If you have a lot of files on your PC it can be useful to be able to distinguish one type from another quickly. Multicommander is a free alternative to the Windows File Explorer that lets you assign colors to different types of files (documents, photos, etc.). You can change the default color codes and apply formatting styles (bold or italics, for example) to different file types. The program also allows you to rename several files in sequence and find specific things on your PC in seconds.
Before installing the program, check if the version of Windows you are using is 32 or 64 bits (right click on the ‘My Computer’ icon, choose the ‘Properties’ option and see the information next to the ‘System type’ indication).
Then, access the program website and click on the download button that corresponds to your operating system type. As soon as you run the program, it will ask you which command scheme you want to use. Choose the first option.
The program window has two zones that show the contents of your main unit (C :). Use the menus at the top left of each zone to choose the drive you are working on. To open any file, just double-click; to select multiple files, press the ‘Ctrl’ key and then click once on the files you want to select.
If you want, you can copy, or move, files to other locations, dragging them from one area to another. The icons at the top of the window are used to create folders and unzip ZIP files. Hover your mouse cursor over each of the icons to see what each one does.
Multicommander allows you to assign a color to a specific file type in order to be able to identify them more easily. Navigate to the drive and the folder containing the files you want in the left or right area. Then click on the color choice tool (the colored ball in the toolbar) and select the ‘File color rules editor’ option. This tool will assign a different color to each file type.
In the window that appears, choose a file type in the upper area, then click on ‘Choose color’ below. Enter the color you want to use for that type of file and then click ‘OK’ to apply it. In the same window you can choose the various text effects that later appear in the names of that type of file. To fix these changes, click ‘Save’.
This program also allows you to change the names of several files at once. There are two ways to do this: the first involves navigating to the folder where the files are located, in any of the panels of the main window, and choosing the files you want to change. Then click on ‘Tools’, choose the option ‘Rename’ and select the way you want to rename the files – go following the instructions that appear on the screen.
The second method gives you more options for changing file names. Choose the files you want to change, click on ‘Extensions’ and then click on ‘Multi-rename’. In the window that appears, click on the ‘Uppercase’ menu to see the options available. You can also enter a new name for the files. Deselect the files you don’t want to change in the box at the bottom of the window. When you’re satisfied, click ‘Start’.
Multicommander has a search feature that is very useful when you want to find a file that is lost on your disk. To use it, navigate to the folder or drive where you want to look in any area of the main window.
Then click on ‘Find files’ (the icon with a folder and binoculars on the toolbar); in the window that opens next, enter the search terms in the ‘Search for’ field. You can choose whether to respect uppercase or lowercase letters or search for complete words.
Click on ‘Start’ to start searching. The results appear instantly in the left area. Click on the results you want to access the options to copy, move or delete these files at once.