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DFaultD 2.22

In the shareware arena, DFaultD provides a number of useful functions at the reasonable price of $20. Jon Gotow originally intended DFaultD to assign a default folder to an application, so you could easily switch to this folder when you open or save a file. Normally on the Macintosh if you start up Nisus with no documents, as I often do via a QuicKey, when I use the Open... menu item, the SFDialog box displays the Nisus folder when it comes up. Needless to say, like most people, I don't store my documents in the same folder as the application, so if I had set up DFaultD beforehand, I could hit a command key or select an item from a pop-up menu and DFaultD would automatically move me to that folder. Along with that ability, Jon programmed DFaultD to optionally display a list of the last ten folders that the user has visited along with a number of folders that are "locked" in the menu - permanent folders that you want to use frequently in numerous applications.

DFaultD uses a pop-up menu interface vaguely reminiscent of ShortCut's pop-up menu. However, DFaultD's two small buttons only replace the volume name when you move the mouse on top of the name. Before that, a small icon to the left of the name reminds you that DFaultD is active. The first button, which looks like a small folder, lists your default folder for that application if it has one, the ten most recently visited folders, and any locked folders you may have. Selecting one of these folders will take you to it immediately. At the bottom of the folder menu is a New Folder option, which simply creates a new folder where you are currently located. The other button, which looks like a small disk, displays a list of volume names. Selecting one of these will take you to that disk, with the added feature that DFaultD remembers where you last were on that disk, so you don't always end up at the desktop.

Setting up a linkset, a list of applications and their default folders, is so easy that I'm not going to bother to say anything more about it. In fact, adding locked folders is equally as easy. DFaultD's customization interface can only be accessed from the Control Panel, which is one of DFaultD's few limitations - I would have liked to be able to set default folders right from within the SFDialog box. The only confusing part of DFaultD is that you can create multiple linksets so different people can have their own default folders. It took me a few minutes before I realized that linksets could be very similar and that the operative one was the one which was hilited. It isn't hard to figure out, but the otherwise clear documentation doesn't explain this simple fact.

You can modify a few preferences for DFaultD as well. If you want, DFaultD will show its cursor while it draws the SFDialog so you can get a sense of how much system time DFaultD takes up. If you don't want to see that cursor, you can shut it off. Similarly, if you don't want to see the pop-up menus, you can shut them off too, but if you do that you will want to enable the option that lets the command key equivalent operate even without the menu active. You don't have to have the ten most recently visited folders listed, and finally, you can set which command key will switch you to the default folder.

Overall, I rather like DFaultD. It is simple, well thought out, and easy to use. It doesn't pretend to do everything but performs its stated task well. However, I won't be using it because I find it a bit too limited. I do a lot of moving around on my hard disk and only ten recent folders simply isn't enough. I'd like to be able to increase that number. Similarly, I often prefer in Super Boomerang or ShortCut to just go directly to a file rather than to the folder that the files lives in. DFaultD can't record the most recently used files, and it doesn't have an option to assign a default file to an application either. If you think the feature lists of ShortCut and Super Boomerang are too much to deal with, you should look at DFaultD. Since it's shareware, you should be able to find it easily at your favorite source of shareware software. It's well worth the $20. However, I think that most people will be somewhat better served by either Super Boomerang or ShortCut, finances permitting.


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