When comparing ConEmu vs Directory Opus, the Slant community recommends Directory Opus for most people. In the question“What are the best power user tools for Windows?” Directory Opus is ranked 12th while ConEmu is ranked 13th. The most important reason people chose Directory Opus is:
Allows customizing toolbars and keyboard hotkeys. Has a full scripting interface that allows in-depth customization options.
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Pro Highly customizable
You can configure a plethora of settings, including shortcuts and aesthetics (background image, transparency, colors, and fonts) per software.
Pro Can be used with any shell
ConEmu allows running CMD, PowerShell, Cygwin, PuTTY, TCC/LE, etc.
Pro Explorer integration
ConEmu integrates well with Explorer.
Pro Tab support
ConEmu allows the user to create tabs (Win+W by default) for separate instances of the terminal window, allowing them to have both multiple shells and multiple instances of the same shell open. The user can also set up a startup directory for each tab and run each tab as a specific user or rights.
Pro Highly configurable hotkeys
Hotkeys allow the user to easily trigger an action and can be configured to their liking.
Pro Run DOS applications with DosBox
If you have both ConEmu and DosBox installed, you can run DOS applications (and games) within a 64-bit OS environment.
Pro Progress Bar integration
ConEmu permits the user to check up on the progress of an operation with a quick glance at the taskbar, without needing to bring the app to the foreground.
Pro Useful status bar details
Not only does the status bar show detailed information out-of-the-box, it can be configured for your specific needs.
Pro Integrates with FarManager
ConEmu was originally designed as an updated front-end specifically for the FarManager, which means it has increased functionality.
Pro Free and open source
ConEmu is licensed under New BSD which is a class of very simple and liberal software licenses.
Pro Actively developed
ConEmu is under active development. Updates roll out almost daily with bugfixes and new features.
Pro Dynamically resize the window
You can change the width and height of the console window without having to reset your session.
Pro Run simple GUI apps within a ConEmu tab
With -new_console and -cur_console switches you can run simple GUI apps in a ConEmu tab (or split).
Pro Search in console input/output history
ConEmu supports searching in all text that has been printed or entered in the console history.
Pro Supports borderless mode
To put ConEmu in borderless mode:
Set Main -> Appearance -> Frame Width to 0
Pro Box selection
ConEmu offers multiple, configurable ways of interacting with text, including an ability to select text in a rectangular way.
Pro Auto discovers your shells
Zero config gets you all your installed shells.
Pro Transparent, Quake-style mode
You can set up ConEmu as a transparent, Quake-style console by following these instructions.
Pro Supports Jump Lists
ConEmu allows pinning commands to Jump Lists (available in Windows 7 & 8; accessed by right-clicking the application in the taskbar), giving you quick access to common tasks and configurations.
Pro Built-in screenshot tool
The screenshot tool allows the user to capture their computer desktop or anything shown on their computer screen in a static image file.
Pro Closest replacement for iTerm2 users
Supports many of the features that iTerm users have become accustom to (like multiple tabs, highlighting, configurable scroll bars, decent support for themed color pallets to support basic/solarized/etc.).
Pro Customizable UI
Allows customizing toolbars and keyboard hotkeys. Has a full scripting interface that allows in-depth customization options.
Pro Can be set to replace Windows Explorer
Unique Explorer Replacement mode provides a full replacement for Windows Explorer.
Pro Available for different architectures
Available in both 32 and 64 bit versions.
Allows batch renaming, viewing and editing file metadata.
Pro Supports different archive formats
Supports archive formats like Zip, 7Zip and RAR.
Pro Allows color-coding and assigning star ratings to files and folders
This is done with Directory Opus' inbuilt label and its Status system.
Pro Very powerful and easy to use batch rename dialog/feature
Pro Tools for synchronizing files and finding duplicates
Can easily synchronize files and helps the user in finding and deleting duplicates.
Pro FTP support
Supports SFTP (Secure FTP via SSH, port 22)
Also supports FTP via SSL (port 990) and FTP via with TLS
Pro Integrates seamlessly as a launcher for other programs
You can launch via a toolbar button or user definable custom context menu items.
Pro Extended scripting API
The scripting capabilities of DirectoryOpus extend from version to version. You can do a whole lot of unheard stuff with that.
Custom columns, custom commands, handling events etc. just to name a few things. It even has a GUI editor to allow for custom interfaces for your file management and scripting tasks. Even though mastering it is not easy in the beginning, it's worth it in the long run.
Pro Easy to sort photos
Image marking adds the images you select to a different file, making it easy to sort through a large number of them.
Pro Customizable and downloadable themes
The Directory Opus community has created everything from dark themes to themes emulating other applications.
Pro Customizable status bar
Directory Opus allows users to customize the status bar to display helpful information based on several different factors, including file counts, types, disk space, and others. The status bar can also be customized separately for dual displays.
Pro Backup and restore configuration
Directory Opus includes a comprehensive configuration backup and restore feature. Users can backup their customized configuration at any time and restore a previous configuration as needed.
Pro Customized filters
Directory Opus allows users to create custom filters that can be saved and recalled as needed.
Pro Standard and customized layouts/styles
Directory Opus includes 8 standard layouts, including Commander, Dual Horizontal, Dual Vertical, Explorer, Filmstrip, Images, Metadata and Single. In addition, users can create and save their own layouts to suit specific needs and file processes.
Pro Relative size and date graphs
Directory Opus has an option to include relative size and date graphs. These can be displayed independently, in their own columns, or nested behind the size and date columns respectively. They can also be toggled on and off with a simple button as needed.
Pro Supports high-DPI monitors
Directory Opus supports both 4K and 5K monitors.
Pro File Status Symbols
Directory Opus offers an extension of standard color labeling in the form of status graphics that can be shown as an additional column in the file display. Standard graphics include "Checked" and "Flagged." Users can also create and use customized status labels.
Pro Powerful image viewer
Directory Opus includes a powerful independent image viewer with configurable toolbar, menus and hotkeys.
Pro Works with Everything
Directory Opus works with the Everything search program. A custom-built script allows users to conduct searches and view results within the Directory Opus file display.
Pro Single or dual independent trees
Directory Opus allows the user to use a single tree or dual independent trees with the dual file display.
Pro Double-click on desktop to open a new file browser window
Pro Good customer support
The customer support is very good.
Pro Vertical folder tabs
Directory Opus users can use vertical tabs instead of horizontal tabs, if desired.
Pro Integrated image conversion
Directory Opus includes integrated image conversion functionality, allowing users to convert images to different formats, rotate and flip images, and resize images. Functionality can be used on a single image or large batch of images.
Pro Manual sorting
Directory Opus allows users to sort files as they want in manual sorting mode.
Pro Stable & reliable when dealing with huge (100k+) file sets
This applies to both local and network drives.
Pro Works with Listary
Directory Opus has native support for Listary, allowing users to move even more quickly between directories and perform searches.
Pro Extensive column availability
Directory Opus includes over 150 standard columns in various groups, ranging from "Name and Path" to "Metadata." In addition, users can create custom columns using a script.
Directory Opus has tabs for each view, which are customizable in size, appearance, functionality, etc.
Pro Searchable preferences
Directory Opus offers thousands of user preferences. To help users find the preference they want, Directory Opus offers a search function within the Preferences dialog that identifies and highlights specific preferences associated with the user's search term.
Pro It prevents you from making gross deletion mistakes
Since it makes your folder structure rather transparent and allows to easy checks through dual tabbed layout, it helps you to not delete files wrongly.
Pro Powerful, expandable viewer
The viewer in Directory Opus supports a huge array of file extensions (more can be added as plugins).
It is even able to show webpages in the viewer, when you select .url or .html files.
Pro Integrated dialog editor
Lets you write scripts that have their own user interface with buttons, lists, checkboxes, text fields, etc.
Pro Supports TeraCopy
Directory Opus supports TeraCopy
Pro WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux Support)
Script functions can be written in WSL Script, DOS Batch Mode, VBScript, JScript or directly calling Opus or External applications.
/mnt/c paths understood by path fields. WSL mode in Find As You Type (FAYT). Copy path names in WSL format or Windows format.
Pro Flickr support
Directory Opus is able to sync your photos with Flickr.
You can customize which file collections to sync, and the save location for each file collection
Pro Gets updated often
Directory Opus gets updates all the time -- fixes, significant improvements and often new features are released multiple times a month. Improvement and feature requests by users are taken in consideration and you can often find your bug report resolved or improvement request fulfilled in one of the beta versions that follow soon.
Con Bad scrolling support
The mouse wheel scroll doesn't transfer to terminal applications by default. It moves to the blank space instead of scrolling actual text content. This is especially true for ConEmu where there doesn't seem to be a way to make it work better.
Con Default look is somewhat unpleasant
In order to get a more pleasant look and feel, you may need to customize ConEmu yourself.
Con Poor performance with WSL
Con Screen scrapes from real console
ConEmu always runs the standard Windows console - ‘real console’, but it is hidden most of time.
This adds overhead, introduces another layer of complexity, and frequently creates irritating strange glitches (lost keys, messed up spacing) for heavy users.
Con Only simple, black and white emoji
It's not much, but is sad we can't get colored emojis. May change soon, I'm working on a PR.
Con No remote connections
A terminal emulator should emulate a terminal, i.e. a local input/output device to a remote computer. ConEmu can only run local processes in a window (albeit nicer than the local command shell window).
Con Portability costs more
On top of an already expensive license, users must purchase a separate Export License to create a portable version.
Compared to the other options, Directory Opus is quite expensive.
Prices are $35 for the Lite version and $64 for Pro (price changes based on the AUD to US exchange rate). Upgrading from light to pro costs about $30.
Con Restrictive license
Product is licensed on a "per-machine basis" requiring purchasing multiple expensive licenses to cover a single user with multiple machines.
However, if you have time and luck, you can write to the DO sales department and they can produce another license for you to use personally on another machine you own.
Con Limited to only two views
You are only able to have two concurrent views at a time.
It does help, that you are able to have both the metadata-pane and the viewer-pane open whilst using Dopus in dual-view mode.
Con Complicated if one pursues mastery on the most advanced features
Takes a long time to become efficient with it. Mastering all the features can be rather exhausting.
Con Large file sizes
The installer weighs in at 50MB and app directory is over 95MB.
Con Limited support for Touch / Tablet mode
Your file manager + Start Menu are the main way to launch programs/documents... When using Touch Mode, the Surface running Opus would be far more usable if some attention was paid to this use case.
Con No good support for right-sided tree
The only way to get a right sided tree is to display both panes in horizontal layout and then switch the first (upper) tree off. Which leaves you with 2 horizontal panes and one tree on the right. There is no other way (neither with 2 vertical nor with 1 pane) to have a tree on the right side. And since this layout setting is rather the step-child of the developers, it also is a bit buggy and not of top priority as far as fixing any issues with it.
Con Erroneous Con
Con has been deleted, as it stated untruthful information.
Con No native/good support for restoring multiple search paths for the find files tool
Although all other options of the find files tool are very good, there simply is no easy way of regularly using the same multiple search paths.
For using only one search path, one can simply navigate to that path and activate the automatic path-use-button in the tool or choose one path from the previous paths drop-down, but that only works for one path. It can get cumbersome if one wants to restore multiple search paths at once. One must basically write his own script to do that. This is surprisingly annoying that such a basic and needed functionality is not natively supported (built-in) by such a generally powerful program.