PowerDesk 4 Pro Outdoes Windows Explorer

SAN FRANCISCO (05/26/2000) - OnTrack Data International Inc.'s PowerDesk 4 Pro cures the anemic Explorer in Windows 9x, 2000, or NT 4.0. Besides handling basic file management tasks (moving, copying, and deleting files), this $20 utility can view files saved in any of 200 formats and can use FTP files to transfer files to and from a Web server.

The program's File Manager lets you set filters, sort file lists, drag and drop files in a two-pane view, print files and tree lists, delete and destroy files, and open or create Zip files. Version 4 adds 10 graphics conversion formats to the 20 its predecessor could handle. You can also encrypt files, copy a file name or its path to the Windows Clipboard (to help colleagues find them on a network) and quickly set file and program associations.

PowerDesk 4 Pro includes four additional utilities. Size Manager displays file and folder sizes--useful when you have to free up storage space. A floating, dockable Coolbar monitors CPU and system resources, displays multiple clocks, and holds shortcuts to applications and system functions. The File Finder utility does little that Windows' Find Files can't, but Dialog Helper works with standard File Open and File Save dialog boxes to provide lists of recently used files and folders for applications that don't do this.

Overall, PowerDesk 4 Pro is still one of the best file management tools on the market.

PowerDesk 4 Pro

Pro: Great, fully integrated file management tools give users more control than Windows Explorer.

Con: File Finder is nothing special.

Value: Affordable package greatly simplifies routine tasks.

List price: $20

Ontrack Data International