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Menu: File > Open


Default Shortcut Key: Ctrl+O


Macro function: Open()


The Open command is used to load one or more files for editing.  By default, Boxer will present a custom File Open dialog with extra features not found in the standard Windows File Open dialog.






If you prefer to use the standard dialog, an option to do so can be found on the Configure | Preferences File I/O dialog page.






Standard Dialog or Custom Dialog

Opening a Single File

To select a single file for editing, click on the file's name within the display or type a filename in the Filename edit box.  Click Open or press Enter to complete the selection.


Opening Multiple Files

To select multiple files for editing, depress the Ctrl key while clicking on a filename to add the new filename to the set of files to be opened. To select a series of adjacent files for editing, click on the first file in the series, and then depress the Shift key while clicking on the last file in the series.


Filtering Files

You can filter the files displayed by selecting a file filter from the drop-down list labeled Files of type.  The file types which appear in this dialog are user-definable via the Configure | Preferences | File I/O options page.  You can also filter the filenames displayed by typing a wildcard file specification (such as m*.cpp or  project.*) into the Filename edit box.


Read-only Mode

To load a file for passive viewing, select the Open as read-only checkbox at the bottom of the dialog.  Boxer will then prevent changes from being made to the file(s) during the edit session.  This option can be used to protect against accidental changes to a file whose content needs to be viewed, but must not be altered.


Renaming Files

To rename a file, single-click once to select the item.  Single-click again on the filename to place a text cursor into the filename.  Type the new name for the file and press Enter.


Deleting Files

To delete one or more files, first select the files to be deleted.  Use Shift+Click to select a range of files, and/or Ctrl+Click to select discontiguous files.  When the files are selected, press the Delete key to delete the files.


bm2Important Note: the standard Windows dialog does not request confirmation before deleting a file, but it does place the deleted file in the Windows Recycle Bin.  Boxer's custom dialog does require that file deletions be confirmed, but does not place the deleted file(s) in the Recycle Bin.


Window Sizes

The size and position of the newly created window depends upon the nature of other open windows within Boxer. If other editing windows are maximized, the new window will also be created in maximized mode and will obscure the other windows below it.  Otherwise, the new window will be created in 'normal' mode, and its size and position will be determined automatically by Windows.


You can request that new windows always be created in maximized mode with an option on the Configure | Preferences | Display options page. This option is titled Auto-maximize new windows when created.


bm1If you would prefer that changes made to the current directory not be reflected in future visits to the dialog, an option is available on the Configure | Preferences | File I/O options page.  The option is titled File I/O dialogs preserve current directory; ignore prior travel.


Custom Dialog Features

The following features are available only with Boxer's custom File Open dialog


Resize Dialog

Boxer's File Open dialog is resizeable, and its size and position are remembered from session to session.


Current Directory

Use this icon to make the selected directory the current working directory.


Jump to the directory of the current file

Use this icon to make the directory of the current file the current working directory.


List View or Details View

Use these icons to select whether files are displayed in list view (simple), or with full details.  Unlike the standard Windows dialog, the view mode is remembered from the previous dialog session.


Details View with Grid Lines

Click the icon to the left of the Copy button to enable a display mode in which light grid lines will by used to separate file data.


Copy Directory Listing

Use the Copy button to copy the entire directory listing to the current clipboard.


Refresh Display

Click the Refresh button to refresh the file display.  This option could be used if another program or process has changed the file listing since the dialog was first opened.


Directory Count

A message at the top of the drive selection list shows the number of directories being displayed in that list.


File Count

A message at the top of the filename display shows the number of files in the current directory listing.


Selected File Count

A message at the top of the filename display shows the number of files currently selected.


File Sorting


File information can be sorted by any field that appears at the top of the table:




Click twice on a given field to reverse the direction of the sort.  The current sort mode is displayed in a message at the top of the filename display.  Unlike the standard Windows dialog, the sort mode and direction are remembered from the previous dialog session.


bm1The Name heading also offers the ability to sort filenames by extension.  Clicking the Name heading in succession yields the following sort modes: down by name, up by name, down by extension, up by extension.


bm1You can change the width of any field by dragging the divider line between fields to a new position.


bm2When  sorting by Type, the file entries will be sorted first by type and then by file extension within the type.


Short Name Field

In addition to the standard Name, Size, Type, Modified and Attribute fields, Boxer's custom dialog also provides a Short Name field that displays the equivalent short filename for each file.


Favorite Directories

When files are opened for editing, the directory name is saved in the Favorites list.  Use the Favorites drop-down list to quickly select a directory from among those recently used.  Once a directory is selected its position in the list is elevated to position one.


bm1Boxer will automatically add the directory of the current file to the Favorite Directories list when the Open dialog is activated.


bm2When an existing entry in the Favorites Directory is found not to exist it will be automatically deleted from the list.


Filename Completion

Boxer's custom dialog supports filename completion.  When typing a filepath or filename in the Filename field, press the Tab key to begin cycling through those directories or filenames that match your partial entry.  When you see the directory name you were typing appear, continue typing the next few letters of the next directory name in the filepath.  Press Tab to complete, as required.  If you press accidentally press Tab too many times, press Shift+Tab to cycle backwards to a previously displayed name.


bm2The function of the Tab key for Filename Completion can be disabled with the checkbox entitled Allow Tab to expand partial filename or path.  In this case, the Tab key can again be used to move away from the Filename box.


List the files that match a wildcard specification

Use this option if you prefer that files matching a wildcard specification first be shown in the file list, and not opened directly.  With this option, typing *.XYZ and clicking Open will cause the file list to be filtered to display only those files with a .XYZ extension.


Open the files that match a wildcard specification

Use this option if you prefer that files matching a wildcard specification be opened directly.  With this option, typing *.XYZ and clicking Open will cause all files with a .XYZ extension to be opened for editing.


bm1When entering a wildcard specification in the Filename box, the semi-colon (;) can be used to separate multiple file patterns.  For example, to display (or open, depending on the above options) all files matching three different extensions, use the following syntax: *.abc;*.def;*.ghi


File Preview

The Preview button enables you to view the content of a file without actually opening the file for editing.  A pop-up window will appear that displays the opening content of the file.  From this view you can decide if the file in question is the one you would like to open.  The pop-up Preview window disappears automatically as soon as the mouse cursor is moved significantly.


bm2Binary files are not eligible for display with the Preview function.


Context Menu

Right-clicking on a selected file (or files) will present the File Open dialog's context menu.  The following commands are provided: Open, Preview, Select All, Copy, Rename and Delete.  The Rename and Delete commands provide an alternate method to perform these functions, which are described in the section above.  The Copy command copies the selected file(s) to the Windows clipboard in a manner that allows them to be pasted into Explorer, effecting a file copy.  Other applications may also be able to recognize the 'Explorer Copy' clipboard format and behave accordingly.



bm2The directory list control used by the custom dialog (known to programmers as TComboBox) does not show abstract entries such as the Desktop, Network Neighborhood, Shared Drives, etc.  TComboBox is limited to the display of physical drives.  All of the abstract entries have a corresponding location on the physical disk drive, if you know where to look.  If you would prefer to see the abstract entries, you can revert to the standard File Open dialog using an option on the Configure | Preferences File I/O dialog page.