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CodePlex - Open Source Project Community hosted by Microsoft

Note: The CodePlex website has been retired and is no longer accessible. Microsoft purchased GitHub in 2018 and transferred all CodePlex projects to GitHub repositories.

In this article, I would like to tell you about CodePlex, an Open Source Project Community hosted by Microsoft. Open-source software is computer software that is available in source code form for which the source code and certain other rights normally reserved for copyright holders are provided under a software license that permits users to study, change, and improve the software.

CodePlex allows developers to create new projects, join projects already in development, to use the applications created and provide feedback. Now, before you start thinking that this site is only for developers, let me tell you it is not (o.k., I will admit that I found this site looking for some C# code). This is a great place to find some really cool applications for the Windows platform. I have written several articles about the applications I have found here and keep finding more every time I stop by.

Here are some of the features of CodePlex:

  • Source Code Control
  • Project Discussions
  • Wiki Pages
  • Feature / Issue Tracking
  • Release Downloads
  • News Feed Aggregation

I encourage you to go over to CodePlex and take a look around. Maybe do a search or two. You might find a really cool app.

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

Use Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome/Safari all in one browser with Lunascape

I recently came across one of the best web browsers I have ever seen, Lunascape. What sets this browser apart from the rest is that it can use any of the three browser engines available, Trident (Internet Explorer), Gecko (Firefox), and WebKit (Chrome/Safari).

Have you ever come across a web page that requires a function of a different web browser? With Lunascape, you can switch browser engines on the fly.

Lunascape is the world's first and only triple engine browser

With one click of the mouse, you can reload the web page in a different engine. Here's a list of current features from Lunascape's web site:

Unique All-in-One Approach

The comprehensive site coverage of the most broadly used engine, IE's Trident. The incredibly fast JavaScript performance speed boasted by Firefox's engine, Gecko. The equally or even faster engine of Chrome/Safari, WebKit. Lunascape is a hybrid triple engine browser equipped with all three. While other existing browsers struggle to combine any two of these engines, Lunascape is unmatched in that it is the only browser that combines the best features and speeds from these highly acclaimed browsers, seamlessly.

Triple Engine goes Triple Add-on

Lunascape is now compatible with the expanding array of Firefox add-ons in addition to the already supported Internet Explorer add-ons and Lunascape plug-ins, achieving the greatest degree of extensibility and flexibility among Web browsers. Transferring your add-ons from Firefox is very easy.

Extensible AND Fast

Lunascape6 achieves the maximum extensibility without compromising one of the fastest speeds in the market. You can browse lightning fast while enjoying great add-ons. We've also made a special effort in ensuring quick launch even with many add-ons.

Simply Refined Interface

A new interface mode, ORION, is added to version 6 as a default. This sleek minimalist interface has all the basic functions and will get you going in no time. You can still customize many aspects of the interface to your liking.

Triple Engine Side-by-Side Display

Our unique Triple Engine keeps evolving. To better support web designers and developers, we have implemented a "split tab display". You can view a web page in 3 rendering engines side-by-side to quickly check the browser compatibility.

I encourage you to take a closer look at Lunascape at their web site.

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