Help for Total Commander/CE

What's new

About Total Commander/CE, Licence

User interface

File operations

Main menu: File|Show

Local menus

Drag & Drop

Keyboard shortcuts (HPC)

Button bar




What's new in Total Commander/CE 2.5:

What's new in Total Commander/CE 2.0:

What's new in Total Commander/CE 1.2:
What's new in Total Commander/CE 1.11:
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About Total Commander/CE, Licence

Total Commander/CE is a file manager and ZIP archiver for Windows CE (Handheld, HPC Pro, PPC and Pocket PC)

It was written by the author of Total Commander ( mainly for fun and personal use, and is provided to the public for free.


Total Commander/CE is copyrighted Freeware. This means that the usage of this program is free for personal and business use, but the Copyright remains the property of the author.

Copyright © 2000-2007 Christian Ghisler, C. Ghisler & Co., Switzerland. All Rights Reserved.

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User interface

The user interface is devided into the following elements:

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File operations

You can perform the following file operations with Total Commander/CE:

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File menu

The file menu contains the following commands:

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Show menu

The file menu contains the following commands:

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Find files

Allows to search for specific files:

Search for: File name to search for, also partial names and wildcards *,? allowed

Containing text: Search for text in files

Case sensitive: Consider upper/lowercase

Unicode: Search for text in Unicode files

Not older than: Search only files younger than a certain time

Size: Restrict result by size



Allows to rename a single file in place, or the selected files using a dialog box and wildcards (*.*). When renaming multiple files, you are given the option to copy the files to the new name, or to just change the names of the existing files.

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Loads the file under the cursor into the default file viewer.

You can define a different file viewer with Alt+Tap on the view button, which looks like a sheet of paper with a magnifying glass.

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Loads the file under the cursor into the default file editor. If the cursor is on a folder, a new file will be created.

You can define a different file editor with Alt+Tap on the edit button, which looks like a sheet of paper with a pen.

Internal editor help

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To copy or move files, select them with the pen or with Shift+cursor keys (HPC or HPC Pro) and select Copy/Move from the menu or click the copy icon.

In the copy dialog, you can now type a target directory and wildcards (*.*) to rename the files while copying/moving.

You can also click the Tree button to select a target directory.

To copy the file(s), click Copy, or to move them, click Move.

If the source window shows the contents of a ZIP file, the selected files are unzipped.

If the target window shows the contents of a ZIP file, the selected files are packed into that zip file.

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Mkdir (new folder)

To make a new directory (folder), select the command Mkdir from the menu or click the folder icon in the button bar.

You can then enter the name of the new directory. It will be created in the current directory.

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With this command you can delete the selected files.

Important note: The files will NOT be moved to Recycle bin, they will be deleted immediately!

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Pack with ZIP

Allows to pack the selected files and/or subdirectories with the built-in ZIP packer.

ZIP files created this way are fully ZIP-compatible and can be unzipped on the PC or also on the device. To unzip, open the file with ENTER (or double tap) and then copy the files to any directory you want.

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Unpack files from a ZIP file

To unpack files from a ZIP file, open the ZIP with a double tap or ENTER, then select the files which you want to unpack and press the Copy button.

CE-Commander can unpack all ZIP-compatible files except for encrypted files.

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Shows the properties of the selected file(s) and allows to change the file attributes and date/time.
For links, the link target is shown and can be modified.
For folders, the total+free disk space is shown (e.g. for memory cards).
Normal files can be associated with a program. It's also possible to set a default icon.

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Reload dir

Reloads the current directory to reflect any changes made in other programs.

This is done automatically when you switch from another program to Total Commander/CE.

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Create shortcut

Allows to create a shortcut (link file, extension .lnk) for the selected file(s) and/or directories.

To change a shortcut, choose File - Properties or press Alt+Enter to open the property sheet for the link file.

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Infrared send+receive

Allows to send the selected files via Infrared (OBEX standard protocol), and to receive files via infrared in the current directory.

The OBEX standard is used by devices like PocketPC 2002, Palm(TM), and many mobile phones. On other CE devices, you will probably need to turn off the built-in IR receive function and use the one coming with Total Commander/CE.

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Send via Bluetooth

Allows to send the selected files via Bluetooth (OBEX standard protocol).

The OBEX standard is used by devices like PocketPC 2002, Palm(TM), and many mobile phones. Unfortunately the Microsoft Bluetooth functions only work with the Microsoft Bluetooth stack. If your device uses a different stack like the Widcomm stack, this function will not work.
This menu option is therefore not shown on devices without the Microsoft stack.



Shows only file names/extensions and file icons, no file size or date/time.

Use this mode to overview a larger number of files.



Shows file name, extension, icon, file size and last modification date/time.

Use to sort the files by name, extension, size, and modification date by clicking on the header of the file list.

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Large icons

Shows large icons and file names only.

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Single Window mode

If checked, Total Commander/CE only shows a single file window. This is the default on PPC and Pocket PC devices. In this mode, the target directory of file operations will be the same as the source directory, but it can be changed by using the tree button.

In Two window mode, Total Commander/CE will show two file windows. On devices with a keyboard, the two windows will be side by side by default. On PPC and Pocket PC devices, the two windows will be above each other. This can be controlled with the checkbox "Vertical arrangement".

In Virtual 2 window mode, Total Commander/CE will show only one file window, plus a button labeled < or > to switch to the other window. This way you can use the full screen space for the file list, and still have the advantage of two file windows!

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Hide files in ROM

If checked, all files residing in the device ROM (read only memory) will be hidden.

This allows you to backup (zip or copy) all files which are not present on the device by default.

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Directory hotlist

With this command, you can add the current directory to a list of often used directories, and to switch to such a directory.

If the current directory is already in the list, you can remove it from the list.

Double tap on the current directory to open the directory hotlist.

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Tree view

Shows a tree view window, which allows to switch to a different directory.

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Select/unselect files

Allows to select or unselect files of specific types, e.g. all html files by using the wildcards *.htm *.html .

Type the wildcards you want or select previously used wildcards from the dropdown list, and click on 'select' or 'unselect'. The files will be selected in addition to the already selected files!

On CE devices with a keyboard, press Ctrl+'-' to open this dialog, or Alt+'-' to select all files of the same type as the file under the cursor.

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Adjust tabs

Allows to set the sort order and tab widths.

Only with this dialog the tab widths can be stored in the registry.

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Shows the current version of Total Commander/CE.
Total Commander/CE is copyrighted freeware.

Copyright © 2000-2007 Christian Ghisler, C. Ghisler & Co., Switzerland. All Rights Reserved.

The about box also allows you to change the following options:


Local menus

Local menus (context menus) are invoked with Alt+Tap. They exist for the files in the file list, and for some buttons in the button bar:

The local file menu contains the commands Open, Copy/Move, Rename, Delete, and Properties.

The View, Edit and all user-defined buttons also have context menus

They allow to change the default viewer/editor, and to change or delete the button bar buttons

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Drag & Drop

Drag & Drop works with the selected files, and the following targets:

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Keyboard shortcuts (HPC)

On CE devices with a keyboard, Total Commander/CE supports the following keyboard shortcuts:

Tab Activate other file window
Ctrl+Shift+1 Exit
Ctrl+2 Rename
Ctrl+3 View
Ctrl+4 Edit
Ctrl+Shift+4 Edit new file
Ctrl+5 Copy/Move
Ctrl+6 Copy/Move (with Move selected)
Ctrl+Shift+5 Create Shortcut
Ctrl+Alt+5 Pack with ZIP
Ctrl+7 Mkdir (new folder)
Ctrl+8 Delete
Ctrl+9 Switch display mode (1/2 windows)
Alt+Enter Properties
Alt+Shift+Enter or
Ctrl+Enter Calculate space occupied by dirs

Ctrl+A Select all
Ctrl+C Copy to clipboard
Ctrl+D Directory hotlist
Ctrl+F Find files
Ctrl+H Help
Ctrl+R Reload dir
Ctrl+T Tree view
Ctrl+V Paste from clipboard
Ctrl+X Cut to clipboard
Ctrl+Cursor_left/right Transfer directory to other panel
Ctrl+Cursor_down Open directory history
Ctrl+'-' Select/Unselect files
Ctrl+Shift+'-' (PocketPC only) or
Alt+'-' Select all files of same type

Letter(s) Jump to first directory starting with these letters

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Button bar

The button bar contains some predefined buttons, like Copy and Delete, and also allows to add your own buttons by dragging a program from a file list to the button bar. The button will always be added at the end of the button bar.

The new Ctl button (PocketPC and other keyboard-less devices only) allows to select multiple files simply by tapping on them with the pen, or by dragging the pen over the files.

To modify a button, click on it while holding down the Alt key (HPC), or click on it for more than 1 second (Pocket PC, Palmsize PC). This will open the context menu, which allows to change or delete the button.

See Dialog box - change button

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Button change dialog

This dialog allows to change the settings of a button.


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Internal command ids for the button bar

Internal command ids allow to call internal commands from the button bar.

To create such a button, drop any file on the bar, then tap and hold on the button to change it. Finally, put one of these numeric values into the command field.


Internal editor

The internal editor allows to edit small files in Ansi and Unicode format.

Menu File:

Menu Edit:

The Toolbar icons stand for: Save, Cut, Copy, Paste, Undo, Search/Search again


Plugins can be accessed via the folder named \\Plugins in the root of the file system.

The following plugins are included in the standard installation:

FTP Plugin

The ftp plugin allows to make connections to ftp servers.

Tap on "New connection" to create a new connection. Then enter a connection name.
You can now specify server name and port, user, password, remote dir, commands to send on connect (separate multiple commands by a ;), server type, firewall and passive mode.

Double tap a connection to connect. After connecting, the packer icon will change to a connection icon. Use this icon to change the transfer mode (binary, text or automatic), and to disconnect. Only a single connection is supported at the same time.

Server type:
If your server isn't detected, you can define a server type in Total Commander for Windows and import it into the Pocket version. To do this, open your wcx_ftp.ini, and look for a section like this:
Template1=pppppppppp !S* TTT DDDDDDDD n*

Save this to a file called (in this case) Unix1.ini, transfer it to the my documents folder on your device, and then use the option "load connection string".

This opens another dialog for the configuration of your firewall. All firewall types of the desktop Total Commander are supported, except for the HTTP types. Leave the user name and password fields empty if your server doesn't support them. The first type is the most common, so try this first.

In case of problems, you can create a log file:
1. Use the registry plugin to go to
2. Double tap on "+Add value+"
3. Enter the name LogFile, type String
4. As contents, enter something like \log.txt

To show hidden files like .htaccess (starting with a dot), you can set value ShowHidden=1 manually in registry under the configuration of a server

Registry plugin

The registry plugin allows to browse and modify the Windows CE registry:

LAN plugin

The LAN plugin allows to store often accessed servers in the lan (local area network).

1. Double tap on "new server"
2. Enter a name for the list, e.g. Server1
3. Enter the server name in the network

To be able to connect, you need a real LAN connection to your network.


Here are some known problems and possible solutions:

Q: Total Commander/CE hangs when accessing some network shares.
A:It may help to disable the loading of file-specific icons from network shares. 1. Go to the root, then \\Plugins, \\Registry 2. Go to HKCU\Software\Ghisler\CECmd\Configuration 3. Double tap on +New value+ 4. Type name: IconsOnNet with type: DWORD 5. Set its value to 0 6. Close TC/CE via the menu, and restart it