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Edit more types of text files with Textpad

In this article, I would like to share a handy application for text editing called TextPad. If you have ever used Notepad, you will love TextPad.

TextPad

Some of the features I like are spell checking, undo/redo capability, and a great search/replace engine. Here's a quote from their web site:

TextPad® is designed to provide the power and functionality to satisfy the most demanding text editing requirements. It can edit files up to the limits of virtual memory, and it will work with the 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows® 7, Vista, XP, 2000, Server 2003 and 2008.

TextPad has been implemented according to the Windows XP user interface guidelines, so great attention has been paid to making it easy for both beginners and experienced users. In-context help is available for all commands, and in-context menus pop-up with the right mouse button. The Windows multiple document interface allows multiple files to be edited simultaneously, with up to 2 views on each file. Text can be dragged and dropped between files.

In addition to the usual cut and paste capabilities, you can correct the most common typing errors with commands to change case, and transpose words, characters and lines. Other commands let you indent blocks of text, split or join lines, and insert whole files. Any change can be undone or redone, right back to the first one made. Visible bookmarks can be put on lines, and edit commands can be applied to lines with bookmarks.

Frequently used combinations of commands can be saved as keystroke macros, and the spelling checker has dictionaries for 10 languages.

It also has a customizable tools menu, and integral file compare and search commands, with hypertext jumps from the matched text to the corresponding line in the source file (ideal for integrating compilers).

TextPad is available on a try before you buy basis and is available for download at TextPad.com.

RAW Image Viewers for Windows

When I migrated from Windows XP to Windows 7, one of the things I have missed is the Microsoft Powertoys. A couple of the functions have been integrated into Windows 7 (Open Command Window Here and Power Calculator). However, there are a few I am still looking for applications to replace them with.

One of them is the RAW Image Viewer. I am into digital photography and like to organize and work with digital RAW image files in Windows Explorer (much as you can with JPEG images). But Windows does not have support for this format built-in. Well, I am glad to say I have found a replacement for it.

FastPictureViewer is a free collection of 32 and 64-bit RAW Image Decoders for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.

Once installed, you have the same features for RAW image formats in Windows as you do with JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF, and TIFF, complete with thumbnails in Explorer, preview, slide show support in Photo Gallery / Photo Viewer, and metadata search integration.

For more information and to download FastPictureViewer, please visit their web site.

Image Resizer Powertoy Clone for Windows

Updated October 13, 2020

When I migrated from Windows XP to Windows 7, one of the things I have missed is the Microsoft PowerToys. A couple of functions have been integrated into Windows 7 (Open Command Window Here and Power Calculator). However, there are a few I am still looking for applications to replace them with.

One of the applications you could integrate into Windows Explorer was Image Resizer. With a right-click on a picture, you could quickly resize a photo without opening an application. Well, I am glad to say I have found a replacement for it.

Image Resizer PowerToy Clone is, as its name implies, a clone of the original Microsoft PowerToy. Image Resizer has also been incorporated into the Windows 10 PowerToys.

Right-click on a photo and choose 'Resize Pictures' from the context menu.

Then select a size to make the pictures smaller, not larger, or to resize the originals, or make copies. Then click OK. It's that simple. And it's available in both 32 and 64-bit versions for Windows Vista and Windows 7.

For more information and to download Image Resizer PowerToy Clone for Windows, follow the links below.

Image Resizer for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1

Image Resizer (Windows 10 PowerToys) for Windows 10

Beta testing Windows 7 - Part7 (Photoshop Benchmark)

With the Windows 7 test system running, it's time to see what it can do. Keep in mind that the total cost for just the hardware (less the Antec Skeleton case) was around $525. I went over to Adobe and downloaded the 64-bit trial version of Photoshop CS4. The following is an excerpt from Adobe's knowledge base article '64-bit Operating System benefits and limitations in Photoshop CS4 (Windows)'

Opening 32-bit and 64-bit versions

Photoshop installs a 32-bit and a 64-bit shortcut into the Start Menu. If you need to manually run the application, the 32-bit version is the photoshop.exe file, in the Program Files (x86)/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS4 folder, and the 64-bit version is the photoshop.exe file in the Program Files/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS4 folder.

Third party plug-ins

Third party plug-ins written for 32-bit versions of Windows will not work when you run the 64-bit version of Photoshop. If you need to use plug-ins that haven't been updated, run the 32-bit version of Photoshop. When you are done using the plug-ins, close the 32-bit version, and run the 64-bit version. Contact the plug-in manufacturer for information about any updates.

Processor speed and Photoshop operations

Although the 64-bit version of Photoshop will speed up some operations, it won't speed all of them, nor will it speed the operation equally. Generally, operations will run approximately 8-12% faster. Overall, processor speed is not the main advantage of using the 64-bit version.

RAM use

The primary advantage of using the 64-bit version is to access amounts of RAM beyond what Photoshop can access when the 32-bit version is run. You can take advantage of more than 4 GB of RAM only when you are on 64-bit Windows, using 64-bit Photoshop. If you use files large enough to need more than 4 GB of RAM, and you have enough RAM, all the processing you perform on your large images can be done in RAM, instead of swapping out to the hard disk.

This table lists the amount of RAM available to Photoshop with the different versions of Windows:


Photoshop Version

Windows Version

Maximum amount of RAM Photoshop can use

32-bit

32-bit

1.7 GB

32-bit

32-bit

3.2 GB

64-bit

64-bit

as much RAM as you can fit into your computer

Now with the two different versions of Adobe Photoshop installed (32-bit & 64-bit) it was time to find a benchmark test. I found DriverHeaven Photoshop Bench V3. I ran the tests as instructed and here's the results:


DriverHeaven Photoshop Bench V3

Intel Core2 Quad 8400

Intel Core2 Quad 8400

64 bit

32 bit

Texturiser

1.5

1.8

CMYK

1.2

1.3

RGB

1.4

1.5

Ink Outlines

20.4

21.0

Dust & Stratches

2.0

2.0

Watercolor

20.3

21.0

Texturiser

1.6

1.6

Stained Glass

13.3

12.6

Lighting

1.8

2.0

Mosiac

9.5

13.0

Extrude

83.4

98.4

Smart Blur

58.9

58.1

Underpainting

21.7

24.1

Palette

17.2

18.4

Sponge

28.3

28.4

Total

282.5

305.2

As you can see, the 64-bit version was, on average, 7% faster than the 32-bit version.

I have now shown you the pros and cons of 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Adobe Photoshop CS4 running on Windows 7. Which version would you choose?

Till then,
Scott


Beta testing Windows 7 - Part6 (software overview)(Video)

This video gives an overview of the key features that I built the Windows 7 test system to evaluate, Quad-cores, 64-bit operating systems/applications, and Virtualization Technology (Virtual Machines).

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