May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Total Commander Usage Tips

News Orthodox File Managers Recommended Links Recommended Papers OFM Book Tips from Ilya Gulko Tips from FAQ
OFM Standards  Folder Tabs Total Commander Start Menu Total Commander Show menu      
Guide to Efficient Use of Total Commander     Configuration Cheetsheet History of Development of Total Commander Humor

Many of tips below were borrowed from an excellent Guide to Efficient Use of Total Commander by Ilya Gulko.

Tips from Ilya Gulko

Use directory favorites menu the same way you use favorites menu in you Web browser

Add the directories you use often to the directory favorites menu. Do so by pressing Ctrl+D (or double-clicking on the path bar) and then choosing Configure. To make the directory menu more efficient, add shortcuts to the menus by including the ampersand (&) character before the shortcut letter. You'll add more directories later as you use it.

The Total Commander button bar is fully customizable. You can alter it in many different ways:

Displaying All Files in a Directory Tree

Total Commander 4.52 also includes a great command to view all files in a subdirectory. This is useful in many different situations, such as renaming a group of files that are distributed among a tree of directories. To use this feature, just press Ctrl+B. If you don't have version 4.52, you can duplicate this feature with the following steps:

  1. Open the Find Files dialog by pressing Alt+F7.
  2. Leave the Search for field blank, and press the Start search button (or just press Enter).
  3. Press Feed to listbox (Alt+L).

This feature can also be used in conjunction with the Multi-Rename Tool. Be careful when using it, though, as it can take a very long time to list all of the files in a big tree, such as the root directory of a drive.(January 23, 2000)

Use of the internal zip packer and unpacker.

Press Alt+F5 to pack a group of files, and Alt+F9 to unpack them. You may also navigate inside of archives, including nested archives. Just select one and press Enter like always. This also works for other archives, such as RAR, ACE, CAB, and the self-extracting versions of these (Press Ctrl+PageDown to navigate inside of a self-extracting archive.)


Tips from FAQ

Q: How can I quickly switch to an often used directory?

A: Either use the directory hotlist (CTRL+D), or create a button in the button bar or an entry in the start menu. The directory hotlist allows to add/remove the currently active directory. To add a dir to the button bar, select the directory, hold down the SHIFT key, and drag the directory to the button bar. A new icon will appear. You can also create a menu item in the "Start Menu" using the command cd c:\dirname. (Total Commander requires you to specify the whole path).

Q: How do I create a shortcut (lnk file)?

A: There are two possibilities:
  1. In the other window by pressing Ctrl+Shift+F5
  2. In the same window by right clicking on the file for 1 second or by pressing Shift+F10 and selecting the command Create Shortcut.
Q: How can I print a file list, or import it into a different program?
A: There are several ways to print a directory from Total Commander, although it's not possible directly:
  1. Use Files - Print - File list to print the selected file names. Depending on the current display mode, you can print either only the file names, or all file details. Please note that some fonts like Fixedsys may not work with your printer. To print to a file, install the printer Generic - Text only, and connect it to FILE: .
  2. Use the command cm_copynamestoclip (e.g. add it to button bar) to copy all names via clipboard to other programs
  3. Use the diskdir plugin from our addons page to create a list file, which you can then print from Word or Excel.
  4. Use a third party tool like print folder pro from It's specialized on printing folders.

Q: How can I compare one or more pairs of folders by content, e.g. after burning a CD-R?
You can use the function synchronize dirs: Select the folders which you want to compare, and choose commands - synchronize dirs and choose the options Subdirs, by content and ignore date. Then click compare. Click the = button to hide/show equal files

Q: How can I easily rename a file? The current name of the file should be given as the default!
A: Select the file and press SHIFT+F6.
Q: How can I format or copy  disks using Total Commander?
A: When you right click on the drive letter, it opens a context menu which contains the two commands. Under Windows NT/2000 this only works if the drive isn't the current drive - therefore you have to use the drive button bar (can be enabled through the Configuration dialog). Alternative: Create a button in the button bar with one of the following commands:
rundll32.exe diskcopy.dll,DiskCopyRunDll
(for copying), or:
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,SHFormatDrive
(for formatting).

Q: Is it possible to use F2 for renaming (as in Explorer)?
Yes, you can re-map keyboard shortcuts through Configuration - Options - Misc - Redefine hotkeys. The command for renaming is cm_RenameOnly .


Top Visited
Past week
Past month


Old News ;-)

[Mar 29, 2017] Total Commander 9 -- what is new

If you like me have the problem, when you know that a file exists somewhere, but know neither the location, nor the exact name of the file, that might be helpful for you and your team. If also allows to compare directories for differences and two versions of the same file for differences, And since number of files that I deal with increases exponentially this problem is getting worse and worse. In this sense this tool help to remain sane and find some presentation, quote, config file, or whatever file I need more quickly. It also can be useful for copying PowerPoint presentations to your Windows phone
Notable quotes:
"... Use "Everything" tool for much faster search on NTFS drives, also on network shares if possible ..."
"... Regular expressions supported in more types: Unicode UTF-8+UTF-16, Office XML ..."
"... Opens Quick View in separate Lister window, updates contents when going to other file ..."
Mar 29, 2017 |

Here is a list of the most important additions in version 9:

User interface:

File operations:



Search function:

Compare by content:

Multi-rename tool:


Other operations:

Internal commands:

A list of all corrections, also for previous versions, can be found in the history file .

As usual, the update is free for all registered users.

[Dec 12, 2014] Mass Renaming Directories And Files Using Total Commander by Artem Russakovskii

September 16, 2012 |

If you're like me, you constantly move and rename files and directories. You are also an extremely productive person with evangelical ideals of making every task as efficient as it can be. In this tutorial, I will use my favorite must-have file manager called Total Commander (formerly, Windows Commander) and its brilliant Multi-Rename Tool.

You can download a shareware version of Total Commander at I encourage you to buy it after you try it as it'll soon become an integral part of your life. I've been using it for more than 10 years now and seriously can't imagine my computer without it.

Now for some quick tasks I'd like to accomplish using the Multi-Rename Tool in under a minute each that would otherwise take me ages (also being quite boring and tedious). In my example, I'm going to use 5 files, but feel free to extend it to any number – multi is multi after all. The tool supports regular expressions (regex) to execute more advanced operations.

And the sample files are:

vac-sick-leave request form 03-10-08.xls
vac-sick-leave request form 05-30-07.xls
vac-sick-leave request form 10-16-07.xls
vac-sick-leave request form 11-22-07.xls
vac-sick-leave request form 12-19-07.xls

I fire up Total Commander, highlight the files using the gray *, right clicking and dragging on the names, or pressing Insert – the possibilities are endless, and fire up the Multi-Rename Tool from the Files menu (or just Ctrl-M). Here's what the screen looks like now:

[Dec 12, 2014] How To Show Hidden-Invisible Files In Total Commander, Both Locally And On An FTP Server by Artem Russakovskii

March 6, 2010 |

Today I have 2 tips for Total Commander users: •how to display hidden local directories and files and •how to display hidden FTP directories and files

Really, Total Commander should just control this setting in one place but, unfortunately, it is not the case.

I usually prefer when my file manager shows me everything I have, so that I can be more in control and see the hidden directories, such as .svn or $Recycle.Bin, and files, such as .bashrc or pagefile.sys.

How To Display Hidden Local Directories And Files •go to Configuration -> Options… -> Display •put a check next to the "Show hidden/system files (for experts only)"

local show hidden files total commander How To Display Hidden FTP Directories And Files

This one is a bit trickier – you would think the same option as above controls this, and you would be wrong.

Furthermore, you would think that it's an option in the FTP manager (Ctrl-F), and you would be wrong again.

Here is how to do it: •connect to the FTP server you need •select Net -> FTP Show Hidden Files

ftp show hidden files total commander

Weird choice for an option, isn't it?

Apparently, at least as of Total Commander 7.50a, this option persists while Total Commander is running but it is not saved when you restart it.

[Oct 29, 2012] keyboard shortcuts - Windows XP bind Win+Q to open-focus Total Commander - Super User

Q: Is it possible to bind Win+Q key to open Total Commander or if it is already running - focus on it?


  1. In total commander, you can set it to allow only a single copy

    Configuration -> Options -> Operations -> Allow only a single copy ...,
    so if anything tries to open TC it will only focus on it.

  2. You can bind a key combination to any shortcut you have in the start menu, so you can bind Ctrl+Alt+Q to it (this is what windows does when you key in Win+Q). If you don't mind using extra software - maybe AutoHotKey can help you (I never tried it, just found it on another post on this forum).

Recommended Links

Google matched content

Softpanorama Recommended

Top articles


proTC - Tips and tricks for Total Commander

109 useful Keyboard Shortcuts for Total Commander 8.0.

How to Rename Many Files at Once With Total Commander - How ...

Keyboard Layout of Total Commander

Ultra TC Hotkey Editor

Total Commander - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - File ...



Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy


War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda  : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotesSomerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose BierceBernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes


Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law


Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Hater’s Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D

Copyright © 1996-2021 by Softpanorama Society. was initially created as a service to the (now defunct) UN Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP) without any remuneration. This document is an industrial compilation designed and created exclusively for educational use and is distributed under the Softpanorama Content License. Original materials copyright belong to respective owners. Quotes are made for educational purposes only in compliance with the fair use doctrine.

FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to advance understanding of computer science, IT technology, economic, scientific, and social issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided by section 107 of the US Copyright Law according to which such material can be distributed without profit exclusively for research and educational purposes.

This is a Spartan WHYFF (We Help You For Free) site written by people for whom English is not a native language. Grammar and spelling errors should be expected. The site contain some broken links as it develops like a living tree...

You can use PayPal to to buy a cup of coffee for authors of this site


The statements, views and opinions presented on this web page are those of the author (or referenced source) and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of the Softpanorama society. We do not warrant the correctness of the information provided or its fitness for any purpose. The site uses AdSense so you need to be aware of Google privacy policy. You you do not want to be tracked by Google please disable Javascript for this site. This site is perfectly usable without Javascript.

Last modified: July, 28, 2019