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Version 2.1

October 24, 1994

Christopher Kirmse
9303 Arabian Ave.
Vienna, Virginia 22182-2028

Copyright (C) 1990, 1994 Christopher Kirmse
All rights reserved

Table of Contents

1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.1 Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2 Terms in this manual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

2. Using shareware. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.1 Disclaimer - agreement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.2 Contacting the author. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

3. Quick-start. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

4. Running ZDir . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
4.1 The file listing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
4.2 Path specification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
4.2.1 Displaying path specs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
4.3 Volume information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

5. ZDir options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
5.1 Information options. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
5.2 Command options. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
5.2.1 Write to file . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
5.2.2 File find . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
5.2.3 Tree display . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
5.2.4 User extensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
5.2.5 Attribute changing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
5.3 File listing options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

6. Configuration: ZDircfg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
6.1 Using ZDircfg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
6.2 ZDircfg menus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
6.2.1 Load ZDir configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
6.2.2 Save ZDir configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
6.2.3 Extension editing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
6.2.4 Color editing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
6.2.5 Default editing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Search options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 File list choices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Output format. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

7. Registration form. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

1. Introduction

ZanySoft Dir (ZDir) is an easy to use and very powerful directory
lister. The main purpose of ZDir is to replace the generic DIR
command with a fast, easily readable display with more
functionality. It can organize the file listing with many sorting
options, color files based upon their extension, choose how many
columns to use in the display, find files, draw a tree of the
directory structure, use full-scale wildcards, and much more.
Besides being powerful and easy to use, ZDir is also easy to
configure with the included configuration program ZDircfg. It is
very easy for a novice computer user to learn how to use ZDir, but
has many features that expand upon the basic directory listing

Everything about ZDir is explained in this manual. Even if you are
not interested in reading it all now, at least look at section 3,
the quick-start. It is a general overview of how to use ZDir and
what it does, and only takes a couple minutes to read.

1.1 Features

The following list shows some of the many features of ZDir:

o It is extremely fast.

o It is fully configurable--every color, extension, and default
is set by the user.

o It colors each filename based upon its attribute and

o It sorts the listing by filename, extension, size, date, and
time, ascending or descending.

o It can group directory entries at the beginning or end of the

o It can search for files anywhere on a disk.

o Wildcards may be placed anywhere in the filespec and are
correctly interpreted.

o It gives totals for all found files at the end of the display.

o It can color all information about each file the same color.

o It can write a plain-text version of the listing to a file or
to the printer.

o It prints out the current date and time at the top of the

o It shows the volume label and serial number, if they exist.

o It fully supports any size text screen that your video card
supports, including 43/50 line mode on EGA/VGA systems.

o It is extremely small--even with all these features, it is less
than 13k in size.

1.2 Terms in this manual

Several conventions are used in this manual, and they are described
as follows:

o The Enter or Return key on the keyboard is referred to as

o All text that is meant to be typed by the user is in bold

o Text printed on the screen by the computer is in courier type.

o The terms "window", "box", and "menu" are used somewhat
interchangeably in this manual, but the actual meaning should
be clear from the context.

o Menu sequences in ZDircfg are in italics and referred to by
name, with -> separating each menu level, such as Default
edit->Search options->Put * before filespec, where Default
edit is the first menu choice, Search options is the second
menu choice, and Put * before filespec is the third menu

o Some of these conventions are not detectable in the online
version of the manual.

2. Using shareware

Shareware distribution gives users a chance to try software before
buying it. If you try a Shareware program and continue using it,
you are expected to register. Individual programs differ on
details--some request registration while others require it, some
specify a maximum trial period. With registration, you get anything
from the simple right to continue using the software to an updated
program with printed manual.

Copyright laws apply to both Shareware and commercial software, and
the copyright holder retains all rights, with a few specific
exceptions as stated below. Shareware authors are accomplished
programmers, just like commercial authors, and the programs are of
comparable quality. (In both cases, there are good programs and bad
ones!) The main difference is in the method of distribution. The
author specifically grants the right to copy and distribute the
software, either to all and sundry or to a specific group. For
example, some authors require written permission before a
commercial disk vendor may copy their Shareware.

Shareware is a distribution method, not a type of software. You
should find software that suits your needs and pocketbook, whether
it's commercial or Shareware. The Shareware system makes fitting
your needs easier, because you can try before you buy. And because
the overhead is low, prices are low also. Shareware has the
ultimate money-back guarantee--if you don't use the product, you
don't pay for it.

2.1 Disclaimer - agreement

Users of ZDir must accept this disclaimer of warranty: "ZDir is
supplied as is. The author disclaims all warranties, expressed or
implied, including, without limitation, the warranties of
merchantability and of fitness for any purpose. The author assumes
no liability for damages, direct or consequential, which may result
from the use of ZDir."

ZDir is a "shareware program" and is provided at no charge to the
user for evaluation. Feel free to share it with your friends, but
please do not give it away altered or as part of another system.
The essence of "user-supported" software is to provide personal
computer users with quality software without high prices, and yet
to provide incentive for programmers to continue to develop new

If you find this program useful and find that you are using ZDir
and continue to use ZDir after a reasonable trial period, you must
make a registration payment of $10 to Christopher Kirmse. The $10
registration fee will license one copy for use on any one computer
at any one time. You are then authorized to use your copy forever;
it is as if you had bought it at a store. Anyone else may use your
copy of ZDir, but only on a trial basis. Also, your registration
name and number sent to you when you register is for you only, and
only you may use it. To register ZDir, just fill out the
registration form in section 7 at the end of this document, and
send it in. Every registered user of ZDir will receive a minimum
of three months of support through the mail.

If your version of ZDir did not come with the following files, then
it is not the official version of ZDir:, ZDir.doc,
ZDircfg.exe, and Readme.doc. If your version of ZDir is not
complete, please contact whoever you received it from to remove it
from their system. To guarantee that you have the latest and
complete version of ZDir, either send a note and $5 (see section 7--
you don't need to register to get a disk), or preferably, call up
CompuServe and download, where x.y would be the version
number. See section 2.2 for details.

Commercial users of ZDir must register and pay for their copies of
ZDir within 30 days of first use or their license is withdrawn.
Site-license arrangements may be made by contacting Christopher
Kirmse. The standard site-license is $10 for each of the first ten
copies of ZDir, and $5 for every additional copy at the same site.

You are encouraged to pass a copy of ZDir along to your friends for
evaluation. Please encourage them to register their copy if they
find that they can use it.

All trademarks referenced in this document are the property of
their respective owners.

2.2 Contacting the author

There are several ways to contact Christopher Kirmse, the author of
ZDir. The easiest way is through the US postal service--write to
the address on the first page of this document. He can also be
contacted through Internet, at the address [email protected]
(through May 1995). The newest version of ZDir will always be on

3. Quick-start

To get a feel for how to use ZDir, just type ZDir at the DOS prompt
(typically C> or C:\>). It will instantly display a listing of the
files in the current directory. Assuming that the copy of ZDir
used has the initial defaults, the display will look something like
the following:

1:52:04pm ZDir v2.1, by ZanySoft January 21, 1994
Path: C:\*.* Volume - Home 1
CHRIS ³Q ³386SPART PAR 5.1M³Home 1
10 files totalling 5,226,373 bytes using 5,236,736 bytes of disk space.
17,555,456 bytes available out of 88,842,240 total bytes on drive C:

The first line contains the current time, a message telling the
current ZDir version, and the current date. The second line shows
the path specification of the files listed (described in detail in
section 4.2). On the right side of the second line the volume
label and serial number are displayed, it they exist. In this
case, there is a volume label, but no serial number.

The main area of the display is surrounded by graphic lines. It
contains the list of the files which matched the file
specification, in this case *.*. As a default, all the directories
are listed first, sorted by the directory name, followed by the
files, sorted by name. In the default setting ZDir adjusts the
number of columns in the display based upon the number of
directories and files in the directory, and in this case ZDir
decided to display the listing in four columns. Your display may
be different if you have more or less files in the listed
directory. In four column listings, only the filename and file
size are listed. Notice the size of the file 386SPART.PAR
fileþ5.1M. This means 5.1 Megabytes, or 5,100,000 bytes. This is
truncated at the tenth's place. When not displaying the listing in
one column, all file sizes larger than 1 million bytes are printed
in this manner.

The final two lines of the display give totals information. The
first summary line tells how many files were listed (optionally
including directories), the sum of all the file sizes, and how much
disk space the files actually consume on the disk. The second line
(which can be optionally not printed) shows how much free space is
left on the disk and the total storage amount of the disk that the
files were listed from.

ZDir can be used as a straight replacement of the DOS DIR command,
but to take full advantage of its power you need to learn how to
use its many features. Advanced users can probably learn how to
use ZDir by trial and error and by referring to the help screen
(type ZDir /? to display the help screen). This manual describes
how to use all the features of ZDir, including configuring ZDir
with ZDircfg, and is useful for anyone learning about ZDir.

4. Running ZDir

The technical description for running ZDir is

ZDir [options] [path spec] [options]

The items in brackets are optional. This means that the simplest
way to run ZDir is just to type ZDir from the command line:


( means to hit the Enter or Return key on the keyboard.)

Options are single letters preceded by a forward slash (/), such as
/T or /U. The path spec and options can be typed in upper or lower
case; ZDir is not case sensitive. Options are described in section
5. The entire string of text following the word ZDir is called the
command line. In the following example, the command line is /u
*.exe /1 /x:

C:\>ZDir /u *.exe /1 /x

Usually it is easier to put the options all together, either before
or after the path spec, but they can be split up and put in both

ZDir displays a file listing with header information and total
lines unless there is the option /? or /H on the command line. The
display works in any text mode, including Super VGA text modes such
as 132x60. If the screen is in a standard graphics mode, then ZDir
resets the screen to 25 rows by 80 columns. Super VGA graphic
modes are not standard and cannot be detected, so ZDir will not
print a correct display if the screen is in a Super VGA graphics
mode. ZDir will work with any display, including monochrome, CGA,
EGA, VGA, Super VGA, and XGA.

4.1 The file listing

The main area of the display is a listing of filenames, directory
names, and if it exists, the volume label. For the rest of this
section, the terms file and filename are used in a generic sense,
meaning every directory entry, including not only names of files
but directories and volume labels as well. The most trivial
display is when there are no files, in which case ZDir prints No
files found in the main area of the display. In every other case,
the display is separated into either 1, 2, 3, 4, or 6 columns. The
number of columns is determined by the configuration setting
Default edit->File list choices->Number of columns, discussed in
section, and the command line, discussed in section 5.3.

The number of columns that are used to display the file listing
determines what information is given about each file. Obviously,
as the number of columns across the screen increases, the amount of
information about each file decreases. In one column mode,
everything about the file is shown, with plenty of room for large
file sizes with commas, and the time in 12-hour format with
seconds. In six column mode, there is nothing except the filename.
The following chart shows what is included depending upon the
number of columns used in the display:

ÉÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍ͹ Number of columns º
º File information º 1 2 3 4 6 º
º Name ³ Yes ³ Yes ³ Yes ³ Yes ³ Yes º
º Size ³ Yes ³ Yes ³ Yes ³ Yes ³ No º
º Attribute ³ Yes ³ Yes ³ Yes ³ No ³ No º
º Date and time ³ Yes ³ Yes ³ No ³ No ³ No º
º Disk space ³ Yes ³ No ³ No ³ No ³ No º
º used ³ ³ ³ ³ ³ º
º Commas in ³ Yes ³ No ³ No ³ No ³ No º
º file sizes ³ ³ ³ ³ ³ º
º 100,000 bytes ³ ³ ³ ³ ³ º

For commas to be printed in file sizes ò 100,000 bytes, the option
Default edit->Output format->Use commas in file size must be set to

The filename is printed in two parts: the normal part of the
filename which can be up to eight characters in length, left
justified in a field of eight spaces, followed by a space or a
period (depending on the setting of Default edit->Output
format->Print a . before extensions), followed by the up to three
character extension. The color of the filename is based upon
whether the file is a hidden file and whether the extension matches
any of the fifty set extensions (see section 6.2.3).

ZDir stores a table of fifty extensions and associated colors that
it matches against each file. If a file's extension matches one of
the extensions in the table, then the file is displayed in the
color associated with the extension. Wildcards are allowed in the
stored extensions, which are configured using ZDircfg. If the file
is actually a directory or if it is hidden, then the directory
color or hidden color overrides the extension color and the file is
not displayed in the extension color. Depending on the setting of
Default edit->File list choices->Entire entry in file color the
rest of the directory entry is automatically displayed in the same
color as the filename or in the color selected for each part of the
directory entry.

File sizes are printed in every column mode except in six column
mode. They are displayed in either the same color as the file or
in the color set in Color edit->File entry area->Size of file,
depending on whether the entire file entry is the color of the file
(set in Default edit->File list choices->Entire entry in file
color). If commas are set to be printed in file sizes, then if the
file size is five or fewer digits (i.e., less than 100,000 bytes),
then a comma separates the thousands from the hundreds place. In
one column mode, no matter what the file size, if commas are set to
be added to file sizes, then commas separate every three digits of
file sizes. In any other column mode, file sizes 1,000,000 bytes
and larger are displayed in terms of megabytes (one million bytes),
such as 1.2M or 84.5M.

The attributes of each file are displayed in one, two, and three
column mode. The five attributes are described in section 5.2.5,
but in short are archive, hidden, read-only, system, and network.
They are abbreviated in the display with the first letterþA, H, R,
S, and N. They are displayed in either the same color of the file
or in the color set in Color edit->File entry area->Attributes.
(In two column mode, the network attribute touches the date if the
month is two digits long (October, November, and December), because
of lack of space.)

Every time that a file is written to, the date and time are saved
with the file by DOS. ZDir displays the most recent access date
and time in one and two column modes. The colors are determined by
the setting in Color edit->File entry area->Date and Time, and
whether or not the entire file entry is in the filename's color.
In one column mode, the time is displayed in 12 hour mode with an
"a" or a "p" after the seconds signifying AM or PM. In two column
mode, the time is in 24 hour mode, and the seconds are not printed.
The dates are the same in either number of columns.

In one column mode, the actual space on disk used by each file is
placed after the file size, in the color specified by Color
edit->File entry area->Used disk space of file, or the color of the
filename if the entire entry is in the filename's color. To
understand the difference between this number and the file size,
the method of storing files on disk has to be explained.

Files are stored on disk as a chain of clusters, each of which
contains part of the file. The disk has a table which keeps track
of which clusters belong to which files, and in what order.
Clusters are of fixed length on each disk, as small as 512 bytes
and as large as 8192 bytes. Because of the fact that clusters can
belong to only one file, every file contains an integral number of
clusters. This means that most files, not being a multiple in size
of the cluster size, use up more disk space than their actual size.
This accounts for the difference in the file size and the disk
space used by a file. The total lines at the bottom show both the
file sizes and the file disk space used.

4.2 Path specification

The path specification determines how ZDir searches the disk to
determine which files to include in the file listing. It contains
three parts: the disk drive, the path, and the file specification,
called the filespec. The path specification can be no longer than
63 characters, the maximum that DOS allows.

The disk drive is a letter followed by a colon--A:, C:, H:, etc. A:
and B: are usually floppy disk drives, C: is usually the first hard
disk, while higher letters can be anything from a RAM disk to a CD-
ROM to a network drive. If the disk drive is typed as part of the
path specification, then it is used in the search. If it is
omitted from the path specification, then the current disk drive is

The path is a string of directories and subdirectories, separated
by backslashes (\). If the path starts with a backslash, then the
rest of the string is relative to the root, or top-level, directory
on the drive. If it does not start with a backslash, then the rest
of the string is relative to the current directory on the disk
drive. If no path is specified in the path specification at all,
then the current directory is used.

Like filenames, the filespec consists of two parts, the "normal"
filename, which is one to eight characters long, and the extension,
which is zero to three characters in length. Letters of the
alphabet and some symbols (such as !, $, and greek letters) are
valid characters in the filespec. Filespecs, and in fact all DOS
filenames, are not case sensitive. If only these alphabetic and
symbol characters are part of the filespec, then ZDir will either
match one file or not match any files, because either a file by
that name exists or it does not. To make a listing include more
than one file the filespec must contain special characters called

The wildcards characters are the asterisk, *, and the question
mark, ?. They can be placed in the "normal" part of the filespec,
in the extension, or both. The question mark matches all files
that have any single character in the place of the question mark,
or none at all. The asterisk tells ZDir to match all files that
have any string of characters in place of the asterisk. This is
just how DOS does file matching. However, DOS has a fatal flaw
when matching filespecs to filenames: all characters following an
asterisk in either part of the filename are ignored! This means
that perfectly valid filespecs, such as *Z*.*, which should find
all files containing a Z in the main part of the filename, actually
find every file in the directory, as if the filespec were *.*! For
example, suppose the current directory contained the files
BOOKS.TXT, BDN.EXE, and HERES.DOC. Using the filespec *s.* with
ZDir would include the files BOOKS.TXT and HERES.DOC, but the DOS
DIR command would incorrectly translate the filespec to *.* and
include all three files, even BDN.EXE! ZDir's expanded wildcard
capability corrects this mistake and uses the correct
interpretation of the wildcard characters.

If no filespec was typed on the command line then ZDir uses *.*
(all files) as the file spec. If the filespec contains an
extension, such as NONAME.WK1 or S*.H, then it uses the filespec
exactly as specified on the command line. If the filespec ends in
a period, then it matches all files that match the "normal" part of
the filename and have no extension. If no extension or period are
typed then ZDir adds wildcards depending upon how it is configured.
If the option Default edit->Search options->Put * before filespec
is set to yes (expanded capability), then ZDir puts a * before the
filespec, and a *.* afterwards (e.g, Z becomes *Z*.*). If it is
set to no (DOS compatibility), then only the trailing *.* is added
(e.g., Z becomes Z*.*).

The chart below contains examples that illustrate many different
scenarios that commonly occur using ZDir. Assume that the
directory tree of drive C: is as follows:


º Current directory: º ³ º
º C:\batch º ³ º
º ³ of Put * ³ º
º Text on command line ³ before ³ Path spec used by ZDir º
º ³ filespec ³ º
º ZDir ³ Yes, No ³ C:\batch\*.* º
º ZDir C:\ ³ Yes, No ³ C:\*.* º
º ZDir \ ³ Yes, No ³ C:\*.* º
º ZDir D:\*.bat ³ Yes, No ³ D:\*.bat º
º ZDir temp\all ³ Yes ³ C:\batch\temp\*all*.* º
º ZDir temp\all ³ No ³ C:\batch\temp\all*.* º
º ZDir C:wp.bat ³ Yes, No ³ C:\batch\wp.bat º
º ZDir C:\batch\wp.bat ³ Yes, No ³ C:\batch\wp.bat º
º ZDir C:\bin\.exe ³ Yes, No ³ C:\bin\*.exe º
º ZDir \temp\fdr ³ Yes ³ C:\temp\*fdr*.* º
º ZDir \temp\fdr ³ No ³ C:\temp\fdr*.* º
º ZDir \temp\fdr.001 ³ Yes, No ³ C:\temp\fdr.001 º
º ZDir \bin\tempfile ³ Yes, No ³ C:\bin\tempfile.* º
º ZDir \bin\tempfile. ³ Yes, No ³ C:\bin\tempfile º
º ZDir . ³ Yes, No ³ C:\batch\*.* º
º ZDir .. ³ Yes, No ³ C:\*.* º
º ZDir ..\*.com ³ Yes, No ³ C:\temp\*.com º

4.2.1 Displaying path specs

If there is a volume label and serial number on the disk of the
directory listing, there may not be room on the screen for the
complete path spec on the left side of the second line of the
display. In these cases, the first few directories of the path are
replaced by a single \...\, such as
F:\USR\GROUP1\MICHAEL\WORK\DATA\123FILES\*.WK? being shortened to
F:\...\DATA\123FILES\*.WK?, where the \...\ replaced

4.3 Volume information

Every disk can have a volume label. The volume label is a zero
length file in the root directory on the disk that has the volume
label attribute set. Unlike all other files, it is case sensitive,
and is just treated as an eleven character title. To set the
volume label, type label from the DOS prompt. To make a volume
label with upper and lowercase letters, a sector editor or a
special volume label program is needed. If a volume label is
present on the disk, ZDir displays the information on the right
side of the second line of the display.

5. ZDir options

Placing options on the command line alters the function of ZDir.
Many of the options tell ZDir to perform a different operation than
the usual directory listing, including information options and the
command options. These either have ZDir do something totally
different than normal, such as display a help screen, or just add
to the normal function, such as changing attributes. There are
also options to change features of the display, such as the sort
type and number of columns, which are called display options. All
options are typed on the command line, starting with a slash (/)
and then the letter or characters describing the option.

5.1 Information options

The first class of options are those that tell ZDir to pop up
information screens instead of performing a directory listing.
These are /H, /?, and /R. The first of these options found on the
command line is used, and all other information on the command line
is ignored.

Two of these options, /H and /?, display the help screen for ZDir.
This is a short page of information about how to run ZDir and a
description of every option. Hitting Shift-Print Screen (or just
Print Screen on 101/102 key keyboards) prints out the help screen
on the printer. Hitting any other key quits the help screen and
returns to DOS.

The other information command option is /R. This command displays
an order form for ZDir on the screen, which can be printed with
Shift-Print Screen (or Print Screen). The form is identical to the
one at the end of this manual. For more information on registering
ZDir, see section 2 about Shareware, and section 7 for a
registration form similar to the one displayed with ZDir /R.

5.2 Command options

Command options that add on to the basic ZDir functionality are /L,
/F, /T, /U, and the attribute changing options, /+x or /-x, where
x is one of A, H, R, or S. Each of these commands and associated
options are described below.

5.2.1 Write to file

ZDir always displays information on the screen, but using /L
followed directly by a filename tells ZDir to write another copy of
its output to a file. Normally, ZDir will display the message
Writing to file filename, and write out a text version of its
output to the file. To send the output to the standard printer,
use PRN as the filename. ZDir will either send an exact copy of
the output to the indicated file or substitute pluses and dashes
for the graphics characters depending on the setting of the option
Default edit->Output format->Graphics in alt. output. This option
should be set to Standard ASCII when using printers that cannot
print IBM extended graphics characters.

The option /A, when put on the command line, writes out ANSI color
codes to the file specified with /L. This is useful when writing
listings over the modem (/LAUX or /LCOM1).

Several errors can occur when writing to files using /L. If ZDir
cannot write to the indicated file, then the message Error! NOT
writing to file filename is printed. This can occur for several

o The file already exists.

o The file is a read-only device, such as the keyboard.

o There is a data error on the disk.

o The disk drive or directory does not exist.

When an error occurs, just correct the problem and rerun ZDir.

Several example runs are shown below:

C:\>ZDir /Llist.txt *.*

This would write a copy of the file listing of all files in the
current directory to the file LIST.TXT.

C:\>ZDir *.exe /A /Lcom1

This would write a copy of the file listing of all files having the
extension EXE to the first communications port including ANSI color

C:\>ZDir *.exe /Lprn

This would write a copy of the file listing of all files having the
extension EXE to the standard printer.

5.2.2 File find

ZDir performs file finds quickly and easily using the option /F.
It displays a listing of the directory in the path specification
and then goes to every directory below the specified directory and
performs a listing, not printing anything if no files are found in
a directory. By specifying the root directory, ZDir will search an
entire disk for files. Example runs should clarify how to use file

C:\WORK>ZDir *.bat /F

This command tells ZDir to first display all files with the
extension BAT in the directory C:\WORK. Next, ZDir goes to all the
subdirectories of C:\WORK, and displays a listing of all files with
the extension BAT in each directory under C:\WORK.

C:\WORK>ZDir \*.bat /F

This command is the same as the previous one, but starts at the
root directory, C:\, and displays a listing. Then ZDir searches
every directory on the disk for files with the extension BAT, and
displays a file listing in each directory that has a file with the
extension BAT.

C:\WORK>ZDir /F /Lprn D:\

This command combines file finding with writing a listing to a file
(see section 5.2.1). ZDir will list every file on the D drive,
displaying it on the screen and printing it on the printer.

5.2.3 Tree display

Directory trees give an overall view of all or part of a disk in a
compact format. With ZDir, directory trees are printed where the
file list is normally displayed. Using the tree display option is
similar to using the file find option, in that the path of the path
spec is used as the first directory (top level of the tree), and
then all the subdirectories are printed after it. The tree does
not have to start at the root directory; any directory can be
selected to be the top level of the tree display. The number of
files that match the path spec and the sum of the file sizes of
each directory (in kilobytes) are printed on the left. Only files
matching the filespec are included in the number of files count and
total number of bytes count of each directory. Up to five levels
of directories below the top level are displayed.

Unlike file finding, directories with no matching files are
included, but a zero is listed under files and bytes. The command
to display a tree is /T. Below is a sample run:


8:15:50pm ZDir v2.1, by ZanySoft March 2, 1992
Path: C:\WORK\*.* Volume - VDISK 1-2

Files Bytes Path
15 160k WORK
45 429k ÃÄBACKUP
22 190k ÀÄWP

File listing of C:\WORK\
and the 6 directories under it, of files of the form *.*
Totals --
141 files totalling 1,319,529 bytes using 1,351,680 bytes of disk space.

(Notice that there are no disk totals on this display, only the
totals for the files. This is not due to the tree, but due to the
fact that the copy of ZDir that made the above display was
configured to not print disk totals, using the Default edit->Output
format->Disk totals option in ZDircfg.)

5.2.4 User extensions

ZDir stores fifty extensions that it checks against each file, and
colors the filename in the display the color associated with its
extension. Also, every extension is classified as either a user
extension or not a user extension. See section 6.2.3 for how to
configure the extensions.

User extensions allow you to designate up to fifty extensions that
can be quickly displayed to the exclusion of other extensions.
When the command option /U is specified on the command line, only
the files with extensions that are classified as a user extension
are listedþall other files are ignored. (ZDir's factory default
for the user extensions are EXE, COM, and BAT, so typing ZDir /U
from the command line is a handy way to list all executable files
in the current directory.) An additional line is added after the
file listing that tells you the current user extensions. Any
number of extensions can be made user extensions and are used to
match against the files in the directory, and the first ten are
displayed on the line following the file list area.

5.2.5 Attribute changing

Every file has five attributes that tell DOS about the file. Each
of the five attributes are either on or off for every file. ZDir
can change all of the attributes except for the network attribute.

The archive attribute is used with the DOS programs backup and
restore, to determine which files have been newly modified since
the last time backup was run. The /+A command turns this attribute
on for all files in the directory listing; the /-A command turns
this attribute off for all files in the directory listing.

The hidden attribute tells DOS to not list the file in DIR listings
(ZDir can list all files, including hidden files--see section The /+H command turns this attribute on for all files in
the directory listing; the /-H command turns this attribute off for
all files in the directory listing.

The system attribute is supposed to mean that the file is necessary
to boot the computer, but all it really does is prevent the file
from being run from the DOS prompt. The /+S command turns this
attribute on for all files in the directory listing; the /-S
command turns this attribute off for all files in the directory

Files possessing the read-only attribute can not be written to or
changed by DOS. Making files read-only is a good way to prevent
accidental deletions of important files. The /+R command turns
this attribute on for all files in the directory listing; the /-R
command turns this attribute off for all files in the directory

The network attribute is used to identify whether a given file is
shareable over a network. It cannot be changed using ZDir.

5.3 File listing options

Although everything about ZDir can be configured using ZDircfg,
there are times when you want to override the defaults for just one
run of ZDir. There are options that can be put on the command line
to set the number of columns of the output, the sort type, and
whether ZDir waits for a keypress between each screen of

The options to set the number of columns on the command line are
/1, /2, /3, /4, /6, and /W. The number is the number of columns
ZDir uses to display the directory listing, with /W the same as /6.
Section 4.1 describes what the display looks like for each number
of columns.

The available sort options are /N, /X, /Z, /D, and /S. They stand
for sort by name, extension, size, date and time, and no sort,
respectively. When there is no sort, the files are listed in the
same order as the DOS DIR command. When there is no sort, the
setting of Default edit->File list choices->Directory placement is
ignored and directories are placed together with files. This makes
the list of filenames and directories appear in the exact same
order as the DOS DIR command.

The /K option toggles the default of waiting for a key between each
screen of data. For example, if the default is to wait for a key
each screen, then typing /K on the command line will make ZDir not
wait for a key each screen. At the prompt at the end of each
screenful of information, hitting the down arrow key scrolls the
display one line, and any other key scrolls an entire new page onto
the display. Regardless of the setting of this option, the Press
any key to continue message does not appear in the file output.

6. Configuration: ZDircfg

The most exciting part of ZDir is that every color, extension, and
option is configurable with an easy to use companion program,
ZDircfg. ZDircfg is a menu driven program that presents
configuration information in the menus. It loads and saves the
configuration info in the executable program itself. When
ZDircfg is run, it starts with "factory settings" for every option
which are identical to the configuration in when you
received it. If at some future date you wish to restore the
"factory settings" to a copy of ZDir, just run ZDircfg and
immediately save to a copy of ZDircfg also allows
registered users to incorporate settings they have established in
previous versions of ZDir into the latest version by loading in the
settings from the old version and saving to the new version.

6.1 Using ZDircfg

ZDircfg is easy to use because it is menu driven. The initial
layout of ZDircfg has a title line at the top of the screen, the
top level menu in the upper left of the screen, and the help line
on the bottom. The help line shows several of the most important
keys for the current situation, but due to space limitations it
does not have all of them.

In every menu, the current menu item is in a different background
color, which is called the cursor. To move the cursor up or down
one choice, hit the up or down arrow keys. To go to the first menu
choice, hit page-up. To go to the last menu choice, hit page-down.
To select the current menu item, hit or the space bar. To
select a menu item other than the current item, hit the fast key,
usually the first letter of the item. This letter, called the fast
key, is in a different color than the rest of the text. To abort
the current choice or to go back up a menu, hit the escape key.
From the top level menu, this will quit ZDircfg if no changes have
been made, or, if changes were made, ask you if you want to quit
and lose the changes.

There are several different types of menu entries, including
submenus, color choices, pick from a list, and other functions.
Submenus are indicated by a  character on the right of the entry.
These contain an additional menu, which are of a similar function.
Color choices have the word Sample on the right of the entry, in
the current color of the option. Pick from a list menu items have
a short description of the current choice on the right of the
entry, which can be changed with the left and right arrow keys, as
well as and the space bar (which are the same as right
arrow). Many of the pick from a list menu items are yes or no
questions. Other menu items perform various functions: these
include quitting ZDircfg, popping up a window to load or save
configuration information, editing the extensions, and setting the
column auto-detection amounts. These menu choices are indicated by
three periods(...) after the choice.

6.2 ZDircfg menus

The main menu of ZDircfg looks like the following:

³ Load ZDir configuration... ³
³ Save ZDir configuration... ³
³ Extension edit... ³
³ Color edit  ³
³ Default edit  ³
³ Registration form... ³
³ Quit ³

The first two selections load and save configuration information to
and from one or more copies of ZDir. Extension edit pops up a
window that allows setting of the fifty extensions and
corresponding colors with which to display files matching these
extensions, and setting whether each is a user extension or not.
Color edit and Default edit are submenus containing the settings of
every color and default of ZDir. The selection Registration form
displays the same registration form as when ZDir /R is run. The
last menu selection, Quit, exits ZDircfg, but if any changes have
been made and were not saved, it asks if you are sure.

6.2.1 Load ZDir configuration

Loading in configuration information from a copy of on
disk is the first step in configuring ZDir. If the copy of ZDir
you are loading from is prior to version 2.1, then ZDircfg pops up
a window asking for your registration name and number, because
upgrading config info from an old version to the current version
2.1 is only available to registered users.

When the main menu option Load ZDir configuration is selected,
ZDircfg draws a small text input window on the screen with the
prompt Enter ZDir filename. You must type in the path to the copy
of ZDir for ZDircfg to load. If the copy of ZDir to load is in the
current directory, then only the filename is required. Note that
ZDir does not have to be called Many users shorten it
(using the DOS REN command) to or for ease of typing.
ZDircfg automatically adds .COM to the end of the filename if you
do not type the extension.

Several keys have special functions when typing filenames in
ZDircfg. The left and right arrow keys move the cursor left and
right in the filename. Delete deletes the character at the cursor
(or does nothing if the cursor is at the end of the filename).
Backspace deletes the character to the left of the cursor. Home
and end move the cursor to the beginning and end of the filename,
respectively. To toggle between inserting characters and
overwriting text, hit the insert key. The status of insert mode is
indicated by the cursor. It is a full block in overwrite mode, and
an underline in insert mode.

The maximum length of the path and filename to ZDir is 60
characters. Once the entire filename is typed in, hit . If
ZDircfg successfully loads in configuration information from ZDir,
it pops up a window that says Loaded ZDir version x.y, where x.y is
the version of ZDir it loaded from. If there was a problem loading
ZDir, ZDircfg displays an error window that describes the problem
and then returns to the main menu. If the version of ZDir you are
trying to load is less than 2.1, then you are trying to upgrade
information from one version to another, and ZDircfg displays a
window asking you for your registration name and number. Type your
registration name and number exactly as printed on the letter you
received as acknowledgement of your registration. The case of
letters is significant, and should all be uppercase. Also, if
there are any extra spaces ZDircfg will not load the old
configuration information, so be sure to type the registration name
and number carefully.

Filenames entered to attempt to load ZDir, whether successful or
not, are saved (in the current session of ZDircfg) for the next
time you try to load ZDir from disk. When you enter Load ZDir
configuration again, the text is displayed in a different color.
To use the text, hit any of the special keys (left and right arrow,
home and end, backspace, and enter), or hit any other key to
restart with a new filename. This can save a lot of typing if you
are getting errors trying to load in ZDir.

6.2.2 Save ZDir configuration

Saving the current configuration information to a copy of ZDir 2.1
looks a lot like loading info from ZDir, and is in fact very
similar. When you pick this menu selection from the main menu, a
small text window is popped up and you are asked to enter the
filename of the copy of ZDir where you want to save the
configuration info. The editing keys are the same as with loading
ZDir. Unlike loading from ZDir, however, configuration info can
only be saved to ZDir version 2.1, and ZDircfg will give an error
if you try to save to a different version of ZDir.

6.2.3 Extension editing

Selecting the extension edit choice on the main menu opens a window
that shows all fifty extensions, each in its extension color, and
indicates which ones are designated user extensions. When ZDir is
run, each filename is checked against the extensions, and if the
filename's extension matches one of the fifty extensions, then it
is displayed in the designated color for that extension. Wildcards
are allowed anywhere in the extensions, making grouping of files by
color very easy.

Editing the extensions themselves is a simple matter. The
horizontal arrow keys move one letter at a time through the
extension, and the vertical arrow keys move between extensions.
Tab and shift-tab move forward or backward one extension. Home and
end move to the beginning and end of the row; page-up and page-down
move to the top and bottom of the column. To change the character
at the cursor, simply type a valid filename character (any letter,
number, or certain special characters). The new character
overwrites the old. There is no insert mode. For extensions less
than three characters long, delete and backspace remove characters.
The space bar does not put a space in the extension, because it is
used with setting user extensions.

When ZDir is run with the /U option, the only files included are
those that match extensions designated "user extensions". These
are shown in the extension edit window by a check mark to the right
of the extension name. The space bar toggles whether the extension
at the cursor is a user extension or not.

To edit the color of the extension at the cursor, hit the
key. This causes a color selection box to be displayed to the
right of the extension, with the white line cursor surrounding the
current color of the extension. The vertical arrow keys change the
foreground color and the horizontal arrow keys change the
background color. Home and end move the cursor to the left and
right of the color selection box. Page up and page down move the
cursor to the top and bottom of the box. To set the extension to
the color at the cursor, hit . To abort the color entry and
retain the previous color, hit escape.

When you are done editing the extension information, hit the escape
key to return to the main menu. Any changes you made will be
retained in memory, for further editing later or saving to a copy
of ZDir.

6.2.4 Color editing

The color edit menu contains several submenus that contain the
colors for the display of everything other than the filename that
can be configured. The menu looks as follows:

³ Header lines  ³
³ File entry area  ³
³ Summary lines  ³
³ Tree display  ³
³ Miscellaneous  ³

Each of the submenus contains the colors that may be configured for
a particular part of ZDir's display. The header lines colors are
the colors of the current time and date, the text indicating the
path and volume label, and the ZanySoft message. The ZanySoft
message is ZDir v2.1 by ZanySoft. For the two colors of the
ZanySoft message only, the foreground is not allowed to be the same
as the background.

The file entry area is everything that ZDir displays within the
graphic lines (except for trees). This includes the time and date
of each file, file sizes and used disk space, file attributes,
directories, volume labels, hidden files, and the graphic lines
themselves. The color of files that match no extension is also in
the file entry area menu.

The summary lines give the totals for the ZDir run and are
displayed in up to three different colors. The first summary color
is the color of the message displayed directly after the file area
when the /U option is used which says Files matching extensions
followed by the extensions in their own colors. The other two
colors are for the text of the summary lines, and the numbers and
the path spec in the summary lines.

The miscellaneous color menu has the colors that do not fit into
any other category. The most important of these is the empty space
color, which is the color of most of the spaces in the ZDir
listing. Since only spaces are printed in this color, the
foreground part of the empty space color does not matter. Usually
you will want this to be black, but if you set your background
color in DOS to another color (using ANSI escape sequences, for
example), then you can set ZDir to match it. The other
miscellaneous colors are the two colors for the press any key to
continue message in between each screen of data, the no files found
message color, and the color of the message giving the status of
writing to a file (when /L is on the command line).

6.2.5 Default editing

The default edit menu opens up a submenu that categorizes the
configurable defaults into three groups:

³ Search options  ³
³ File list choices  ³
³ Output format  ³

Each of these submenus contains several options, and is discussed
separately. Search options

The search options all deal with how ZDir chooses which files to
list. Depending on how they are set, ZDir can include many more
files than the standard DOS DIR command, or show the same files as
the DOS DIR command would. The search options menu appears on the
screen as follows:

³ Put * before filespec Yes ³
³ Add directory entries in totals No ³
³ Show . and .. files Yes ³
³ Include: Hidden files Yes ³
³ Read only files Yes ³
³ System files Yes ³
³ Volume labels Yes ³

In every run ZDir adds *.* to the end of the filespec if there is
no extension specified, but the Put * before filespec selection
determines whether ZDir also adds a * to the beginning of the
filespec as well. For example, with this option set to no, then
the command

C:\>ZDir abc

tells ZDir to use abc*.* as the filespec. If it is set to yes,
ZDir will use *abc*.* as the filespec. See section 4.2 for more
about filespecs.

The next two search options are related: add directory entries in
totals and show . and .. files. If ZDir does not add directories
to totals, then the total lines give a count of actual files and
their total space. If ZDir does add directories in the totals,
then the total number of files includes directory entries, and the
total space accurately shows how much disk space is used by every
listed directory entry. Every directory on a disk except for the
root directory contains two directory entries, called . and ..,
which help DOS keep track of the directory. ZDir will not show
these two directory entries if Show . and .. files is set to no.

The last four search options tell ZDir what attributes a file may
have and still be listed by ZDir. Normally, all four are set to
yes so that ZDir shows every file in the directory. The DOS DIR
program does not include files with any of the four attributes,
which are hidden, read-only, system, and volume label. Running
ZDir under the DR DOS operating system restricts the options
slightly, in that DR DOS ignores files with the volume label
attribute, so the setting of the volume label option does not
matter because files with the volume label attribute can never be
listed. File list choices

The file list choices affect the look of the center part of the
actual file listing. The main choices are the number of columns
and the sort used, but several other options affect the file list
as well. The file list choices menu is shown below:

³ Number of columns Auto detect ³
³ Auto detect settings... ³
³ Sort ordering Top to bottom ³
³ Directory placement Before all files ³
³ Entire entry in file color No ³
³ 1st sort factor Name ³
³ 2nd sort factor Name ³
³ 3rd sort factor Name ³
³ 4th sort factor Name ³

The number of columns that ZDir uses to display the listing is the
choice that affects the ZDir display the most. The choices are 1,
2, 3, 4, 6, or auto detect. If it is set to auto detect mode, then
ZDir uses the auto detect settings to choose how many columns to
use. For a description about the benefits and drawbacks of each
choice, see section 4.1.

The auto detect settings menu entry opens up into a window which
shows the range of the number of files for which ZDir will select
1, 2, 3, 4, or 6 column display mode. The cursor is on the
righthand side of the window, highlighting the upper limit of the
range. The vertical arrow keys, page up, and page down move the
cursor up and down to the different columns' ranges. The right and
left arrow keys change the upper limit of the range by one, and the
plus and minus keys change the upper limit by ten. When one range
is changed, the others are adjusted to prevent overlapping ranges.
The maximum number of the lower part of the six column range is
255. If a change would push the six column range over 255 or the
one column range below zero, the change is ignored.

There are two ways to display a directory listing when there are
multiple columns: left to right or top to bottom. This is the
choice of the sort ordering option. If it is set to left to right,
then the first filename is printed in the top of the first column,
the second is in the top of the second column, etc. If it is set
to top to bottom, then the first file is still in the top of the
first column, but the next file is just below it in the first
column. The DOS DIR command uses left to right ordering, but most
people find top to bottom ordering easier to read.

Although subdirectories are listed together with files in directory
listings, they are quite different from normal files and should be
treated differently. The directory placement option gives you the
capability to separate directories from normal files, by either
placing the subdirectories before or after the normal files. When
files are displayed in the DOS file order (no sort), then this
option is ignored, because in the DOS file order directories are
always interspersed among the files.

Having each type of information about a file displayed in different
colors can be distracting to some people when looking at the
directory listing line by line, especially in one or two column
mode. For easier recognition of a file's information, the entire
file entry can be displayed in the filename's color (determined by
its extension). Although for certain applications this is helpful,
for most of the time the Entire entry in file color should be set
to no.

The order in which files are listed is determined by the sort. The
DOS DIR command does not have any sort, and instead displays the
files in the order it gets the filenames from disk. This is one
option for the sort in ZDir, called the DOS file order. The other
options are name, extension, size, date, and time. All of the sort
options, except the DOS file order, can also be set to sort in
reverse order. If files are tied after the first sort (for
example, if sorting by date, they have the same date), then the
secondary sort is used to break the tie. If they are still tied,
then the third sort is used, etc. Usually only the first two or
three factors are all that are important, however in some cases the
fourth is needed. Sorting by the DOS file order is only available
as the first sort factor, because it is only needed to show files
in the same order as DOS, and would be pointless as a tie breaker. Output format

The options in the output format menu deal with how the output of
ZDir is presented. This menu looks as follows:

³ Screen writes Fast ³
³ Clear screen to start No ³
³ Graphics in alt. output IBM extended ³
³ Wait for keypress each screen Yes ³
³ Use commas in file size No ³
³ Print a . before extensions No ³
³ Disk totals Always ³

The screen writes option tells ZDir how to write to the screen.
The options are fast and BIOS. Except for users of old CGA cards,
it should normally be set to fast screen writes.

Clearing the screen to start the display makes ZDir run much
faster, because the slowest part of ZDir is scrolling the screen.
If you want to make ZDir as fast as possible, set Clear screen to
start to yes, and the display will start at the top of the screen.

The third option affects the output when writing to file (see
section 5.2.1). If it is set to IBM extended, then an exact copy
of the ZDir output is written to the file specified with /L. If it
is set to standard ASCII, then characters such as -, |, and + are
substituted for the graphic lines characters.

ZDir will wait for a keypress in between each screen of information
when the wait for keypress each screen is set to yes. If this
option is set to no, then ZDir will not wait for a key at any time,
and complete its listing without pausing. This option can be
toggled for one run by placing /K on the command line.

Although there is plenty of room in one column mode for commas in
file sizes, when multiple columns are displayed it is a bit of a
stretch, as there is not room for commas in six digit numbers. The
commas in file sizes option gives you the choice of using commas in
file sizes, when there is room. The numbers in the total lines at
the end are always displayed with commas for easier reading, and
this option does not affect them.

Filenames are displayed in two parts, the up-to-eight character
normal part of the name, padding spaces, and then the up-to-three
character extension. The Print a . before extensions option
determines whether a period character is printed instead of the
last padding space before the extension.

The last line in the ZDir display is the disk totals line, which
shows how many bytes are free on the listed disk drive, and the
total amount of data it can hold. Since this is useless to some
people, the disk totals option allows you to set ZDir to not
display the disk totals, to only display the disk totals when doing
a listing from either A: or B:, or to always display disk totals.

7. Registration form

Name _______________________________________________________________

Street Address _______________________________________________________________

City ______________________________________ State _____ Zip_________

Where did you get ZDir? _______________________________________________________

ZanySoft Dir, version 2.1

Remember, if you use ZDir, you are obligated to pay for it.

___ $10 I am registering ZDir for use on one computer. Please
send me my registration number so I can upgrade
configuration colors and defaults to all future versions
of ZDir.

Registration name, no more than 25 characters: __________________

The following three items do NOT include registration:

___ $5 I would like a 3.5" disk with the current version of ZDir.

___ $5 I would like a 5.25" disk with the current version of ZDir.

The following is for registered users ONLY:

___ $5 I would like the laser printed version of the manual.

_______ Total. Enclose cash or a check drawn on US currency made
out to Christopher Kirmse. Send this form and
payment to:

9303 Arabian Ave.
Vienna, VA 22182

Write any comments below

  3 Responses to “Category : File Managers
Archive   : ZDIR21.ZIP
Filename : ZDIR.DOC

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