Google offers many different services, and switching between them isn’t difficult. If you’re at Google News, say, click the Apps icon top right and you’ll see buttons for Search, Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Maps and more: just click whatever you need to launch that page.
This is simple enough, but not ideal. You need to be at one Google service before you can launch another; whatever you select replaces the current page, and there are at least two clicks required. If you’re a Chrome user then Black Menu for Google could provide an easier solution.
In theory, the Windows clipboard seems very simple. Select something, press Ctrl+C and it’s copied there; click somewhere else, press Ctrl+V and it’s pasted. Easy.
Then again, sometimes you’ll try to paste something and find the formatting is messed up, or you just don’t get what you expected. What’s happening? The free Clipboard Format Spy may be able to help.
Open an audio file, and most people just want to listen to it. If there’s a play button, a volume control, maybe a simple equalizer, they’ll be happy enough.
If you’re interested in studying the audio, though -- viewing individual channels, estimating beat or tempo, checking pitch and key, extracting harmony or chords -- then media players won’t be able to help. You’ll need a specialist tool like the open source Sonic Visualiser.
Malwarebytes has announced the release of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 2.0, its flagship security tool.
A new heuristics engine detects malware based on its behavior, rather than signatures. The integration of Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit further enhances its protection, and Anti-Malware’s interface has been completely redesigned for a simpler, more modern look.
AppLocker is an interesting Windows 7/ 8 feature which helps you control which installers, programs and scripts a PC user can run, while blocking everything else. It’s effective, and flexible -- but only included in the high-end Windows editions (Enterprise, Ultimate and Server).
Fortunately there are other tools which also claim they can limit what users can run on a PC, and Program Blocker, from The Windows Club, is the latest example.
Editing your PCs HOSTS file can help you block ads, restrict access to certain websites, or just get more control over your network traffic.
You could make all this happen with nothing more than Notepad, but it’s not exactly straightforward, and installing a copy of the free hostsController will make your life very much easier.
Software can fail for all kinds of reasons, but most programs will make at least some effort to explain the problem. Usually this is an error message, but it can also be worth checking the program logs, and maybe the Windows Event Viewer.
There is a more hidden option, though: some options generate debug output with low-level technical details on what they’re doing. This is intended to help developers troubleshoot any problems, but the messages are available to anyone -- and all they need is a copy of Trace Spy.
The standard Windows Search tool has improved a great deal in recent years, and the latest Windows 8.1 additions -- especially its Bing integration -- are another welcome step forward.
The technology still won't be enough for everyone, though. And so if you're looking for a more configurable, desktop search tool, you might like to try the free Pretty Run.
Express Points 1.04 is the latest release from Australian developer NCH Software, a lightweight free presentation tool for Windows and Mac.
We really do mean "lightweight", too. Both installers packages are around 1MB in size, and they don’t download anything else: a full installation is barely 4MB in size.
Converting a printed document to PDF can sometimes be a complicated process, where you must import the pages into a graphics tool, clean them up, then pass the results on to something else to generate the final document.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Creating PDFs from scanned images can be quick and easy, and it certainly doesn’t require heavyweight applications: a tiny portable tool could provide everything you need.
Thumbnail me is an open source Windows and Linux tool which extracts frames from a video, then presents them as a single image, a quick and easy way to preview the movie’s contents.
The program imports most common video types: AVI, MP4, MPG, VOB, MOV, MKV, TS/ M2TS, FLV, 3GP, OGG, SWF and more.
Cyotek WebCopy is a clever tool which copies all or part of a website to your hard drive for offline browsing.
Grabbing a small and simple site is easy: just enter a URL in the "Website" box, and choose the Copy option. Cyotek WebCopy downloads that page, and any links (within the same domain), then repeats the process until it’s done. And then you’re able to view the local copy of any page, and browse it as though you were online.