QT Toolbar

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QT Toolbar is an explorer extension that installs a toolbar in Windows folder views that provides a number of useful functions for working with files and folders, including a powerful search box that makes it easy to filter files and folders that are visible within an open folder.

Have you ever had a folder with dozens and files/folders that you wished you could filter in some way? Supposing you only needed to view items modified in, the past 5 days, or say you had a folder full of audio files that you wanted to filter by “Rock” genre.

With QT Toolbar you can easily do this.

QTToolbar Screenshot #2Here is an overview of QT Toolbar’s functions:

  • Copy names/path+names: all selected file names/paths will be inserted into the clipboard. If none are selected it will copy the name/path of the folder you are working with.
  • Command prompt: launched within current folder.
  • Folder Size Analysis: will scan the current folder and give you a pie-chart graphic representation of the size of files/folders within it, and list the top 8 largest items in the legend. Even if you use a tool such as JDiskReport or Disc Space Reporter etc. for this sort of analysis this option is nice for spur-of-the-moment folder size info.
  • File/Folder filtering: very powerful; seems to allow searches by regular expressions according to the manual (which, btw, is in Japanese, but you can go here to see a Google-translated version). You will likely not need to become familiar with it’s special syntax as you can use the context menus and the “Search Helper” to do advanced searches. For example, type a string in the search box and it will find all instances of files/folder names that contain that string. Strangely, it does not do standard wildcard syntax (e.g. enter “.zip” for all files with a .zip extension rather than “*.zip”). Once you get a set of results you can perform a subsequent operation to filter further (e.g. first do a search for .mp3 to get all mp3’s in the folder, then filter by “Rock & Roll” genre to see only those mp3s that fit the bill. Note that the only way to unfilter and go back to a normal view is to use the Windows refresh folder function.
  • Select all files of the same extension: select a single file then press a button on the toolbar to select all instances of files of the same type (see second screenshot above).
  • Quickly calculate file MD5 value: simply select a file and you can calculate its MD5 value, compare it to a value in the clipboard, and place the value in the clipboard. If you do not know what MD5 values are I’m not really qualified to explain (it seems to be some sort of unique fingerprint for a file, read more on MD5 values in Wikipedia).
  • Installation: unzip the installation package and install/uninstall this extension using the “InstallerQTToolBar2.exe” executable. It will not be viewable from the Windows Add/remove control panel.

Wish list (or how this program can be even better):

  • A successful search currently reverts to “icon view” by default irrespective of the view that you are using, which is rather annoying. It would be nice if it stuck to whatever was being used.
  • The addition of back/forth navigation buttons. As it is there is no way to retrace your steps (aside from refreshing the view and redoing the search). So for example if you filter a folder by .mp3, then by files modified in the past 5 days, then by “Jazz” genre you cannot go back to the .mp3 results without redoing the search.

The verdict: I think this toolbar is especially useful and I quite like it. Although this explorer extension adds functionalities to Windows that are typically found in dual pane file managers (such as Explorer2), I have personally never taken to using these and much prefer this sort of functionality built into Windows itself. (Also check out QT TabBar  and QT Address Bar, 2 great software titles by the same author).

Version tested: 2.1.0.10

Compatibility: Windows XP, 2000, Vista + Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0.

Go HERE to download version 2.1.0.10 (approx 163K), or visit the author’s page for more information.

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Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started Freewaregenius.com