Get quick and customizable access to favorite and recent folders from a menu in Explorer and dialog boxes.
Pros & Cons:
Adding folders and files to my Favorites menu was easy with Direct Folders ("DF"): I browsed for the target, selected it, then the caption was automatically entered (or I could change it). I could add separators and submenus so that my Favorites menu would be more organized. I liked that I could also choose an "Alternative target" that would be launched when I "Shift+Clicked" the item. This is a rare feature that really showed me how customizable DF was. It was also easy to add Favorites on the fly by calling the menu from an open folder and choosing "Add here".
My favorite feature was the "Recent" submenu (shown below). It displayed a highly configurable list of recently opened folders that could be tracked by application (like jump-lists).
After installation, the "Test Direct Folders" window appeared. This might be a little confusing for some. But it allowed me to see the three areas where DF is implemented: Open/Save dialogs, Browse dialogs, and Explorer.
I could access the Favorites menu by double clicking in the white space of dialogs or Explorer, or by using customizable hotkeys. The activation of menus and launching of items was nice and fast. There were no cascading (fly-out) menus, the DF menu items simply opened the selected folders.
DF was highly configurable with lots of options that could be specified globally or for each application. I was excited about the ability to set dialog/explorer window size, view mode, and sort order, though they did not work consistently for me on my machine. There was also an extra window that appeared above dialogs but had no useful function. The program froze on me once while clicking around on the window above the test "Browse" dialog. Luckily, this could be disabled in the settings.
Direct Folders effectively provides quick access to favorite and recent folders from the context menu of Explorer and dialog boxes. The program's strength is in its customizability. However, I would like to see some cascading (fly-out) menus, some buttons in Explorer's toolbar or in dialog boxes, and some additional features that can't be found in Windows 7 or newer. These OS's allow you to manually put favorites in most dialog boxes (at least in Windows 7) and add to the taskbar additional toolbars or short-cuts of favorite files and folders.
- Access Where? Explorer, Open/Save/Browse dialogs
- Access How? Double clicking in white space, customizable hotkeys
- Favorites Menu? Yes: on-the-fly additions, submenus
- Recent Menu? Yes: global and per application
- Dialog Window Settings? Global and per application: size, view mode, sort order
- Additional Window Functions? Yes: on top, roll up
- Customizability: High
- Additional Features: ClickSwitch makes file dialog jump to the folder already opened in Explorer
Direct Folders was reviewed by Gizmos Freeware on based on version 3.73.