FileVoyager is a freeware dual pane file manager and file viewer for Windows
FileVoyager is quite a bit different compared to your average file manager program. It's a hybrid dual pane file manager and file viewer, and has plenty of features that set it apart.
The application has a ribbon interface which some like and others dislike. The massive number of icons and information that is displayed on the screen may be confusing to first time users as it will take some time to get accustomed to everything. Fortunately you can disable some elements and switch to a different view which minimizes the learning curve greatly.
The Exploration tab, displayed on top of each file view pane, displays the file tree. You can use it to navigate to different locations,e.g. folders or drives. See that large picture on the top portion of the pane? That's the 3D thumbnail view. It takes a nice chunk of the on-screen real estate, so you may want to use the buttons below the "Exploration" tab to switch to something like the Details mode that is similar to Explorer's details view.
There are other views such as Details mode with thumbnails (every icon has a thumbnail and a description), icon mode (which looks like the Windows Control Panel), a list mode and a thumbnail mode (like a grid of icons). I used the first button, which is the details mode because it has the best of both worlds, i.e. looks nice and provides enough information.
The first 5 buttons on the Exploration bar can be used for the basic file operations: cut, copy, paste, delete to recycle bin and delete permanently. The icon with three upward arrows allows you to navigate to the root folder of the current path, the up icon is for jumping up to the previous folder, and the refresh button updates the folders contents. The left and right arrow icons are used to go back or forward a visited folder, while the clock icon pops down with a history of the recently opened folders.
There are two bars on the bottom of each pane: the first displays the number of selected files, folders, and their size. The other displays the current folder's properties such as the number of files, folders it contains and their size. It also shows you the current drive's total space and available free space.
Right-click within the Exploration tab to access the file manager's context menu. It looks similar to the Explorer context menu but you will notice some new options. The view with FileVoyager option opens the selected file using the program's built-in viewer.Â I had trouble with this, when I used the menu item, it'd always say the file wasn't found. But clicking on the file directly opened it in the other pane of the program, so the option does work. The same goes for the Hashes and VirusTotal menu, it works with the Preview tab but not from the menu.
Mouse over images in the Exploration tab and you get an inline preview of the image, along with its name, resolution, file type and size.
The ribbon UI has four tabs: Home, Manage, View and Tools.
This is actually a menu which has options to open another instance of the program, with or without administrator rights. Similarly, you can use it to open a command window with/without elevated privileges.
This tab is used for basic file operations (similar to the one mentioned in the Exploration tabs). But there are more options here including creating new files, archives and extracting archives. FileVoyager comes with 7-Zip built into it, so you have most of its options available in the file manager. You can copy a file's path, search for files, and manage favorites from the Home tab.
You get more file operations here, but those aren't the important options. The Open section lets you use the embedded viewer in FileVoyager to view the selected file. The external viewer and edit options let you open the files in their default external handlers.
The Folder Size tool calculates the file size of the selected folder and displays the result. The All Folder Sizes option does the same, but for all folders in the current view. This tab has the Preferences of the program, should you want to change any settings.
You can enable or disable the Exploration tab's check boxes for items, marquee, show hidden folders, sorting, thumbnails, and more. But this tab can change the appearance of FileVoyager, too. The folder tab can be toggled to be displayed on the bottom of the pane.Â There is an option to set the program to close or minimize to the Tray.
FileVoyager allows you to sort the columns (name, type, size, date), customize the file selection method, duplicate or switch the panes, too. The Common Toolbars are in my opinion really important, as you can toggle the Center Toolbar, Favorites and Appbar. Why have a ribbon and all these toolbars? The Panes option can be used to view/hide the tree (hidden by default), drive pane, folder tab, and the pane's toolbar. The Splitter button has many ways to resize the panes, but you can do that manually by dragging the pane's borders.
I wish the two drive bars at the bottom could be hidden, but there isn't a setting for that.
This tab has a few system tools, e.g. to connect/disconnect a network drive, create new shortcut, open the "Run" box, find files, display properties, Control Panel's Programs and Features, or Date and Time properties. Those are useful but not too special, but the Viewers section is.
Select a file and click on embedded viewer to view the document or picture in the other pane. The External Viewer does the same, but in a floating window. The other "External Viewers" option is used for closing all the opened "External Viewers".
There is a nice Folder comparison tool which can be accessed by clicking the "Compare listed paths" option, which by the way opens in a new window. The "Compare Items" on the other hand, opens a new window that uses FileVoyager's built-in viewers to display a visual comparison of the selected files.
And to cap it off, the Hash Tool is handy for computing the CRC, Haval, MD, Panarma, Ripe MD, Sapphire, SHA, Snerfy, Square, Tiger and Whirlpool hash values of any file or folder. You can use the "check with Virus Total" option to check the file using the virus checking service.
The Preview Tab acts as an inline image and document viewer in FileVoyager. Select a file in the right or left tab, and the content will be displayed in the other tab.
The modes available here include Text, Binary, Hexa, Unicode, U-hex, RTF, Windows, Web, MM and SumatraPDF. The document viewer supports PDF, EPUB, MOBI, CBR, CBZ, XPS, FB2, DJV2 formats, using the embedded SumatraPDF viewer. While editing documents, you can see the syntax highlighting for many languages.
The program supports audio and video playback using Windows Media Player and VLC (codecs are packaged with the application). So you can play the audio or video directly within the application, when the MM (multimedia mode) is enabled. It also works with playlist formats like M3U, PLS, ASX, etc.
The Appbar is at the top of the left pane and acts as a "Send To" shortcut that you can use to send any file to Bluetooth, Compressed Zip Folder, Desktop, etc. It's the same as Windows Explorer's "Send To" menu.
The Center toolbar sits between the two panes and can be used to open/copy/move/rename files. You can also use it for accessing the embedded viewer for supported files, edit (with external program), switch/duplicate panes, search or create files/folders.
The Favorites bar, at the bottom of the left pane is a shortcut bar for your computers favorite folders (Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Videos, etc).
There are about 18 themes for FileVoyager, which you can switch on the fly, by using the button in the top right corner of the program's window.
The application is available in 2 versions (technically four if you count the portable versions). One of these comes with VLC codecs, the other one doesn't. The same goes for the portable versions.
FileVoyager has a lot of features packed into it. The only problem is the interface which can appear to be a bit complicated. If you can brave that, you have yourself a nice file manager to use.