Does Windows lack a feature which you wish it could have? Chances are this program offers it. 7Plus is a free, open source program that adds so many functions to Windows that it is hard to keep track of, ranging from interface tweaks and extensions to quick solutions for common tasks.
7Plus offers so many additions, in fact, that it can become difficult to know what it offers that you will absolutely love, versus the many other tweaks which can sometimes feel like clutter. Rest assured, however, that the program allows you to pick and choose, activating and deactivating features and functions (and keyboard shortcuts) at will.
Functions include adding “favorite folders” buttons to both Windows explorer and Windows’ add/save dialogs; a clipboard manager; image conversions via right-click; FTP uploads via right click; an ‘indexing’ keyword launcher (‘Launchy’ style); text and image copy/paste/append operations via hotkey; a whole batch of ‘window handling’ features, CMD improvements (e.g. launch anywhere, paste from clipboard), tabbed navigation of Windows Explorer, and many others.
The first thing to do after installing this software is go to settings, scroll down the functions list, and check off (and on) the various functions that you want or do not want. This is probably the only way to (a) come to know what functions are offered, (b) make sure that you enable and are familiar with the functions that you actually want, and (c) maintain keyboard and mouse shortcut sanity, or at least a measure of control.
I will not go through a catalog of the various functions on offer (you can see that here); what I will do, however, is present a list of the functions I like most, and the program’s general PROS and CONS.
My 10 favorite 7Plus functions (in no particular order):
- Fast folders: places up to ten of your favorite folders as buttons in both Windows explorer folder band bar and Windows’ open/save dialogs, for quick access.
- CTRL+I to inverse-select files and folders in Windows Explorer: i.e. if you want to select all contents excepting, say, three files, you can select those three and press CTRL+I to automatically select all the other files and deselect the original three.
- Folder flat view: via Shift+Enter in explorer (which will list the contents of the folder as well as the contents of all subfolders within it in one big list). Note, however, that this seems to no longer work on folders placed on the desktop (despite it working in an earlier version– I think). I just wish there was an option to have a “view flat” option in the right click context menu.
- Enabling pasting (CTRL+V) in the Command line window: a geeky feature but (to me) very cool.
- Right-click image resize and conversion: I know this is provided in many other programs (here, and here), but I still like it. Sports a nice, simple interface.
- Right-click FTP uploads: will let you define multiple FTP profiles/locations.
- Right-click show hidden files: you may notice that I like the explorer right-click functions 😉
- Pasting clipboard contents (text or images) as files: simply press paste in explorer and the image or text in the clipboard will be saved in a file.
- Mousewheel over taskbar: roll up/down to increase/decrease volume when the cursor is on the taskbar.
- Slide windows to dock on the side of the screen: press WIN+Shift+Arrow key, to dock your active window to any of the sides of the screen, and mouse over the edge to recover. A nice feature that nonetheless feels like it can be more polished, as the windows can sometimes get strangely lost.
- Interesting choice of functions: which doubtlessly took a lot of thought to come up with. And constantly being improved as well.
- Highly customizable. : you can even clone (copy/paste) pre-existing functions and edit them.
- Tons of video tutorials on YouTube: covering every feature.
- 64bit unicode support: kudos go to the developer.
- Too many functions: requires too much involvement and mental energy from the user to get the most out of this software.
- Reinvents too many wheels (so to speak): why a clipboard manager, indexing/keyword launcher, etc. when there are so many more advanced free apps out there that perform these functions? I say this, of course, in light of my opinion that there are too many functions here in the first place.
- Needs an installer: considering that it makes considerable modification to the system, it would be nice if there was a proper installer (currently you simply unzip and run). Note that in fact it does include an uninstaller that will remove modifications from your system.
- Some functions don’t work: e.g. the flat view folder shortcut when the folder is on the desktop, the tabs in Windows explorer tend to disappear and reappear and be unresponsive (and feel clunky), some of the fast folder buttons are sometimes unresponsive. I am assuming that all of this stuff will be fixed as time goes on though.
The verdict: this software can be summed up in one word; “ambitious”. It brings some great functions to your computer, many of which are innovative and pretty darn cool. However, on the flip side, it can sometimes feel like beta software, in need of further polishing. Moreover, the fact that it does so many things makes it somewhat inaccessible and a bit of a hassle to deal with. Less would have definitely been more.
Which is not to say that you shouldn’t install and experiment with it (you should). Chances are you will find something you will like.
Version Tested: 2.3.0
Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7. (32bit and 64bit versions available).
Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 95K).