The File Browser control bar allows you to navigate your files without using the File Open dialog or Windows Explorer. To show or hide the file browser, use View/File Browser or Shift+F. The browser has separate tabs for your Projects, Plugins and Clips, and remembers the current folder and view settings for each tab. To open a file, double-click its name, or select its name and press Enter, or drag the name onto the main window. The Plugins tab allows multiple selections, but the other two don't.
Note that if you drag plugins onto the plugin tabs, or onto the patch bay, they're inserted into the plugin chain at the drop point, i.e. it matters which plugin tab or patch bay row the cursor is over when you release the left mouse button. If you drag plugins elsewhere within the main window, they're inserted at the selected plugin.
The file browser supports five views: Icons, Small Icons, List, Details, and Thumbnails. To change the view, use the browser's context menu, which is displayed when you right-click anywhere within the browser except on a file name. Right-clicking on a file name brings up the file's context menu instead.
Which view you should use depends on how you dock the browser to the main window. In the default layout, it's docked vertically on the right, but if you prefer to dock the browser horizontally along the bottom, the List view lets you see more files at once. In the Details view, you can sort the files in various ways, using the Explorer-style clickable column headers. In the other views, use the context menu's Arrange option to sort the files. The Details view also supports resizing and reordering the columns.
The Thumbnails view is useful for selecting clips visually. Note that video clips will have thumbnails under XP but not under W2K. Thumbnails are created on demand whenever you browse a folder in Thumbnails view. By default, thumbnails are cached on disk, so they only need to be created once, though you can disable this feature via the Options dialog. Creating thumbnails can be CPU-intensive, so if you're performing live, create your thumbnails beforehand if possible.
FFRend's docking behavior is typical for Windows applications. If the bar is docked, double-clicking on its gripper (the two parallel lines) floats it. If the bar is floating, double-clicking on its caption docks it again. Bars can be resized while docked or floating. To move a bar to a new docking position, drag it by its gripper. To move a floating bar and prevent it from docking, drag it by its gripper while holding down the Ctrl key.