Sunday, June 5, 2011

Free Opener: Single Program Opens 75+ File Types

swiss-army-knife2When you are travelling or trekking, it’s a good idea to have a multi-tool Swiss Army knife in your hip pocket – you know, those little red shiny things that look like a nail clipper, but comes with a bunch of miniature tools including bottle opener, scissors and screwdrivers. Free Opener is such a Swiss Army knife kind of program for your laptop or desktop. This 20 megabytes-something software can open as many as 75+ different file extensions including MS Office documents, PDF, images, media files, archives, and many many more.

With Free Opener you can view Microsoft Office documents (DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, PPTX, and PPS), PDF, play video files (AVI, WMV, FLV, MPG, MOV and MP4), audio files (MP3, WMV, MID, WAV), view image files (PNG, JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, ICO) including a selection of RAW formats, Photoshop PSD files, open archives (ZIP, RAR, 7z, JAR), Flash Animation (SWF), and an assortment of source code formats and text files.

free-opener

The viewers themselves are - very basic, and in some cases barely functional. When you open DOC file, for instance, you cannot scroll with the mouse wheel. You cannot even select and copy text. This issue is not seen when opening other files types though, for example, PDF or Excel sheets. PDF files even show bookmarks on the side and multiple page Excel sheets show as thumbnails. Documents and text files can be printed too. Supported media files play quite well and archives can be opened and files extracted. PSD files can be opened and viewed but not edited or printed.

It’s obvious that Free Opener will never replace any dedicated programs like 7-Zip or VLC media player, so where exactly does this program fit? Your pen drive is a good place. If you need to open a file on another computer and that computer doesn’t have a program to handle that particular file type, you can quickly install Free Opener on that computer.

Of course, there are better solutions for that, such as portable application suites and even portable virtual desktops, but Free Opener has the size advantage. So if you are low on flash drive space, and only needs basic file viewing capabilities, Free Opener is worth a look.

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