When comparing xplorer² 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 xplorer² is ranked 8th. 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 Good all-purpose file manager
Pro Faster than most similar applications
It's hard to find a free or low cost alternative that is as quick, and stable, especially managing NTFS volumes on a remote NAS. It still freezes and chokes, just not as often as newer applications, like XYplorer, Free Commander, etc.
Pro 250+ file attributes that can be added as columns to view more file attributes
Pro Comprehensive functionality
Full search, sync files & folders, show folder sizes, robust copy, native file viewer, tabs within panes, very configurable display, command shell, bookmarks, etc.
Pro Ability to save state
xplorer² gives users the ability to save the state, so the program will open with the same state the next time it's used.
Pro Execute DOS commands
Pro Flexible search function
Search based on numerous file attributes. Search in ranges. Search inside files. Save search parameters for future use.
Pro Browse Flat to view the contents of several subdirs as if they were stored in a single dir
Let's say you are located in a given subdir that has 5 subdirs. You can see the contents of all the files located in those subdirs as if they were stored in a single dir. Very useful when you want to locate files that you don't know exactly where they are located and searching is not an option.
Pro Free version available
There is a free version available, xplorer² Lite, for non-commercial use.
Pro Scrap Area where you can drop files located in different sub directories to allow you to access them instantly
Let's say that today you are going to update a letter located in subdir X, continue developing a spreadsheet located in subdir Y, review a presentation located in subdir Z, review a project located in subdir W, etc.. You can drag and drop all these files to the Scrap Area and open and work with them, save them, open again, continue tomorrow and the files will be updated in their respective original locations. No need to navigate and navigate and navigate.
Pro Supports TotalCommander plugins
Pro Copy/Move many simultaneous tasks
Can display the size in bytes of every folder listed in the current branch of the tree.
Pro Can create "tabs" of the most used sub directories that you can access with a simple click
Pro Mass rename capability
Pro Connects to network drives and cloud storage easily
Pro Lifetime license available
Pay once, get all future updates. Standard version licenses are also available.
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 Tools for synchronizing files and finding duplicates
Can easily synchronize files and helps the user in finding and deleting duplicates.
Allows batch renaming, viewing and editing file metadata.
Pro Available for different architectures
Available in both 32 and 64 bit versions.
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 FTP support
Supports SFTP (Secure FTP via SSH, port 22)
Also supports FTP via SSL (port 990) and FTP via with TLS.
Caution: FTP is a paid additive to the product although in relative terms it's not too expensive (around $12).
Pro Supports different archive formats
Supports archive formats like Zip, 7Zip and RAR.
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 Very powerful and easy to use batch rename dialog/feature
From powerful RegEx renaming to batch macro renaming, Directory Opus can compete with any third party renaming tool.
Pro Integrates seamlessly as a launcher for other programs
You can launch via a toolbar button or user definable custom context menu items.
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 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.
Directory Opus has tabs for each view, which are customizable in size, appearance, functionality, etc.
Pro Customizable and downloadable themes
The Directory Opus community has created everything from dark themes to themes emulating other applications.
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 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 Powerful image viewer
Directory Opus includes a powerful independent image viewer with configurable toolbar, menus and hotkeys.
Pro Manual sorting
Directory Opus allows users to sort files as they want in manual sorting mode.
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 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 Double-click on desktop to open a new file browser window
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 Supports high-DPI monitors
Directory Opus supports both 4K and 5K monitors.
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 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 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 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 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 Good customer support
The customer support is very good.
Pro Works with Listary
Directory Opus has native support for Listary, allowing users to move even more quickly between directories and perform searches.
Pro Integrated dialog editor
Lets you write scripts that have their own user interface with buttons, lists, checkboxes, text fields, 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 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 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 World's best customer support
More often than not, developers reply within minutes (even seconds) on their great forum. Never seen anything like it before.
Pro Audio preview
Ways for sound designers to play and stop audio files for fast previewing.
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 Stagnating rate of development
Any improvements to the software are happening at a glacial pace which is making this software more and more outdated for a long time now.
Only a few minor improvements a year. User suggestions for improvements are routinely rejected or explained away. As for suggesting new features -- you'll quickly abandon all hope. Only realistic reason to visit their support forums is to read Kilmatead's posts -- for anything else prepare to be disappointed.
UPDATE (and slightly offtopic): Kilmatead seems to be no longer active on the forums, so the next best thing is xplorer2 blog which seems to often feature interesting technical topics.
The interface is essentially unchanged since its Windows XP days, with very little customization possible. Organization of features is convoluted, with some simple ones, like individual icons to quickly switch views missing. The stagnant cluttered design can make even long-time users drop the program.
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 Can be intimidating to novice/inexperienced users
While the program is ULTRA-customizable, this can be a double-edged sword to anyone that is overwhelmed easily or not willing/able to learn the inner workings of DOpus.
Con Only available for Windows
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 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 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 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 Large file sizes
The installer weighs in at 50MB and the app directory is over 95MB.
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.
Con Erroneous Con
Con has been deleted, as it stated untruthful information.