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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - User interface

Q: If I run a DOS program or a DOS command from Total Commander's command line, I always land in c:\ (or another fixed directory) instead of the current directory!
A:
There is a directory saved in the PIF file associated with the program. If you use Windows 3.1 or Windows NT 3.51, you can use the PIF Editor to change the files _default.pif and dosprmpt.pif (or 4dos.pif) in your Windows directory. The line 'Working directory' must be empty! In Windows 95 or later, you can press ALT+ENTER on the PIF file to change it directly.

Q: On Windows 95, why doesn't drag&drop to the desktop work?
A:
You are using the 16 bit version. Only the 32 bit version supports drag&drop with the desktop and the Explorer. Please download the 32 bit version from our download page!

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Q: How do I keep Total Commander from re-reading the directories in the file windows each time I switch to Total Commander? With network drives this can take quite some time!
A:
Put the following line in the file wincmd.ini below [Configuration]: Noreread=HIJ Where HIJ are your network drives. The directory can always be re-read by pressing F2.

Q: How can I quickly switch to an often used directory?
A:
Either use the directory hotlist (CTRL+D), or create a button in the button bar or an entry in the start menu. The directory hotlist allows to add/remove the currently active directory. To add a dir to the button bar, select the directory, hold down the SHIFT key, and drag the directory to the button bar. A new icon will appear. You can also create a menu item in the "Start Menu" using the command cd c:\dirname. (Total Commander requires you to specify the whole path).

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Q: Is there a simple way to make Total Commander display the disk space used by all directories in the current directory individually?
A:
Yes! Simply press ALT+SHIFT+ENTER on a directory. Instead of <DIR> the size of this directory and all its subdirectories will be shown! This will only work in full view (i.e. all file details are shown).

Q: The symbols in the button bar look fuzzy and unclean.
A:
Total Commander uses normal 32x32 icons in its button bar. To fit more icons on one line, Total Commander shrinks these icons. The size can be defined in the dialog Configuration - Button bar. If you don't like the fuzzy look, you can set the size to 32 to avoid shrinking the icons. The 32 bit version also uses the 16x16 icons if the program contains them.

Q: In the file lists, Total Commander doesn't display the right icons for files associated with programs! It displays the *.ICO file type icon for all!
A:
That occurs in 32-bit versions if you increased or decreased the title-bar height in Windows. If possible, restore the size to 18, which is the default. If you want to keep the customized title-bar height, you need to change each icon (only xxx.ICO files) for each file type by a different one, contained in a DLL or ICL icon-library; you can choose icons in any *.EXE program file too. Then, Total Commander will display the right icons everywhere!

Q: How can I add a program to the button bar?
A:
Simply press and hold down the SHIFT key, then drag the program to the desired position.

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Q: How can I delete or change a button in the button bar?
A:
Click with the right mouse button on the bar and select 'Change' or 'Delete' from the popup menu.

Q: How can I access the context menu from Total Commander? A right click only selects the file.
A:
You have to press and hold down the right mouse button for about 1 second to make the menu appear. Alternative: Press Shift+F10 or the menu key on a Windows keyboard.

Q: Can Total Commander use the 'Quick View' file viewers in Windows95?
A:
When you press ALT+F3 (external viewer), Total Commander first looks for an internal association specified in the dialog 'Configuration' - 'Viewer/Editor'. Afterwards Total Commander checks if the extension is associated with Quick View. If no viewer is found, the default viewer specified in the configuration dialog is used.

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Q: Total Commander saves the last 20 command lines, but since I often enter passwords and other confidential information, I would like to disable this function.
A:
This can be disabled in Configuration - Options - Operation - Save on Exit - Old command lines. This must be unchecked.

Q: Why does the frame around the current file disappear if I type something in the command line?
A:
Windows doesn't allow the active selection (cursor) to appear in multiple windows simultaneously.

Q: After the execution of a DOS command such as DIR the window is closed so quickly that the output of the program is unreadable!
A:
You can start the program with SHIFT+ENTER instead of ENTER. This leaves the window open after the program terminates.

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Q: For very big files, the 'size' column is too small to display the number. Can this be changed?
A:
Yes, move the column delimiter in the header on the left side of the size field a bit to the right. Afterwards, choose configuration - save position to permanently save the new width.

Q: Why are only files sorted by date/time, but not directories?
A:
This is the default setting in Total Commander. However, it can be changed in Configuration - Options - Display - Like files (also by time). If you need to change this multiple times, you may create a button in the button bar with the command cm_SwitchDirSort .

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Q: How can I access the Windows desktop?
A:
Create a button in the button bar with the command cm_OpenDesktop
A corresponding icon can be found in the file shell32.dll in the Windows directory (simply type this file name in the field 'icon file' and press ENTER).

Q: Can I display files with special attributes, directories etc. in a different color?
A:
Yes, choose Configuration - Options - Color - Define colors by file type - Add. Now, instead of typing a file type like *.txt , press the button "Define". This gives you almost the same options as when searching for files, except for the search for text. You can search for file attributes on the second page of the dialog box.

Q: How can I display images other than BMP in lister (F3) or the Quick View window (Ctrl+Q)?
A:
For this you need to install Irfanview or Xnview as a plugin. You can find Irfanview and Xnview on our addons page. After installing it, you need to define it as a plugin. This is done through Configuration - Options - Edit/View - Configure internal viewer.

Q: Can the slow scrolling through file lists be accelerated?
A:
This so-called 'Smooth scrolling' is a 'feature' of newer Windows versions. It can be disabled on Windows 9x/ME/2000 with the Microsoft tool TweakUI. Go to www.microsoft.com and search for TweakUI and your operating system. Download and install the tool, and start TweakUI from the control panel. On the page General, disable the option Listbox animation.
In Windows XP, this can now be changed in Control Panel-System-Advanced-Performance (without the need for TweakUI).
In Windows Vista/7, the option is in Control Panel - System - Advanced system settings - Advanced - Performance - Settings - Visual effects. You need to uncheck the option "Smooth-scroll list boxes".
You may also increase the keyboard repetition rate (Control panel- Keyboard).

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