FTP Open

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Menu: File > FTP Open


Default Shortcut Key: Shift+Alt+O


Macro function: none


The FTP Open command provides the ability to open files on a remote computer system for viewing and/or editing.  A custom dialog is used to display the files on the remote system and to provide access to the various FTP functions:






bm2This help topic is not intended to be a primer on the subject of FTP (File Transfer Protocol) communications.  Some familiarity with FTP is assumed on the part of the reader.


Edit Accounts Dialog

The first step to opening files on a remote system is to provide Boxer with the information necessary to establish an FTP connection.  The Edit Accounts button will present the following dialog:




Initially the dialog will not show any accounts in the Accounts listbox at the left.  Click New to create a new account.  Use the Rename button to rename the new account as desired.


The Copy button can be used to make a copy of the selected account.  The Delete button can be used to delete a selected account.


Host Domain / IP Address

This field holds the domain name or IP address of the site you wish to connect to.



This field holds the user name for the account you have at the remote site.  Up to 40 characters are permitted.



This field holds the password for the account you have at the remote site.  For security purposes, the field will be displayed with asterisks as it is typed.  If the password field is left blank, you will be prompted for the password at connect-time.  Up to 40 characters are permitted


bm2If the Save password option is selected, the password you enter will be stored in the Windows registry along with Boxer's other settings.  For security purposes, the password entry will be encrypted in the registry. 


Initial Directory

This field holds the name of the directory you would like to be positioned in on the remote system.


bm1If the system you connect to has several directories with different functions, you might choose to create several accounts that differ only in the Initial Directory field.  This makes it easier to connect directly to the required directory location.  The Copy button makes it easy to create copies of existing accounts.


FTP port

This field holds the port number to be used for the FTP connection.  Unless you have reason to do otherwise, the value should remain at its default setting of 21.



This field can be used to add a comment about the FTP account being configured.


bm1If you prefer that your password be visible, and security is not an issue, the Remark field can be used to note the password.


Save Password

Use this option to dictate whether or not the Password field will be saved from session to session.  If this option is not selected, the value of the Password field will persist only for the current session.


Anonymous Login

Use this option to configure for a system which permits Anonymous login.  Selecting this option causes the User field to be set to 'anonymous'.  The Password field is not required, but some systems suggest that your email address be supplied as the password.


Passive Connection

Use this option to request that the FTP session use a passive connection.  A passive connection may be required by some firewalls.


ASCII transfers

Use this option to indicate that file transfers are to be performed in ASCII mode.  If this option is not selected transfers will be made in Binary mode.


bm2Line ender conversion issues can arise when transferring files from Unix systems.  If the results you are seeing are unsatisfactory, try switching the sense of the ASCII transfers option.


Advanced Settings

The advanced settings dialog tab is reserved for future use.


FTP Open Dialog


The Account list provides a drop-down list of all defined accounts.  Select the desired account before clicking Connect.


Connect / Disconnect

The Connect button is used to initiate an FTP connection.  Once the connection is established, the label of this button changes to Disconnect.


File List

The File List display shows the names of the files on the remote system.  The format of this list will depend on the remote system.  Boxer does not coerce the data supplied by the remote system into a new format.  Likewise, the method used to indicate directory names will vary from system to system.  The most common formats use either a 'd' in column one, or the string '<DIR>' somewhere near the filename.


bm2File entries on the remote system which are 'links' or 'redirects' will not be shown in the File List.  The knowledge of where a link points to is maintained on the remote system.  Opening a link via FTP does not have the expected results.


Activity Log

At the lower left of the dialog is the Activity Log.  This scrolling list maintains a record of the functions that have been performed during the FTP session.  The log can be cleared with the Clear Log button that appears in the Extra Functions panel.


Show directories in list

Use this option to dictate whether or not directory names should appear in the File List.


Put directories at top of list

Use this option to dictate whether or not directory names should be placed at the top of the File List.  If directories are not placed at the top they will appear sorted among the filename entries.


Show files starting with '.'

Use this option to control whether or not filenames that begin with a period should be displayed in the File List.  On some systems such files are used for configuration and should not be disturbed.


Keep dialog open after transfer

Use this option to control whether the FTP dialog should remain open after the transfer is completed.  This may be desirable if multiple files are to be opened from different remote directories.


Send NOOPs to keep session open

Use this option to request that an FTP session be kept open by sending NOOPs (NO Operation commands) to the remote system.  This option could be used to defeat a system which enforced an automatic logout after a period of inactivity.


bm2Some systems will not interpret NOOPs as legitimate FTP activity and will proceed with automatic logout.


Extra Functions

The Extra Functions button will toggle on and off a panel that displays additional FTP functions.  The following functions are available:


Change To

Use this function to change to the selected directory.


bm1The Enter and Right Arrow keys can also be used to descend into a selected directory.


Up Dir

Use this function to change to the parent directory.


bm1The Left Arrow can also be used to ascend to a parent directory.


Make Dir

Use this function to create a new directory.



Use this function to rename a remote file or directory.



Use this function to delete a remote file or directory.  A confirmation will be required before the deletion is performed.


Power Copy

The Power Copy function will copy all local files that are open in the editor to the current remote directory.  If any of these files have been modified they will be saved automatically.  A confirmation is required before the Power Copy operation is performed.


bm1This function can be very useful when editing local copies of website files.


Refresh View

Use this function to refresh the File List display.  This might be required if you suspect that another program or process has made changes to the remote system that affect the file listing.


Clear Log

Use this function to clear the content of the Activity Log window.



Once a remote file is opened for editing, the name and path of that file will be displayed in the title bar of its edit window.  The FTP Filepath includes the information that Boxer needs in order to be able to save the file, or to reopen it at a later time.  An FTP Filepath has the form:




Many different areas of Boxer have been enhanced to recognize and process FTP filepaths:


File Save

When the Save command is issued an FTP connection to the remote system will be established automatically so that the file can be saved.


Command Line

When an FTP Filepath appears on Boxer's command line it will automatically be opened for editing when the edit session begins. 


bm2Wildcard file specifications are not supported in this context.


Project Files

An FTP Filepath can be placed within a Project file so that it can be opened along with other files named in the  Project file.


Most Recently Used Files

When an FTP Filepath is recalled from the Recent Files list near the bottom of the File menu, it will be opened automatically.


Restored Session

When a previous edit session is restored, any remote files that were open in that session will be opened automatically.


Filename at Cursor

If an FTP Filepath is found beneath the text cursor, the Open Filename at Cursor command will open the file automatically.


bm1Spaces are permitted within an FTP account name, but you might wish to avoid using them.  Doing so will make it easier to use FTP Filepaths on the command line, or with the Open Filename at Cursor command, since double quoting of the filepath will not be required.