When comparing Ranger vs Directory Opus, the Slant community recommends Directory Opus for most people. In the question“What are the best file managers for Windows?” Directory Opus is ranked 2nd while Ranger is ranked 12th. 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.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Minimalist and efficient
There is no need for icons of files if headings are used. Previews of text documents and a simple design creates and efficient workflow.
Pro Can be used in terminal
Which makes for a good choice of file explorer for those that use machines without a GUI.
Pro Vim-like bindings
Ranger has Vim-like keybindings which help a lot in increasing efficiency and speed up the workflow.
Pro Extensible, scriptable (with python)
Ranger allows the use of various scripts for calling on individual or multiple files, for file previews, or for other operations.
In commands.py the "my_edit"-function can be extended to do whatever in python can be done. Target files can be the file under the cursor (self.fm.thisfile.path), the files marked/selected in the current tab (self.fm.thistab.get_selection() ) and the files in the copy-buffer (add/remove: ya, yr) (respectively the delete-buffer: add/remove da/dr) (both: self.fm.copy_buffer).
The most appropriate list of files can be found out automatically, like so:
for file in self.fm.copy_buffer:
for file in self.fm.thistab.get_selection():
file = self.fm.thisfile.path
This allows for in-terminal full colour previews of images and videos.
You can even call external scripts or chain shell commands from the primary interface.
Pro File preview
Unlike other terminal file managers, Ranger can preview many files, including text files, archives, etc.
Pro Easily used with SSH
Pro Bookmark system
Makes it easy to jump to any specific folder locations you work with.
Pro Image preview support
Ranger can use w3m to preview images in terminal through framebuffer.
Pro PDF preview
This may fall under "File preview", but it is a very powerful feature for PDF files in particular.
Pro Treeview and listview (equal viewports) possible
Supports any number of viewports on folders side by side.
Pro Fast and responsive
This software is super fast and responsive in navigation.
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.
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.
Allows batch renaming, viewing and editing file metadata.
Pro FTP support
Supports SFTP (Secure FTP via SSH, port 22)
Also supports FTP via SSL (port 990) and FTP via with TLS
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 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 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 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 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 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 Customized filters
Directory Opus allows users to create custom filters that can be saved and recalled as needed.
Pro Supports high-DPI monitors
Directory Opus supports both 4K and 5K monitors.
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 Manual sorting
Directory Opus allows users to sort files as they want in manual sorting mode.
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 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 Double-click on desktop to open a new file browser window
Pro Stable & reliable when dealing with huge (100k+) file sets
This applies to both local and network drives.
Pro Vertical folder tabs
Directory Opus users can use vertical tabs instead of horizontal tabs, if desired.
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.
Pro Good customer support
The customer support is very good.
Directory Opus has tabs for each view, which are customizable in size, appearance, functionality, etc.
Pro Works with Listary
Directory Opus has native support for Listary, allowing users to move even more quickly between directories and perform searches.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Difficult learning curve for people who are not used to Vim
Since it uses many of vim's keybindings, it may be hard for someone who does not use vim or does not know how to use vim to learn how to work with this file manager.
Con No built-in ability to navigate FTP/SSH
Most other GUI-based file managers provide easy bookmarking and browsing of multiple FTP & SSH locations using either keys or keychain stored user credentials. Ranger doesn't have this.
Con A great idea but not GUI friendly
May be difficult to get past the fact that it asked for commands dd and cc and the likes to cut and or paste. Arch-Linux normally prides itself on not over-complicating things. Too bad ... a great idea with the 3 Smart Columns, but why would anyone prefer to need to learn 30 commands in order to cut and paste or copy a file or folder, or to see/change permissions.
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 Only available for Windows
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 Large file sizes
The installer weighs in at 50MB and the app directory is over 95MB.
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 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.