Windows Shortcuts provide a decent solution for accessing
frequently used folders. But getting to those shortcuts–even if
they’re on your desktop–may require several clicks. On the other
hand, Direct Folders leverages your middle mouse button (generally
the wheel these days) to bring up a handy menu full of recently
visited (or designated favorite) folders so that you may reach any
of them with a single click.
You may also access the menu via an icon Direct Folders places
in the system tray. Personally, I’d prefer a simple addition to the
right-click context menu–but if you’re a middle-button person it
works quite well.
What I truly love about Direct Folders is that it allows me to
change the default appearance of the standard Windows XP File Open
and Save dialogs. I’ve always hated it that these dialogs didn’t
remember my tweaks, but now I can adjust their size, appearance,
and even arrange the file order using Direct Folder’s settings tab.
Very, very cool. The program also adds a Places bar to the left of
the dialogs if you wish. If you do use this feature, make sure you
define all the places as otherwise they show up as the System32
folder for some odd reason.
Direct Folders also has a Pro version that provides a more
complete info panel and the ability to create subfolders in the
menu, as well as allowing you to support the author’s hard work.
This little gem is worth its short download time, for the dialog
customization if nothing else.
Note: This program is free for home use only. Business
users must buy the Pro version.
–Jon L. Jacobi