Hector Lee

Forklift 2 - Advanced File Manager and FTP Client

Forklift 2 Icon

Every web designer needs a FTP client be it a simple one that just uploads files or an advanced client that provides tools for file management and other services. A good FTP client and file manager will help a developer develop faster by helping with basic tasks such as syncing, renaming, archiving, etc. Forklift 2 is an advanced file manager and FTP/SFTP/Amazon S3/ WebDAV client for Mac OS X (10.6+) developed by Binary Nights. Forklift 2 has support for numerous protocols including FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3, SMB, AFP and NIS. In my weeks of working with Forklift 2, it is extremely fast in connecting to my remote volumes and I have not faced any problems setting it up. Forklift 2 features a dual pane view which can also but changed to a single pane view without going into the preferences.

Forklift User Interface

Forklift 2 ships with an extremely powerful set of file management tools that easily makes Forklift a Finder replacement as well. Turn on sync browsing while in dual pane mode and browse through your local folders while your remote volume keeps in sync. Folder synchronisation keeps two folders in sync by comparing files to find matching, modified, new and deleted files. Batch renaming is built into Forklift 2 so you do not need another app to just rename files. Split and combine files right inside Forklift 2 and keep large files in smaller bits. A powerful search filter helps you find your files quickly and accurately, it even searches within archives. One of my favourite features of Forklift 2 is the ability to browse archives as if they are ordinary folders. It saves a lot of confusion from needing to download and extract the archive. Forklift 2 does this in the background and lets you browse the contents of the archive. An odd addition to the feature set is the delete app feature. The developers decided to build an app uninstaller into Forklift which seems rather confusing for me. It would never come across me to use Forklift to remove apps but its there if you want to. It might be better to use a more developed solution to remove apps as this is certainly not a forte of Forklift.

Although Forklift 2 is really easy to use, it also caters to the power user. power users will appreciate the inclusion of Droplets and Disklets which many have included into their workflow. Stacks can be created as a temporary holding place for files which you need for quick access. No more keeping multiple windows open just to get a few files. FXP Copy lets you copy from one FTP server to another directly without passing the data through your desktop machine. This is a great feature for users with a slow upload speed as most servers have a much faster upload speed and can get the job done much faster. Synclets can be created and used to launch sync actions. Although Forklift only does one way sync, you can create two synclets which sync in opposite directions for your use.

Forklift 2 is a serious tool for the web designer or the server admin. It can also be a great tool for power mac users who have their own WebDAV subscription for sharing files with their iPad. If file management is a daily affair for you, take Forklift 2 for a test drive and you will find it hard to let go of it. I am so happy with it that it has a spot on my dock now.