Review – ACTION Files 1.0

ACTION Files 1.0 (1.1 now available)
Company: Power On Software
Estimated Price: $49.95
electronic version $39.95, upgrade $29.95 1-800-344-9160

We, as Mac users, have come to expect a lot from Apple…
after all, it has given us the best OS on the market, full of
every innovation that one could possibly imagine. Well, at least if we don’t count the limited use Open and Save dialog boxes that Apple hasn’t changed from antiquity. ACTION Files 1.0 and now 1.1 have taken care of that problem for Mac users.

Once you install ACTION Files on your system, you now have a new look and new access. The recently used files that you accessed, plus whatever you have setup as “favorites”, are now there for you to pick from. I can tell you from experience working on My Mac, that the added capabilities of ACTION Files are a great timesaver. When I’m flipping back and forth between items, the ability to quickly scan and pick what I need, particularly when I’m going back and forth between the same folders or files, has made editing a heck of a lot easier.

ACTION Files adds a multitude of capabilities to your system. You now have access to Finder level commands, letting you know at a glance how much space is left on your hard drive or information about each file to include size, label, date, and kind. You can rename items, create aliases, sort by name, size, date, kind and label in ascending or descending order. It permits you to change how you do things by choosing the items to display, and features a Find command to find those finicky files with a search by name, kind, size, label, date created, or date modified… quite a bit more than the standard Open and Save box. It permits you to navigate, by keyboard and command keys, allowing faster access to files and commands.

When you go to save or open an item, the dialog box that is displayed also shows the drive icon on the top right. By clicking on that, it displays a popup menu which allows you to go to the parent directory, the previous or next hard drive, or directly to a particular hard drive (it also displays available space left). Setting up a “Favorite” item is easy, permitting you to specify that a particular file or folder always be in the menus, displayed with a special character (bullet, diamond or triangle) Hey, for me, my file named Editor Email is one of my favorites, and I’ve set it up as an ACTION Files Favorite. Just try to do that with your standard Mac Open and Save Dialog box. The ACTION Files Save/Open box features File, Edit, View, Folders, Documents, and Finder menu access. With the additional capability of using Command-keys, what more could you ask for? ACTION Files, however, is not compatible with every application out there, and these items are listed in the Compatibility Panel. (Examples: DeBabelizer, DeskScanII, QuarkXPress.) If you discover you need to add another item to the list, you can specify whether to disable ACTION Files completely for that app or just disable the resize feature.

Action Files Picture 2Of course, Apple is also aware of what people are looking for in new features, and I’ve heard that Apple is finally addressing this in System 8.5’s proposed “Navigation Services,”designed to replace the existing Open/Save dialog boxes. This also means commercial software developers will have to upgrade, adjust, and tweak their software to support the new Navigation Services. But until it’s all adjusted and you’ve switched to System 8.5 (and it provides all the same features of ACTION Files), ACTION Files may just be that must-have addition to your system. ACTION Files version 1.1 is now Mac OS 8.5 compatible and is faster on menu draw speeds.

System Requirements
Color-capable Mac (except Macintosh Plus, Macintosh SE, PowerBook 100 models), System 7.5 or later.

The easiest way to decide if a piece of software is a good and a worthwhile investment is for you to install it on your computer (try a demo version first if you can!), use it for a month, and then take it off. If you can’t work as easily as before or find yourself searching frantically for the software to reinstall it, it’s a keeper. ACTION Files certainly is a keeper!

Russ Walkowich


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