Tag Archives: Freeware

Quickly Backup Removable Media With FlashBack

FlashBack is a simple portable application whose sole purpose is to backup data from removable media (such as pen drives, memory cards, MP3 players and digital cameras).
Backing up data with FlashBack is simple. Just launch this utility and select your backup location. FlashBackup will do the rest for you. FlashBack automatically backs up all removable devices connected to your computer. Not only that the next time you run FlashBack it will automatically detect any new or modified files and back them up.

FlashBack - Backup Removable Media

By default FlashBack will copy everything it finds on your device. However, you can easily specify the file types (extensions) you want to back up by selecting any of the pre-defined extensions. Don’t worry if you couldn’t find your desired file format in the list. Adding a custom file extension is also dead simple.

FlashBack - Backup Selected File Types

There are dozens of data backup utilities (both free and paid) in the market. In fact you will be spoiled for choice. However, not everyone requires the advanced features offered by these sophisticated utilities. FlashBack is a simple USB backup device which does what it’s supposed to without unnecessarily complicating things. It’s ideal for folks who want to simply copy content from their MP3 player or Digital Camera.

[Download FlashBack]

Speedup/Optimize Acrobat Reader & Photoshop

Acrobat Reader and Photoshop are two very popular apps from Adobe that are used by many users, one problem many of you might have seen that these two softwares take a long time to startup.

PDF Speedup allows you to significantly speed up the time it takes to load Adobe Reader. If you notice that when the Reader starts it loads many plug-ins which you may or may not need, this program simply disables the plug-ins and loads only the absolute necessary ones so the program starts quickly.

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On the other hand Adobe Photoshop Speedup significantly decreases the time it takes to load Adobe Photoshop by disabling the plug-ins that you may not need. There are several options such as whether to load the Adobe fonts, load the presets, and set the memory usage. You may restore to the original settings at any time.

Both of the speedup are so you can run it without having to install them, definitely useful if you have lag times while loading any of the two applications.

Download Adobe Acrobat Speed & Photoshop Speedup (scroll to middle of page to find download links)

Add More File Types to The Preview Pane with PreviewConfig

Preview Pane was one of the dozens of new features introduced in Vista. It’s one thing I loved in Windows Vista and use regularly even on Windows Seven. Yet it has managed to remain almost unnoticed and even regular users of Vista may not be aware of it.

Activating the preview pane is really simple – just press Alt+P while using the Windows Explorer. The preview pane allows you to get a quick idea about the content of the file without even opening it. It allows you to read text files, listen to audios and preview videos and preview documents. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with all files. It won’t work for .mkv files even if you have the proper codecs installed. Similarly, you can’t preview .nfo files although they are just text files.

PreviewConfigLuckily for us, the folks behind WinHelpOnline have released a simple tool called PreviewConfig that makes adding new formats to Preview Pane dead simple. It doesn’t even require installation (portable software). When you launch PreviewConfig it will display all the currently registered file formats. Adding a new file type is as simple as entering the extension and selecting the Preview Type (text, media file and other).

PreviewConfig is a nice utility that works really well if you have a lot of unorthodox file formats in your system. Unfortunately, Windows Seven users are out of luck as PreviewConfig currently supports only Windows Vista. If you are using Vista give it a try and let us know if you found it useful.

[Download PreviewConfig]

Add Tabs To Microsoft Office Word, Excel & PowerPoint

Quite a few years ago when there was only IE6 I really did not have any clue what the power of having a tabbed interface could do, I did use Netscape a bit back then which had tabbed interface, but, then we were all used to using IE6 and opening new windows for each link, piling up 20-25 open instances at a time was a norm.

Then came in and revolutionized how we look at tabs (it borrowed mostly from Netscape), coming back to the future we are now all so used to working with tabbed interfaces that opening multiple windows becomes a real pain.

officetab_settings

But still there are some applications like Microsoft Office which do not support tabs, well at least till now. Office Tabs is a excellent that brings the tabbed interface to Office applications.

Once you install the application you can choose from various options provided for individual applications like Excel, Word and PowerPoint, you can also control the look and fee of the tab and customize for the application.

This should also work with Microsoft however it seems to be a bit buggy when I tested it out. However this definitely adds a much better way to work with documents, spreadsheets and presentations, hope Microsoft will officially add support for tabs in near future.

Download Office Tabs (Chinese language view English translation)

[via Download Squad]

Get All the Useful Windows Commands in One Application

Every day we perform a lot of tasks on our computers. Some of   these tasks are repetitive and can consume   your precious time. Here is a useful windows freeware that organizes the frequently used windows tasks under one interface so that you   can get them done easily and in less time.

Continue reading Get All the Useful Windows Commands in One Application

Fire Notepad and Hire Metapad

Alex Gets Annoyed

Some time around 1999, Alexander Davidson grew so annoyed with Windows Notepad that he decided to create his own text editor. Metapad has undergone three major revisions since then. It’s basically a small executable file, only 94KB in size but it’s full of many useful features that you may not find anywhere else. In addition, after 10 years of development, it’s now FOSS (Free and open source software).

Over the years, I’ve tried at least 30 different free text editors. Despite that, Metapad is the only free Notepad replacement that I’d really hate to live without.

Hyperlinks

My favorite option is Show Hyperlinks(CTRL+K) and it turns a plain text document into a hyperlinked database by allowing clickable links.

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URLs starting with http:or www.are recognized automatically.

Adding the key word mailto:in front of an email address creates a working hyperlink.

Files and folders will need to have the file:prefix in their location but UNC paths (e.g. \\ComputerName\SharedFolder\Resource) are automatically recognized and linked.

Note: Spaces in file and folder paths will break these links, but using %20instead of a space will fix this problem.

Wrong: file:C:\Documents and Settings\

Right: file:C:\Documents%20and%20Settings\

Options and Toolbar

The most significant options are just under the “Options” menu and are also assigned to hotkeys for instant use.

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Other commonly used features are displayed in the toolbar at the top of the application.

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Many people will agree that it’s aggravating to attempt dragging and dropping selected text in Notepad, only to find the Notepad just won’t do it. If you are used to this feature in other editors, you’ll be happy to know that it’s supported in Metapad.

Favorites and Recent Files

Metapad includes a Favouriteslist and also a Recent Fileslist so that you rarely have to use the “Open File” button and waste time looking for files.

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Block and Convert Selected

When you’ve selected a section of text, the Block features in the Edit menu will let you do some pretty amazing things such as block indents and paragraph unwraps.

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The Convert features under the Edit menu add more text magic to Metapad’s bag of tricks.

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External Viewers

The geekier among us may like the ability to add two external viewersthat you can launch from the toolbar. If you’d like to edit the text file you are working on in another editor or viewer, the General tab in the Settings applet allows you to specify their locations.

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Fonts and Advanced Settings

You can choose two different fonts in the View tab.

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There are more settings in the Advanced1 tab.

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The Advanced2 tab allows you to add up to ten Quick buffersthat can be changed in the Settings or even on the fly with a key combination. These are handy for pasting in commonly used phrases by simply holding down the ALT key and hitting the numbers 0 through 9.

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Conclusion

Give Metapad a try and I think you’ll quickly see that Notepad should be fired or at least given a gold watch and retired.

The toughest part of switching entirely to Metapad is creating new file type associations for .txt and other plain text files but you’ll find it’s actually pretty easy after you’ve studied our How-To articles for XP and Vista.

Download Metapad

Download Windows Live Movie Maker 14

In the past we have written about Windows Live Writer – which is one of the best desktop blogging tools available for Windows. Today we will take a look at another Windows Essential tool – Windows Live Movie Maker (WLMM).

WLMM or Movie Maker 14 was released recently and is a huge improvement over its predecessors. Some if its salient features are:

  • Auto Movie: You have thousands of pictures, but don’t have the time to manually create a video presentation using them? Don’t worry. Simply use Auto Movie and WLMM will create a neat looking picture slideshow within a minute.
  • Live Preview: If you like Microsoft Office’s Live Preview, then you are going to love this. WLMM allows you to preview all transition effects by simply hovering your mouse over them.
  • Ribbon Interface: I love the Ribbon interface. Microsoft has been introducing it to more and more applications (which are definitely a good thing). And Windows Live Movie Maker is the latest application to join the club.
  • Windows Live Movie Maker 14

  • Fit content to music length: Another really nice touch by Microsoft. With WLMM you can match your video and audio length with a single click.
  • Publish Content Online: Uploading videos just got a lot simpler. You can now upload videos directly from WLMM. Windows Live Movie Maker supports YouTube, Facebook as well as file sharing websites like Windows Live SkyDrive.
  • Save Content in HD: If you are using Windows Seven then you can save your videos in HD 480, 720 and 1080p.
  • And More: WLMM comes with lots of other neat stuff including new video and transition effects and photo animations. Check out www.livepreview.com to learn more about Windows Live Movie Maker 14.

Windows Live Movie Maker is aimed at casual users looking to create nifty looking videos quickly and easily. The latest edition adds a host of useful features without compromising on ease of use and intuitiveness.

[Download Windows Live Movie Maker for Vista and Seven]

How to Share Network Files with CopyShell

I have a nice list of free applications that save me tons of time while I’m at work. Here is one of my favorites.

At my office, we have millions of files across a network of hundreds of PCs and servers. When I need to email someone the locations (paths) of some of those files, I’ve found that the best way to do that is to use Neil Wightman’s CopyShell extension.

CopyShell allows you to right click on any file, folder or shortcut and grab the full path to it. The path is copied into the Windows Clipboard and you only have to paste it into your email or document to show others where to look for the files. Users of Windows Vista or Windows 7 will already have this feature available in the Shift+Right Click menu when they select files.

In the case where you are right clicking on a shortcut, CopyShell grabs the path to the “target” of the shortcut. When you have multiple files selected before you right click, CopyShell allows you to “Copy All Paths” at the same time.

I’ve also used CopyShell to create M3U playlists for my MP3 players. To do that, simply select a bunch of MP3 files, then right click and “Copy All Paths”. Now open up Notepad or some other text editor and paste all those paths into it. If you save the file with a .M3U extension, most media players will recognize it as a playlist.

Have fun with CopyShell, and be sure to comment below if you have a problem or a different solution.

CopyShell home pageC++ source code for CopyShell

Delete Unwanted MSConfig Entries Permanently With MSConfig Cleanup

MSConfig is a inbuilt startup manager provided with Microsoft OS, it allows you to enable or disable services and startup items, however disabling startup entries does not actually delete them from the list.

As you can see from the screenshot below, the disable startup items still show up however they are now without check marks next to them, this list can get pretty huge if you use MSConfig to manage startup items.

msconfig_entries

MSConfig Cleanup is a handy that will allow you to permanently delete all the unchecked entries in MSConfig startup manager and remove them from the listing permanently.

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Using this tool you can keep your startup entries clean and clutter free and help you manage it better.

Download MSConfig Cleanup [via Technibble]

Desktop Stationery is a Personal Assistant For Your PC

There are so many individual software that allow you to quickly launch applications, create sticky notes, add a alarm clock to you system, convert units, generate passwords, view system information and more.

Now what if you could do everything of this and more using a single application? Desktop Stationery is a handy and useful application that will allow you to do all of this and more.

office_stationery

You can setup alarm clocks, convert units, cycle wallpapers, create notes, launch applications and tons of other thing with this single app.

Desktop Stationery Features

  • Shortcuts to programs/files
  • Sticky notes
  • Reminders
  • Alarm
  • Simple calendar
  • Character codes (eg. Alt+136 for ê)
  • Wallpaper cycler
  • Media player (Based on Windows Media Player)
  • Metronome
  • Password generator
  • Basic system information
  • Unit converter

Definitely a must have application that will ease of a lot of tasks you need to perform regularly.

Download Desktop Stationery