Registrar Registry Manager: like Regedit, only much, much better.

Most PC users will need to edit the Windows Registry, at least occasionally, and the standard Registry Editor provides the basic functions you need to get the job done. It’s not always a quick or straightforward process, though, and if you regularly work in the Registry then you’ll probably benefit from the far more capable Registrar Registry Manager.

At first glance the program looks a little odd, as it opens with just a toolbar. This includes an address bar, though, so if you want to browse to a particular key -- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Nero\Nero 15\Nero Vision\Settings\ExpressUI, say -- there’s no need to expand each folder manually. Just paste the full path into the address bar, press Enter, and a window will open at that location.

If you need to access several keys then Registrar Registry Manager can open each one in a separate tab (right-click the key, select Open In New Window). You can even copy and paste keys and values from one part of the Registry to another.

A convenient Search tool displays its results in a single pane, allowing you to view them all at once (no more endless "Find Next"). You can jump to any of these keys with a quick double-click. And if you lose track of where you are, no problem: "Back" and "Forward" buttons make it easy to step through the various Registry locations you’ve visited recently.

There are more general improvements and enhancements, everywhere you look, from the small (the ability to change the type of an existing Registry value) to the very large (a powerful bookmarking system, an extended backup tool).

The program even includes a few bonus tools which could be applications in themselves. Turn on the Registry Monitor, for example, and you’re able to watch the Registry activities of specific applications in real time.

If there’s a problem here, it’s that this free build includes a lot of reminders about upgrading to the $54.95 Pro edition. These start with the nag screen on launch, and continue every time you click on a Pro-only feature (Undo, remote Registry editing, search filtering and export, compare tool and more).

Once you’ve learned which features are available, though, these irritations mostly disappear. Features like the enhanced search, tabbed interface and copy and paste support can save a great deal of time, and on balance Registrar Registry Manager is certainly worth a look.

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