Ghisler Software has announced the release of Total Commander 8 Beta, a new version of its shareware file manager tool, designed to improve on the rather basic options offered by Windows Explorer. Version 8 is notable for introducing the first dedicated 64-bit build of Total Commander, designed to run exclusively on 64-bit operating systems.
Total Commander 8’s other changes are more minor in scope: a handful of new minor and tweaked features coupled with a raft of bug fixes. Version 8 is not designed to be run on production machines -- users are directed to the latest stable release, Total Commander 7.56 instead.
One of Total Commander’s biggest selling points is the fact it’s designed for expanded functionality via a raft of third-party plug-ins. The good news is that most should work fine with Total Commander 8 32-bit; the bad news is that all of them will require recoding to work with the 64-bit build. Both builds can be installed side-by-side with no ill-effects, allowing 64-bit users to continue using the 32-bit version when a specific plug-in is required.
Among the various changes listed in the version 8 release notes are support for viewing JPEG, GIF and PNG files using Total Commander’s file-viewing application, Lister (accessible by pressing [F3]). Other tweaks have also been made to the program’s multi-rename tool, search function and user interface.
Total Commander 8 still utilises the same, slightly dated interface that may put people off using it. There are of course alternatives, from the excellent, but pricey, Directory Opus to the freeware FreeCommander should you want to compare different file explorer replacements.