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Moving around in XpressDox: The Explorer

There was once a tourist travelling around in Ireland. On a certain occasion she wanted to go to Limerick, and so got into her hired car and started driving, knowing that she could always ask for directions.

In the end, she stopped at the side of a country road and asked a local inhabitant if he could direct her to Limerick. The elderly gentleman looked slowly up the road, and then down the road, and then said (to be read in a nice thick Irish accent), “If I were going to Limerick, I wouldn’t be starting here”.

It’s sometimes like that with the Microsoft file and folder explorers, which often enough open far away from where you want to be.

That’s why we invented the XpressDox Explorer, which is the interface that is provided when you click Save Template, Open Document, and Run Template.

The Explorer has two most recently used (MRU) lists: One for files, and one for folders. The dropdown list at the top of the UI is populated with the folder MRU and the right hand list view is populated with the file MRU when the Recent Files and Folders node in the tree view is selected. (Expanding the Recent Files and Folders node in the tree view shows all the recently used folders. In addition, the recently used files appear in the File Name drop-down list).
XpressDox Explorer
When you select Open Document and Run Template then the Recent Files list is shown when the Explorer opens. When you select Save Templates then the list of files (and sub-folders) in the folder at the top of the folder MRU is shown.

This way, once you start working in a particular folder or folders, the MRU lists will tend to have the files from those folders and you will not need to navigate too far and wide to find the templates or other files that you are working with.

Browsing to a folder

When pressing the Explore button you will be given a special version of a Windows file opening dialog. This is because the Windows folder opening dialog is the one that most often gives rise to the “if I were going to Limerick …” situation.

Amongst other things it doesn’t show you the contents of a folder, and often we don’t really know which folder we want unless we can see what’s in it. So XpressDox gives you this special file opening dialog, which helps you select a folder.

Notice that the default file name in the File Name field is Choose Folder.ext – this is a hint to you that it is the folder that you are choosing. Even if you select a file in this dialog (by double-clicking the file name) it is only the folder that is selected (and placed at the top of the folder MRU), but the file name will be put into the XpressDox Explorer’s File Name drop down.
XpressDox Explorer
You may find this confusing at first but you will get used to it after using it a few times and the odd moment of confusion is definitely outweighed by the ease of finding the folder that you want.


You can create lists of favorite folders. These lists appear under the My Folders node in the tree view.
Creating a list can be done by:

a. Right-clicking on a file in any view and selecting Add to My Folders. It is the folder, not the file, that is added to My Folders. You will need to type in a list name, or select one which is already there, and the folder is added to that list with the name you give it.
b. Use the Add to folder list toolbar button at the top left of the Explorer UI.

XpressDox Explorer
A Shared Folders folder list can also be created which contains folders used commonly throughout an organization with multiple users sharing the same lists of templates. See the Supervisor’s Guide for instructions on how to implement this feature.

Handy navigation helps

a. In the Open Document mode you might want to view the files in the current folder in the folder MRU: Do this by clicking the right-hand-most button next to the folder drop-down ( );
b. To view the files in the same folder as a file in the Recently Used files list: Right-click the file, and choose Open Containing Folder.
c. If you need to open the merged document from a template in the Recently Used List (or any other list for that matter): right-click the file and choose Open Merged Document Folder and then select the desired merged document.

Template usage

You will notice a text area at the bottom left of the Explorer. It is either yellow or pinkish, depending on what you’re doing. When you save a template, you can type a description, or instructions on usage, into this area. Then, when a user sees that template in the Explorer, and clicks on it, these instructions are displayed in that area.

This is useful for the situation where you might have two or more templates which are similar in function and you need to guide the user as to which one to use.
XpressDox Explorer