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File-Ex 98 Known Issues and Solutions


Note: This version has been superceded by File-Ex version 3. However, if you are using Windows 95/98/Me and want to use long file names in old 16-bit applications, then you must use this version. (Version 3 does support 16-bit apps in NT4/2000/XP.)

Specific program configuration issues and problems that have been reported with File-Ex are noted here, with suggested work-arounds. We will attempt to keep this list up-to-date. Unless otherwise noted, solutions to these problems are in the works.

If you find other problems, please let us know! We want to solve them!

Contents:


Specific program conflict/configuration issues:

Microsoft Word 95/97: If you have not yet installed File-Ex, then there will be no problem if you install the latest version from our download page. (Just be sure that you don't select the Word 2000 version.)

If you have already downloaded File-Ex v2.12d and installed it "fresh" (either as a first-time File-Ex install or after removing/deleting the fileex.dat file), then you may find that the Word 97 Save As dialog does not recognize the file name you enter. (This should not be the case if you've downloaded the latest version directly from this web site after March 20th, 2001.)

If this is the case, just go into Configure Applications from the File-Ex menu (right-click on the taskbar tray icon), and delete the Word 2000 Open and Save As configuration entries.

(If you eventually upgrade to Word 2000, see the note below for re-configuration.)

Microsoft Office 2000: First make sure you have File-Ex version 2.12d. This has been fixed for Office 2000 applications.

If you have not yet downloaded or installed File-Ex, then all you need to do is select the correct version from our download page. It will be pre-trained for Word 2000 and Excel 2000 (and easily trained for other applications).

If you have downloaded File-Ex recently for the first time and already installed it, your copy may or may not already include a data file with Word 2000 and Excel 2000 pre-trained. If the downloaded ZIP file includes fileex2000.dat, then you can copy it over your fileex.dat file and it will work for Word and Excel 2000. Or, you can download it here -- Right-click the file name and select "Save Link As" (Netscape) or "Save Target As" (MSIE), and change the name to fileex.dat: fileex2000.dat.

Save this file as "fileex.dat" and copy it into your File-Ex\Data directory, overwriting the existing one. (This will delete any previously trained application configurations also, so be sure you know what you're doing.)

If you are upgrading from a previous version, your current training file (fileex.dat) will not be overwritten, so you won't get the new trainings for Office 2000. If you don't have any other apps trained, you could delete fileex.dat before upgrading and the new file will be installed, with Word and Excel 97 and 2000 (English versions) trained. Otherwise, you can train them yourself easily, BUT be sure to delete any Word or Excel 97 configurations first. They will interfere with Office 2000 configurations if they appear first.

Also note that for the Word 2000 "Find" dialog to work, File-Ex must be trained for it. This sounds odd, but it's because it's too similar to a file dialog (internally) for File-Ex to distinguish it unless it is trained separately. Unfortunately you will get a File-Ex button on the Find dialog, but that is the only way to keep the Find dialog from disappearing.

Corel 9 applications (Draw, PhotoPaint, etc.): Due to the unusual design of their dialogs, it doesn't know when File-Ex sets the file name, so File-Ex cannot be trained to work with these applications.

Opera 5.x (and possibly other versions) : Because Opera 5.x seems to accept a path-only file name as a valid name, it does not respond correctly to the way File-Ex changes directories. The solution is to train File-Ex for Opera. There are a couple special steps needed to do this:

(Make sure any previous trainings for Opera have been removed from the list in File-Ex's "Configure Applications" dialog first)

  1. In the File-Ex "Configure Dialog Appearance" settings, disable the "Default to the last directory..." option.
  2. Train File-Ex for Opera's Open dialog, and select the "Replace" option
  3. Train File-Ex for Opera's Save As dialog, and select the "Replace" option
  4. Go to File-Ex's "Configure Applications" dialog, select "Opera 5: Open", and click "Edit Dialog..."
  5. Change the Default Extension to "html" (no quotes)
  6. Highlight the first File Type in the list, and click "Insert Type..."
  7. For Description, enter "HTML files" (no quotes)
  8. For Mask(s), enter "*.html;*.htm" (no quotes). Be sure to use the semicolon.
  9. Click OK to finish the type, and OK fo finish editing the Open dialog.
  10. Still in the Configure Applications dialog, Select "Opera 5: Save As", and click "Edit Dialog..."
  11. Change the Default Extension to "html" (no quotes)
  12. Clock OK/Done/OK to finish up.
  13. If desired, go back to the File-Ex "Configure Dialog Appearance" settings, and enable the "Default to the last directory..." option.

ICQ (ver. 99a v.2.21 build #1800): This seems to be crashing when File-Ex is loaded. Until the problem is solved, you can avoid the crash by adding this line to the end of your fileex.ini file:
Ignore Modules=ICQ

This will disable File-Ex for ICQ.

Rhinocerous 3D: This seems to be crashing when File-Ex is loaded. Until the problem is solved, you can avoid the crash by adding this line to the end of your fileex.ini file:
Ignore Modules=RHINO

This will disable File-Ex for Rhinocerous. If you already have others in the Ignore Modules line, just add to the end, like:
Ignore Modules=ICQ,RHINO

FileNotes: Early versions of FileNotes (by JAM Software) cannot co-exist with File-Ex due to conflicts with the file dialogs. However, this has been fixed in FileNotes version 3.21 (dated Sept. 6th) or later.

Netscape Navigator 4.5: A File dialog opens when not expected...

Version 4.5, at least the beta version, has a "feature" where it launches a "Netscape Quality Feedback Agent" to mail a crash report. This opens a Wizard and a file dialog to "choose an application to open this file". With File-Ex, you don't see the wizard (perhaps covered up?) and you can't tell why the file dialog is there. (One known situation of this is when clicking on an URL in Eudora.)

Once you know what this is, you can simply select Netscape Navigator in the dialog and you're set. You may also want to turn off the wizard in Navigator.

Microsoft Word 97: Save-As dialog doesn't show any files in the file list.

A mistake was made in the pretrained configuration for this dialog, so that the file mask is (*.doc) instead of just *.doc.

To fix this, go into "Configure Applications", select the Microsoft Word 7.0: Save As entry, and Edit it. Select the first File Type (Word Document), Edit it, and change the mask to *.doc.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 4: File-Ex enhancements don't appear on the file dialogs.

In order for File-Ex to work with MSIE 4, you need to set the "Browse in new process" option in MSIE. This is under the "Advanced" tab of the dialog accessed through View|Internet Options. (You'll need to close and re-open Explorer for this to take effect.)

Also, if you're using a non-English version of MSIE, you need to disable File-Ex File Management functions for the Organize Favorites dialog. To do this, first change the "Disable key" to Control (see the Configure Dialog Appearance window). Then hold the Control key down as you open the Organize Favorites dialog from the MSIE menu. You should get a dialog with disabling options -- select Permanently for File Management only.

Microsoft Visual Basic 5 and 6: File-Ex has problems with the New Project and Open Project dialogs due to the VB addition of the "Recent" tab (it crashes when Recent is clicked).

You can either disable File-Ex for the Project dialogs, or train it to Add the File-Ex button instead of doing File-Ex directly in the dialog. To train File-Ex, use the "Learn New Dialog" function.

To disable File-Ex for those dialogs, you can do it through File-Ex (using the Shift key when the dialog is coming up), or you can do it by adding these lines to the [CommEx] section of the COMMEX.INI file in your Windows directory:

NumExcludes=2
Exclude1=Vb5 : Open Project
Exclude2=Vb5 : New Project
NumSizeExcludes=2
SizeExclude1=Vb5 : Open Project
SizeExclude2=Vb5 : New Project

(This assumes that you don't have other dialogs already excluded, otherwise you'll need to adjust the numbers accordingly.)

Note: this is for the English version -- for other languages, you'll need to use the appropriate dialog names, or disable them through File-Ex / Shift key.

MS Visual Basic version 5 (maybe v4 also): The tabbed open dialog causes layout problems, and it can't be disabled for File-Ex the normal way. The best workaround for now is to train File-Ex for the dialog, with the "Add Button" option. This will keep the dialog from getting distorted, and File-Ex functions are still available.

Print to File doesn't work (gets "file doesn't exist...") in Word 97 or other programs:

You need to train the print-to-file dialog separately, and change some of the default configurations for it. (Primarily, File-Ex needs to know that it's a Save dialog, but you also want to set the proper default file type.)

  • 1. Open the application (eg. Word) and open a document to print.
  • 2. Select "Learn New Dialog" from the File-Ex right-click menu or About dialog.
  • 3. In Word, select File | Print (Note that you may need to click the File menu item twice, since File-Ex currently has focus.)
  • 4. Make sure the "Print to File" box is checked, and click OK
  • 5. You should see a Print to File dialog, requesting the name. Click OK on the File-Ex dialog (which says "Open the dialog to be set up..."), and it should change to "OK, no click anywhere on the File dialog to be set up".
  • 6. Continue the training session (see Help if you need more details), until you get to the Add/Replace question -- select Replace.
  • 7. Now you'll get the configration dialog. You need to change a few things:
    • a. Select "Save" for the dialog type instead of "Open".
    • b. In Default Extension, put "PRN" (no quotes).
    • c. Select the first file type in the list (All files (*.*)), and then click the Insert button.
    • d. For the new type, put "Printer Files" for the Description and "*.prn" for the mask.
    • e. Click OK to close the configuration dialog.

Now it should work properly with File-Ex.

VuePrint / VuePro32: To avoid dialog 'overflow', turn off VuePrint's "Enable Large Dialogs" option (under Options|Display).

OmniPage Pro 8.0 by Caere: The Open dialog has problems due to the "Advanced"/"Basic" toggle. File-Ex needs to be disabled for this dialog -- To do this, hold the Shift key down while clicking the Open command -- you should get a File-Ex prompt dialog with disabling options. You should select "Permanent for both file management and sizing". Do NOT check the "Disable for ALL dialogs of this application" box, since File-Ex works with the other dialogs.

RtvReco: Some problem with lockups during boot-up have been reported when RtvReco is in the StartUp group with File-Ex versions prior to 2.12. Get File-Ex 2.12 or later to fix this.

Mijenix PowerDesk Toolbar: Explorer will crash when trying to exit Windows. To fix this, get the latest version of PowerDesk, which should have this problem fixed.

Microsoft Word 2 and 6, and Excel 5 not saving long file names under Win95/98: If you type a long file name in the Save As dialog without an extension, the long file name will not be retained. To fix this, go into the File-Ex "Configure Applications" dialog and edit the appropriate "Save As" entry, and fill in the "Default Extension" box with DOC (for Word) or XLS (for Excel).

Quark Express 3.x (possibly other versions): This cannot be trained because they go to extremes to keep any other programs (like File-Ex) from seeing the file dialog. (I have no idea why they do it, but there is no way for us to fix it).

Word Perfect and other Corel apps (various versions 6 and up): File-Ex works best (and automatically without the need for training) if you disable the "enhanced file dialogs" option. We're not sure exactly which Corel products or versions have this option, however. If this is not an option and you have used the "Add button" method for File-Ex, you may notice that the File-Ex button hides partially behind parts of the dialog. This is due to the 'layered' dialog design, and has no work-around at present.

Word 7: The File-Ex button disappears when switching to Properties or Preview list mode. No current workaround.

MS Mail: The "Save attachment" dialog cannot be trained due to an unusual design. No current workaround.

Eudora: It has been reported that File-Ex causes a delay when Eudora is opened for the first time. This only happens for some customers, and the cause is unknown. There is no other symptom or harm done, just an unusual delay.

Corel Draw 5.0 and earlier (maybe other versions): if you can't see the description field when you click the "Options" button, disable File-Ex sizing for the dialog (hold the Shift key down when opening the Open/Save dialog to get the disabling options).


General File-Ex problems

Setup reports that you have the Windows 3.1x version, or that it can't find a file: This will happen if you attempt to run the Setup program directly from the Zipped file. If you are using Explorer Plus, where Zip files look like directories, then you will also see this because the file hasn't really been unzipped, and Setup can't see the required files for installation.

This also happens occasionally if it's being installed from a long directory path like c:\internet files\file-ex

To fix this, simply unzip the files to a simple temporary directory (eg. c:\temp), and then run Setup from there.

If a lock-up happens when opening a dialog (or at any point when a program would normally open a dialog), then the program may need special treatment by File-Ex. Lockups have also been seen if the COMMEX.INI file is too large -- this has been fixed in version 2.12c

If version 2.12c (or later) doesn't solve the problem, here's something you can do to set File-Ex to operate differently for that program (version 2.11a and later only), which may solve the problem.

First you need to know the name of the executable file for the program having the problem. For instance NOTEPAD.EXE, IEXPLORE.EXE, etc. Then, edit FILEEX.INI and add the following line at the end:

Modules Needing NULL Parent=[module]

where [module] is the program's file name (without the .EXE part). Multiple programs may be listed by using commas. For example:
Modules Needing NULL Parent=NOTEPAD
...or...
Modules Needing NULL Parent=NOTEPAD,IEXPLORE

Another possibility is that File-Ex is confusing one of the program's dialogs with a file dialog (even if it doesn't look anything like a file dialog, it's possible). In this case, you will need to disable File-Ex for that dialog, or the entire program. To do this, hold the Shift key down while opening the program's problem dialog -- you should get a File-Ex prompt dialog with disabling options. You should select "Permanent for both file management and sizing", and if that doesn't help, try it again and also check the "disable for ALL dialogs of this application" box.

If those fail, try telling File-Ex to ignore that program altogether by adding this to FILEEX.INI :

Ignore Modules=[module]

This takes module names like the "Modules Needing Parent" entry above. Note that this requires File-Ex version 2.12b or later.

If this does not help either, let us know the details and we'll look into it.

If the dialog "...not responding to the Enter key..." appears often when trying to save large files or files over a network, you may want to increase the File-Ex warning delay (the amount of time File-Ex waits to see if the dialog is responding). To do this, add this line to the end of the file FILEEX.INI (in your Windows directory):
Close Delay=10000
The value is in milliseconds (seconds x 1000), so 10000 = 10 seconds. The default is 5 seconds (5000).

If the Open or Save dialog disappears immediately: If a dialog does not have a file edit box, the dialog may vanish immediately after opening, or it may work fine except that the Recent/Favorite lists do not work. (Paint Shop Pro 4.12's "Change Directory" dialog is one example.)


File-Ex problems fixed in 2.12d or earlier

CuteFTP and Versions programs: These have dialogs that will cause lock-ups with File-Ex version 2.11d or earlier. Download the new version of File-Ex to fix these.

Logitech Mouse drivers versions prior to 7.50: The Mouseman driver sets up a new hook as soon as the mouse is moved for the first time. If this happens after File-Ex is loaded, a bug in their driver causes File-Ex to stop working. The later versions have this bug fixed, but anothe solution is to enable the File-Ex watchdog hook. For details, see the README.TXT file that came with File-Ex. (You also need File-Ex version 2.11b or later.)

PC-cillin 6, Hauppauge WinTv32 v1.40, TrayManager by PC Magazine, SmartKey, Screens 95, WinAMP, Cookie Crusher (versions prior to 2.02), Excite Direct, Net.Medic, and Hack-It: These programs have a bug which prevents hooks from flowing through to any programs that are loaded before it, which causes File-Ex to stop working.

There may be later versions of these which fix the problem -- Get the latest version, then let us know if the problem still exists.

FxHook32.dll unload problem: Occasionally, or constantly, you may get an error when shutting down Windows indicating that fxhook.dll or fxhook32.dll is not responding.

This problem has been fixed in version 2.12c.

If your dialog training or configuration changes aren't remembered: If you installed File-Ex from a CD-ROM then the files may have been marked read-only on your hard disk, making it impossible for File-Ex to write configuration changes. Check the Properties of the files in the File-Ex directory (especially FILEEX.DAT), and uncheck the Read-Only setting if necessary.

This has been fixed in version 2.12c

If your recent file/folders or new Favorites aren't being saved: There was a problem of COMMEX.INI geting too large causing this.

This has been fixed in version 2.12c



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