|Written by Joe FaraceHits : 498|
|Thursday, 31 December 1998 19:00|
I have always been a fan of Now UtilitiesÑ-especially Now Menus and Super Boomerang, both of which long provided Mac users with the kind of navigation tools Windows users only dreamed about. Now Utilities was sold to Qualcomm, which couldn't figure out what to do with it. Now many of its components are being updated and improved for MacOS 8 by Power On Software. Action Files is its replacement for Super Boomerang.
Over the years I've purged my system of all shareware extensions and control panels except Greg Landweber's Aaron, which tweaks the appearance of the Mac OS, and Fabian OctaveÕs BeHierarchic, a replacement for Apple Menu Options. Apple's Extensions Manager does a good job of managing and will display the function of a particular extension.
After I installed Action Files, I found that its Open dialog enhancementsÑa key part of the packageÑdidnÕt work. When I used Extension Manager to turn off Aaron, Action Files was flying. Since Aaron is popular, I notified Power On about the conflict. At the moment, the conflict hasnÕt been resolved.
Just for fun, I downloaded Now Utilities 6.7 from Power OnÕs Web site (www.poweronsoftware.com) and installed Now Menus and Super Boomerang. To my surprise, Super Boomerang, which also adds a menu bar to the Open dialog box, didn't crash when Aaron was installed. Former Now Utilities owners can upgrade to version 6.7 for $29.95.
Action Files enhances your interface experience by offering easier access to files and folders than the Mac OS normally provides. It does this through enhancements to the Open command and through an expanded and improved Open and Save dialog. Action Files turns applications that have an Open or Save As menu item into hierarchical menus that provides access to recent or user designated "favorite" documents and folders. If the application already has a menu item called "Open Recent," like PageMaker 6.5, you can disable the Open hierarchical menu using the Action Utilities Control Panel.
The big changes are saved for the Open and Save dialog boxes that now sport a menu bar, adding versatility to this otherwise mundane window. At the top of the dialog box youÕll see File, Edit, View, Folders, Documents and Finder menus. The File menu provides access to 18 commands that allow you to change information about files and folders, duplicate files, perform searches and navigate through directories. The Edit menu lets you perform the commands normally found under a Mac OS Edit menu, including Undo, Cut, Copy and Paste.
If you often work with a specific file or folder, you can assign it a permanent place on the Folder or Documents menu by clicking the Space bar with the item highlighted. The View menu lets you customize the list of files that appears in the standard Open dialog. You can choose how the list is sorted and specify which columns are displayed. The Folders menu displays recent folders along with any Favorite folders. The Documents menu displays a list of all recently accessed documents along with favorites. The Finder menu is used to close or open the currently displayed folder.
One of the utilityÕs most useful features is the ability to return to a recently accessed folder. Action FilesÕ Rebounding feature selects a last item from the specified folder that was previously accessed from any Open or Save dialog. When the Open dialog appears, the list automatically scrolls to that item and the file is highlighted. Action Files takes almost all of the functions of Super Boomerang and brings them up to date for a System 8 world.
When I installed Mac OS 8.5 and activated Action Files I was in geek heaven. If you use Mac OS 8, you want Action Files.
Action Files 1.1, Power On Software, 2046 Lakewood Rd. SW, Sherrodsville, OH. 612.317.0344, fax: 612.317.0345. Internet: "http://www.actionnowutilities.com." target="Resource Window">www.actionnowutilities.com Requires: Color Capable Macintosh or Mac OS compatible running System 7.5 or higherÑincluding System 8. Street price: $49.95, if downloaded off their web site: $39.95, upgrade price for owners of Now Utilities is $29.95.