Why use Ztree ?

“One Tool to Manage Them All. One Tool to Find Them, One Tool to Bring Them All, And at the speed of light, Use Them!”
(speaking of files, of course)

Yes, Ztree hasn’t a nifty Windows interface, but it is in its nature. It’s a console-based application. It use blocky characters and doesn’t rely much on the mouse. If you can’t deal with that, just stick with fancier but less productive interfaces.

Ztree is not for everybody. It’s initially an advanced tool for power users, but anybody with some wit and open-mind can use it. After all, since it’s based on the awards-winning “older” Xtree paradigm, there used to be millions of “normal users” only few years ago that were able to use the program. It isn’t hard at all as a matter of fact. Key words here are efficiency, effectiveness, portability and flexibility.

1) EFFICIENCY

Ztree is FAST. Because it’s precisely a console-based tool, it can handle thousands, if not millions of filenames and do global operations on them in a snap, across directories and across hard drives (open, copy, rename, move, compress, compare, archive, view, etc.). Experienced Ztree users can do MUCH MORE things and MUCH FASTER than all other users using only few keys and scripts/macros. We should have an “International File Manager” contest to prove it. Can you rename two thousands MP3 files with a complex filemask in 10 seconds? Can you compare date/time/size/name of 10,000 files and flag every unmatched file in 10 seconds, then perform other operations on them? Can you graft dozens of directories in 20 seconds? Can you rename fifty directories in few seconds? Can you search within hundreds of files, automatically tag them according to different search strings, and move them into 30 different new directories in less than 5 minutes? USING THE SAME TOOL? I can! I do it everyday! This is what Ztree is about. All this come to the price of one small effort: do things with keystrokes, not mouse. Using mouse is maybe intuitive in Windows, but it really slows down human operations. “Click-a-click-a-Click-Drag-Drag-Hold Ctrl-Drag-Hold Shift-Extend selection… Not very fast, isn’t it? Keystrokes are what make Ztree fast.

2) EFFECTIVENESS

Ztree may look simple because it’s a console application but it is very powerful. It is a global application that uses API Windows for some operations, but because it’s console-based, it can also bypass Windows API with its own API to do things much faster. There is very little I can’t do with Ztree. Of course, I can do basic things like Move, Compress, Copy, Compare, Rename, Attributes, etc. But there are also advanced things I can also do. Rename files with complex masks. Edit HEX. Compare files at binary level. Display all files in one single window and sort them. Or filter them in a number of different ways. Compress them with any archiver I want. Execute commands. One thing I really like from Ztree is the ability to tag files and then perform batch operations on them with external utilities. For instance, it takes me less than 10 seconds to tag dozens of AVI and MPEG in a number of different directories and then create codec information text file for each file and in each subdirectory using a batch and external Gspot utility! Using Windows Explorer, it would take me half an hour, click-a-clicking each folder one by one! This is the kind of power that replaces literally DOZENS of so-called “utilities” around. A MP3 renamer? I can do it with Ztree. A search utility? I can do it with Ztree. A delete utility? I can do it with Ztree. What about a History Cleaner that removes traces of your computer usage? Well, with some basic knowledge, I can do it also with Ztree. I don’t have to learn different programs, I just need to learn ONE to do all these things (and an infinite number of other things :-). Also, I can have many Ztree sessions opened at the same time, performing different operations. For instance, I frequently copy different files at the same time using different Ztree sessions. And because it’s console based, each Ztree session is totally independent of each other and takes very little memory. Therefore I can do many file management operations at the same time. This is what I call effectiveness!

3) PORTABILITY

One of the great thing about Ztree is that it is very compact and doesn’t need a Windows setup. It’s only 733Kb! Just copy it on a floppy. Or on CD. Or access it through LAN. Works fine under Win9x or Win2k or WinXP. I can even use it in Windows Safe mode. It just works anywhere. (Because it’s a full 32bits utility, it however doesn’t work under DOS). I bring my Ztree CD/Floppy wherever I go and I do miracles, without having to install anything. Most Ztree users are POWER USERS, many are IT professionals managing big LAN and thousands of computers. Some other Ztree users, like myself, just manage few computers for family, friends and non-profitable organizations. But whatever our role, we just need ONE tool to do almost everything we need. It doesn’t require any installation. And it fits on a floppy. This is portability!

4) FLEXIBILITY

Ztree is tightly packed with hundred of features. Yet, you can add many more, as much as you want and need. Ztree can create on-the-fly batches with current file, current directory, or current tagged files. These batches can be anything you want and need. Just some basic batch file knowledge or small external utilities (whether command line or GUI-based), and you can customize Ztree to your needs. All these “scripts” are held in a single menu file (that you can bring along since Ztree is portable!). For instance, I have developed a basic script to permanently archive data folders with RAR, but with a number of personal parameters, and having before generated MD5/SFV and PAR2 files. I just have to point a directory, press a key, and the batch is launched for that directory. Using Windows, or any Windows-based file manager, it would have taken me ten times longer. Better: with Ztree, I can launch multiple batches at the same time! No tedious and repetitive Windows-moused limited file handling! Of course, many of my scripts are much more basic: map LAN drive, launch applications, view files with special viewers, tweak Windows, etc. The plain fact is that Ztree does integrate well with other utilities. You just have to write a one-line script and that’s it. Note that the community of Ztree users is very helpful and some libraries of scripts and tips already exist. And because Ztree hold an extensive history of all previous actions (ex: search strings, rename strings, executed command lines, etc) and that history is not only portable but editable, you can have a number of complex or repetitive actions that you can always recall with two or three keystrokes. With lot of imagination and very basic knowledge of Windows and command shell, you can add almost anything to Ztree. It’s up to you. It’s an open architecture. It will eventually reflect you. And it will increase your productivity to level you can hardly imagine.

Other key words for Ztree are:

  • Active development (a new build is release every few days !)
  • Very strong community (ask any questions or submit a challenge in our forum, somebody will answer you)
  • Unbeatable low price for an utility that replaces so many