Getting started with Folder Sync 2

Categories: fs2-filter fs2-general fs2-howto fs2-preset fs2-upgrade

If you are new to Folder Sync 2, this guide should provide you with the basic information you need to get started. Further information is available in the Frequently Asked Questions or by clicking on any of the Categories listed above.

Once you get up to speed on the basics, there are plenty more advanced features to help you sync folders.

If you use the app, please consider leaving a rating or review on the Mac App Store as it can really help us out!

App User Interface

When you first open the app, you will be shown the Home Tab which is split into three main areas :-

  • Main Content area - Providing Start New Compare and Open a Preset functionality.
  • Log area - Provides in app user feedback. The Log is also permanently saved to file.
  • Sync Queue area - Provides real time status and feedback of Sync Queue operations.

Basic App Workflow

The basic workflow of the app is to use Compare Tabs to compare two folders and to setup and configure Presets. Whenever two folders are compared, a Preset is automatically saved using the default naming format of Compare: /Left/Folder/Path With: /Right/Folder/Path. Presets can be renamed if desired.

Presets are very flexible and allow the user to manage multiple pairs of folders quickly and easily. After configuring a Preset, you can repeatedly run them in a Compare Tab for comparison and Syncing or use the Sync Queue and/or Scheduling to perform these tasks automatically for you with no user intervention required.

Start New Compare

You can browse for folders, select previously used folders or drag and drop a folder into the drop zones. Once you have two folders specified, the >=< Start Compare button is enabled and you can click on it to open a new Compare Tab and start comparison of the two folders. Folder Sync will automatically create a new Preset for you using the default name format Compare: /Left/Folder/Path With: /Right/Folder/Path.

Open a Preset

The Open a Preset area of the Home Tab provides a convenient way to manage Presets.
Presets can be opened in various ways, see this FAQ for further information.

Compare Tabs

After you have started a new compare or opened a Preset, they will open in a Compare Tab showing a visual comparison of the folder contents using configurable colours to feedback the differences between the two sides. Counters at the bottom of each side provide feedback on what has been read from disk.

The Preset Editor is used to configure the Settings for the Preset and/or Filters.

Folder Sync 2 supports ability to manually manipulate the files (copy, delete, move or rename) within the Compare Tab directly or to use Syncing which will calculate which files require to be manipulated and present that to you in a Sync Preview.

Syncing can be initiated using the Screen Menu, Compare Tab Toolbar or Action Menu Button. As of version 2.4.0, Syncs started from within the outline view context menus also allow you to sync just specific folders and their descendants.

Note that in a Compare Tab, Folder Sync never commits any changes to disk without first showing you a Sync Preview.
If you don’t like what you see in the preview, simply Cancel.

Action Menus

Folder Sync uses an Action Menu Button throughout the app . This provides access to context specific features.

Preset Editor

To open a Preset Editor, use the Edit Settings Button which opens a popup and allows Presets to be fully configured. Edit Settings buttons are available in several locations in the app.

Sync Preview

All file operations within a Folder Sync Compare Tab are routed through the Sync Preview.

Note that in a Compare Tab, Folder Sync never commits any changes to disk without first showing a Sync Preview for your approval. If you don’t like what you see in the preview, use the Action Menu to edit the items within the sync or simply Cancel and reconfigure the Preset using the Preset Editor to acheive the desired result.

Sync Queue

The Sync Queue is a mechanism to run Preset syncing without requiring user intervention. Presets can be manually added to the Sync Queue by using the Action Menu of a Preset row in the Open a Preset table within the Home Tab. Presets can also be configured to add themselves to the Sync Queue using Scheduling.

The Sync Queue can run multiple jobs in parallel and will feedback its current status to you at the bottom of the Home Tab.

Unlike Compare Tabs, the Sync Queue does not present a Sync Preview for your approval prior to making changes. The recommended workflow is to fully configure Presets using Compare Tabs before using them with the Sync Queue and/or Scheduling.

The Stop button can be used to Abort Presets currently in the Queue.
Note that Aborting a Preset in the Queue will stop the Sync between file operations and will not stop a file operation mid-process so it does not damage files.

Preset Scheduling

Preset Scheduling uses the Sync Queue to run Presets with no user intervention. A Preset can be scheduled to repeat at user defined intervals or to run at specific days/times. Scheduling options are configured within the Home Tab by editing the settings of the Preset.