Tutorials - Advanced topics

How do I...

Q: How do I compare two files by content?
A: Please follow these steps:

  1. Select the two files you want to compare, either in the same window, or one in each window
  2. From the menu, choose "Files" - "Compare" by content
  3. The differences are shown in blue (text files) or red (binaries)
  4. To modify one of the files, switch back to Total Commander without closing the compare tool (Alt+Tab), and load the file in an editor
  5. When you save the file and switch back to the compare tool, it offers to recompare the files

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Q: How do I associate file types with programs?
A: Please follow these steps:

  1. Place the cursor on a file of that specific type
  2. From the "Files" menu, choose "Associate With"
  3. If the desired program (e.g. Microsoft Word) is already in the list, choose it
  4. If it's not in the list, click on "New Type"
  5. Browse for the program you want
  6. Click OK

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Q: How do I search for specific files on my harddisk?
A: Please follow these steps:

  1. Go to the directory in which you want to start your search
  2. From the "Commands" menu, choose "Search"
  3. Enter a file mask for the search. Example: *.doc will search for all Word documents
  4. You may search for text contained in the files, using the "Find text" option
  5. On the second search page, you can search by size, date, and attributes
  6. The function also contains a duplicate file finder
  7. Start the search with the "Start search" button
  8. You can either go to a search result with the "Go to" button, or work with the whole file list by clicking "Feed to listbox"

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Q: How do I rename a lot of files?
A: You can use the multi-rename tool like this:

  1. Select the files you want to rename, either with Insert, or the mouse, or with the Plus key on the numeric keypad
  2. From the "Files" menu, choose "Multi-Rename tool"
  3. Now you can use placeholders in square brackets to build your new name. For example [N] means the name of the file (without the extension), [N1-5] means the first 5 characters of the file name, [C] means a counter, etc.
  4. you can use the buttons to insert common placeholders
  5. The file list below the buttons show the rename result in real time, without actually renaming the files!
  6. With F1 (Help), you get a detailed list of all placeholders
  7. When you're satisfied with the results, click "Start!"
  8. If you made a mistake, you can click on "Undo". This even works after closing and re-opening the rename tool!

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Q: How do I synchronize two directories?
A: Use the "Synchronize dirs" tool like this:

  1. Switch to the two directories which you want to compare, one in the left and one in the right window
  2. If you only want to synchronize certain subdirectories, select them now
  3. From the "Commands" menu, choose "Synchronize Dirs"
  4. Click on "Compare"
  5. Wait for the comparison to complete
  6. Files which are newer in the left window will have a green arrow pointing to the right, those which are newer in the right window a blue arrow pointing to the left. Identical files will have an equal sign, different files with identical date an unequal sign.
  7. You can choose which files to show using the buttons in the "Show" box. Singles are those which exist on only one side, duplicates exist on both
  8. To synchronize the two sides, click on the "Synchronize" button, then OK

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Q: How do I connect to an FTP server?
A: Follow these steps to use the built-in ftp client:

  1. Click the URL button or choose "FTP new connection" from the menu
  2. Type (or paste) the server address, e.g.
  3. If you have an account on the server, uncheck "anonymous connection"
  4. Click OK
  5. If you have an account on the server, you will be asked for user name and password
  6. You are now connected to the server
  7. Now you can work on the server almost as on a local harddisk. You can upload and download files easily with F5 (Copy), delete them with F8/Delete, view them with F3 and edit with F4
  8. To terminate the connection, click on "Disconnect" in the FTP toolbar
  9. You can now save the connection, so you can use it later with the FTP button

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Q: How do I connect two machines through the parallel port?
A: Just follow these steps:

  1. Get a parallel link cable. These are often sold as "Interlink" cable or "Direct cable connection" cable.
  2. Start Total Commander on both machines. You only need 1 licence if you are the only user.
  3. On both machines, select 'Net' - 'PORT connection to other PC'.
  4. One machine will act as a server, and one as a client. You will be working on the client, while Total Commander cannot be used on the server during the connection.
  5. Select 'Server' on one machine, and 'Client' on the other.
  6. If your computer has multiple parallel ports, Total Commander will ask for the port which you want to use. Choose the port to which the parallel cable is connected.
  7. The connection is now established. It works similar to an FTP connection, i.e. you can now upload, download, delete, rename, view, and edit files, but not execute programs. Furthermore, you can use 'synchronize dirs'.
  8. Close the connection on the client (Disconnect) and server (Abort).

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