Listary: filter files, folders on demand


Listary provides a quick and easy way to search and filter items in Windows, whether its files and folders in Windows explorer or, say, entries in the task manager.

The program provides a convenient searchbox that can be summoned via hotkey in different locations, such as any open folder window in Windows explorer, the windows open/save dialog, the task manager, or even Windows 7 taskbar jumplists, etc. It provides find-as-you-type as well as autocomplete functionality.

A few additional functions are offered in the free version, such quick access to command line mode (via the searchbox) and, more interestingly, the option to edit text anywhere with your favorite text editor.

To get idea of what this program does and feels like check out the screenshots above. In theory, the Listary search box can be invoked anywhere, such as in any folder window you may working with. I have found, however, that it tends to be very unresponsive in open/save dialogs on my Windows 7 machine. Typically, a (customizable) shortcut (Win+W by default) will invoke the searchbox, or, alternately, simply pressing a button on the keyboard will do it in some situations.

Listary Screenshot1Listary Screenshot2

The searchbox supports both find-as-you-type and autocomplete. It can be especially useful in Windows XP, but honestly in Windows 7 and Vista (which provide a searchbox and filtering in folders) it may be somewhat unnecessary. I will say, however, that Listary provides a very good user experience that might well be preferable to filtering via Windows search. Especially considering its light footprint (approx 10 megs in memory).

Edit text with your favorite text editor anywhere: worth mentioning, as well, is Listary’s unique functionality allowing you to use your favorite text editor anywhere. For example, you may be editing an email using your favorite web mail service; instead of typing it in your browser you can press Win+A and the entire text in the form you are using will be transported to your favorite editor (where presumably you can take advantage of any advanced functionality that may be there), then exit out of it when you’re done and have the text transported back.

Quite innovative, but after playing with it for a bit I think it may be of limited usefulness (I simply don’t see the need really).

Differences between free and paid versions: a few differences, most notably the ability to set favorite folders and access them via the searchbox in the paid version.

The verdict: all in all an interesting app. It provides very nice functionality and a good user experience; however, it would have been much more useful if it actually worked in Windows’ open/save dialogs as well, which it didn’t for me.

Try it out and let me know your impression in the comments section.

[Thanks to reader Patrick for calling this program to my attention!]

Version Tested:

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 (64 bit supported).

Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 999K).