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FAR Manager Tips

News Less is More: Orthodox File Managers as Sysadmin IDE Recommended Links OFM Book History of FAR development Orthodox file managers standards OFM Standard 1999
FAR Keyboard Map Far Keyboard Macros FAR Macrovariables Far Keyboard Macros Far Plugins Tips Etc

Most of tips were shamelessly borrowed from Pavel Chuchuva Blog about software

Known bugs:

New in Far 1.70

Edited from what's new file:

New in Far 1.63

New in FAR 1.62 (from Whatsnew.txt, slightly edited)

  1. "Search in archives" option is implemented in "Find file" dialog.
  2. Directory names like "dir1\dir2\dir3" are allowed in "Create directory" command. FAR will try to create all directories of the path.  
  3. Internal viewer now can store position in the file:
  4. Press F4 in "Plugin commands" menu to assign hot key to menu item. Hot key can be a letter or a digit. This feature is designed to simplify access to items of this menu from keyboard macro commands
  5. Plugins can be called from the internal editor. Several such plugins ("Case conversion", "Draw lines", "Auto wrap", "Brackets matching" and "Align block") are added to the distribution;
  6. In FTP client "Use firewall" option can be specified separately for each site.
  7. "B" and "M" modifiers for "DM", "DC", "DA" column types:

    For example, you may use column type "DMBM" to show file modification time in brief format with text month names.

  8. If "Save file position" viewer or editor option is on and user manually set character table, this table will be restored when open viewed or edited file next time.
  9. Ctrl-Shift-F3 and Ctrl-Shift-F4 always call internal viewer and internal editor ignoring file associations.
  10. "!#" modifier specified before file association symbols forces them to refer to the passive panel. For example, !#!.! denotes a current file name on the passive panel.
  11. "Set "Hidden" attribute to new description lists" option in "File description" dialog.
  12. In archive support plugin 'P' (path only) modifier can be used also with %%A and %%a variables.
  13. Several enhancements of in the Plugins API

Problem areas


There are several suggestions that might help to make version 1.70 even more user friendly:

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Old News ;-)

[Dec 08, 2015] Build 4442 show the number of folders in current panel

pepak » Thu 29 Oct, 2015 12:06

In build 4442, a new functionality "show the number of folders in current panel" was implemented.

Alongside that, a companion functionality was added but not documented: when selecting panel items, not only the total size and number of files is displayed, but also the number of directories.

Unfortunately, this new feature is HIGHLY annoying in English version of FAR in the traditional 80x25 view, as all numbers displayed must take 9 places or less (i.e., 10000 bytes, 10 files and 5 directories is OK, because it takes up 6 ("10 000") + 2 + 1 = 9 places, but 10000 bytes, 10 files and 10 directories causes overflow and some information starts to come off the screen. With files larger than 999 999 999 bytes, even a single selected file causes the number of gigabytes to disappear off the screen, which is EXTREMELY annoying. Is there a way to disable this functionality?

I can solve that temporarily by editing the language file (line 942 in build 4444), but I would rather like a permanent solution. At the very least I would like to propose that the language string was changed to " %1 bytes (F:%2, D:%3) ".

[Aug 16, 2013] Hotkeys Ctrl-Enter, Ctrl-[, Ctrl-] and so on works in User menu editing dialog.

Very convenient for entering complex macros.

[Jun 09, 2013] Macros AltPgUp and AltPgDn

by richli » Fri 12 Jun, 2009 16:08


First, Far is one of the best OFMs I've ever used. It will be the best if it uses Windows PowerShell as default shell. So far, I am happy enough that FarNet and PowerShellFar work very well for me. Thank you so much!

Attached are two Macros I put up together and found useful. AltPgUp works the same as Alt-i of MC(4.6.2). AltPgDn simulates Alt-o of MC. They are not in Addons\Macros of Far installation(2.0 build 981 x86).

Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov also mentioned the kinds of feature in the Suggestions section of his book(ch05/shtml) on OFM at softpanorama.
F5-F5 should synchronize active and passive panels. Alt-PgDN should open the directory under the cursor (or archive under the cursor) directory on the passive panel, Alt-PgUp should show the parent directory on the passive panel as required by OFM2004.

Please review the appended.


"Description"="Use AltPgDn to open the directory under the cursor on the passive panel"
"Sequence"="Tab c d Space Ctrl; Enter Tab Down"

"Description"="Use AltPgUp to open the parent directory on the passive panel"
"Sequence"="Tab c d Space CtrlShift] Enter Tab"

[Nov 17, 2012] Synchronizing active panel with the directory of passive panel can be performed via user menu.

FAR does not have a command "make passive directory equal to active" which is required by OFM 1999 standard. While updating OFM1999 standard, I realized that it is possible to imitate this functionality via FAR user menu. Far uses !# modifier for converting symbol for active panel into symbol for passive panel. Macrovariable for the current path is !\ and for current drive is !:

So the commands can look like

cd !#!:
cd !#!\

You can do even better then that and synchronize active directory with passive not vise versa by issuing the following sequence of FAR commands

TAB cd !:; cd !\ Enter TAB

Actually due a bug in FAR this does not work (FAR does not recognize !: and !\ in command line although it should. But you can bypass this bug by creating a user menu entry

cd !:
cd :\
and assign it, say, character "=". Then the required macro take the following form:

[Nov 13, 2012] Mouse wheel allows browsing history of commands in terminal window.

Generally usage of Mouse wheel is very well thought out in FAR. See help file for details.


You can move a dialog (window) by dragging it with mouse or by pressing Ctrl-F5 and using arrow keys.

Mouse: wheel support

Panels Rotating the wheel scrolls the file list without changing the cursor position on the screen.

Editor Rotating the wheel scrolls the text without changing the cursor position on the screen (similar to Ctrl-Up / Ctrl-Down ).

Viewer Rotating the wheel scrolls the text.

Help Rotating the wheel scrolls the text.

Menus Wheel scrolling works as Up / Down keys. It is possible to choose items without moving the cursor.

Dialogs In dialogs, when the wheel is rotated at an edit line with a history list or a combo box, the drop-down list is opened. In the drop-down list scrolling works the same as in menus.

You can specify the number of lines to scroll at a time in the panels, editor and viewer (see TechInfo 33).

[Nov 11, 2012] In FAR (no matter what version you use) filter does not work, if you try to select range of dates as a filtering criteria

The implementation is still very raw and undebugged. In a way it is unusable.

But there are two great ideas in FAR implementation:

[Nov 11, 2012] FAR allows one panel to be full screen and the other half screen. In this case tab essentially expands the other panel to full screen

This is an interesting consequence of having wide mode and it is also present in MC. I come across it quite accidentally testing mc for compatibility with OFM1999 standard.

[Nov 10, 2012] Command History in Far Manager


Far Manager has powerful suppport for command history. ConEmu author even suggests using Far Manager with panels turned off instead of standard command prompt.

Ctrl+E gives you previous command entered. You can press it multiple times to get older entries. Ctrl+X moves you forward in the history.

Press Alt+F8 to view command history in the list:

You can execute a command from the list by pressing Enter. If you want to edit a command press Ctrl+Enter.

All shortcuts available in command history list:

Enter Re-execute a command
Shift+Enter Re-execute a command in a new window
Ctrl+Alt+Enter Re-execute a command as administrator
Ctrl+Enter Copy a command to the command line
Del Clear the commands history
Ins Lock/unlock a history item
Shift+Del Delete the current history item
Ctrl+C or Ctrl+Ins Copy the text of the current command to clipboard

Another useful shortcut is Ctrl+Alt+F – it lets you to search in the list by filtering it down. This shortcut is totally non-obvious and not documented anywhere so I was happy when I discovered it. It also works in folder history (Alt+F12).

[Nov 10, 2012] Far Manager and Console Output


One of the strongest features of Far Manager is the ability to start any program or script from command prompt. You can type anything there, just like in standard command prompt. Ctrl+Enter shortcut greatly helps here – it inserts selected file name to command prompt (Ctrl+F inserts full path).

If you launch a console program all program output will be displayed in Far window. Terrific! After program finishes you can view console output by pressing Ctrl+O.

There is a problem however: you can’t scroll up if program output is long. Only last 25 or so lines of text are visible. Anything before that is lost forever.

Far has a clever little known trick to view all program output. Add view:< before the command and all console output will be intercepted and redirected to internal viewer. For example:

view:<ipconfig /all

You can even redirect output to Far editor by using

edit:<ipconfig /all

This is nice but not ideal. You have to remember to add view:< before starting a console program or script. If a program takes long time to execute you won’t see any progress until it finishes. Also any interactive prompt in program screws the whole process.

[Nov 10, 2012] ConEmu to the Rescue

ConEmu is a console emulator. It has lots of great enhancements to standard Windows command prompt. It works by intercepting all console output and displaying it in its own window.

ConEmu is also a close friend with Far Manager. After installing ConEmu you can open Far Manager inside ConEmu window:

Far Manager in ConEmu

Once Far Manager is inside ConEmu tab you can scroll console output by switching to so called alternative mode.

This mode hides Far panels and ‘freezes’ console. Ctrl+Up scrolls up, Ctrl+Down scrolls down. Scrolling with a mouse wheel also works.

But that’s not all. You can also assign Ctrl+O to view console output in Far viewer. To do this locate CtrlO_View.reg in ConEmu folder and execute it.


Scott Hanselman on ConEmu

[Nov 10, 2012] How to open HTML files with Visual Studio from Far Manager


Occasionally I want to edit plain HTML file in Visual Studio. You know, those files with .htm or .html extension. Normally pressing Enter in Far Manager opens them in a browser. This is what I want most of the time, so let’s keep it.

Idea: let’s use F4 key to open file in Visual Studio.

Here’s how to achieve it:

* Open Commands menu, select File associations.
* Add new association, enter *.htm;*.html as a mask. Enter this command for F4:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe" /edit "!.!"

Change path to devenv.exe if you have different version of Visual Studio.

Note the /edit parameter. It makes Visual Studio to re-use existing window if it is alredy running. Visual Studio is not exactly a lightweight editor so let’s be efficient here.

What if you want to open HTML file in internal Far editor? Simple: press Alft+F4.


Devenv Command Line Switches

[Nov 10, 2012] Detaching Far Manager from long-running process on Windows 7


Occasionally I launch a program from Far Manager that takes very long to complete. Normally you can use Ctrl+Alt+Tab to “detach” Far from a running process. Technical note #27 explains this well:

If a long-running process (for example, archiving) was run in a FAR console, and for some reasons this very instance of FAR is needed (an editor in the background) or it is undesirable to run a new instance ofFAR, pressing this key combination will create a new console for FAR where it will continue running as if the process has already ended, and the process will continue working in the old console.

Unfortunately this doesn’t work on Windows 7. Instead of detaching you get Windows task switcher:

Windows 7 task switcher

Interestingly the switcher is in “sticky” mode. It doesn’t disappear when you release keys. You can use arrow keys to select a window.

The fix is easy:

  1. Start regedit, open HKCU\Software\far2\System key.
  2. Create ConsoleDetachKey string value, set it to some keyboard shortcut. I use CtrlAltX.
  3. Restart Far Manager

To test it try executing this command from Far:

ping -t

Press Ctrl+Alt+X to get back to Far without stopping pings.

[Nov 10, 2012] How to safely remove USB flash drive with Far Manager


...When you finish copying files from and to your USB flash drive you need to safely remove it, otherwise you risk losing data. Normally you do this by clicking icon with green arrow in system tray:

You can do the same with Far Manager. Open drive menu (Alt+F1 or Alt+F2), select your flash drive and press Shift+Del. You should get this confirmation:

Select “Remove” and you’re done. Note that the key combo (Shift+Del) is different from ejecting CD/DVD (Del).

[Nov 10, 2012] Enhancement to launching PowerShell scripts from Far Manager


The method of launching PowerShell scripts from Far Manager I have described previously has 2 important drawbacks:

  1. You can’t pass arguments to the script, and
  2. You can’t launch script in a separate window

Here’s how to fix this:

  1. Start regedit, open HKCR\Microsoft.PowerShellScript.1\shell\Open\command key
  2. Set it to
    "C:\WINDOWS\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe" "-file" "%1" %*

Now you can press Shift+Enter to start PowerShell script in a new window.

As a bonus, you can now double-click .ps1 files in Windows Explorer to launch them. Why is this not a default behaviour? Most likely Microsoft decided to be extra cautious here.

Make sure you have Powershell version 2.0 or higher for this to work. How to check Powershell version.

[Nov 10, 2012] How to open .docx and .xlsx files from Far Manager


If you try to open Office 2007 document (.docx or .xlsx) in Far Manager it will simply open them as a ZIP archive. Clearly, that’s not what you want. Here’s how to fix it:

  1. Go to Commands › File association.
  2. Create a new association by pressing Ins.
  3. Enter *.doc;*.docx;*.xlsx;*.pptx as a mask.
  4. Enter @"!.!" as Execute command (used for Enter).

File associations in Far Manager

You can still open docx file as an archive by pressing Ctrl+PgDn.

[Nov 10, 2012] Trick: eject CD/DVD from Far Manager


This is a nice trick: in Far Manager, invoke drive menu by pressing Alt+F1:


Select CD-ROM and press Delete. CD/DVD will get ejected.

You can also press Del key on network drives to unmap them.

[Nov 10, 2012] Middle-click in Far Manager 2


In Far Manager 1.70 you could browse folders with mouse wheel. Rotating wheel would scroll up and down. Middle-click would open a folder. But version 2.0 disables middle-click. Boo! Never take away features from users.

Mouse wheel

Fortunately it’s very easy to restore this functionality:

  1. Launch [C:\Program Files\Far2\Addons\Macros\MiddleClickAsEnter.reg]. If you don’t have this folder re-install Far and add Addons » Macros feature.
  2. Restart Far Manager.

[Nov 10, 2012] How to change Far Manager’s font and window size


Freshly installed Far Manager looks um… small:

Here’s how to make its window bigger:

  1. Right-click on the window title, select Properties
  2. Switch to Font tab
  3. Select a bigger font. I prefer raster font 10 x 18.
  4. (optional) Switch to Layout tab and change window size there. I leave it as 80 x 25.

[Nov 10, 2012] How to add context menu to Far Manager


Sometimes I need to do something with file that Far Manager can’t help me with. Good example is changing file permissions. In these cases Windows Explorer context menu comes handy:


If you want context menu in Far Manager you need EMenu plugin. Fortunately, it is included with Far by default. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Execute [C:\Program Files\Far\Plugins\EMenu\Hotkey.reg]
  2. Restart Far Manager
  3. Open Options menu, then Plugins configuration. Select EMenu in the list.
  4. Uncheck “Show message after execution”.

Now Menu key should invoke context menu. Nice trick is to select Send To – Mail Recipient to quickly open new email with the file attached.

[Nov 10, 2012] How to run PowerShell scripts from Far Manager


Let’s say you use Far Manager and want to launch PowerShell script. With default installation pressing Enter on PowerShell script in Far Manager will open the script in Notepad. Not very helpful.

Here’s how to configure Far Manager to launch PowerShell script by pressing Enter key:

  1. Open Commands menu, select File associations.
  2. Press Ins key to add new association.
  3. Enter *.ps1 as file mask.
  4. Enter the following as execute command:
    powershell.exe -file "!.!"

Bonus: how to change colour of PowerShell scripts to green:

  1. Open Options menu, select Files highlighting.
  2. Locate *.exe,*.com,*.bat entry, press Enter to edit.
  3. Add *.ps1 to the list, select Ok to save.

See also: Running Windows PowerShell Scripts

Update: there is an enhancement that allows passing arguments to the script and launch script in a separate window.

[Nov 10, 2012] How I configure Far Manager



Far Manager is console-based file manager. I like it very much. Here’s how I configure it to get the maximum out of it:

  1. Set raster font, 10 x 18. Set window size 80 x 26. Turn off selection with mouse (QuickEdit mode).
  2. Turn on “Clear R/O attribute from CD files”: go to Options | System Settings. I never need files to be read-only when I copy them from CD or DVD to hard drive.
  3. Turn on displaying hidden ($) shares: Options | Plugins configuration | Network browser | Show hidden shares. Now I can type net:computername and see C$, D$, etc.
  4. Options | Confirmations. Turn off confirmations for:
    • Delete non-empty folders
    • Exit
  5. Copy these command line archivers to C:\Program Files\Far folder:
    • pkzipc.exe
    • rar.exe
    • MsCab.exe
    • tar.exe

    Unfortunately Far Manager is not bundled with any archiver so you need to get them manually, from various web sites. Update: see below.

  6. Options | Panel Settings | turn on “Select folders”. This allows using NumPad Star to select folders.
  7. Go to Options | Interface Settings. Turn off “Clock in panels”. I already have a clock in lower right corner. There is no need for extra clock.Turn on “Show total copy progress indicator”. Otherwise I have absolutely no clue when operation is going to finish when I have lots of files to copy.
  8. Go to Options | Editor Settings. Check “Del removes blocks”. Set tab size to 3. Default 8 is way to much.
  9. Switch to Wide Mode. Press Left Ctrl + 4. I prefer this mode because I can see long file names and file sizes. Go to Options | File panel modes | Wide mode. Set Column Types to N,SC and Status line column types to NR,SC,D,T. This adds comma to file sizes:
  10. Install EMenu plugin. Go to C:\Program Files\Far\Plugins\EMenu folder and execute Hotkey.reg. Now I can press Context Menu key to get Explorer menu for selected file or folder.
  11. Can you read gray text on green background? I can’t.
    Go to Options | Colors | Dialogs | Unchanged text input. Set Foreground to black.

Update: Download pkzipc.exe, Rar.exe, MsCab.exe, gzip32.exe and tar.exe:

Extract to C:\Program Files\Far folder.

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