Pneumatic Tubes is a different kind of file management utility. The idea was inspired by the pneumatic tubes mail system used in corporate America in the middle of the 19th century.

Create, Define, Drop
At its most basic, using Pneumatic Tubes involves three main steps:
Create Tube → Define Tube → Drag & Drop Files

  1. Creating tubes – for each destination folder you wish to send files to, create a tube to represent it in the Tubes Area section.
  2. Defining the tubes – each tube needs to be defined, primarily the destination folder. There is also an optional shortcut key which is used in conjunction with the Conveyor Belt section.
  3. Drag and dropping files – from Windows Explorer, drag files and folders into your desired tube and these items will be moved to that defined location.

The Main Window
Figure 1: Main Window

The main window is made up of the following functions:
The Toolbar:
Create a new Tube Route. A tube represents a drop area, and the destination for any files or folders dragged and dropped into this area. There can be any number of tubes at any one time with different route destinations.
Show or hide the Conveyor Belt section. This section lists all files in a defined folder in Windows, and triggering any of the defined shortcut keys will move the current file to the assigned location.
Always on top toggle. This makes drag and dropping files into Pneumatic Tubes easier as it will always be in view.

The Conveyor Belt:
The Conveyor Belt is a queue which lists the contents of a target directory. These files can be moved through the available tube routes by triggering their shortcut keys defined in each tube route. You can move forward and backward in the queue by using the navigation buttons on the right portion of the tool.

Dropping a folder into this section reassigns that folder as the new source of the Conveyor Belt, and shall begin listing files from that folder moving forward.

The Drop Areas:
A drop area represents a tube which accepts files or folders via drag and drop from Windows Explorer, and automatically sends the files to the destination defined in the tube. Tubes also define a shortcut key, which triggers a move of the current file displayed in the Conveyor Belt.


Figure 2: The Tube Layout Configuration Window

Tube Label – this label identifies each tube in the group. A short label is ideal here for quick scanning among the tubes collection.
Route – the route defines the folder destination to move the file to. This is any valid folder location accessible to Windows and the current user. Drag-dropping a folder into this field assigns that folder as the tube route.
Link Shortcut – with Pneumatic Tubes in focus, pressing a key defined as a tube shortcut shall send the current file indicated in the Conveyor Belt into the target folder of the tube owning the shortcut. Click on the “Capture Key” button to define which keyboard key to assign. This shortcut key is displayed in in the Drop Area for easy recall.
Icon – select an image file to represent the tube in the Tubes Area. Drag-dropping an image file into this field loads that image as the tube’s icon.

Figure 3: The Blueprints Menu

Blueprints are templates to create tubes routing to common My Documents sub-folders. Among these folders are the My Videos, My Music, My Pictures, and others. Recommended shortcut keys are also predefined.

Recycle Bin
Figure 4: The Recycle Bin

The Recycle Bin lists all the deleted tubes for the session, giving you a chance to recover accidentally removed tubes. Tick the checkboxes beside each tube you wish to recover, and then click “Retrieve”. Closing Pneumatic Tubes will remove the tubes permanently.

Figure 5: Preferences

Show Tube Maintenance when creating new tubes – every time a new tube is created, immediately display the Tube Layout window to quickly configure that tube.