Contents of the README.TXT file
File Commander 2.0K (ASP) Allows addition of
programmable menu items to the Windows 3.1
File Manager. Makes File Manager into a
super-powerful shell. $49.95
WELCOME TO FILE COMMANDER!
This disk contains File Commander 2.0k
File Commander is an extender for the Win 3.1 File Manager. It allows
you to add four (see below) menu items to the File Manager menu bar.
From each of these top-level menu items, File Commander allows you to
make up to 99 menu items spread up to 5 levels deep.
File Commander helps you end the drudgery of day-to-day tasks
when working in Microsoft Windows. Its FAST text-based interface
completely avoids the graphical overhead that often bogs down real
productivity in Windows.
How many times have you tired of changing drives, moving through two
subdirectories, finding an executable file from among 43 other
filenames, double clicking on it, selecting File/Open, then searching
for another directory in the listbox because your document happens to
be in a different directory than the program! With File Commander you
can automate that knowledge of where to move around the disk, which
directories to go to, which files you want to work on, what size you
prefer your window to be, and so on.
With almost two hundred functions and commands, File Commander can:
. Run Windows and DOS programs.
. Send keystrokes directly to applications.
. Rearrange, resize, hide, and close windows.
. Run programs either concurrently or sequentially.
. Display information to the user in various formats.
. Prompt the user for any needed input.
. Present scrollable file and directory lists.
. Copy, move, delete, and rename files.
. Read and write files directly.
. Copy text to and from the Clipboard.
. Perform string and arithmetic operations.
. Make branching decisions based upon numerous factors.
And much, much more.
Of course, to take full advantage of the flexibility of File Commander,
one must spend some time with either the manual or the help file and
become aquainted with the underlying WIL script language. Of course,
for those less technically inclined (you mean not everyone is a rocket
scientist???) the sample menus shipped with File Commander provide a
great deal of added value with no modifications whatsoever, and (even
though I hate to admit it) I expect a sizeable portion of File
Commander users will never actually have the need to modify the File
Commander menus by hand.
There are few things you should understand about the File Manager and
its relationship to File Commander and other File Manager extenders.
Be sure to read the both this readme file and File Commander manual
if you have any other File Manager extenders installed.
File Commander requires an IBM PC or compatible with a minimum of 2
megabytes of RAM, running Microsoft Windows version 3.1 or higher.
*** SPECIAL BONUS FOR REGISTERED USERS ***
Registered users receive our new "Dialog Editor" which allows them to
graphically construct dialog boxes, (a lot like the Visual Basic dialog
editor), and other utilities to help make programming File Commander menu
items a tad easier and faster.
*** PREMIER SUPPORT NOW AVAILABLE ***
A fee based extended support system is now available to assist
corporate software engineering projects which require high technology
assistance, custom Windows programming, or custom interfaces to suites
of Windows applications. See the README2.TXT file for more information.
*** LATE BREAKING NEWS ***
File Commander 2.0 is a FREE major update from the previous version.
However we have changed all licensing codes from the previous version
for internal compatibility reasons. We have sent all registered users
of the 1.0 version a new copy of the program, new manuals, etc. If you
are a registered user and did not receive your update packet by the
time you read this, then we somehow we missed you.
Call (800)-762-8383 and get this problem straightened out.
File Commander 2.0 allows you to add upto 4 top-level menus to the
Windows File Manager menu. Previous versions only allowed one top-level
menu. Each top-level menu can support upto 99 menu items, spread across
4 levels of drop-downs. I know this is a tad confusing - the best bet is
to install File Commander, run File Manager and poke around at the new
menu items. Once you see what our sample menu scripts can do for you,
you will want to write your own menu scripts to add your own menu items
to the menus.
File Commander comes with four sample menu files, each of which are
associated with a new File Manager menu item. To wit:
Menu title Menu File
Although these files are mainly intended as code samples that you can
peruse to make your own add-on menu items, a lot of people, especially
those not willing to plunge in and learn the batch language, will find
that the sample menu items do all sorts of neat stuff, and may be
perfectly content to live with the sample menus supplied.
These sample menus are not exactly documented anyplace, but if you
browse through the pull-down menus in File Manager, the functions of
the various menus items should become obvious. We've carefully designed
them to run on almost *any* system. If something does not work for you,
then its up to you to dig into the sample menu code and rectify any
imcompatibilities that may be occurring.
*** NORTON DESKTOP FOR WINDOWS ***
This version also allows you to add the same menu items to the
Norton Desktop for Windows File Manager menu. File Commander will
attempt to determine if there are any compatibility problems, and,
if so, will put up a message with further instructions, and then
In some cases, especially with Non-English versions of NDW, there may
be serious undetectable incompatibility problems.
To turn off the informational message OR to tell File Commander NOT
to run with the NDW File Manager, do the following:
Edit the WINFILE.INI file ((( NOT WIN.INI !!! )))
Find the [FileCmdr] Section. If it does not exist, make one.
Insert a line containing "NDW=2"
When you are done it should look something like...
If you experience problems when starting the Norton Desktop (Version 2.0)
File Manager with File Commander, please contact Symantec's Peter Norton
Group technical support at (310) 449-4900 for assistance. Be sure to
mention "File Commander" clearly, and they will be able take care of you.
If you add the NDW=2 line to your WINFILE.INI file because of compatibility
problems, be sure to remove the line when you wish to test to see if the
compatibility problems got resolved.
*** GENERAL INFORMATION ***
File Commander is an extender for the Win 3.1 File Manager. It allows
you to add upto four menu items to the File Manager menu bar.
From each of these top-level menu items, File Commander allows you to
make up to 99 menu items spread up to 5 levels deep.
The menu items, when selected, execute our Windows Interface Language (WIL)
code. What is the WIL language? Well, its the Windows batch file language
developed by Wilson WindowWare, and found in several products, including
Wilson WindowWare: Command Post - As the menu script language
Wilson WindowWare: WinBatch - The Windows batch language
Symantec: Norton Desktop - The Batch Runner/Builder language
>>> If you have used Command Post, you will find the menu scripts
>>> *remarkably* similiar.
The WIL language supports zillions (well maybe 200) different functions
that allow you to do pritnear anything.
Be sure to check out our new WIL.HLP Windows help file. It has a
complete description of the WIL language (Thats the programming language
found in our products). It should prove useful.
NOTE: The documentation for the Windows File Manager Extender Interface
states that 5 top-level menus may be added to the File Manager menu.
However, due to what appears to be a bug, the fifth menu item does not
work properly. Any command selected from the fifth menu item becomes
confused with the adjacent "Windows" menu, and the corresponding command
from the "Windows" menu is executed instead. All this is saying is don't
use more than 4 new top-level menus with the Windows File Manager.
Norton Desktop for Windows File Manager does support up to
10 total addon menus.
File Manager Extenders are not EXE files. They are DLL's. When File
Manager (either Windows or Norton) starts up, it inspects the WINFILE.INI
(Note: NOT WIN.INI) file for a special [AddOns] section. The [AddOns]
section (when File Commander is installed) looks like the following:
If you are running the Windows File Manager, you should only have 4 items
in the [Addons] section (due to the aforementioned bug). If you run NDW,
you can have 5, but if you run the Windows File Manager from NDW, remember
that the 5th added menu item is broken.
The File Commander install process installs 4 DLL's to allow you to have
4 menu items. There are a few other *much less capable* extenders
available from various sources. Some of these are:
a) The NDW extender.
b) The Windows Resource toolkit File Size extender.
c) An extender known as "Goodies"
d) Certain internal corporate extenders
e) And others likely to show up someplace or another.
In any case, if you have another extender, you may have to pick and choose
the extenders that you keep. In general, File Commander, with just a few
new menu scripts, can do *anything* and *everything* that any other
extender imaginable could possibly hope to do. The only real reason to
keep any of the other extenders around is if your corporate MIS department
informs you that if you don't, you might get fired.
So....the upkeep and maintenance of the [AddOns] section of the WINFILE.INI
is your responsibility. You will have to decide what to keep and what goes.
We do provide four extenders:
which our installation program will install. Each one controls a menu
item. The menu items will appear on your File Manager menu in the same
order that the menu items occur in the [AddOns] section.
The installation process installs, and File Commander refers to an
additional, new section of the WINFILE.INI file -- The [FileCmdr] section.
The [FileCmdr] section of the WINFILE.INI file contains the titles of the
top level menu items, and also contains the file names of the menu script
files. You usually do not have to worry about these items, as our sample
menu scripts maintain this section. However, in the interest of complete
documentation, the [FileCmdr] section as it appears immediately after File
Commander installation is shown below:
The WWWFC1.DLL extender will refer to the MenuFile1 keyword to determine
which menu script file to use, and it will refer to the MenuTitle1 keyword
to determine the title of the desired menu item.
Likewise, the WWWFC2.DLL extender will refer to MenuFile2 and MenuTitle2,
and so on.
HOW-2-ADD YOUR OWN MENU ITEMS
The Main menu item added to the File Manager menu has a selection to
assist you in editing menus. All it really does is to run the Windows
Notepad editor on one of the four menu files, WWWFC1.MNU, WWWFC2.MNU,
WWWFC3.MNU or WWWFC4.MNU.
In order to take full advantage of File Commander, you should read
through most of the documentation. It will teach you about the WIL
script language in an easy step-by-step fashion (We've got stacks of
letters from non-programmers who said they were a tad scared about
tackling the WIL language, but once they went through our tutorial,
can write menu scrips with the best of them. One guy even decided he
liked programming, took a few community college courses, and now has
a job programming for a living!)
More experienced people, people who are familiar with DOS BAT files,
people familiar with DOS BASIC or other programming languages, and
the average unreconstructed hackers may simply wish to plunge in,
examine the sample menus and wing it. Although we don't officially
recommend this kind of thing, it does happen.
In any case, especially for those trying to "wing it", the menu script
files ares COLUMN SENSITIVE, especially in the first four columns
(character positions) which define the menu item titles. WIL batch code
should start in column 5 or later (I like col 8). The structure of a
menu file (this is the short form, see the docs for a real explanation);
Columns 123456789012345678901234567890... etc
; Semicolons are the comment symbol. Everything to the
; right of a semi-colon is ignored. At the top of the file
; is the "auto-exec" section which runs on File Manager
; startup, and whenever the extenders are reloaded.
; Note that the autoexec code starts in column 8 (way past
; column 5 so it does not get confused with menu items.
TAB=Num2Char(9) ; Define a TAB char for laters
CR=strcat(Num2Char(13),Num2Char(10)) ; Define a CRLF
; That was our autoexec section. It just defined a few
; special characters for later use. Here is our first menu
Run("Notepad.exe","") ;Run Notepad
; That was it. The word NOTEPAD will appear on a menu and
; when selected it will execute the command that launches the
; Notepad editor.
; Now, lets have a drop-down menu that off of a menu item.
; (Menu items don't need to be all CAPS, it is just to make
; this example a tad clearer.
; Note that the first level menu, ACCESSORIES started in
; column 1, and that the two drop down menu items off of it
; both started in column 2. It is important to remember that
; the columns that the menu titles start in control what kind
; of menu item it is, and putting a menu item in the wrong
; column is the most common error in writing a menu.
When loading a new menu script, File Commander will report on lines in the
menu script file that it does not like. In general it is always expecting
one kind of line or another, and if the current line does not meet up to
its expectations, it displays the line with an error message. Quite often,
the actual error occurred on the previous line. Almost all problems on
load have to do with improper indent in the menu titles. In addition,
after an error, the remainder of the menu file is ignored.
Each menu script file can only support upto 99 menu items. It you have
more that 99 menu items, the ones past the 99th item will not appear, and,
if the 100th item occurs on some sub-level menu, can make its parent level
THE WIL.HLP file
The installation program should have installed an icon in the Program
Manager File Commander group which will bring up this file. Or just
double click on it to make it run. Its also accessable from our sample
The first menu item you write might be to add a new menu item to access
the WIL.HLP file to one of your own menus. Here's one way to do it.
First, figure out where the WIL.HLP file is. Lets assume that you
took the standard installation program defaults. That would put
the WIL.HLP file into the C:\FILECMDR\HELP directory. Verify this.
Assuming you have File Commander running, select the "Main" menu item.
The first thing you will see in the drop-down menu that appears is the
"Edit File Commander Menus". Select that option.
Another drop down menu will appear which gives you a choice of editing
the menu scripts or changing the top-level menu titles. Choose the
first selection, "Edit menu scripts".
Choose the first selection, WWWFC1.MNU, to edit the first menu file.
This will pop you into the Notepad editor, editing the WWWFC1.MNU
menu file. Move to the bottom of the file and add the following
lines. BE SURE THAT THE MENU TITLE STARTS AT THE FAR LEFT WITH NO
SPACES IN FRONT OF IT. Adjust the DirChange command, if required,
to point to the directory containing the WIL.HLP file.
; This menu item brings up the WIL.HLP help file
Get WIL Help File
Close the note pad editor. Look at your first menu. Strange, the
new menu item is NOT there. Select one of the menu items, say
"Browse". File Commander will look at the menu file, decide that it
was modified since the last time it was inspected, and proceed to
reload it. Since there's no telling what might have changed in the
file, File Commander will tell you that the menu files were reloaded,
and that you should re-select the desired menu item.
After a short delay while the reload occurs, look at the menu item
again. Lo and behold, it should be there on the bottom of the first
menu. Select it. WinHelp should load with the WIL language help.
The WIL.HLP file was produced and designed by Jim Stiles. If you need
or want professional consulting for custom help systems,
ask for Jim at (206) 937-3141.
*** FOREIGN LANGUAGE SUPPORT ***
File Commander now supports some foreign languages. English is built in,
and the software attempts to examine your system, and, if you are using
German or French, will configure itself to use German or French. More
languages on the way. There is also "ValSpeak", which is both a parody
on Southern California slang, and an example of how *some* messages may
be modified for the end users.
If you are using Windows 3.1, File Commander will attempt to determine
what language Windows you are running and automatically configure itself
to use that language.
To access a non-default langauage do the following:
1) Examine the WWWDLANG.DLL file to determine the languages
available. The file has documentation in it that will help you
figure this out. (It is not really a DLL, you can look at it.
It will probably be in your Windows directory.)
2) Edit the WWWBATCH.INI file and add an item to the MAIN section,
Restart Windows, and, walla, the new language should appear.
With this version you have the following files: You will find that
on your disk or ZIP file, many of the files end in a _ (underscore). This
is to be expected. Some files may have been compressed and will need to
properly installed to be useful, while other files may be simply copied and
renamed. Registered users may find a few other bonus files on the disk.
README TXT Latest news and comments about File Commander (this file)
README2 TXT Readme.txt ...continued...
FILECMDR MAN The documentation for File Commander
WILDOC MAN The technical reference for the WIL language
(Not always included when we also send a printed copy)
WIL HLP The Windows help file for our language
FC__VER ??? Version number file. The extension shows the version number
FILE_ID DIZ A standard description file to help BBS sysops
WWWFC1 DLL The DLL for the first extender menu item
WWWFC2 DLL The DLL for the second extender menu item
WWWFC3 DLL The DLL for the third extender menu item
WWWFC4 DLL The DLL for the fourth extender menu item
WWWFC1 MNU The Menu file for the first extender menu item
WWWFC2 MNU The Menu file for the second extender menu item
WWWFC3 MNU The Menu file for the third extender menu item
WWWFC4 MNU The Menu file for the fourth extender menu item
WWWFMEAA DLL The Main File Commander DLL
WWWBATxx DLL The WIL script processor DLL (where xx is a number)
WWWDLANG DLL Foreign Language support for the WIL script processor DLL
WWWDEALR DLL Yet another required DLL
WWWZIP DLL ZIP file processing scripts
WWWVIRT BAT Sample BAT file that changes PATH for DOS apps
WWWDOS BAT DOS BAT file used in some of our menu scripts
WWWDOSC PIF PIF that calls WWWDOS.BAT and pauses
WWWDOSP PIF PIF that calls WWWDOS.BAT and then closes the window
WWWZIPLS EXE Zip processor EXE file
WSETUP INF A script file for the setup program
WSETUP EXE The snazzy setup program
WSETUP2 OVL More of our setup program.
WEXPAND EXE Manual install file expander (on disks only)
WEXPAN1 EXE Manual file expander overlay (on disks only)
BROWSER EXE A handy file browser utility
BROWLANG DLL International language support for Browser
*** Please help us out ***
If you have received a regular licensed copy of File Commander (what
we call the retail version), your 3.5" disk might contain a shareware
ZIP file of the latest version of File Commander. Iff so, please help
us spread it around - upload it to your favorite local BBS, send it
to your company software librarian, or any other place where people
who might appreciate File Commander can come across it.
Thank you very much.
Please see the README2.TXT file for more information