At MTE we cannot live without Dropbox. In addition to showing you the basic usage of Dropbox, we have also highlighted a number of useful tips and tricks. In this article we will go beyond the basic tricks and show you 4 other ways you can use Dropbox like a pro.
1. Dropbox Keyboard Shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts are useful when you want to quickly navigate through the Dropbox file browser. In fact they even allow you to perform a few actions that are normally not available.
To activate the keyboard shortcuts, first head to your Account options page by clicking on the link at the top of the Dropbox file browser page.
Next, select the Account Settings tab.
On the “Account Settings” page ensure that the “Enable file browser keyboard shortcuts” option is checked.
Now you will have access to the following keyboard shortcuts while you browse your files:
- a: Select all or no files
- n: Deselect all files
- c: Copy selected files
- m: Move selected files
- u: Move up a directory
- p: Select deleted files
- i: Invert selected files
- /: Search
- d: Show/hide deleted files
- esc: Hide popup
- ?: Show keyboard shortcuts
- k: Highlight previous file
- j: Highlight next file
- space: Select highlighted file
- o: View highlighted file
2. Find Your IP Address
If you use Dropbox on multiple computers then you will be able to see all their IP addresses using Dropbox.
To do this, simply head over to the “Account” options page and select “My Computers“.
The “My Computers” page will show you a list of all the computers that are connected to your Dropbox account or that have previously been connected. From this page you can “Rename” or “Unlink” those devices.
To view the IP address of a particular device, simply mouse-over the blue “i” icon.
Another useful function of this feature is that it shows you where your laptop or other Dropbox enabled device is located if you happen to lose it (the only caveat is that this can be highly inaccurate since you only see the IP address).
3. Upload Files and Images Automatically (Chrome extension)
The beauty of Dropbox is that you can sync, upload and access your files from most internet capable devices. Hence, it is a useful repository for all your scraps of information. For example, if you find a nice image on the web, instead of manually saving it to a local hard drive it can be infinitely more useful if it is uploaded to your Dropbox account.
To do this, install the Chrome extension Cloud Save.
Once installed, you can use the context menu to save all kinds of files directly to your Dropbox.
The first time you do so, you will be prompted to connect Cloud Save with your Dropbox account.
[NB: Cloud Save is a minimally tested third-party service. MTE does not take any responsibility for any harm that may befall your computer or data]
When saving files, you can save files to your Dropbox account by right-clicking and selecting Dropbox.
Chrome will generate a prompt to notify you that your file has been uploaded.
You can then view your uploaded file in the main My Dropbox folder.
You will note that the file does not have an extension. This can be a problem opening the file later on. To save the file with an extension, select Cloud Save -> Save As… -> Dropbox.
On the next prompt, save the file with the appropriate extension.
Now you can open the file without hunting for the appropriate application to view it with.
4. Use Dropbox to listen to music
Dropbox allows you to upload all sorts of files, including music tracks. It even has a nifty minimalist music player that allows you to stream tracks one at a time. However, if you want to listen to a whole album or playlist you are better off using DropTunes.
First, head over to the DropTunes website and login with your Dropbox e-mail and password.
[NB: DropTunes is a minimally tested third-party service. MTE does not take any responsibility for any harm that may befall your computer or data]
Once you have logged in, you will see the main DropTunes interface, with a list of all your Dropbox files and folders. Select the folder with your music in it.
Providing all your music has synced with your Dropbox account, you should see your files appear in a list.
Simply select Play and all the listed files will play in order.
The Flash version of DropTunes works on Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, and IE8+, but it only plays mp3 files. The HTML5 version plays a greater number of files but only on selected browsers: mp3 and m4a file play on Chrome and Safari, ogg files play on Chrome, Firefox and Opera, and wav files play on Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Opera. You can switch between the Flash and HTML5 versions by clicking on the link at the top of the page.
Bonus: Dropbox in your own language
This is not really a trick or a tip, but we thought it would be useful to point out that Dropbox is now available in French, German, Spanish and Japanese.
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