Features existing in all Atlas Software
For example widespread Drag & Drop and more, see The Atlas Xperience.
Undoable File Operations
Mighty Desktop remembers file operations initiated by the user internally and can easily undo them afterwards, similar to File Explorer. With Mighty Desktop, however, more operation types are covered and multiple steps can be undone. Moreover, they are remembered even beyond the end of the application. All these operations are undoable:
- Move file
- Throw file into the trash: Note that the restore of an item will check whether at the destination is already something. If the size of this item (file or folder) is 0 it will be replaced without asking.
- Rename file
- Change timestamp of a file
- Create new file
- Delete empty file
- Move folder
- Throw folder into the trash
- Rename folder
- Change timestamp of a folder
- Create new folder
- Delete empty folder
Mighty Desktop is equipped to deal in a respectful way with files or folders that have their read-only flag set. The intention of the R-flag was originally that an application isn't allowed neither to rename such a file nor to modify the content (think of a rock). Many applications out there don't care or just remove it. Mighty Desktop's (resp. all Atlas apps) philosophy is to respect the R-flag. If you do mass operations and such an element is encountered you will get a dialog where you can choose to either skip the processing, reset the flag temporarily, or reset it for all elements of the batch. Some dialogs even have a checkbox where you can choose to ignore the flag before you even start, so you won't be bothered with them.
Multiple Instances, Notify Icon, Client-Server
Mighty Desktop has a `Client-Server` architecture. It can be run in multiple instances (sessions) at the same time, but that's not really recommended because the settings are persisted only once. The settings from the last closed instance win, so you could loose changes made in other instances. To avoid this, the first instance acts as a the so called `Main Server` and will show a `Notify Icon` in the Windows® tray (you can change this behavior in the Settings). Additional instances send their commands to the server and will display the results in their own environment, either as output in the command shell from where they were called or as a message box in the case of a File Explorer popup function.
If you start a second instance without arguments you will be asked whether you want to switch over to the first instance. You can refuse and still use multiple instances in parallel. This can be useful in rare cases. But remember that you will only have the state of the last closed instance later on, and this includes the content of the Log panel.
One big advantage of such a client-server architecture is the very fast execution of multiple commands in sequence, for example if issued from a batch/command file or from the popup menu in File Explorer.
Note that you could start the first instance in administrator mode and later issue commands from instances that are running in user mode. This will require an account with admin privileges and can sometimes be useful for commands like 'Clean Temp Folders'.
The menu of the Notify Icon contains the following possibilities:
Especially useful commands of the Notify Icon in the tray:
File Center->Eject->Drive: Ejects one of the removable drives in a safe way. The device will be asked whether it is ready and can veto (does the same as the Mighty Command 'Eject'). The reason for the veto is displayed, unlike the command built into Windows, and a search for open files on the drive will be performed. Hold [Shift] to force the ejection as if it was unplugged.
- "Desktop->Repair Off-Monitor Windows": This will call the Repair function (see Window List) for all windows that should actually be visible but are partially or entirely outside the main monitor. This happens sometimes after you rearranged the monitor configuration in Windows, or when displays are attached and detached from the display ports of your computer. It's sometimes an incurable problem without Mighty Desktop. But because the tray icon is visible on any monitor you can make reappear the lost windows easily.
All of Mighty Desktop's functions are built to handle files and folders of huge lengths (no 4 GB limit)
Mighty Desktop is especially equipped with functions to handle network file systems with case sensitive names. For example Linux and Unix are like that but Windows is not. Actually all Atlas apps support that (see The Atlas Xperience™) .
As an element of The Atlas Xperience™ all Atlas applications support pathnames longer than 260 characters. In Windows this feature was introduced gradually over the last years, and several areas still can't do it. For example File Explorer doesn't fully support long pathnames, even in Windows 10. If an application has produced a nested folder with a long pathname, File Explorer will refuse to work with it and say something like "File not found", "Path too long" or just not react on a double click. The start of an application doesn't succeed and you can't even delete such a folder. In addition the throwing into the trash doesn't succeed. You must first shorten the parent folder's names interactively. But you can use Mighty Desktop's function 'Delete' in its Notify Icon's menu (see above), this can do it.
While Mighty Desktop is fully long path enabled, the compatibility is still limited by the .NET Framework's and Windows' abilities. Windows 10 pretends to be fully compatible on paper while Windows 8.1 still has some non-compatible areas. But even in Windows 10 you can't start a program in a long directory neither can any program fetch its icon. In addition any commands based on the 'Shell' module of Windows are not long path enabled [up to this document's date]. This also includes the dialog for opening files. But there's a bypass solution: Thanks to the drag & drop features of Mighty Desktop you can drag such items directly from the browse dialog to Mighty Desktop's window behind.
Some input boxes allow the specification of a set of filenames similar to a calculator expression. You can use '+' and '-' to include or exclude some filenames matching a specified pattern. The expression will be evaluated from left to right. For example you could write "*-Thumbs.db" which would be interpreted as "First take anything and then remove all files with the name Thumbs.db". Or you could say "*.txt+*.rtf-Readme.*" to get all plain and rich texts and then remove all the ReadMes. You can also specify parts with their full path. File Expressions can even be evaluated in situations where the whole subfolder hierarchy is searched.
If an item's name contains a '+' or '-' character it must be enclosed in double quotes (eg. "Bill + Melinda").
Regular Expressions, abbreviated Regex, are supported on many locations. This is a globally standardized pattern system for string matching. It's extremely versatile, you could say the ultimate pattern matching system, but also a bit complicated to use. A good introduction can be found here.
Note that a rename of a file or folder externally in File Explorer will automatically also rename this file resp. folder live in all input fields of Mighty Desktop, for example in Backup, File Copier, File Scanner, File Renamer, File Concatenator, File Stamper, the Settings aso. This will avoid broken paths in their lists. You don't have to modify these lists by hand after a rename. In the case of the Undoable File Operations (see above) it has the positive effect that they can still be undone after a rename .
Some additional functions can be obtained by holding a combination of [Ctrl], [Alt] or [Shift] keys if a function is executed:
- All the 'Auto' functions that react automatically if something is copied to the clipboard outside of Mighty Desktop only react if neither the [Alt] nor [Shift] key is down. You can use this to temporarily copy something to the clipboard without Mighty Desktop reacting.
- [Alt] when minimizing the app window will send it to the tray instead of just minimizing
- Ctrl+Alt+Shift at the start of the app will cancel the automatic continuation of processes waiting in the Process Queue
- Ctrl+Alt+Shift at a start of the app with argument "Startup" will cancel the auto resume process
- Ctrl+Alt+Shift during a resume will stop opening new applications
- Ctrl+Alt+Shift during any function that is in progress of opening multiple applications will stop the opening
- Space during the waiting for a window to change its style will skip the waiting delay
- Ctrl at the start (Alt and Shift NOT pressed) will send Mighty Desktop directly to the Windows Tray without opening the main window, regardless of the setting in the 'Settings' tab and regardless of the "/Stay" or "/Tray" options.
- Ctrl+Shift during the start of the app will force a license and live tables update from the Atlas Server.
If you start the app and there appears an error message about taking a settings backup, the latest settings file seems to have been corrupted. It can happen, but very rarely. To fix this issue Mighty Desktop stores the last 10 settings files in the folder "%appdata%\Atlas Informatik\Mighty Desktop" named "Settings <n>.bak". You can just take an older one, copy it to "Settings.xml" and try out which one will work.
File Lists, Copy & Paste, Drag & Drop
Many dialogs support file and folder lists in a textual form. This means you can create a plain text file, for example in a plain text editor like NotePad, or much better in the freeware Notepad++, and write multiple pathnames in it, each pathname on a line. Empty lines are ignored. Or you can select multiple rows in a datagrid and drag these to your text editor. Such a list can also be inserted in another datagrid by pasting or dropping. That can be used to save hand picked compilations of pathnames to be used later on repeatedly.
Mighty Desktop's Advanced Copy&Paste System puts an extended XML description of the copied rows on the clipboard as well as just a simple textual one. In case of a paste or drop it tries to extract data primarily out of the XML or else out of the textual description. For example you can copy a folder item in the Atlas app Multimedia Xpert and paste it in the File Scanner tab. Since the tab knows that it can only accept files it will automatically scan the folder for files and add these to the list.
Take note of another goodie: If you are dropping Windows Desktop shortcuts into a file list where it doesn't make sense to have shortcuts in, Mighty Desktop will automatically resolve the shortcuts and instead add the targets. To give you an example: If you are in File Concatenator it makes no sense to add a shortcut. Nobody in the world would ever concatenate shortcuts. So Mighty Desktop assumes that you want to concatenate the files referenced by the shortcuts and adds these.
Another example where File Lists can be useful: Consider the case that you have converted a bunch of files to another data format with another extension, eg. *.avi to *.mp4. Now you have decided that the new files are good and you want to delete the old ones. The problem arises if these files are just a small subset of hundreds of files in the folder. How do you solve this? Up to now you had to select each one manually by Ctrl-Click, but this is prone with errors and boring too. Just copy the file list using the datagrid's row function "Copy", paste it in Notepad++, replace the extensions by a global replace, paste it in File Renamer and click the "Trash selected" button. Easy, fast, robust, accurate.
Or, maybe you would like to get a list of some files with absolute paths in your text editor? Select them in File Explorer, Drag & Drop them in the File Scanner datagrid, select the first row, Ctrl-A to select all and Ctrl-C to copy. Done.
In general you can also use the powerful search mechanism of String Hunter™ to compile a list of pathnames even from different drives. You can specify very precisely what you are looking for. If you you only look for files with a certain name, and not with a certain content, you can switch off the box 'Find in Content' which will make the scan extremely fast. As a result you will get your file list in the tab behind. Select all results and press the copy button at the bottom to get a list of the full pathnames in the clipboard.
- Windows doesn't allow Drag & Drop between applications running in Admin mode and those not. For example you can't drag something from Windows Desktop to Mighty Desktop when Mighty Desktop is running in Admin mode. So, if the drop shows a minus icon this could be one of the reasons. Regarding the boot start you can configure whether Mighty Desktop is started in admin or user mode. We recommend in admin mode so that all functions can be executed unrestricted.
File Overwrite management
In the case where a destination file is already there you will get a comfortable dialog with several options:
The standard with overwrite and abort is the usual, but you can also
- modify the proposed name
- let it automatically append a new running number " (n)" at the end
- skip all overwrites of the same pass, provided the files have the same length. This can greatly speed up a repeated transfer of many files if only a few source files have been changed. But it is important to know that it can fail if two files have the same length but are different.
- If the two files are text files: Merge the files with the Merge tool you defined in the Settings.
The Log panel has some tricks in its sleeve too:
- Scans the output text for words like "Error", "Warning", "failed", "Problem" and also in their localized translations and paints it red or orange to draw attention
- You can double click on a pathname and the log will open the corresponding file or folder. In case the automatic detection fails you can select a part of the text and trigger the function "Start Selection". If the pathname is followed by a line and/or column number it will always be opened in the text editor you configured in the settings. In all other cases it will be run by the corresponding program. Example: An html file will be shown in the browser. But you can force the opening in your text editor by holding down [Shift].
- You can let a pathname (file or folder) be shown in a new File Explorer window in a similar way as the above described starting resp. activation of the pathname resp. selection. The menu item is "Explore Selection".
- Use Alt-double-click to select a word.
- Always Show End: The log will scroll to the last line whenever a new line is added
- Click in the first pixels of a line to go into line selection mode
- You can copy out any text.
You can enable spell checking in the Settings. In general it will use the currently chosen app language from the Settings, not the one of the Windows OS. If you have a spelling error you can either replace the word by one of the proposed ones, add the word to a custom list of correct words or ignore the word. Ignoring will remember until the app is closed while adding will store the word in a file in the Atlas data directory (by default "C:\Users\<yourName>\AppData\Roaming\Atlas Informatik") and will be shared by all Atlas apps. There is one textual file per each language called "CustomWordList.<language>.lex". If you need to merge some of them we can recommend using the tab Dictionary Merge in the File Center.
Whenever you see an error message like "...no access...", "NoAcc" or "N/A" in Mighty Desktop it could be because it has not enough privileges. You can try to restart Mighty Desktop in Administrator mode and check if it works then. There is a button in the About tab to simplify this.
Mighty Desktop uses a lot of rarely used functions of Windows (Win32 API). These functions are plagued with bugs that were never corrected up to now. Some of the problem cases are WPF's 'FlowDocument', basic dialogs, the clipboard, the handling of images in general, network connections and hardware drivers. You will recognize 'FlowDocument' issues if you try to copy formatted text like RTF to the clipboard. Another point is that up to Windows 7 the task processing library of .NET had some flaws. If you can't stop a running task by pushing the ‘Stop' button try upgrading to a higher Windows version. Since Windows and .NET aren't Open Source I can't repair it, I can just catch the exceptions, and sometimes not even that (:<). Sorry, that's not Mighty Desktop's fault. It remains a constant source of problems that newer versions of Mighty Desktop will have to deal with and I had and will have to program around.
Foreign File Systems: If you enter paths to non-Windows file systems like Linux there are issues with the letter casing (capital or lowercase). Windows doesn't make a difference but these systems do. For example you could have a file "x" and a file "X" in the same folder. Because there is an information loss on the Windows side the drivers for foreign file systems have a very hard task. For example the Samba file system driver for the Dreambox/VU+ has multiple strange issues in that department. All Atlas applications contain complicated code to correct some of the problems. For example if you type a pathname in different casing, Atlas apps will automatically correct that as long as only one version of the name is present. This will improve the user experience greatly and also cure some non-understandable errors but can also reduce the efficiency. But in my opinion it is worth it.
Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps: Windows 10 starts making use of a lot of the universal application apps. This means that many preinstalled apps like Microsoft Edge can't just be started by executing an exe file. So the saving and re-executing of such applications' states is severely limited. Mighty Desktop will make a try to include them in future versions. But it will take some time to figure that out.
Mighty Desktop is a highly complex application. It's sometimes hard to find the cause of something that doesn't seem right. For example if you start to experience longer delays on the UI or Mighty Desktop is not showing up at the start for some seconds, don't blame it. Try these things first:
- If pathnames in any lists of tabs like Watchdog point to a not-connected network drive, IP addresses can't be resolved or internet is not available, a considerable startup delay can occur. This is because Windows is asking drives to spin up and waits for the answer. During this time the Windows UI is not well responsive.
- A common cause is too much data in the settings. For example try to clear big history lists by opening dropdown boxes and pressing [Ctrl][Delete] and also by switching to the Settings tab and using the specially provided clear buttons. Also, some huge datagrids in File Copier, File Renamer, Folder Analyzer, String Hunter, Processing Results, the 'Log' aso. can put a heavy burden on Mighty Desktop. What's more you can change the maximum remembered items of history lists in the Settings to a lower value.
- Examine the entries of all tabs that manage repeatedly executed tasks (eg. WindowBot, Watchdog, Scheduler aso.). A common cause is that there are too many expensive tasks (hard to calculate). That can result in delays. Try deactivating some of them or just switching them off temporarily. Use the provided 'Enabled' checkboxes to do that.
- Try switching off constantly updating stuff like File Monitor, Clipboard Recorder aso.
- Some tasks on remote drives can take a lot of time in Windows. For example if you scroll through a file list with files of a remote drive, the fetching of the icons can slow down the scrolling considerably.
- Some third party applications are, how to say that, not well programmed. If Mighty Desktop is asking them for their window title I noticed that some of them took several seconds to answer. This indicates that a long running task inside the application is performed without servicing the Windows Message Queue. Multitasking programming is one of the hardest things to do in software development, it is understandable that such delays can occur in some programs. Nevertheless the authors should think about embedding more calls to the system in long running loops. For example Atlas apps check repeatedly whether [Ctrl-Break] or [Pause] is pressed.
If icons of files or apps seem missing at first glance please note that Windows doesn't cache icons as it should, as for example Mac OS does, but instead fetches each one from the executable again and again. Because this is very slow, especially on network drives, in Mighty Desktop this had to be implemented as a background task. If many operations are synchronously running there will be no time left to load and display icons. Another reason can be that the file is not accessible with the rights of the current user. Try restarting Mighty Desktop in admin mode (see About tab).
One more tip: At many locations you can switch on a field, checkbox or option named 'Verbose'. The corresponding process resp. task will then write detailed status messages to the 'Log' panel. This can help solve problems but it is also slowing down the speed.
Another point: There are basically millions of applications on the market. I can only test Mighty Desktop with a very tiny subset side by side. If something doesn't work as expected, please think first sharply what could be wrong with the input you entered or your other apps and only then send a feedback by the button in the About tab or by mail with the precise info about the application including as much details as possible:
- Name of other app
- Version number of other app
- 32 or 64 bit
- Number of Windows version
- What did go wrong
- What result did you expect
- Other Info that could help.
Then I will have a chance to fix it by installing the mentioned application on my computer and analyze it.
If your operating system is very old there can be some backward compatibility issues. Please try first updating your OS and install Windows Update patches and try again.
In any case, be patient! Thanks for your understanding and support.
Localization / Translation
Mighty Desktop is one of only a few apps on the market that can be fully translated on the user's side without any program changes. The main application is programmed in US English. Adding another language is as easy as adding an additional textual translation file beside the exe file, nothing more. Sounds easy at first but consider that for example if labels that are aligned vertically change their width and everything right of it must rearrange. Something like that was only possible with the flexibility of the new WPF technology. The feature of 100% translation on the customer side without any adjustment of the layout could maybe be a unique feature in the whole world, only available to Atlas software.
We would appreciate if you help us by creating a translation for your language if it's not there. It's as simple as opening the text file 'AppTranslation_xx.txt' in the app's program folder, duplicating it, setting 'xx' to your ISO language code (eg. either 'fr' or 'fr-FR') and translating the lower line of each pair. Please ask us beforehand whether we have this version already and then send this file to our e-mail address. You will get a free lifelong license and a mention in the ReadMe! Thanks in advance!
Note that in some areas of Mighty Desktop regional and US English words can be used side by side. For example if you enter language specific timespans in Scheduler and switch the application's language to US English, the regional words can't be interpreted anymore. In these cases it's advised to enter the timespans in US English. Later, if you switch back to the regional culture they can still be read. Briefly: US language timespans can be interpreted in both cultures but regional ones only when the app is switched to the concerned region.
If you alter the program language in the Settings, the names of the default items like actions, application states, icon position sets aso. will change their names to the localized version. In addition some file names can change. But it will not change the input format of numbers, date or times. These are controlled by the 'Region' control panel of Windows. Note that the functions added to File Explorer will only change their language after File Explorer (explorer.exe) was restarted. There is a button in the Desktop tab that can do that, or else a restart of the PC will do.