Commander is a compact, easy-to-use file management tool and image viewer.

The program looks at first much like Explorer, but actually its two panes are entirely independent. So you can browse to whatever folder you like in the left-hand pane (for instance) without the right-hand being affected at all, very convenient if you're setting up a drag-and-drop.

Commander can also view several common file types. It's able to handle images including CR2, BMP, WMF, EMF, JPEG, PNG, MNG, GIF, PCX, ICO, CUR and HIPS, for instance. The program can display plain text files, and there's a hex file viewer to catch everything else.

There's also built-in support for extracting files from RAR and ZIP archives.

The program includes a simple FTP client.

And Commander also provides lots of small extras. It can compare and synchronise folders, for instance. There's a built-in "pocket calculator" with an equation solver. And the program can search your system for duplicate files, too (or images which are just very similar).

Changes in version 1.36:
  Add and delete files in ZIP archives
  Computes transfer rates when copying files to/from disk, FTP and archives
  Find in files supports text search in unicode files
  Fixed transparent PNG thumbnails
  Name filter in Order by sub menu
  Drive buttons

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If you're looking for an Explorer alternative then give Commander a try - it's compact, yet still packed with interesting features.