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A43 is a free and interesting file manager that you can use not only to keep your files and folders neatly organized, but also to find a specific file or folder quickly, to edit text-based files using its simple editor, to create ZIP archives and EXE executable files, and to unzip various archive file types. A43 requires no installation – it is distributed as a lightweight EXE file that you can carry with you just by copying it to any portable USB drive.
Most of the functionality A43 provides is the least you would expect from any decent file manager, so we will not dwell on it. There are other extra features though worth of further evaluation. These include the program’s ability to unzip and archive files. The inclusion in this new version of a 7z DLL allows A43 to extract ISO, 7, RAR, JAR, CAB, ARJ, and Z archives, among others. Archiving, however, is limited to ZIP files. Alternatively, these ZIP files can be converted into self-extracting EXE files, for easier distribution.
Other interesting features are the Quick Launcher and the Text Editor. The former allows you to list your favorite applications for easier and quicker access, while the latter will help you produce and edit text files, including dynamic highlighting for the Web. In the same tabbed menu you will also find a Hexadecimal Viewer and a comprehensive Find File option. This is not exclusive to this file manager, but its high level of flexibility is worth noting. It allows you to search for the keywords provided both in file names and in the text within a file. You can locate files using their modification dates and times, and narrow your searches by selecting specific attributes and size ranges.
If only for its archive-related functionality, A43 is a tool worth having installed on your system. It may not be the most comprehensive and attractive-looking file managing tool out there, but it is an interesting free alternative.
- Includes zip/unzip capabilities
- Comes with a basic yet useful text editor
- Supports most archive types
- Intuitive and compact one-screen interface
- Requires no installation - you can carry it with you on your USB drive
- Basic and unattractive graphical user interface
- No help of any kind is available