings from the .DEFAULT user profile.

Important Note: If anyone using your computer might need to type an administrator password into a UAC credentials prompt using a different keyboard layout then you should leave the Language Bar alone, else they may find it difficult or impossible to type their password.

25 January 2008

Directory Opus version

An update for Directory Opus is now available for download from the GP Software website.

Directory Opus 25th January 2008

Bugs fixed:

  • Several x64-related problems fixed:

    • Occasional crash during drag & drop.

    • Crash when using tray icon context menu.

  • Fixed occasional crash when pasting text into the lister as Clipboard Text.txt.

  • Fixed problem with RAR plugin where progress indicators were sometimes not shown when extracting via drag and drop.

  • Fixed lockup when attempting to drag a file into a breadcrumbs path field popup menu.

  • Fixed several problems to do with disk change and removal:

    • Listers should no longer incorrectly jump to the root folder when a disk is inserted or removed.

    • Fixed a crash that could occur when a device is removed from the system.

    • Improved handling for Safely Remove Devices to allow Opus to release any locks it has on the device and make it possible to safely remove a device while Opus is running.

    • Improved handling for Format – Opus should now allow a disk to be formatted even if it is currently open in the Lister.

  • Fixed problem setting target file timestamps on FAT32 devices when one or more timestamp is set to earlier than 1980.

  • Several problems fixed in the image viewer:

    • Selection no longer lost if image is resized or rotated (unless image is tiled).

    • Selection no longer lost if Frame option is toggled.

    • Selection is now cleared if you Undo a Crop.

    • Selection rect now positioned correctly when image zoomed and window resized.

    • Zooming in/out when tiled now takes you to 75%/150% instead of 25%/50%.

    • Fixed slightly odd behaviour if you rotated or zoomed (via the keyboard) while dragging a selection rectangle.

    • Fixed rare, minor problem that occurred if another program captured the mouse while dragging in the viewer.

    • Fixed Select-All and then Ctrl-C adding a blank row and column to the bottom-right of the clipboard image.

    • Crop option now disabled for tiled images. Was never intended to work with them and could crash if attempted.

    • Improved handling of BMP files using BI_BITFIELDS and/or colour palettes on true colour images. In particular, this fixes a bug where BI_BITFIELDS images -- often PrtScn grabs -- which were rotated in the viewer would have their pixels shifted if saved back to disk.

    • Opus now saves "packed bitmaps" when writing true colour images that have no (optimizing) colour palette, instead of leaving an unused RGBQUAD in the header. In particular, this fixes the problem with some images turning purple when setting desktop wallpaper on Vista or viewing them using other programs which assume a "packed bitmap" structure and ignore the pixel offset in the BMP file header.

  • Opus now uses the %ComSpec% environment variable instead of hard-coding to cmd.exe when opening a DOS prompt

  • Fixed a crash that could occur (rarely) whenever a toolbar was opened.

  • Renaming a file and only changing the case of the filename no longer loses any file description assigned to that file.

  • Setting the default Lister from a Lister that is zoomed to the title bar no longer saves the zoom state as the default.

  • The command Toolbar CLOSE NAME=*this now works reliably with both local and global toolbars.

  • Inline rename no longer allows colons and other invalid filename characters to be pasted.

  • Fixed cosmetic issue in Folder Formats Columns list when the page is disabled.

  • Fixed crash with sub-folder wildcard rename when wildcard pattern did not match anything.

  • Fixed double tooltip problem in inner close buttons (e.g. file display border).

  • Fixed behaviour of Recent path list dropdown when the global Recent list is disabled.

  • Fixed problem with hex viewer displaying garbage if file less than 8 bytes in size.

  • Fixed problem with hex viewer crashing if resized to more than 512 columns.

  • Fixed several List Mode issues:

    • Fixed rendering issue that caused the top line of pixels to be cut off.

    • The shift-select starting position would get confused when using the back button.

    • The wrong item could be selected/launched if scrolled to the right in some cases.

  • The folder tree no longer loses focus when moving to the parent folder using the up or left cursor key.

  • Files beginning with a . (dot) character no longer confuse Opus when double-clicked.

  • ImageShack upload web/forum/custom links now work correctly.

  • The rename function now strips leading/trailing spaces from EXIF fields like {cameramodel}.

  • Copying multiple folders containing sub-folders to a collection as sub-collections no longer mixes up folder contents.

  • Minor change for FTP recognition of Microsoft FTP server with misconfigured SYS response.

  • Change to fix FTP issue with parsing of links which had extra space.