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Dropzone review

Verdict:

Dropzone replaces many droplets, scripts, widgets and Menu Bar tools with a drag-and-drop palette.

Review Date: 17 Sep 2009

Price when reviewed: (about £6)

Reviewed By: Giles Turnbull

Our Rating 5 stars out of 5

Dropzone is a cheap utility that adds functions to the Dock; functions that some would argue should have been included there from the start.

The utility's Dock icon becomes a target for dropped files and folders, and when activated it opens a grid of actions for you to drop them on.

The list of built-in actions is fairly short at the moment. It includes a 'Move files' action that can be assigned to any folder on your computer, as well as an FTP upload droplet; a widget for uploading to Flickr; a 'print these files' controller; a file zipper; and a useful script for opening, mounting and installing new applications downloaded as disk images from the Internet.

It's possible to create multiple instances of some actions. You can set up several different versions of the Move files action, one for each of your favourite hard disk locations. Other actions are tied to the Internet, such as URL shorteners, blogging sites and image hosting services.

The application displays neat, unobtrusive alerts when appropriate, letting you know when an action has completed, or text has been put on the clipboard.

The process of adding a new action is a little circuitous, though. Sometimes it requires you to click an extra Get icon button to add an icon to your action. It's not obvious how to re-arrange icons in the Dropzone grid either - you do this by moving them up and down the list of installed actions.

None of Dropzone's actions are new ideas in themselves; similar tools have been around since the early days of Mac OS X, often as Dock apps in their own right or as Finder droplets. Similar functionality is now built in to Snow Leopard's Automator application, which lets you create custom Service menu actions.

What makes Dropzone cool - and worth six quid or so - is that it puts so many of these tools in easy reach. It would be nice if there were a few more, but users are encouraged to create their own and share them with the community, so with any luck there will be many more to come.

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