Documentation

This page is a work in progress. It will significantly change in the near future.

Archives
Selecting items
Panels menu
Items menu
Operations menu
Tools menu
Help menu

The keyboard shortcuts displayed below are relevant for macOS. Click here to switch to shortcuts for Windows or Linux.

Selecting items

If you want to perform an operation on multiple items, you need to select them. Selected items are highlighted in a different color, depending on the selected color theme. Unlike in many other programs, where selection is canceled with a single click, selection in HiFile is persistent. It will not be canceled until you explicitly ask for it by pressing Escape or by leaving the current folder.

You can change selection with:

  • Shift+Up/Down/PageUp/PageDown/Home/End - toggles selection in the given direction
  • Cmd+left click - toggles selection for the clicked item
  • Shift+left click - toggles selection for a range of items
  • Insert - toggles selection of the active item and moves one row below (it is the same as Shift+Down)
  • Cmd+A - selects all items in the active list view
  • Cmd+Shift+I - inverts selection for all items in the active list view

Note: On macOS you need to press Cmd instead of Cmd.

If you want to use only mouse for changing selections, you can switch to selection mode. It is triggered by long holding of left mouse button, and is signalled with a changed mouse cursor. It allows selecting items with a single click or with holding left mouse button and dragging mouse cursor over items. This selection mode can be canceled by pressing Escape or clicking right mouse button.

Clipboard operations and drag & drop

You can use clipboard operations - cut, copy, paste - to copy or move items within HiFile or between many other applications which work with files. For example you can copy and paste items from and to other file managers such as Windows Explorer, many media viewers, Remote Desktop or email attachments in most email clients including browser based ones.

HiFile support dragging and dropping of items within the application as well as between HiFile and many other applications. You can drag and drop items onto an empty space which will make the current location the drop target. Or you can drop dragged items onto a folder which will make this folder the drop target. You can also drop items onto path buttons in list view header.

By default the drop operations requires confirmation in order to avoid dropping items by mistake. In this confirmation phase you can also choose which action you want to perform - copy or move. In other words, you do not need to press Cmd (Cmd on macOS) while dragging to override the default action. Most people probably do not know about this overriding anyway. If you press the key to override the action, it will change the default action in the confirmation dialog.

drop

Bookmarks

There are usually a few folders which you work with more often than with others. If you add these folders to your bookmarks, you can access these folders much easier. To create a bookmark click Panels>Add bookmark or press Cmd+B or in the menu or click on the star icon in toolbar. Bookmarked folder is indicated by a filled star icon. There are usually a few folders which you work with more often than with others. If you add these folders to your bookmarks, you can access these folders much easier. To create a bookmark click Panels>Add bookmark or press Cmd+B or in the menu or click on the star icon in toolbar. Bookmarked folder is indicated by a filled star icon. Adding a folder to bookmarks will have these effects: - The bookmarked folder will become visible in the path toolbar. - The bookmarked folder will appear at top of suggested folders when you press Space or click Panels>Change location in the menu. - The bookmarked folder will appear at top of suggested folders in target folder edit lines in dialogs for many operations. When adding a bookmark, you can enter a name for it. By default the name corresponds to the folder name but you can change it to anything which will make it easy for you to type to find the folder. You can later edit the name or remove the bookmark the same way you added the bookmark. You can also edit all bookmarks in Tools>Preferences>General>Bookmarks. When you run HiFile for the first time, some folders are bookmarked automatically: Home, Documents, Downloads, Pictures, Music, Videos. You can also edit all bookmarks in Tools>Preferences>General>Bookmarks. When you run HiFile for the first time, some folders are bookmarked automatically: Home, Documents, Downloads, Pictures, Music, Videos.

Editing bookmarks

Archives

HiFile supports working with large number of archive formats. Some are only for reading, e.g. rar or arj. Others are also for writing, e.g. zip, 7z. HiFile treats archives as normal folders, you can open them and perform operations any operations like with normal folders. You can copy or move files in or out, you can rename items, create folders inside archives etc. You can create a new archive by clicking in menu Operations>Compress to archive or by pressing Shift+F5.

On Windows, HiFile internally uses 7-zip archiver which probably the most popular archiver available. On macOS and Linux, HiFile uses 7-Zip clone p7zip. You can check the list of supported formats in Tools>Preferences>General>Archives.

Workspaces

Very often user works in certain locations in the left and the right panel and then wants to switch to completely different locations but he already knows he will want to return back to the location which he has currently open. He can do this by opening another instance of HiFile. Or he/she can create a new workspace in the current instance of HiFile. Creating a new workspace will clone the current left and right panel. The workspaces are represented by numbered button in the top right corner of the main window, here you can switch between them or create a new one or close the current one. Note that the key shortcuts for managing workspaces are the same as the shortcuts which are used by all most popular web browsers to manage open tabs.

Panels menu

Change location (Space)

This is extremely useful feature, which allows quickly navigating across locations.

Edit location (/)

Allows editing the current location as a text with cursor positioned at the last slash character.

Go to previous location (Option+Left)

Opens the location which was previously visible in the active panel. This is similar to Undo action related to a queue of visited locations.

Go to next location (Option+Right)

If a location was changed by Go to previous location, it returns back. This is similar to Redo action related to a queue of visited locations.

Add/Edit bookmark (Cmd+B)

Adds the active location to a list of bookmarks. If the location is already among bookmarks, it allows changing the bookmark name. If the location is bookmarked, it appears in the top of the list of items when you want to Change location.

Show/Hide hidden items (Cmd+.)

View in thumbnail mode / View in list mode (Shift+F3)

Switches between thumbnail view and (normal) list view. Thumbnails are displayed as a small preview of images so this mode is especially useful for browsing folders containing lots of images. Thumbnail size is configurable in Tools>Preferences>Appearance>Thumbnail size. By default the view mode is preserved for each folder so when you visit it next time, you will find it displayed in the same mode as you left it. This behaviour can be changed in Tools>Preferences>General>Preserve view mode for folders.

Clone left to right (Cmd+Shift+Right)

The location active in the left panel is opened in the right panel.

Clone right to left (Cmd+Shift+Left)

The location active in the right panel is opened in the left panel.

New workspace (Cmd+T)

Creates a new workspace by cloning the current workspace, i.e. clones the current left and right panel.

Close workspace (Cmd+W)

Closes the current workspace.

Next workspace (Cmd+Tab)

Switches to the next workspace.

Previous workspace (Cmd+Shift+Tab)

Switches to the previous workspace.

Items menu

Select all (Cmd+A)

Selects all items in the active panel. The selection can be cleared by pressing Escape.

Invert selection (Cmd+Shift+A)

Selects items which are not selected and deselects items which are selected in the active panel.

Set filter (Shift+Space)

Use last filter (Cmd+Shift+Space)

Switch on the latest filter used by Set filter.

Sort by name (Cmd+1)

Sorts items in active panel by item name. By default, the items are sorted ascendingly, from A to Z. Sorting respects local language settings. Sorting of numbers can be customized. When Tools>Preferences>General>Natural numeric sorting is checked, numbers are sorted in their natural order. See Natural sort order.

Sort by size (Cmd+2)

Sorts items in active panel by size. By default, the items are sorted descendingly, from the biggest to the smallest. Folders remain sorted by name, unless the folder content data is available for them.

Sort by time (Cmd+3)

Sorts items in active panel by last modification date and time. By default, the items are sorted descendingly, from the newest to the oldest. Folders remain sorted by name, unless the folder content data is available for them.

Sort by previous column (Cmd+Left)

Sort by the column to the left of the current sort column.

Sort by next column (Cmd+Right)

Sort by the column to the right of the current sort column.

Sort ascendingly (Cmd+Up)

Sort ascendingly: names from A to Z, size from smallest to biggest, modification time from oldest to newest. Ascending sorting is default for Name column.

Sort descendingly (Cmd+Down)

Sort ascendingly: names from Z to A, size from biggest to smallest, modification time from newest to oldest. Descending sorting is default for Size and Time columns.

Operations menu

Open (Enter)

Opens the current file in the program which is associated to the type of file.

The file is added to the list of Recent files.

Open with (Shift+Enter)

You can specify in which program you want to open the file.

The file is added to the list of Recent files.

View file (F3)

Opens the current file in build-in viewer. The type of viewer depends on the file type. There are three basic types: text files, image files and other binary files. Each of these types uses dedicated viewer.

Image formats which should be opened in Image viewer are customizable in Tools>Preferences>General>Image formats. The following default rules are applied when opening images:

  1. images smaller than thumbnails: enlarged to thumbnail size
  2. images smaller than viewer window: displayed in original size
  3. images bigger than viewer window: shrink to fit the window

Images can be resized with the following keys:

  • 0 - to fit the window
  • 1 - to display image in original size
  • Plus - zoom in
  • Minus - zoom out
Zooming can be also done using standard zoom gesture with mouse or touchpad. Double clicking left mouse button toggles displaying in original size and fitting into window.

Edit file (F4)

Opens the current file in external text editor.

The external program is configurable in Tools>Preferences>General>Text editor. The default program depends on your operating system.

The file is added to the list of Recent files.

Create file (Shift+F4)

Creates a new file and opens it in external text editor. You can enter name of the new file. If you leave the name field blank, an unnamed file is opened.

The external program is configurable in Tools>Preferences>General>Text editor. The default program depends on your operating system.

The file is added to the list of Recent files.

Cut, copy, paste (Cmd+C, Cmd+X, Cmd+V)

Clipboard operations support copying or cutting and pasting of items withing HiFile or across other applications which support it.

Copy path (Cmd+Shift+C)

Copies the paths of selected items or the current location. The formatting is customizable in a dialog.

Rename (F2)

This operation renames selected item or items. Simple rules can be defined to allow advanced name manipulations. Each rule is encodes in brackets [] is defined by a special letter (the letter is case-insensitive). The rules can be combined with normal text which is used as is when evaluating the rules. Rules can have multiple parameters separated by colon :. If the parameter has a default value, then it can be omitted but the colon separator must be present. Rules can be nested. Rules are evaluated independently for each item. Rules can be combined with wildcards * or *.* which represent the whole item name with extension. The only exception is Counter which takes into account the order of items. Renaming rules can also be used in other operations such as copy or move to rename the items during the operation. Trailing dots are removed from the final name because they are not allowed in some operating systems. The original names and the new names can be previewed side by side before the operation is executed and potential conflicts are reported. Any special character such as brackets or colons can be escaped by backslash \.

Item name [N] and extension [E]

[N:start:length] or [E:start:length] rules use a part (or the whole) item name or extension. Note that folders and links to folders do not have extensions. Files and application bundles (on macOS) have extensions.

Parameters:

  • start = the first position; numeric, default value equals to the length of teh text; when negative number is used, then the position is counted from the end
  • length = the number of characters counted from start position, positive value counts to right, negative to left; numeric, default value is the negative value of start

Examples:

  • [N] returns the item name without extension
  • [N:3] returns first three characters
  • [N:-3] returns last three characters
  • [N:3:1] returns the third character from the left
  • [N:-3:1] returns the third character from the right

Counter [C]

[C:digits:start:step] rule adds a counter (a numeric sequence) into the target name.

Parameters:

  • digits = the minimum number of digits (padded with zeros from the left); numeric, default value is 1
  • start = the first value in the sequence; numeric, default value is 1
  • step = the step of the numeric sequence; numeric, default value is 1

Examples:

  • [C] generates sequence 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, ...
  • [C:2] generates sequence 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, ...
  • [C::0:5] generates sequence 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, ...

Upper case [U] and lower case [L]

[U:text] or [L:text] rule converts text to upper case or lower case.

Parameters:

  • text = the text to convert; text, default value is the whole item name with extension

Examples:

  • [U] converts the whole item name with extension to upper case
  • [U:[N]].[E] converts item name to upper case but leaves the extension as is

Date [D] and time [T] of modification

[D:format] and [T:format] rules use date and time of last modification as a formatted text.

Parameters:

  • format = specific format of date or time; text, default value is the format set in Preferences

Examples:

  • [N]-[D:yyyy-mm-dd].[E] renames for example "info.doc" to "info-2021-07-11.doc" (assuming its date of modification)

Substitute text [S]

Not yet implemented.

[S:what:with:scope] rule substitutes (i.e. replaces) text with another text.

Parameters:

  • what = the old text; text, no default value
  • with = the new text; text, default value is empty text (replacing with empty text means removing the text)
  • scope = the text to search in; text, default value is the whole item name (with extension)

Examples:

  • [S:tmp:temp] replaces every occurrence of "tmp" with "temp"
  • [S:image] replaces every occurrence of "image" with empty text, i.e. removes "image" from the item name
  • [N].[S:tmp:temp:[E]] replaces "tmp" with "temp" in extensions while keeping the names

Padding [P]

Not yet implemented.

[P:text:size:character] uses padding for a text from the left with a specified character to a fixed size.

Parameters:

  • text = the original text; text, no default value
  • size = the fixed size of the result; number, no default value
  • character = the character to be used to fill the space; text, no default value

Word uppercase [WU]

Not yet implemented.

[WU:text] converts to uppercase every letter which is preceded by a non-letter character.

Parameters:

  • text = the original text; text, default value is the file name without extension

Word lowercase [WL]

Not yet implemented.

[WL:text] converts to lowercase every letter which is preceded by another letter.

Parameters:

  • text = the original text; text, default value is the file name without extension

Word split [WS]

Not yet implemented.

[WS:delimiter:text] inserts a delimiter before every upper case letter.

Parameters:

  • delimiter = the delimiter character; text, no default value
  • text = the original text; text, default value is the file name without extension

Image width [W] and height [H]

Not yet implemented.

[W] or [H] rule uses image width or height in pixels. There are no parameters. Return 0 for items which are not images.

Examples:

  • [N]-[W]x[H].[E] replaces for example "icon.png" with "icon-16x16.png" (assuming its resolution)

Auto-numbering [A]

Not yet implemented.

[A:...:...:...] generates automatic counter if there are conflicts. Similar to counter... TODO!

Copy to (F5)

Copies selected items to a target location. By default the target location is the location in the inactive panel.

Move to (F6)

Moves selected items to a target location. By default the target location is the location in the inactive panel.

Make folder (F7)

Makes a folder in the current location. You can make several levels of nested subfolders in one operation.

Compress to archive (Shift+F5)

Compresses the selected items to an archive. You can specify the format of the archive. Press Options, you can specify some further parameters of the compression such as method of compression or password. Which options are available depends on the archive format. For exmaple password protection is available only for zip and 7z formats.

Move to recycle bin / Move to trash (Del)

Deletes the selected items by moving them to system Trash folder (named Recycle bin on Windows). You can restore the deleted files from the system Trash folder before you empty the bin.

Delete (Shift+Del)

Deletes the selected items. Beware: this operation cannot be undone.

Folder content (Cmd+Enter)

Calculates and displays information about the selected folders: the total size of the folder and the time of last modification of any item within the folder. Collection of the information requires recursive reading of all nested subfolders o it may take a moment before the data are available. Once the data is available, it may affect the sorting of the item list view.

Properties (Option+Enter)

Opens a dialog with information about the selected item or items. On Windows, system provided dialog is used. On macOS and Linux, HiFile's own dialog is used, which allows also setting user permissions.

Tools menu

Find files and folders (Cmd+F)

Finds files or folders based on specific criteria.

Note that hidden files and folders are always returned from the search even if hidden files are not set to be shown in the main window. The reason is that mistakes caused by finding a hidden file which the user is not interested is of lowe importance than mistake caused by not-finding a hidden file which user actually is interested in.

Find text in files (Cmd+Shift+F)

Allows finding a specific text contained in files. By default, the search is done only in text files, however it can be extended to all files. The view also shows the number of occurrences of the text.

Note that hidden files and folders are always returned from the search even if hidden files are not set to be shown in the main window. The reason is that mistakes caused by finding a hidden file which the user is not interested is of lowe importance than mistake caused by not-finding a hidden file which user actually is interested in.

Find duplicate files (Cmd+D)

Allows finding and displaying a list duplicate files. The comparison of files can be based on file content (default) or by file name and timestamp. This feature is very useful if you want to clean up your drives and get rid of all duplicate files.

Note that hidden files and folders are always returned from the search even if hidden files are not set to be shown in the main window. The reason is that mistakes caused by finding a hidden file which the user is not interested is of lowe importance than mistake caused by not-finding a hidden file which user actually is interested in.

Synchronize folders (Cmd+S)

Not yet implemented.

Recent files (Cmd+R)

Displays a list of recently used files: run programs, opened files and edited files.

Run terminal (F9)

Terminal (console) is a program which handles text commands entered by user. It is mostly used for system-level commands and is intended for experienced users.

Terminal is opened with the current folder (in the active panel) as the working directory. When the current folder is inside archive, the working directory is set to the parent folder of the archive file.

Windows only: When HiFile is run as Administrator, then the command line is also run as Administrator. TODO: how to run HiFile as Administrator...

The default terminal program is set up automatically depending on the operating system when HiFile is run for the first time or when Preferences are reset to defaults. Terminal program can be changed in Preferences.

Command center (F10)

Note: this feature is in experimental stage. It means it is subject to future changes and is not properly tested. Use it with caution and provide us with feedback.

Command center allows automation of simple tasks which would otherwise require typing commands into command line (terminal). Define a command as you would write it into command line.

  • Command: A command as you would write it to terminal.
  • Run in terminal: If checked, then terminal window is opened when the command is executed.
  • Title (optional): You can also define a custom name for this command by which it will be displayed in the list of commands. If you leave "*" in the name, then this character will be replaced by the command itself.
  • Description (optional): Description of the command to explain the purpose and logic of the command.
  • Working directory (optional): Directory within which the command will be executed. If you leave it empty, then the current active location from HiFile main window will be used.
  • Environment variables (optional): Define environment variables in form of variable=value (without spaces), one pair on each line. Note that the process inherits system environment variables (such as PATH) but here you can override their values.
  • Toolbar icon (optional): A path to SVG icon. If defined, then this icon will be displayed in the main toolbar.
  • Key shortcut (optional): Key shortcut to trigger the command.
  • Filter (optional): A space separated list of extensions with which this command will be associated and displayed in item's context menu.

Preferences (Cmd+,)

Allows customization of the application.

Help menu

Help (F1)

Invoking help by pressing F1 will bring user to this page and will try to find a specific context for the help.

Introduction

Displays introductory information about the application, which is displayed also when the application is run for the first time.

Get license

Allows registration or unregistration of the license. HiFile can be used for free for 30 days and after this period the user is required to purchase a license and register it. Registered license can be unregistered and transferred to another computer.

Check updates

Connects to server and checks whether a newer version of HiFile is available. Checks can also be done automatically when the application is started. The frequency of automatic checks can be set in Tools>Preferences>Advanced>Check for updates. The default frequency is weekly.

Report issue

If you have any problems or issue with HiFile, please report it at https://bitbucket.org/vladimir-kraus/hifile-issue-tracker/issues/new. Please use the same link is you miss any useful feature or have any ideas for improvement.

About HiFile

About HiFile dialog displays information about HiFile version, link to HiFile web and information about the libraries used to build HiFile application (as required by Qt's LGPL license). If your installation is registered it displays the email of the license owner. If your installation is not registered, it displays the number of trial period days remaining before you are required to register the product.

About dialog