Ribbon, which was introduced in Office 2007 has been a revolutionary approach for getting access to the often used features of a program, rather than wandering through creepy menus. With Windows 8, Microsoft has decided to give even the Windows Explorer a facelift with the ribbon interface. While this has caused a furore among the users with limited screen estate, upon usage I found out Windows 8 Explorer to be incredibly useful than its predecessors.
Windows 7 users, here’s an app for you to get the look and feel of ribbon on Explorer. BExplorer (or Better Explorer), a file manager developed by Sarthak Ganguly, is a tweaked version of the Windows Explorer incorporated with the ribbon interface, inspired from Windows 8.
The interface almost makes you believe that you are using the Windows 8 Explorer. But as expected from alpha software many features are half baked. Nevertheless, if you actually compare BExplorer with Windows 8 Explorer, most of the core features are well implemented in the former. Upcoming releases are sure to fix many critical bugs and add some missing features.
Note that BExplorer wont replace Windows 7’s default explorer. You will have to manually launch the app.
- Currently, BExplorer consists of only two ribbons, i.e Home and View. Some features which standout immediately, when you launch the app for the first time, are copy path and show/hide file extension.
- You can also hide the Ribbon in case if you hate the completely, by clicking the arrow in the right most corner of the application.
- The ability to have multiple tabs in the same window is probably the coolest thing in BExplorer, which is arguably much more practical in many scenarios than having to open explorer window again.
You can press and hold alt for viewing ribbon shortcuts.
There are some issues in the current alpha build which you must be aware of before you rush for this app:
- Opening multiple tabs causes memory leaks and the app by itself in general consumes more RAM than Windows Explorer.
- The file ribbon in the explorer is empty.
- The ribbons don’t change dynamically according to the content.
- Basic Search sometimes fails to work.
Nevertheless, Better Explorer is a very good file manager if you are looking for getting a Windows 8 like Ribbon on your desktop. I would like to bring to your notice again that the software is in development release state, so you would like to stick to the default Windows 7 Explorer for important chores.
Download: Better Explorer (12.37 MB)