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  1. #1
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    Re: Lightweight Viewers in Context Menu

    What a nice posting Alan.
    I was not aware of the Atlantis and Bytescout offering. I agree that there are times where fast loading is a real +
    Thanks,

    Paul

  2. #2
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    Re: Lightweight Viewers in Context Menu

    Alan,

    What a great idea, I really like the suggestion of a Look context menu item to go with the lightweight applications.

    StuartR

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    Re: Lightweight Viewers in Context Menu

    FTR: <!profile=unkamunka>unkamunka<!/profile> got so pernickety about the use of English <img src=/S/confused.gif border=0 alt=confused width=15 height=20> that <!profile=AlanMiller>AlanMiller<!/profile> actually edited his original post - so unkamunka has done likewise. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    Gre

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    Re: Lightweight Viewers in Context Menu

    I decided to further my quest here and devised a way to "Look" at a highlighted file using just a single hotkey combination. This led me to write a more general utility called "ContextMenu" which, when run from your hotkey program (e.g. Winkey) will allow you to run most any context menu item (after a little tweaking) using just a keyboard shortcut. The blurb and program download are at Running Context Menu Items with Hotkeys.

    Feedback appreciated
    Alan

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    Re: Lightweight Viewers in Context Menu

    Your writeup is well done. Thanks for the link.

    In playing around with accelerator keys I found out something new, thought it's probably old news to seasoned users and not all that useful. A tap on the alt key selects File in window apps so a subsequent Enter displays its drop down menu. A second tap of the Alt key deselects it. In Windows Explorer, however, a deselection occurs if the mouse is moved.

    Paul

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    Re: Lightweight Viewers in Context Menu

    This looks very useful, so I have just tried to set it up for three of the file types: HTM PDF and DOC.

    I have downloaded and installed the three applications, and each of them works OK, and is able to open the test files I am using.

    But not one of my "look" menu items work, but each has a different problem.

    Doc The Look action refuses to 'stick". I create the new action, with Atlantis as the program, but once I OK the "Edit File Type" dialog, the Look action is removed.
    PDF I can create the Look action OK, it appears in the Menus, but when I try to Look at a file Sumatra opens, but immediately exits. It is so quick I can't tell if it has opened the file.
    HTM Again I can create the Look action, and it appears in the Menus, but when I try to Look at a file the OffbyOne browser opens OK, but the window is empty and does not show the file.
    And yes I did include the percent 1 after "C:Program FilesHPSWOffByOneob1.exe" (The Lounge software won't let me put it in directly here.)

    In each case I have deleted the action then recreated several times, but the same thing happens each time.

    Any ideas what I am doing wrong.
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    Regards
    John



  7. #7
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    Re: Lightweight Viewers in Context Menu

    This is neither light nor free, but for those who already have it installed, PowerDesk (now at version 7) has a 'file viewer' window that will preview files of many types. It is very fast and it is a single program. I am curious to know if anyone has run across a viewer that can preview docx files.

  8. #8
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    Re: Lightweight Viewers in Context Menu

    John

    I can't think of a reason off hand as to why your settings are giving problems. For your Look items, did you check "Use DDE"? I have also heard of an XP bug with context menu items. I'll try look it up and get back. Finally, you might want to run regedit and search for your "Look" or "&Look" items. They should appear as keys/ values like:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTExcel.Sheet.8shellLookcommand
    "C:Program FilesBytescout XLS ViewerXLSViewer.exe" "%1"

    Do they appear in the registry? Perhaps it might also be a permissions issue, although I doubt it.

    Alan

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    Re: Lightweight Viewers in Context Menu

    Here's another lightweight that seems to do the deed:

    MS Access database viewer - 477KB

    This one I haven't tried:
    PowerPoint Viewer - 2.72MB

    Alan

  10. #10
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    Re: Lightweight Viewers in Context Menu

    I took a look at OpenXML Writer - An opensource editor for generating .docx files, but it requires .NET 3 so I was unable to check it out as a viewer.

    Alan

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    Re: Lightweight Viewers in Context Menu

    Thanks Alan

    I have got the PDF working now. I had not put the quote marks around the "%1".

    But this did not fix either of the others. The HTM and HTML ones do appear in the Registry, and the DOC one does not.

    Should I be using DDE? For HTM I remove it, but it keeps coming back.

    I have been trying to set up some others to test,but they require the .NET Framework, that I seem not to have. There are big downloads involved which seem to be running very slowly today, so I have given up for now.

    PS Your link for the XLS Viewer points to the wrong file. You link to BytescoutXLS.exe rather than XLSViewer.exe.

    John
    Regards
    John



  12. #12
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    Re: Lightweight Viewers in Context Menu

    > Your link for the XLS Viewer points to the wrong file. You link to BytescoutXLS.exe rather than XLSViewer.exe.

    Where abouts?

    > Should I be using DDE?
    The O/S will usually decide whether DDE is appropriate to a particular application. Stick with whatever it defaults to.

    Alan

  13. #13
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    Re: Lightweight Viewers in Context Menu

    Alan, the link shown at the top of the screenshot below goes to the application under #1 instead of to the one under #2.
    Both can be found on the ByteScout freeware download page.
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    • File Type: png x.png (23.2 KB, 0 views)

  14. #14
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    Lightweight Viewers in Context Menu

    There's been much recent talk about "portable applications" - usually lightweight standalone programs that can run from a USB stick or similar. The emphasis is usually on their portability, with their small size and fast loading being seen as an added bonus.

    But this "bonus" is just what I've been looking for on my (non-portable) PC. I've always been chasing that elusive goal of being able to quickly and easily "preview" a file, without needing to open it in its (often) slow, heavyweight parent application. I want a decent view of its contents so that I can identify it (not just some extended "properties" list) but I don't need the full toolkit + kitchen sink to perform brain surgery on it. These portable lightweights offer such possibilities. Here are some that I've put to work:

    <table border=1><td>File Type</td><td>Opens with...</td><td>Lightweight Alternative</td><td>DOC</td><td>MS Word</td><td>Atlantis Nova</td><td>XLS</td><td>MS Excel</td><td>Bytescout XLS Viewer</td><td>PDF</td><td>Acrobat Reader</td><td>Sumatra</td><td>HTML</td><td>MS Internet Explorer</td><td>Off By One Web Browser</td></table>
    There are lots of ways to load files into these alternatives, but the most convenient for me is from a right-click context menu item. The following example shows how I set things up to use the Atlantis Nova program as a viewer for DOC files, via a context menu entry called "Look". I use the same "Look" item to view the other file types listed above.

    SETTING UP A CONTEXT MENU "VIEWER"
    Although context menu information is stored in the registry, it's easier and safer to make changes from within Windows Explorer. This example adds a new context menu item to DOC files called "Look", which opens the file in Atlantis Nova.
    Click on any ordinary left pane folder in Windows Explorer.
    Click Tools > Folder Options.
    Click the "File Types" tab.
    Scroll down and highlight the DOC extension.
    Note that there may be several "DOC" entries. Select the "Microsoft Word Document" entry in the File Types column... you can repeat the process for any of the other DOC entries you might want to target too - just make sure first that Atlantis can display them satisfactorily.

    Click Advanced. This will open the "Edit File Type" dialog.
    Click the button labelled "New..." <font color=red>NOT</font color=red> the New item in the "Actions" column!
    <font color=red>In fact, do not fiddle with any of the existing items in the Actions column at all. Accidental deletion or alteration can mean a real headache getting things back the way they were.</font color=red>

    Give your new action the name you want to see on the context menu - an Action name not already used for that file type - e.g. Look
    Use the Browse button to locate the Atlantis.exe program and click "Open" to select it.
    The second textbox should now contain something like:
    "C:Program FilesAtlantis NovaAtlantis.exe"
    This needs to be appended with a <space>"%1" so that it reads:
    "C:Program FilesAtlantis NovaAtlantis.exe" "%1"

    Click OK/Close to exit your way out of the dialog nest.

    Now when you right-click a DOC file, you can click "Look" to get a quick preview in Atlantis Nova.

    The applications I've found to be good so far are:
    Atlantis Nova (last freeware version)
    Bytescout XLS Viewer 1.3
    Sumatra PDF viewer
    The Off By One Web Browser

    happy viewing
    Alan

    See also <post#=717,298>post 717,298</post#> for further info and program.
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  15. #15
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    Re: Lightweight Viewers in Context Menu

    OK, fixed. There's actually a problem on the linked page too - there are 2 links to "Bytescout.PDF". One points to http://bytescout.com/files/BytescoutPDF.exe and the other to http://bytescout.com/files/BytescoutXLS.exe.

    Alan

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