Great Software Tools I Recommend

Last Update: Sep 2011

Latest Reviews at Top!

ShotSolutions
StepShot
http://stepshot.net/
Screen shot tool that not only takes screen captures, but provides a document creation system great for making software review, tutorials and so forth. Click HERE for a more in depth review with screen shots!
Abbyy
Abbyy PDF Transformer
http://www.abbyy.com
I've only tried the demo version of this program, but it has a great OCR capability. Some PDF files include text that has been scanned in and thus appears only as a graphic image in the PDF file, meaning you can't copy and paste or search in the text. Abbyy PDF Transformer allows you to convert that image PDF into a searchable PDF. A bit expensive at about $100.
Aignes
AM-Notebook
http://www.aignes.com
Great notes program that sits in your system tray. Freeware and Shareware versions available, and the freeware version is quite capable. I use it to organize and keep notes while I'm working and during Internet browsing sessions. There are some other tools like Microsoft's One Note and Ultra Recall that let you drag and drop graphics and such to your notes pages, but these work quite a bit more slowly and I don't like them slowing down my system. AM-Notebook is fast, intuitive, and unobtrusive. Registration in the US isn't as low as I'd like it to be at about $45.
(Note: with faster PCs and the latest version of Microsoft's OneNote, I now find myself using that much more, but I still find AM-Notebook useful. Also, Aignes now offers a product called Local Website Archive that integrates with AM-Notebook and allows you to "drop" items from your web browser into notes pages.)
A-PDF
PDF Info Changer
http://www.a-pdf.com
This freeware tool lets you change PDF Document Information / Metadata: Author, Title, Subject, Keywords. You likely have many PDF files that are missing this information and many entries are likely not even correct.For example, I use PDF factory to "print" many docs into a single PDF (see below), but the default is to make my screen-name the author of the PDF. Sometimes I remember to change this before saving the PDF, but many times I don't.
AudioGrabber
http://www.audiograbber.org
Formerly shareware, AudioGrabber now free and is a well done CD ripper program with online database support
Piriform Ltd
CCleaner
http://www.ccleaner.com/
Excellent "wasted space", privacy, and registry cleaner. Freeware.
Dartech Inc.
Dart CD-Recorder 4
http://www.dartpro.com
Commercial / Shareware program. I added this in addition to my Steinberg Clean/Wavelab light audio editing software. This version of Dart is now a bit old and the interface takes a bit of getting used to, but it offers some audio tools that are quite handy for a relatively low price. Worth a look! (See the Audio Editors page for a listing of the many alternatives available)
GoldzSoft Inc.
Easy PDF to Text Converter
http://www.pdf-to-html-word.com
This tool is free. They also have a free limited verfsion PDF to HTML and PDF to Word converters. This tool extracts each PDF page to a separate text file.
FileZilla
http://filezilla-project.org
I used to use CoreFTP as my FTP tool, but have switched to FileZilla once CoreFTP started acting flakey on me (I never did find out exactly why).
Fookes Software
Easy Thumbnails
http://www.fookes.com
Create thumbnails from your images with this well done free program (from the maker of NoteTab Pro, see below)
Heidi Computers Ltd
Eraser
http://www.heidi.ie
Great, free hard drive erasing program. Clean up the empty space of your hard drive to help ensure data that you deleted is really deleted, such as your old tax records! Configurable for a variety of wiping schemes. Definitely use this tool before selling an old hard drive to someone else.
Koyote Soft
Free Easy Burner
http://www.koyotesoft.com

Well done CD Burner. For some reason, Sonic stopped recoginizing my external Plextor USB CD Burner. KoyoteSoft came to the rescue with this small but capable tool. It burns to CD or DVD (data disks only, not DVD videos) and also handles ISO images. It can also rip tracks from CDs. Renan provides some other useful programs at his site as well.
I've only had one problem. I burn some audio CDs that have large WAV files, like 300-600 Megs. FEB "analyzes" the entire file, making a copy of it in its own directory. This takes up a lot of disk space, and takes quite a bit of processing time. They have quite a few other free video tools as well.
HSH Associates Financial Publishers and Wheatworks
Home Buyer's Calculator Suite
http://www.hsh.com/hbcalc.html
A decent and free mortgage calculator and more. Great for doing amortization tables on that new home you are thinking of buying. Developed by Wheatworks, this versions seems to only be available from HSH.
Irfan Skiljan's
IrfanView
http://www.irfanview.com/
Nice, versatile, and fast free image viewer, batch converter, and more.
Florian Heidenreich
MP3-Tag
http://www.mp3tag.de
Nice MP3 tagger, work on entire directories or subdirectories
Mirek Wojtowicz
MWSnap
http://www.mirekw.com
Nice screen grab program.Getting a bit old as last version was 2002, but works well on Windows XP. I am now using a commercial WinSnap program, but still like the simplicity of MWSnap.
Fookes Software
NoteTab Pro
http://www.fookes.com
I have used this program for many years. It is an excellent text editor with tabbed interface, HTML tools, and many text manipulation tools. I often use this editor for typing up quick letters or notes, before importing into Word. I also use it when working with HTML files. It has a good HTML code stripper, and it has Clip tools that help you code in HTML. I don't use half the features available. I found it worthwhile to have the registered version of this excellent program.
Home Page Software Inc.
OffbyOne Browser
http://offbyone.com
One of the smallest profile browsers available. Won't work for all the sites you might want to visit, but is fast and likely won't have the security vulnerabilities found in the others
Andrea Vacondio et al:
PDF Split and Merge
http://www.pdfsam.org
PDF Split and Merge is an open source tool that lets you split PDFs into smaller files, or to merge single PDFs into a larger file. Other capabilities are also available in an enhanced version.
StudyLamp Software LLC
SwordSearcher 6
http://www.swordsearcher.com/
My shareware Bible program of choice, with a focus on the KJV and a clean, easy to use interface.
TrueCrypt Foundation
TrueCrypt
http://www.truecrypt.org
Great program for creating encrypted virtual disks, or to encrypt entire partitions, disks, USB drives, etc.
Whereisit Soft
WhereIsIt?
http://www.whereisit-soft.com/
Excellent Disk catalog and search utility. Shareware
Zabkat
Xplorer2
http://www.zabkat.com
Excellent 2-paned explorer replacement. Shareware. Freeware version is good, but is missing the essential search tool! I can't work without it!

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