Category Archives: Easy Explorer

Easy Explorer – Advanced Search

In Easy Explorer 3, we introduced an advanced search option that allows you to search for files based on attributes other than its name.  To use the advanced search function, click on the Advanced Search button on the bottom of the explorer window:

This brings up the Advanced Search window, where you enter your search criteria.

On the left panel, a list of all the available file functions are displayed e.g. Name, Size, Created, Accessed, etc.  Clicking on any of the items will bring up the description on how to use that function.  There is also a list of support functions that’s required when working with dates, time, and text values.

The basic rule is that you use a single function like this e.g. search only for files smaller than 1024 bytes:

Size < 1024

You can combine multiple search criteria using AND and OR, but you must use brackets to group the criteria e.g. search only for files smaller than 1024 bytes or the name contains the word ‘finance’:

(Size < 1024) OR (NameContains(‘finance’))

There is no limit to the number of criteria you use, but the important thing is to use the brackets to group the criteria correctly e.g.

( (Size < 1024) OR (NameContains(‘finance’) OR NameContains(‘production’)) ) AND (Modified > EncodeDate(2019, 1, 7))

will (search for files smaller than 1024 bytes OR (the name contains the word ‘finance’ or ‘production’)), AND after all that, the file must have been modified after July 1, 2019.

Extended attributes

In addition to the normal file properties, you can also search based on the extended attributes.  To see which extended attributes are available on your system, right click on the column header in the explorer window to bring up the list of available columns:

and click on the More… item.  The list of extended attributes are then displayed.

To search an extended attribute, use the Attribute function e.g.

Attribute(‘Width’)

returns the Width attribute (if available) of the file.  So if the file is an image file, a value will be returned.  On our system, the Width attribute is displayed with a pixels suffix i.e.

So if we wanted to search for image files with a width of 3968 pixels, we would need to use this search criteria:

Attribute(‘Width’) = ‘3968 pixels’

We can also return the attribute as a number using the AttributeAsNumber function e.g.

AttributeAsNumber(‘Width’)

This function attempts to return the attribute’s text value (in this case ‘3968 pixels’) as a numerical value (3968).  If the attribute value cannot be converted to a number, a value of 0 is returned.

Now that we can get the width attribute as a number, we can easily apply range checks to it e.g.

AttributeAsNumber(‘Width’) > 3776
(AttributeAsNumber(‘Width’) > 3776) OR (AttributeAsNumber(‘Width’) < 1024)
(AttributeAsNumber(‘Width’) > 3776) AND (AttributeAsNumber(‘Height’) > 2048)

Extended attributes allow you to perform some very advanced searches.  For example, say we have the following Excel files:

We can search on the Authors and Subject attributes easily in Easy Explorer.  E.g.

Attribute(‘Authors’) = ‘Yeoh Ray Mond’

will return all files created by ‘Yeoh Ray Mond’.  If we want to search for all files containing the word ‘Financials‘ in its subject, we will need to use the TextContains function in addition to the Attribute function.  The Attribute function returns the full value of the specified attribute, so for the first file, it will return ‘Financials for April 2019’.  We could write the search criteria like so:

Attribute(‘Subject’) = ‘Financials for April 2019’

but it will limit our search to only the first file.  In this case, we want to return the third file too.  To do that, we use the TextContains function e.g.

TextContains(Attribute(‘Subject’), ‘Financials’)

TextContains takes 3 parameters.  The first parameter is the value to search in.  In this case, it will be the value of the Subject attribute.  The second parameter is the value to search for, in this case the word ‘Financials’.  The third optional parameter is to indicate if the search is case-sensitive.  The default value is false, so you could write the search criteria in any of these ways:

TextContains(Attribute(‘Subject’), ‘Financials’)
TextContains(Attribute(‘Subject’), ‘financials’)
TextContains(Attribute(‘Subject’), ‘finanCIALS’)

To perform a case sensitive search, pass TRUE in the third parameter e.g.

TextContains(Attribute(‘Subject’), ‘Financials’, TRUE)

There are also 2 additional text functions, TextStartsWith and TextEndsWith, that checks if the text starts or ends with a specific value respectively, and accepts the same parameters as TextContains e.g.

TextStartsWith(Attribute(‘Subject’), ‘Financials’)
TextStartsWith(Attribute(‘Subject’), ‘Financials’, TRUE)
TextEndsWith(Attribute(‘Subject’), ‘2019’)

The ability to search on extended attributes opens up a lot of possibilities:

  • For photos, you can search on camera attributes like exposure time, focal length, ISO speed, etc.
  • For Office files, you can search on document attributes like authors, manager, subject, comments, etc.
  • For multimedia files, you can search on attributes like bitrate, genre, length, etc.
  • For images, you can search on image attributes like width, height, and bit depth.

If you encounter any issues using the search function on extended attributes, please do drop us a line at support@yohz.com.

Download a FREE 14-day trial now and start searching for your files using extended attributes the easy way.

Searching for Word and Excel documents by extended attributes

In Easy Explorer, you can use the advanced search function to search for Word, Excel, or other Microsoft Office documents using its extended attributes values like author, subject, comments, etc.

In Windows Explorer, you can display those attributes by adding the columns e.g.

You can display the same attributes in Easy Explorer i.e.

To search on the extended attributes, click on the Advanced Search button in Easy Explorer:

In the search window, enter the attributes you want to search on.  Let’s start off with something simple – we want to search for documents whose author is ‘Hank Jareau’.  We enter our search condition like this:

and Easy Explorer will list all documents whose author is ‘Hank Jareau’.

However, Easy Explorer will not display documents where ‘Hank Jareau’ is a co-author.  To include those documents in our search, we use the TextContains function to look for documents where the Authors attribute contains ‘Hank Jareau’ i.e.

and our search results will be as follows:

Now say we want to search for all documents where the Comments attribute is ‘Call for interview’ or ‘Consider’.  We do this by using the OR function to add multiple search conditions e.g.

and our results:

You can add as many such conditions as you require, using a combination of the AND and OR functions e.g.

You can see that the advanced search function gives you unparalleled flexibility in searching for documents based off the extended attributes.  Note that Easy Explorer allows you to search across different folders, not just in a single folder.

Just select the folders you want to search in:

start the Advanced Search, and the search condition will be applied to each of the selected folders.

Click here to read more about the Advanced Search in Easy Explorer, or download a FREE 14-day trial now and start searching for your documents using extended attributes the easy way.

Search photos by EXIF data

In Easy Explorer, you can use the advanced search function to search for photos with specific EXIF attributes.

In Windows Explorer, you can display additional EXIF values for photos e.g.

You can display the same attributes in Easy Explorer i.e.

To search on the EXIF attributes, click on the Advanced Search button in Easy Explorer:

In the search window, enter the attributes you want to search on.  Let’s start off with something simple – we want to search for images created using our Olympus SH-50 camera.  We enter our search value like this:

and Easy Explorer will list all photos taken with the SH-50 camera.

What if we wanted to display photos captured by both our Olympus SH-50 and Panasonic LX-7 cameras?  We simply add the 2 conditions together using the OR keyword i.e.

and our search results will be as follows:

Now say we want to limit our search results even further by searching for photos which used a focal length of 5mm or shorter.  We simply use the AttributeAsNumber function to convert the focal length value to a number, and use that in our search condition i.e.

and our results:

You can see that the advanced search function gives you unparalleled flexibility in searching for photos based off its EXIF attributes.  Note that Easy Explorer allows you to search across different folders, not just in a single folder.

Just select the folders you want to search in:

start the Advanced Search, and the search condition will be applied to each of the selected folders.

Lastly, you can always change the search results view, to view thumbnails of all the photos matching the search conditions e.g.

Click here to read more about the Advanced Search in Easy Explorer, or download a FREE 14-day trial now and start searching for your photos using EXIF attributes the easy way.

Using Easy Explorer

Do you keep a bunch of Windows Explorer instances open all the time, each accessing a different folder, simply because you need to access them frequently?  Well, Easy Explorer may be a better alternative for you.  Easy Explorer is our product that allows you to work with multiple Explorer-like windows within a single application.

Easy Explorer starts off simple enough – with a single window.

Say you create another window to access a different folder.  You now have easy access to both folders within Easy Explorer.

You can rearrange the windows in various layouts to suit your needs

save the different layouts, and restore the layouts by simply selecting the desired layout.

Create as many windows as you require, in whatever layout suits you.  You’re only limited by the size of your monitor.

In addition to customizing layouts, Easy Explorer also allows you to:

  • use filters so that Easy Explorer only displays the files you want to see as you open your folders
  • use regular expressions as filter values
  • search for files using regular expressions
  • create bookmarks to frequently used folders

Learn more about Easy Explorer here.

The Explorer bits in SQL BAK Explorer

The left panel in SQL BAK Explorer is essentially a Windows Explorer clone, and shares the same features as found in Easy Explorer.  In this blog, I’ll describe some of the cooler things you can do in the Explorer panel.

Bookmarks!  If you access a folder frequently, simply drag the folder from the Explorer window to the ‘Bookmarks bar’ area.  A bookmark is created for you.  Simply click on that bookmark to open the folder.

 

Filters!  If you want the Explorer window to display only files with the bak extension, simply enter bak in the filter window and click Apply.  Now, only bak files will be displayed in the Explorer window in every folder you browse to.

 

Default layouts!  Say you want the explorer window to be of a certain size, the default folder to be a particular folder, the backup summary panel to be this size, the SQL Window editor area to be that size etc.  First, set up the panels exactly as how you want them to appear every time when SQL BAK Explorer starts.  Then click on the Set as default button.

 

More bookmarks!  In addition to the bookmarks bar mentioned above, you can also maintain bookmarks in a menu.  You can group bookmarks in categories, to make them easier to organize.