Panther's Finder Feature in Windows (sort of)

While I was watching the Apple Keynote the other day, I thought the favorites bar that they've added to the Mac finder was kinda nice. You can add commonly used folders to the left of the Finder pane and then when you want to, you can just select that folder and that becomes the root for you to explore. It's pretty nice, especially since it's been added to all the dialog boxes as well. I can't figure out why MS didn't do the same with those boxes on the left of the standard dialog in Windows!

Anyways, today I was just getting frustrated because I had put the Explorer shortcut icon in my QuickLaunch bar and it always opened to My Documents and I wanted it to open to C: so I went and looked up Windows Explorer's command line switches again (like I have every time I get a new machine). But after I read the instructions and changed the shortcut command, the results were a bit different than I had expected, and that's when I remembed the Apple demo again. So here's what I did, I created a new shortcut with the following command:

%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /e, /root, c:\

Now what that does is creates a new Explorer Window and the only thing in the left hand side is the C drive. I thought it was going to show me everything and drill down into the C, but it didn't. This is pretty neat. After reading again, I found that if you want to see everything, but start at a spot lower, you just do this:

%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /e, c:\

But there are many times that I want to "live" inside a directory and not worry about seeing the whole hierarchy of my drive. So because I don't use Internet Explorer, my Links bar is completely empty. So what I did was add a bunch of shortcuts in there with the root starting at different folders like c:\work for my work stuff c:\documentation, etc.

Now, when I open up a window using my QuickLaunch link, I get everything, but with the focus on the c drive (which I work out of 99% of the time anyways) and at the top of the Window, I have a list of commonly used directories. When I decide I'm looking to live inside one of those I click and a new window pops up with that directory as the root on the left (i.e. there's nothing above that directory, it's like c:\work is the root directory for that window.) It'd be much nicer if those quick links didn't pop up a new window, but changed the current one, but I can't get it to go that far (even checking Reuse Windows in the IE options and not launching a different process per window).

I'm not sure if I'm going to keep it or not, but I thought it was a neat hack.


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