Scan pages as searchable PDFs with NAPS2
July 3, 2015 – 05:23 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

NAPS2Earlier this year we wrote about NAPS2 (Not Another PDF Scanner 2), a tiny open source tool which could scan documents to PDF, TIFF and other file formats. We liked the program’s simplicity and ease of use, and in the past few months it’s been further extended with some major new features.

Integrated OCR means you can now make your PDFs searchable. There’s no complex interface to navigate, no manual setting of OCR regions or anything else: just click the OCR button, choose the document language and NAPS2 handles everything else.

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Scan for local wifi with Acrylic WiFi Free
July 2, 2015 – 10:54 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Acrylic WiFi FreeIf your wifi isn’t performing well then using a scanner to check for competing networks can often tell you more.

Unsure where to begin? Acrylic WiFi Free claims to be “the most advanced WLAN Scanner”, which sounds encouraging. It’s free for personal use and runs on Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10, so we grabbed a copy to take a closer look.

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Imagina is a professional photo processor for Windows
July 2, 2015 – 06:33 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

ImaginaWith so many image viewers and editors available for the PC, it’s not easy for developers to make their product stand out. Some try to win you over with the sheer quantity of features, but Imagina is more about the quality: it doesn’t do much, but what you get works very well.

The thumbnail browser doesn’t just open with the usual JPGs and PNGs, for instance – dcraw support means it can handle many RAW formats, initially displaying them in an attractive photo collage-like “3D Desktop” view.

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Shrink your PDFs with PDF to DjVu GUI
July 1, 2015 – 11:53 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Pdf to DjVu GUIAt first glance, “PDF to DjVu GUI” doesn’t sound like the most promising of programs. Convert documents from one of the most commonly supported formats ever, to something most people don’t know at all? If you need to share files with a wide audience then there’s no way that will ever be a good idea.

And yet, DjVu does have its advantages, especially with document size. We tried out the program with 12 PDF files, and while one DjVu version was fractionally larger, most were 25% – 80% smaller than the original, and a couple dropped by around 90%.

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iTunes 12.2 brings Apple Music to the desktop
July 1, 2015 – 07:00 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

iTunesApple has released iTunes 12.2, bringing Apple Music and the new Beats 1 radio station to OS X and Windows.

Additions include the new Connect, a sort-of social networking service where artists share “thoughts, photos, music and videos”, you can comment or “love” anything they’ve posted, and they can respond directly.

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DNS Jumper 2.0 brings turbo DNS testing
June 30, 2015 – 12:04 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

DNS JumperSordum has released DNS Jumper 2.0, an update of its freeware DNS changer for Windows.

New startup options mean you can have the program load along with Windows, test for the fastest DNS server and apply it automatically, no more manual interventions required.

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Track & edit video objects with Sensarea
June 30, 2015 – 09:03 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

SensareaMost video editors provide various effects you can apply to a movie, maybe tweaking its brightness, contrast or colours. But typically these filters work with the entire frame only, which seriously limits their usefulness.

Sensarea is a free video editor for Windows which allows you to select objects, then tracks them in the frame, automatically applying your chosen effects. If you wanted to conceal someone’s identity, say, you could set up the system to pixelate their face with just a few minutes work.

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O&O DiskImage Professional 10 promises faster file-based backup, adds support for Windows 10
June 30, 2015 – 05:43 by Nick Peers in News | No Comment

O&O DiskImageO&O Software GMBH has unveiled a major new update of its Windows drive-imaging and backup tool with the release of O&O DiskImage Professional 10 64-bit. Also available for 32-bit versions of Windows, the new release adds support for the forthcoming Windows 10 release.

It also debuts a completely rewritten file backup engine, the ability to trigger multiple tasks with portable devices and support for integrating drivers into the program’s rescue boot medium.

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Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 11 released
June 29, 2015 – 13:10 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 11Xara Group has announced the release of Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 11, its one-stop photo editor, graphic design and publishing tool for Windows Vista+.

Art Brushes are a highlight, a new technology which smoothly stretches bitmap or vector brushes in real-time along a freehand path. There are new brushes to emulate paint, chalk or watercolours, or you can create your own as required.

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Manage 2-20 virtual Windows desktops with Virtuoz
June 29, 2015 – 07:09 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

VirtuozUnChecky developer RaMMicHaeL has announced the release of Virtuoz, a simple and lightweight virtual desktop utility for Windows.

“It was inspired by Sysinternals Desktops”, the author explained, “but uses a different approach, which doesn’t impose the limitations which Desktops is bound to.”

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Find similar audio files with MediaPurge
June 27, 2015 – 07:44 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

MediaPurgeBuilding a media collection is much more fun than organising it, and no matter how good your intentions, it’s all too easy to end up having to navigate a scattered mess of audio and video files.

MediaPurge is a freeware Windows application which provides several ways to restore order, including finding audio duplicates, tagging, renaming or sorting files into a new folder structure.

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