CuteFTP is a simple and efficient FTP program that uses a drag-and-drop interface to let you upload and download files to and from your server. A wizard guides you through the setup by asking for your server's address, your user name, and password. You then have the option to use that site as a default. Once CuteFTP is open, you will see three windows. The top window has a running dialog that contains notes on your session. You probably won't need this information, though glancing at it will tell you whether the prior command went through.

 The window on the left is your local system. You will see a bar at the top of this window that lets you choose the folder you seek. The files will appear below in the larger window. On the right, you will see the files that are housed at your ISP. Transferring files is as simple as dragging them from one side to the other. A window will pop up asking whether you wish to download or upload the file. You will then see the top window scroll a bunch of info and-- provided nothing went wrong-- you will see a message with the word "successful."

For the most part, this is all you need to know. However, if you find yourself swapping files left and right you might want to take a look at all the features CuteFTP has.

  • The Macro feature is helpful if you want to update a particular file every day. Go to Macro, Start Recording, then choose your folders and upload your file. When you are done, go to Macro, Stop Recording, and choose a name. Then every time you want to upload the file, choose Macro, Execute Macro and choose the one you want. Your file will automatically be uploaded to the place earlier specified.

  • The Compare Directories feature lets you compare your local files and the files on the server. This is useful if you are trying to decipher which files you may be missing.

  • The Help Menu is helpful, unlike those on a lot of programs. You can search the index to find all sorts of swanky tips and features.

    You can download CuteFTP from the ZDNet Software Library. It is free to try, $39.95 to buy.

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