Archive for October, 2006

Total Commander: Content Plugins and Custom Columns

October 5, 2006 2 comments

Preamble: this post was written by me on 27-Jul-2005. Just repost here. So, let’s start: “I have used Total Commander for nearly 4 more than 5 years…”

Total CommanderI have used Total Commander for nearly 4 years. One of my recent update was installing the version 6.51 (the latest was 6.53 released on June 1, 2005). I noticed one of the new feature is the new plugin framework, called Content Plugin. I was not aware of the usefulness until I saw one of relevant plugin Image Info.

What’s a content plugin, btw? From the help page:

Content plugins have several purposes: Searching for specific file properties and contents, displaying of these properties in file lists, and using them in the multi-rename tool to add them to the file name. Examples are:

  • mp3 id-tags (Artist, Title, Album etc)
  • digital photo information from JPEG files in EXIF format (aperture, exposure time, was the flash used etc)
  • file attributes like creation time, program version number etc.

Unlike the other Total Commander plugins, packer, file system or lister, I didn’t really know how to directly use them. When I came across the Image Info 1.42 (a little content plugin for extracting most recent info from images: Width, Height, BitsPerPixel, etc.), and after a little dig, I realized the customized colums is the most comment way of using the content plugin. How to do it?

  1. Install the content plugin. E.g., the Image Info 1.42. Most of the modern Total Commander plugins follows the plugin standard, that is, providing the plugin metadata file pluginst.inf inside the packed zip file. When double click on the zip file in Total Commander, it will automatically prompt a window to ask for installation. Nice feature. Hope all legacy plugins will change to this way πŸ™‚
  2. Go to menu β€œShow”, β€œCustom columns mode”, β€œConfigure custom colums”.
    Total Commander
  3. Click New to create a new cutomized columns to open the β€œCustom Columns” window.
    Total Commander
  4. Total Commander To add any customized column, just click β€œAdd column” button and click the β€œ+” button to select the desired information.
  5. To change the order of the column, just click the right space area of the β€œ+” button. The small spinner will appear, just click up or down key to adjust the order ot the column.
  6. To change the alignment of the displayed text for a column, select the appropriate direction under β€œAlign”.
  7. Remeber to tick the option β€œHorizontal scrollbar”, so the information won’t be truncated and we can easily view all info by using the scrollbar.
  8. Aslo, don’t forget to give a good name at the top right coner for your new customized colums. E.g. “Photo Columns”
  9. Total CommanderOk, the customized columns is ready. To use it, use the shortcut β€œShift-F1”, followed by keying in the prefix number (e.g., 1) of your customized column as shown in the popup window.
  10. You can change back to the standard column view using shortcut “Ctrl-F2” (my favorite style – Full view).

Here is the final view.
Total Commander

You can create many diffrent customized columns to suit different needs. For example, when viewing a image folder, especially produced by digital camera, you could use the customized EXIF info colums, e.g., the actual photo timestamp, zoom ratio, etc. When viewing the a mp3 folder, use the id-tag related columns. At any time, go to the standard mode, just β€œCtrl-F2”. Wow, wonderful!


Categories: Tech, Windows