The Evolution of Internet Forums
The earliest Internet forums were like newsgroups, where people posted comments on someone else’s reply. The modern ones, like you know, are more sophisticated and offer a large variety of features.
Forums are one of the best places online for sharing information, exchanging thoughts, discussing problems, getting help and troubleshooting advice. These are the only places where even extremists can communicate with each other without any bloodshed. From a social point of view, forums are very useful for building a community of people interested in a particular domain. Business owners can also deploy forums where their employees can have discussions about work and the challenges that they are facing. So, if you don’t know anything about forums, read this Buzzle article to know how to choose a forum software.
Selecting a forum software is not very tough if you know what you are looking for. It all depends on what you need. It’s like comparing Windows with Mac OS. Each has its own upsides and downsides. There isn’t a single best forum software. So, before choosing a forum software, you should ask yourself the following questions.
– Can it import the contents from my previous forum?
If you are already running a forum and simply want to migrate to a new forum having better performance and more features, then this is the most important question that you should ask to the support staff of the new forum software. Many developers help their clients to migrate to their software. Some software can also import data and settings from different versions of software from different companies.
Good luck to you, if you are ignoring this point!
If you are an IT pro, then you should try to find about the complications involved in migrating from one forum software to the other. You should also research what others using the same platform as yours are using for deploying forums. If you are lucky, then you might find solutions to all of your future problems.
– How well does it support customizations?
Almost all popular forum software allow you to customize the way the forum looks. It involves changing background color, font customizations, adding a custom logo, changing footer links, etc. Some software also support emoticons and custom URL structure by default. You should also check if it allows users to customize their profiles with images and GIF avatars, quotes, links, etc. Forum users are very emotional about their profiles and avatars. You better take this seriously.
– What type of comments system is best for your community? Threaded or flat?
In forums, the discussions are in the form of posts (comments). So, you need to have some kind of system in place which can differentiate between replies to the topic, or replies to some particular post. There are 2 major kinds of comment systems in place for achieving this:
i.Threaded Comments: In this system, the replies are sorted according to their time of posting and indenting. For e.g.: If User A replies to a comment posted by User B, then his comment will appear just below the comment of User B, slightly indented towards the right irrespective to its posting time. This system is very efficient for smaller communities where people post short replies. Things can soon get messy if a lot of people post long replies to a single comment.
ii.Flat Comments: It sorts comments according to their posting time, and also allows the users to quote someone’s reply while replying back. This is especially good for very large communities. Its main downside is that original commenter won’t know if someone has replied to his comment, but this is usually ignored because in large communities people usually check all the pages of a thread while looking for the required information.
– Does it permit the users to subscribe to a particular thread?
The forum software should prompt the commenter if he wants to be notified of all comments to the thread by email. Many users find this very useful as it allows them to stay updated with all of information right in their mailbox.
– Does it support social media integration and single sign-on?
You should check if the users of your forum would like to share the comments that they post via social networks. You can also reduce the hassle of signing up to your forum by enabling single sign-on (signing-in using social accounts) if your software supports it.
– How good is it for SEO?
All the latest forum software allow the content to be indexed by search engines. They are all search engine-friendly. It’s just that some are very good for SEO and some are just okay. You can find this information by reading the reviews of forum software.
– Does it have support for gamification?
Gamification is the greatest way of encouraging people to post good comments and participate in the community. The software should have options for assigning badges, promoting the users’ ability to include links/GIFs in signature, etc.
– What kind of permissions and roles can you set?
You should also be able to set permissions for which user is able to view which content. For e.g.: You might want to let the web crawlers index your content but not let a user browse through the content without signing up. You should also be able to put bans in place and give more privileges to some users based on their role and reputation in the community.
– Does it have a mobile-friendly design?
These days, people browse the web more often from their mobiles and tablets than using their laptops and desktop computers. It would be better if your forum has a mobile-friendly, i.e., responsive design. Responsive designs can adjust themselves to any screen size and resolutions, thus improving the user experience greatly.
– Does it have any form of built-in web analytics?
You can always use traditional web analytics tools like Google Analytics and Clicky, but the data provided by them is not relevant for a forum admin. Many forum software like Vanilla have an built-in analytics tool not only providing data in the form of page views, visits, visits per user, and time on site, but also in the form of number of new users, active users, contributing users, discussions, comments and users per discussions. These insights are highly valuable while formulating a new growth strategy.
– Does it support tagging users?
All forum software support personal messages. The latest ones enable users to tag others, just like Twitter. This can be a very useful feature if you are planning to make a community for troubleshooting problems.
– Where are the ad slots?
If you plan to earn some money from the forum, then you should always look for those software which have ad slots in prominent spots and support scripts from popular advertising networks. The code should also be easily customizable to add scripts in various other places.
– What are the moderation tools like?
The forum software should support inline moderation tools. The moderators should be able to ban and warn users. They should also be able to edit/delete and set some thread/discussions as sticky. A good forum software should also allow the users to report a comment as spammy/racist/inflammatory.
– What protection does it have against spam bots?
Just like a website, a forum can also get easily flooded with spam comments. Many software come with in-built anti-spam features which can detect spam. It should also allow the admin to block sign-ups from a range of flagged IP addresses and email ids. Many communities add no-follow attribute to all external links. This helps them in maintaining their ranking in search engines, even if someone replies with a link to a bad website. The software should also have some comment limit in place for new members along with proper flood control.
These are not all but some of the most important questions whose answers will help you in selecting a forum software especially tailored for your needs.
If hardware can be said to form the body of a computer system, software is its mind. Software refers to computer programs, procedures and documentation that performs certain tasks on a computer system. Following is an extensive list of the examples of different kinds of software.
Application software is that which is designed for the end-users and hence these software are also known as end-user programs. It employs the capabilities of a computer to execute tasks that the user wishes to perform on a computer system. Look at the various examples of application software. They are:
Content Access Software
Information Worker Software
Media Development Software
Product Engineering Software
Content Access Software
They are used to access content without editing it. Electronic media software such as media players, editor players as also web browsers, which allow user access to web content are some examples of content access software. Game consoles and entertainment software are also examples of content access software.
They are used to deliver tests and track progress. They are used for educational purposes. Training management and classroom management software are some examples of educational software. The software used for purposes of edutainment, a form of entertainment that aims at educating the masses, is also a type of educational software.
It caters to the needs of organization processes and data flow. Customer relationship management and supply chain management software are good examples of enterprise software. Enterprise infrastructure software supports enterprise software systems.
Information Worker Software
It caters to the needs of an individual to manage information pertaining to a project or a single department. Resource management software and documentation tools are some of the popularly used information worker software.
Media Development Software
They are used for generating print and electronic media in the educational and commercial sector. Image organizers and image editing software, animation software like Flash, audio and video editors as well as the web development software are some examples of media development software.
Product Engineering Software
This software is used in the development of hardware and software products. Application programming interfaces and integrated development environment (IDEs) are the well-known examples of product engineering software. Program testing tools, debuggers, compilers and CAD are some other examples of this type of software.
They are used for the simulation of physical and abstract systems. Computer simulators that are used for simulating scientific concepts and social ideas, battlefield, vehicle and flight simulators are some of the popular examples of simulation software.
They are artificial languages that are used to write programs that control the functioning of a computer system. They are the building blocks of computer applications. Go through the complete list of the different programming languages.
It is a computer software that manages and controls hardware in order to enable application software to perform its tasks. System software performs functions like transferring data from memory to the disk or delivering text onto a display device. Following are the different kinds of system software.
They are computer programs, which facilitate the interaction of high-level computer programs with hardware devices. Drivers also provide interrupt-handling mechanisms.
A linker is a program that takes the objects generated by a compiler and combines them to form a single executable program.
Loaders are used for loading programs from executable files into memory, making them ready for execution and then executing them. It is a part of the kernel of an operating system.
An operating system manages and coordinates the activities of a computer. It hosts the applications running on a computer system and also provides certain services to application programs and users. Microsoft Windows and Linux are two of the most commonly used operating systems. There are mobile operating systems like Android, iOS and Mac which are quite popular among mobile users.
It helps in the management of computer hardware and application software. It performs a small range of tasks. Utility software are also known as service routines. Here are some examples of utility software.
They provide application software with an access point to run on a computer system.
They output a single file or a stream when provided with a directory or a set of files.
When they are provided with a file or a single stream, they present the input stream in a compressed form.
They detect computer files whose contents are stored in the form of disjoint fragments and move the fragments together. A disk checker scans the contents of a hard disk to detect corrupted areas. A disk cleaner helps in segregating the unnecessary files that can be deleted, which are still residing on the hard disk.
Editor utilities directly modify data or files without changing the actual program. They come in forms of binary, hex and text editor utilities.
When they are provided with plain text and an accompanying key, they use encryption algorithms to output the encrypted stream.
They check computer networks, data transfers and log events.
They remove the old registry entries, thus cleaning and optimizing the windows registry. There are a number of popular registry cleaners available today.
They provide computer users with information about software and hardware in the computer system. Backup software are capable of making a copy of all the information on a system or of selected files. Disk compression software is used to compress the data on a disk so that more amount of information can fit onto it.
They are a set of different utility programs that provide methods for routine data management tasks like modifying, copying, merging, renaming and cataloging data sets.
They scan for viruses on a computer system. They are widely known as antivirus software.
They are utility software designed with the purpose of preventing phosphor burn-in of CRT displays. Phosphor burn-in is the discoloration of certain areas on the display due to improper usage of pixels. Screensavers blank the screen or fill it with images, when the display is not in use.
It refers to the software designed for controlling content that is permitted for the user to access. It can determine what content will be available on a particular machine or network. Content-control software are commonly used at homes and in schools to restrict the content that can be accessed over the Internet by children.
Data Recovery Software
Apart from the facility of copying data files, data recovery software supports user needs of backing up important computer data. It allows the user to specify what is to be backed up and when.
Open Source Software
The concept of open source software refers to computer software, whose source code is available to the users (is in the public domain). Users are allowed to use, modify, improve and redistribute open source software. Linux is a well-known example of an open source software.
Contrary to open source software, proprietary software involves restrictions on its use. The creators of proprietary software restrict source code access through legal means or through technical measures.
It is an important class of software, which includes software that are suitable for portable devices. Portable software is used on portable drives like USB and Palm PDA.
Project Management Software
It refers to the software used for scheduling, budget management and resource allocation. It comprises collaboration software and documentation systems.
The term refers to commercial software that is distributed on a trial basis. It is distributed without payment and with limited functionality. Shareware is commonly offered in a downloadable format on the Internet. The distribution of this kind of software aims at giving the users a chance to analyze the software before they become its licensed users.
The basic purpose of spyware is monitoring user behavior. It can also collect personal information, redirect browser activity and change computer settings.
It consists of a content management system created for maintaining weblogs.
Computer software is defined as a set of programs and procedures that are intended to perform specific tasks on a computer system. A software program is a set of instructions that are aimed at changing the state of computer hardware. At the lowest level, software is in the form of an assembly language, a set of instructions in a machine-understandable form. At the highest level, software is in the form of high-level languages, which are compiled or interpreted into machine language code.
Major Types of Software
Computer software systems are classified into three main types, namely, system software, programming software and application software. System software comprises device drivers, operating systems, servers and other such software components, which help the programmer abstract away from the memory and hardware features of the system. Programming software assists a programmer in writing programs by providing him/her with tools such as editors, compilers, linkers, debuggers and more. Application software, one of the most important types of software, are used to achieve certain specific tasks.
What is Application Software?
Application software utilizes the capacities of a computer directly for a dedicated task. It is able to manipulate text, numbers and graphics. It can be in the form of software focused on a certain single task like word processing, spreadsheets or playing of audio and video files. Here we look at the application software types along with some examples of the software of each type.
Different Types of Application Software
– Word Processing Software
This software enables users to create and edit documents. The most popular examples of this type of software are MS-Word, WordPad and Notepad among other text editors.
– Database Software
Database is a structured collection of data. A computer database relies on database software to organize data and enable database users to perform database operations. Database software allows users to store and retrieve data from databases. Examples are Oracle, MSAccess, etc.
– Spreadsheet Software
Excel, Lotus 1-2-3 and Apple Numbers are some examples of spreadsheet software. These software allow users to perform calculations using spreadsheets. They simulate paper worksheets by displaying multiple cells that make a grid.
– Multimedia Software
They allow users to create and play audio and video files. They are capable of playing media files. Audio converters, audio players, burners, video encoders and decoders are some forms of multimedia software. Examples of this type include Real Player and Media Player.
– Presentation Software
The software that is used to display information in the form of a slide show is known as presentation software. This type of software includes three functions, namely, editing that allows insertion and formatting of text, methods to include graphics in the text and a functionality of executing slide shows. Microsoft PowerPoint is the best example of presentation software.
– Enterprise Software
It deals with the needs of organizational processes and data flow. Customer relationship management or the financial processes in an organization are carried out with the help of enterprise software.
– Information Worker Software
Individual projects within a department and with individual needs of creation and management of information are handled by information worker software. Documentation tools, resource management tools and personal management systems fall under this category of application software.
– Educational Software
It has the capabilities of running tests and tracking progress. It also has the capabilities of a collaborative software. It is often used in teaching and self-learning. Dictionaries like Britannica and Encarta, mathematical software like MATLAB and others like Google Earth and NASA World Wind are some of the well-known names in this category.
– Simulation Software
Used to simulate physical or abstract systems, simulation software finds applications in both, research and entertainment. Flight simulators and scientific simulators are examples of simulation software.
– Content Access Software
It is used to access content without editing. Common examples of content access software are web browsers and media players.
– Application Suites
An application suite is an important type of application software. It consists of a group of applications combined to perform related functions. OpenOffice and Microsoft Office are the best examples of this type of application software. These application suites, as you know, come as bundles of applications like word processors, spreadsheets, presentation software, etc. Applications in the suite can work together or operate on each other’s files.
– Software that aid Engineering and Development of Products
These software are used in the design and development of hardware and software products. Integrated development environments (IDE) and computer language editing tools fall under this type of application software. Interestingly, software products are developed using other software, and software communicate with one another through software. Application programming interfaces which aid the communication of two or more software, are examples of this application software type.
Application software are available in different forms such as these.
A majority of software applications are licensed and not sold. In this case, a user purchases a software license and not the software itself. The vendor allows for the installation of this software on a specific number of machines. Sometimes, the license is limited to a certain number of users. Most software licenses allow you to run the application on only one machine, although you are allowed to copy the software on other machines for backup purposes. Licenses disallow the resale of software.
As opposed to licensed software, these software are sold to users. You need to purchase this type of software from the vendor in which case, you own a legitimate copy of the software. This allows you to resale the software.
Application software that can be downloaded, used and copied without any restrictions is known as freeware. Generally small programs are released as freeware and are open for use.
These application software can be downloaded but you need to pay some amount for using them. Generally, mid-size software developed by software companies are made available as shareware.
Open source software, as their name suggests, are made available with their source code. The code is open for modification and use. People mistake open source software for free. But note that here, ‘free’ refers to the freely available source code, thus making the software open for further development by users.
Needs to be Installed
This is true with many application software; for example spreadsheet software, word processors, data management software, etc. They need to be installed on your computer hard drive for use.
Antivirus software runs online. Similarly, Internet games that you can play online and which don’t need to be downloaded fall under this category.
Simply put, application software are those designed for specific purposes, or meant for specific applications. Application software are of great use in completing individual and organizational tasks, as they have user-friendly features and are easy and interactive to use.
Human fascination for some sort of device or software that allows them to format text documents goes back to the days when even computers did not exist. From hardware that existed with the sole purpose of taking input from the writer in the form of keystrokes, storing it in some kind of memory, processing, and then outputting/printing it either on a screen or on paper, to software with features as basic as word wrapping, that did away with the typist’s need to give a carriage return when the line was exhausted, and now sophisticated word processing packages that are sold for hundreds of dollars, there has been an evolution of word processors, in the truest sense, from then to now.
Ask the layman today what the term ‘word processor’ means to him, and you will immediately get the reply, “Microsoft Word”. Truly, Microsoft Office products have become so widespread that people in all corners of the world find it difficult to function normally if their computer does not have this software installed. But did you know of the many word processing alternatives available to Microsoft Word? While Microsoft Word was largely unmatched for a very long time, today there are various categories of word processing software; free-to-download, open-source, web-based, professional suite packages, to name a few. Below, we have featured some of the best word processing software that you could use for all your formatting needs.
Top Alternatives to Microsoft Word
Compatible With: MD DOS, UNIX, Windows (since 5.1), Mac OS, Atari TOS, AmigaDos
The Reveal-Codes Feature:- One of the earliest features of this software, and unique to it, WordPerfect allows you to optionally see the exact point where the formatting begins and ends for your file.
The ability to combine left-aligned, centered, and right-aligned text on a single line with ease.
The parallel-column feature that lets you create side-by-side text without needing to bother with table formatting.
Recordable Macros:- Additional Macro management interface to easily view which macros are available, and conveniently debug and modify them too.
Mail Merge:- Revamped look to the Mail Merge feature allows for easy coordination.
The ability to save files in any format, including even the standard ebook format and PDF forms.
Price: USD 249.99, upgrade at USD 159.99
Website: WordPerfect OFFICE X7
Compatible With: Windows, Linux, Android devices
Compatibility with Microsoft Work; opens .DOC and .DOCX files without any problem, including password-protected files. Also opens WordPerfect, OpenOffice.org, and PDF files.
Smart Text:- A feature that allows one to enter short forms, which will be automatically completed.
Format Brush:- Formatting can be automatically transferred to other parts of the file with this feature.
It allows you to track all the individual changes made to a complex document, and to either accept or reject them afterwards.
Features like spell check, synonyms, and hyphen-correction, are available in more than one language. Spell check can be done in real time, just like with Microsoft Word.
Additional features like support for creating mathematical equations, macro programming, and database management, are also available.
Price: Standard version, USD 79.95
Pro Version, USD 99.95
Website: SoftMaker Office 2012: TextMaker
Developer: Google Inc.
Compatible With: Web-based. Apps for Chrome, iOS, Android
Auto-Save:- The ability to save the file as and when it is typed
Easy sharing of files, and ability to edit them in real time.
Compatibility with Microsoft Word documents.
All sorts of formatting, ability to add images, and links, from the browser/app itself.
Offline editing is also possible.
Integrated with Google Drive, therefore files can be accessed and edited from anywhere, or saved on the system too.
Copy-pasting over different systems, because the clipboard is located on the server
Price: Free, web-based service, but a Google Account is required.
Website: Google Docs
Kingsoft Writer 2013
Compatible With: Windows, iOS (iPhones and iPads), Android, Linux (in development phase)
Compatibility with Microsoft Word; opens .DOC as well as .DOCX files.
Drag-and-Drop:- This feature allows easy dragging and dropping of styles, and to easily change the dimensions of various sections, including paragraphs.
Section Navigation:- It is possible to easily switch from the new interface to the classic interface, and also, Section Navigation lets you browse through various sections of your file.
Initial backup of the first save is created, and auto-saves repeatedly happen throughout the editing process.
Price: There is a free version of WPS Suite for PCs, and a Professional Suite that costs USD 69.95. For mobile/tablets, the app is free to download.
Website: Kingsoft Office Free 2013: Writer
Developer: Sun Microsystems, and later Oracle Corp.
Compatible With: Windows, Linux, OS X, Solaris
Compatibility with MS Office
Multiple pages can be displayed at the same time, and one can easily navigate from page to page.
Language Selector:- Different languages can be applied to different paragraphs with ease by selecting and changing this option in the Tool Bar.
Notes:- The Notes feature allows for notes to be inserted in the document, of different colors, that can also be displayed on one side of the page.
Price: Free, and it is also an open-source software.
Website: Download OpenOffice.org Software
The Best Free Word Processing Software
Microsoft Office Online: Word ☛ For users who love Microsoft Word, genuinely feel that it is impossible to work with any other word processor but do not wish to purchase the whole Microsoft Office Suite, there is a great alternative.
☛ Since 2010, Microsoft has launched the freemium version of their Office Suite, in the form of browser-based web apps.
☛ All of the essential features of Microsoft Word are available in the word processing app of Office Online. One can open and edit documents on the go, including PDF files, and save them in the Microsoft (Open) Office XML format.
☛ Files can also be shared and real-time editing and auto-saving is also supported.
☛ Microsoft’s answer to Google Docs is a wonderful, free-of-cost alternative that allows one to have the Microsoft Word experience online.
Visit the official website for Microsoft Office Online here.
IBM Lotus Symphony Documents ☛ A free-to-download suite of Office applications, that are compatible with Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org, and many others, Lotus Symphony was developed by IBM, with its most recent update in 2012.
☛ The development of this software has now been discontinued in favor of IBM’s other endeavor, taking over a thread of Oracle’s OpenOffice.org open-source suite of office programs, called Apache OpenOffice.org.
☛ It has a very friendly, easy-to-use interface, which can be used efficiently even by beginners. It was designed to increase productivity in the business environment.
☛ Any file format can be opened with this software, and easily edited, from .DOC or .DOCX files to .ODF files, Open Office XML files, and even PDF files. It is also compatible across operating systems.
☛ It has an interface that is similar to a browser, because it allows every different document to be opened in a separate tab. It can also function as an actual web browser.
Check out the official website, and download IBM Lotus Symphony 3.01 here.
Jarte ☛ Jarte is a word processor that was developed by Carolina Road Software, that uses the same word processing engine as Windows WordPad, and it is essentially a dramatic improvement on that software.
☛ It is a lightweight alternative to Microsoft Word and comes in two versions; free and paid, where the paid version is available at a price of USD 19.95, and has a few advanced features in comparison to the free version.
☛ The free version includes features such as the ability to open different documents in separate tabs, dictionary and thesaurus (it is linked to the free online portal, WordWeb), the ability to bookmark favorites, repeatedly-used features, including fonts, and even complete documents, and using the mouse’s scroll wheel to copy and paste.
☛ The chargeable version has features such as auto-correction, auto-capitalization, word count, notes, the ability to view more than one document at a time by using the split-view mode feature, and the ability to save a theme, called ‘personality’, with formatting as per one’s preferences.
☛ This program works with all versions of Windows, and opens various formats like DOC, DOCX, TXT, RTF, and can export to HTML or PDF. It is also mobile-compatible.
Here, you can download the free version of Jarte.
NeoOffice Word Processing Application ☛ An open source software suite exclusively for Mac OS, NeoOffice was developed by Planamesa Software to integrate OpenOffice.org, which was not available for Apple users unless they downloaded an integrating app with the native OS X interface.
☛ It is very convenient for Mac users to use this suite, because its interface contains features that resemble OS X, such as, for example, pull-down menus, and the same shortcut keys that are used with Mac OS X.
☛ The word processor of NeoOffice can open a wide variety of document formats, including .ODT, .DOC, .DOCX, .XML, .SDW, .FODT, .RTF, .TXT, and even .HTML. It also supports PDF documents. One can open files in their original format.
☛ This software uses Mac OS native file locking to prevent a collision if a file is edited simultaneously across different platforms.
The entire NeoOffice 2014.5 can be downloaded for free here.
AbiWord ☛ Developed by AbiSource, and written in C++, AbiWord is another open-source word processing software that is compatible across multiple platforms and has a mobile version for Android too.
☛ It can read a variety of different formats of documents, from .DOC and .DOCX of Microsoft Word, to OpenOffice.org documents, WordPerfect documents, and many more. It can also read and export HTML files. It also supports different languages.
☛ It allows you to organize letter-format documents by using the Mail Merge feature.
☛ In general, AbiWord is quite lightweight. However, its functionality can be extended by using the plug-in features that allow you to imtegrate external features to this software too.
Click on the link to download AbiWord for free.
The Best Word Processing Software for Tablets
Pages ☛ A word processor that can do a lot more, a lot of Pages users will vouch for this app, simply because it allows you to create extremely beautiful pages.
☛ A number of templates are available in this app. Apart from simply making text documents, one can design flyers, invitations, and a lot more using Pages. Pages lets you select the exact color you are looking for, with a very complex color picker.
☛ It allows you to add images (which can be dragged and dropped anywhere), change fonts, and apply other kinds of formatting to your document, with superior professionalism.
☛ The app comes with many tools that help make writing documents easy, including one that helps you build a list. One can add notes, track comments, and there are helpful pointers that can be referred to at any point during the page-creation process.
☛ With Apple’s love for platform integration, a file being designed from scratch on one device using this app can be completed using Pages on another device, say, your Mac computer.
☛ Documents can be easily shared on various social media platform, or as attachments and can also be converted to formats like PDF and Microsoft Word document formats.
Click here to visit the official website of Pages. The app costs USD 9.99
iA Writer ☛ Developed by Information Architects Inc., iA Writer is a minimalistic word processing tool that is available for Mac, iPhones, and iPads. It allows you to write and edit text documents.
☛ On the iPhone and iPad, the toolbar vanishes once you start writing, so as to allow the writer to focus without being distracted. In the iPad version, there is a feature named Focus Mode, which allows only the current line, along with the previous and next line, to be in clear focus, while the rest are blurred.
☛ No settings need to be specified beforehand in line with the minimalistic premise. It allows you to navigate left and write within the text using the navigation keys built into the keyboard.
☛ Documents can be ported to iCloud or DropBox, or any other cloud server, and also, they can be printed directly from the app. The app for Mac allows one to convert documents to the Microsoft Word formats as well.
☛ A professional version of iA Writer is available for both Mac as well as iOS, with advanced features, such as Syntax Control, which highlights various parts of speech in the text, like the adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, nouns and so on, and another feature that allows you to organize your workflow, and first outline your ideas, write, and later format the document.
iA Writer costs USD 4.99 for iOS, and USD 9.99 for Mac. iA Writer Pro costs USD 9.99 for iOS, and USD 19.99 for Mac. Click the link to visit the official website of iA Writer
Documents To Go ☛ A handy Office Suite that comes in versions for iOS, Android, and even BlackBerry, Documents to Go is a highly recommended free-to-download alternative to Microsoft Office, for the mobile environment.
☛ It allows one to open Microsoft Word documents and other files of various formats (Documents to Go is not merely limited to a word processor, but the entire suite of office applications, including spreadsheet and presentation viewer), and to edit them, but one can retain the original formatting as well. It is also compatible with PDF files.
☛ One can connect to and save documents on various cloud servers, including DropBox, Google Drive, and many others.
☛ One can also download a desktop version for this app that will improve portability of documents further.
Check out the official site of Documents to Go right here.
Of course, it is unnecessary to say that while some of these software are absolutely mind-blowing and come with perks like being less expensive (or even free), web-based, more lightweight, or loaded with features, most of us would give them up for Microsoft Word in the blink of an eye. It is no surprise that Microsoft Word enjoys worldwide popularity and is the most widely used word processor in the world. Yet it is reassuring to know that if one does not have access to it, all these superb alternatives are readily available.
Desktop publishing was an unknown industry 30 years back. Whenever companies needed a design, they would hire artists who would composite a rough sketch and get the owner’s approval, and then work on the final layout. Design was expensive, so the design stayed the same decades later. The proprietors of desktop publishing companies ruled the kingdom with glee, as they provided exclusive output to posters, logos, and AD agencies.
But with the advent of technology, anybody with a desktop and a creative sense could get into this industry. But demand and supply go hand in hand. Software companies decided to be stingy, and saved the best features for their paid versions, and included a trial version for those who needed to see it and not use it on a daily basis. We present to you a list of the best open source desktop publishing applications available today. With this, you can run a small business without digging deep into your pockets.
Page Layout Software
Scribus is one of the best open-source software that is compatible with Mac and Windows. It follows the principle of WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). Armed with a word layout software and CMYK palettes, it gives users the chance to explore their creativity without compromising on quality. It comes with predefined templates for brochures, greeting cards, posters, and business cards. A better alternative to Microsoft Publisher, it even supports the creation of PDF and many other popular formats like PSD and AI, both from Adobe. It has a drop-down menu and a floating properties bar, which is easier to input and saves on time. That being said, it can’t support the formats of InDesign and QuarkXpress. Support for importing these formats is worked on in the next version.
Pronounced as ‘Licks’, it’s based on the LaTeX typesetting system. Instead of WYSIWYG, it follows the principle of WYSIWYM (What You See Is What You Mean). What shows up would be an approximation of what we think is the best suitable formatting. It’s a favorite of technical authors and scientists for the mathematical node system of its databases. A formal teaching of the LaTeX markup language would be beneficial for speeding things up. It runs on Linux, Windows. and Mac OS X. LyX can be used either by clicking on the respective menu button or typing commands on the UNIX command line. It has automatic hyphenation with word wrapping. and excellent page layout.
DocBook lets you create documents and publish to a number of formats. including PDF, HTML, PUB, and EPUB. It saves your data in the form of a schema, and distributes the different sections to what constitute to be a chapter in a book. It is extremely favored by authors writing on computer hardware and software. DocBook provides outputs in a number of file formats, including HTML and PDF. This is done by saving the file in a DocBook stylesheet with the XSL format.
DocBook converts documents into a Portable Document Format on the Windows operating system. It gives password protection to encrypt the data, and offers to have a digital signature embedded in the document for copyright purposes. You can save it in file formats other than PDF, like JPG, TIFF, PNG, BCL, BMP, PCX, and RAW.
LibreOffice is built on the same programming model as OpenOffice. So what makes it better than MS Word? It has the same features as MS Word, and is completely free. It supports the inclusion of font embedding, which lets you change fonts in the document. It has a word-count ticker which displays the number of words at the bottom of the window. LibreOffice also has many programs similar to MSOffice, like Calc, a spreadsheet program, Impress for presentations, and Draw, which helps in programming by drawing flowcharts and has features suitable for desktop publishing. And best of all, it works on all platforms.
OpenOffice is a forked-out version of LibreOffice, programmed by the same developers. It even has similar programs like Calc, Impress, and Draw. It has a new feature called Fontwork, which lets you create text with special features, such as gradient, background fill, shaping and height of the text, similar to WordArt. OpenOffice supports the extension of MS Word, and converts stylized text into WordArt. Versions are available for Windows, Linux, Solaris, and Mac OS X.
GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It has improved greatly over the past few years, and can compete with rival software in the image editing arena. Originally written on a UNIX platform, it’s compatible with Windows and Linux. You can use it to retouch old photos, and adjust the composition of new ones. GIMP’s native format is XCF, but it supports JPG, GIF, TIFF, PNG, as well as the file formats of Autodesk Animator and Adobe Photoshop documents. The XCF format helps in retaining the quality of the image.
Paint.NET is a raster graphic editor used for creating and editing realistic photographs. Paint.NET is only available on Windows. It supports plugins for image adjustments that reduce the contrast between adjoining pixels to blend the image seamlessly. New plugins have been introduced to render 2D images into 3D shapes.
Fatpaint is an online image editor. It has an online logo maker, supporting the languages of English, Portuguese, and Spanish. It allows the use of a pen tablet to edit an image, as well as search and add images from Wikimedia, Picasa, Flickr, Google, Yahoo, and Bing. It can create photorealistic 3D images. Fatpaint requires Adobe Flash 10 to function on browsers such as IE, Firefox, Chrome, and Opera.
Vector Graphics Software
Inkscape supports the use of pen tablets, which makes it easier to select menu commands at a touch. It allows the import/export of raster graphics. You can edit paths by positioning the nodes wherever you feel it’s right. Inkscape provides floating tips and hints to use buttons and other commands. They have improved the consistency and usability of the interface by creating visually appealing buttons and floating toolbars that aid in all tasks. It’s primarily responsible for influencing the coding of Xara Xtreme.
These are some of the best open source desktop publishing programs available at the moment. Commercial software providers make you pay a hand and foot for the same tools. So why not give these software a chance. If you already did, tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.
SubRip, as the name suggests, extracts the timings and subtitles of video files. The resulting file has a .srt extension. These files have a text-based format, and thus, can be edited in most text editors, including Notepad and Wordpad.
A SubRip or .srt file is divided into multiple parts. Each of the division has an ID, subtitles, start time and end time, and a blank line. Subtitles refer to the text that should be displayed along with the video. The start and end time indicate the exact time at which the subtitle should be displayed. A blank line is used to shift the control to the next line, from where a new subtitle starts. SubRip files contain a filter too which helps in text extraction and preserving its inline format. This filter also manages the line-breaks between the text. A .srt file is a subtitle type of file format. The following are two examples of files with a .srt extension.
Structure I – Without Formatting
00:02:17,420 –> 00:02:20,355
Olaf: Some people are worth melting for.
[begins to melt, grabs his face to stay up]
00:02:20,476 –> 00:02:22,501
Olaf: Just… maybe not right this second.
Structure II – With Formatting
00:00:10,500 –> 00:00:13,000 X1:63 X2:223 Y1:43 Y2:58
Olaf: Some people are worth melting for.
[begins to melt, grabs his face to stay up]
00:00:15,000 –> 00:00:18,000 X1:53 X2:303 Y1:438 Y2:453
Olaf: Just… maybe not right this second.
In both the above .srt structures, numeric 1 and 2 indicate the ID. The next block contains the start and end time, followed by the subtitle text. Structure I contains simple text with no formatting. However, the text of structure II contains HTML formatting (italic, font color).
Consider the start and end time block from structure I.
00:02:17,420 –> 00:02:20,355
The block duration is the difference between these two values, which is equal to 00:00:02,935.
In order to run the .srt file along with its video/movie, make sure that both the video file and the .srt file have the same name, and are placed at the same location on your computer.
How to Open SRT File Format
Windows Media Player
Requirements: If you wish to play the video file with its subtitles in Windows Media Player, make sure you download the DirectVobSub codec from the Internet. Install the specific DirectVobSub version, which is apt for the Windows version on your computer.
On installation of DirectVobSub, run Windows Media Player.
Make sure both the video and .srt files have the same name and are placed in the same directory.
Run Windows Media Player and drag the video file into it.
Click on Play ➜ Captions & Subtitles ➜ On If Available.
Play the video/movie clip.
Tip: This method can be followed for Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and all other versions of Windows.
Requirements: If you wish to play the video file with its subtitles in VLC player, make sure VLC player is installed on your computer.
Run VLC player. In the menu, click on Media ➜ Open File.
In the window that opens up, select the video file to be played.
On selecting the video/movie file, click on Open.
In the menu, click on Video ➜ Subtitles Track ➜ Open File.
In the window that opens up, select the .srt file for that video file.
On selecting the .srt file, click on OK.
Play the video/movie clip.
Opening/Editing .SRT File in Notepad
Right click on the .srt file ➜ click on Properties.
Select the General tab in the ‘titles properties’ window.
Click on Change button.
In the ‘Open With’ window that appears, select Notepad as the Recommended program ➜ check the box ‘Always use the selected program to open this kind of file’ ➜ click on OK.
Double-clicking the .srt file will now open it in notepad. It can be edited if desired.
Tip: The .srt file can be opened in Word too in place of Notepad. For opening the subtitle file in Microsoft Word, simply select Word as option in Step (iv).
For opening the .srt file on Linux Ubuntu, an application VideoLAN VLC Media Player could be used. Whereas, the programs for opening it on Mac OS X are VideoLAN VLC Media Player, SubCleaner, or any text editor.
Since an .srt file works with almost any type of player, simply download the player of your choice and link the .srt file to its respective video file. Remember that a .srt file merely contains text, no video data.
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/what-is-an-srt-file-extension-and-how-to-open-it.html
Life in the digital world is like tightrope walk tied between two high cliffs. If you lose your balance, you are likely to fall down deep into the depths of paranoia.
At the present heights of technology, the winds blow strongly, whispering several uncertainties such as ‘virus’, ‘trojans’, and ‘worms’ into your ears. They are enough to unsettle even the most surefooted ones. The jucheck.exe is one such blowing wind which can quite easily have you wobbling. Is it a legitimate file or a possible threat? Without a complete understanding of it, you won’t be able to tell.
Therefore in a following sections, we will go into the details of what the jucheck.exe file is. This Buzzle article should act as a safety harness so that even if you were to slip, you will still be protected from falling.
What is jucheck.exe
Jucheck.exe is a Java update check module. This file is part of the Java 2 Platform, which was originally developed by Sun Microsystems and is now owned by Oracle. In the Windows operating system, this file is located within a sub directory of the ‘Programs Files’ directory. Usually, it is found at an address similar to the one shown below.
Most often, the size of this file is only a few hundred kilobytes. The jucheck.exe is a completely legitimate file, which is safe to install and to run on your system.
What is its purpose
The purpose of the jucheck.exe file is to check for Java updates. It is an executable file (.exe) which runs in the background and looks for available Java updates over the Internet. It compares the version of Java installed on your system with the latest one that is available online. In case the version on your system is outdated, it prompts the user about the new updates.
Usually, it will notify you via a ‘User Account Control’ dialog window. It asks you whether or not you want to allow changes to be made to your system. If you select ‘Yes’, the jucheck.exe initiates the downloading process for the new update and also manages the installation process. By default, this process is enabled to ensure automatic Java updation.
How to stop jucheck.exe from running
When the jucheck.exe finds an update, it immediately alerts the user. This is a good thing in most cases. However, if the user doesn’t initiate the Java update by clicking ‘Yes’, then the juscheck.exe dialog window keeps popping up every time the system restarts. This can prove to be a real bother.
Therefore, while it is recommended that the jucheck.exe be kept enabled and running on your system, you might decide to search for and download Java updates manually later, as per your convenience. In such a case, depending on your operating system, you can use one of the following procedures.
For Windows XP
Step 1: Click on the Windows ‘Start’ button and navigate to ‘Control Panel’.
Step 2: Click on ‘Programs’ and look for the Java icon. Double-click on it to open the Java control panel.
Step 3: Select the ‘Update’ tab from the top, and click once to un-check the checkbox next to the “Check for Updates Automatically” option.
Step 4: Lastly, click on ‘OK’ to save the changes you have made.
For Windows Vista, 7, and 8
In these operating systems, you will have to run the Java control panel in the Administrator mode. For that, go to the Java installation folder in Program files and search for ‘javacpl’. Right click on it and select ‘Run as administrator’. Now, click on the ‘Update’ tab, and un-check the checkbox next to the ‘Check for Updates Automatically’.
These steps will disable the automatic checks for updates, thus preventing the jucheck.exe process from running. Note that disabling jucheck.exe will only stop automatic updates. It will not adversely affect the Java installed on your system.
How to remove jucheck.exe virus from Windows
The jucheck.exe file is a legitimate file and completely safe to install on your system. However, there are several malware, trojans, and viruses out there that are known to disguise themselves as legitimate files to fool the users. An update popup may be caused by one such illegitimate process disguised as jucheck.exe. If you aren’t careful, your system might get infected.
The first thing to do as soon as a User Account Control pop-up shows up, is to check the name of the ‘Publisher’. If the publisher is ‘Unknown’, then you must deny access to that process as it is most likely a virus in disguise.
The second important thing to do is to check the location of the jucheck.exe file. Many malicious programs run from the ‘Temp’ folder or from the Windows ‘Systems’ directory. If you find that jucheck.exe is located in one of these folders, then don’t allow it to run, and immediately delete it.
The most important thing to do is to install a good antivirus on your system and run a complete system scan to get rid of all the infections.
Thus, the jucheck.exe is responsible for updating Java on a Windows system. The original file is completely harmless and also safe to remove or disable. However, some viruses are known to disguise themselves as the jucheck.exe file and may cause harm. Therefore, one must be vigilant and take appropriate steps to contain such infections.
Optical Mark Recognition is a technology that uses a special device called Optical Mark Reader to detect the presence or absence of marks on a specially printed paper called OMR form. This technology is usually used if bulks of data, especially answers to MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions), are to be gathered and processed in a short period of time. For instance, when the answer sheets of competitive exams held on a larger scale, need to be a evaluated within a few days’ time, OMR technology comes to help. In this Buzzle article, we will discuss what this technology is all about, along with its applications, and its pros and cons.
What is an Optical Mark Recognition?
It is the process of reading data from specialized forms and storing it into the computer system. The data to be interpreted is in the form of markings such as dashes, dots, ticks, darkened circles, etc. An OMR form is passed through an OMR reader, which identifies the marked areas, extracts the information, and stores it in separate files.
What is an Optical Mark Reader and How Does it Work?
Optical Mark Reader (OMR scanner) is a special scanning device used for the purpose of reading pencil marks made on pre-defined positions on the OMR form.
The working principle of optical mark recognition is based on the ‘Law of Reflection’, which states that ‘all reflected light obeys the relationship that the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection’. This means that a lighter surface reflects more light than a darker one. Accordingly, the OMR scanner uses its sensors to detect the dark pencil-marked areas on the OMR form because they are less reflective than the unmarked areas. There are around 48 sensors which do this job. If the scanner senses a half-filled form, it’ll return an error or mark it as false (or wrong), else the information is converted into a computer data file.
What is an OMR Form?
An OMR form is a specialized form created specifically for the OMR system by special form-design software. The form comprises multiple-choice questions which are placed such that the circles provided for answers and the sensors on the scanner are in exact alignment. The number of columns on the form is equal to the number of sensors, i.e., 48, whereas the number of rows may vary from 53 to 80. One important feature of an OMR form is that it has timing tracks on one side of the form. A timing track is a rectangular block which acts as a pointer to a row on the form. The purpose of this block is to inform the scanner where to read for pencil marks.
Pros and Cons of Optical Mark Recognition
△ OMR is accurate in collecting data and interpreting on a simple Yes/No answer.
△ It eliminates the need for manual entry of data, and thereby minimizes the risk of human error.
△ It decreases the investment cost since only a single computer is needed to store the data.
△ OMR forms are easy to read since they are marked with a pencil. The simplicity aids in saving time and effort.
▽ If a mark is too light, the optical mark reader would be unable to read it.
▽ The OMR reader needs the answers on the forms to be identical to each other.
▽ The answer sheet can’t be torn or folded in any way. It should be clean or devoid of any dirt or marks. If the answer is incomplete, the scanner won’t be able to read it.
Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) is used in applications consisting of large amounts of data. It is used extensively to process competitive exam results, or responses to feedback forms, survey forms, and questionnaires. It is also used at the state level to determine the election results. The areas where OMR is used are discussed below:
Consumer surveys are often conducted for market research by various companies. Since large volumes of data need to be collected and processed in this regard, the OMR technology is used.
Census Data Processing
OMR is used to scan geocodes to match any of the geocodes available in the master census geocode file. A geocode is a geographical co-ordinate that maps to a physical address, for instance, a postal code.
Examination sheets used for competitive exams like SAT and GMAT are scanned using OMR technology. The results are calculated based on the markings on the sheet and compiled into a database.
Election Poll Results
OMR is also used to count votes in general elections. This helps curtail cheating methods of rigging the election and vote counting.
Recent developments have introduced the concept of two-dimensional codes called bar codes. Warehouses and supermarkets use OMR technology to keep track of the products using these bar codes.
It’s used to mark numbers for reading the lucky lottery numbers.
These are some of the ways in which optical mark recognition makes our life easier. OMR technology was prevalent in the form of punch cards, but has retained its existence in the form of scanners. This just goes to prove that technology doesn’t fizzle out but evolves with us.
The very basic difference probably even a child would tell between software and hardware is that, the latter can be touched and are actual physical components of a device.
However, the former (software) is simply bits and bytes, and is completely intangible. It can also be called the digital component of a device. Even though the basic difference between them is quite clear to most of us, there are some more aspects about each, one should consider when reading about differences between the two.
Let’s do a hardware vs. software analysis and see what they are.
Hardware and Software: What is the Difference Between them?
What is Hardware?
Hardware is a physical entity, or something which is tangible. However, hardware isn’t of any use without proper software, and vice versa. For instance, a microwave oven won’t recognize Android, as it is necessarily meant for a mobile phone. Likewise, an operating system or application software is of no use without suitable hardware. In brief, hardware of any device includes wires, circuit boards, chips, internal circuits, and every minor thing required for an electronic device to function.
Types of Hardware
Hardware has three major types; first ― storage and memory, second ― circuits and other apparatus, and third ― housing and outer body. Let’s elaborate on all three.
The first type, storage and memory, is the storehouse for all software and digital data (documents, images, etc). It is the location which the machine uses to recollect all the stored information related to its own functioning, as well as the user’s data. The second type, circuits and other apparatus is actually the technical part of a machine. This type includes everything from wiring, processors, circuit boards, chips, display devices, speakers, microphones, and more; it is the core or powerhouse of a machine, without which it wouldn’t function. The third and the final type, the housing and outer body, is basically the panels and shells that hold all of this together. In some machines, this type also functions as an insulation in order to prevent the user from getting an electric shock.
What is Software?
The definition of a software is basically certain information or data used by a machine to perform the most rudimentary tasks required for it to function correctly. However, there are more complex software which apart from simply helping a machine to function, help execute varying task aimed to reduce human effort and increase efficiency.
Types of Software
If we wished to classify types of software into very basic categories, we would be left with three broad ones. System software, application software, and malicious software. Each have different functions to perform; system software could be called firmware in certain instances (however not always), it is a type of software that carries out the proper functioning of a machine by utilizing the available hardware. To break down the functions of system software, its functions include everything from running a machine, maintenance, and recovery.
System software include operating systems, device drivers, and other utility software required to assist the mainstream software to perform certain tasks. The second type, namely application software is as its name suggests, a software required to carry out certain user-centric tasks to minimize human effort and increase efficiency. Application software may or may not aid to functioning of a machine, however, they are more involved in carrying out user-specified tasks using the available resources.
Thirdly, malware is a machine’s enemy. It is aimed to disrupt the normal functioning of a machine, especially in case of computers.
By now, you must be very clear about the two concepts. Try thinking about examples for both; you could also refer to some common ones given below.
Buttons and levers
Casing and body
Internal circuit boards
Internal memory and storage devices
Operating systems (Windows, OSX, Linux, Android, iOS, etc.)
Word and data processing software (Microsoft Office)
Image processing software (Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, etc)
Internet browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox)
Viruses and malware
WordPerfect is a word processing software created originally by Satellite Systems International (SSI). It was first purchased by Novell, which later sold it to Corel in 1996. Since then, it has been sold as a part of Corel’s desktop publishing software, Ventura.
Before MS Office became famous, WordPerfect was very popular among computer geeks and typists who graduated to using the computer keyboard. The reason for its popularity is that it was the first to use macro functions to store keyboard shortcuts and had a flat file database system to store and record data. It was the first to offer keyboard shortcuts in conjunction with Ctrl, Alt, and Shift. It introduced printer drivers with an option for customization that printed specific pages according to design. It offered high-tech support for legal documents with the Reveal Codes feature to highlight any hidden data.
A WPD file is a WordPerfect document which has a .wpd extension. The earlier files had extensions of .wp, .wp7, .wp6, .wp5, .wp4, or .wp3; however, all these files including wpd files can be opened using a version of WordPerfect application that is equal to that of the software which created it. It can also be opened in a later version.
Those who do not have the WordPerfect software, can refer to the following ways of opening a wpd file.
Ways to Open a WPD File
Rename the WPD file to the .DOC extension and open it in Word. This won’t work if you use the .DOCX extension. After renaming the extension, you can open it in any version of Microsoft Word, 2003 onwards.
If you have received the WPD file through email, you can directly save it in the Microsoft Word format. For instance, if you use Microsoft Outlook, then you can save the file by right-clicking on the attachment and clicking the Save As option to save it in the .DOC format.
► Click on Microsoft Word to open the program.
► Go to the File Menu and Select Open. In the Files Type, click on (*.*) to view all files.
► Browse for the file and select OK.
► The file will automatically open in Word format after it’s converted.
► Select the file and right-click on it. Choose the option Open With.
► Select Choose Default Program and choose Microsoft Word from the list. Then check the option that says Always use the selected program to open this kind of file.
► Click on OK. The WPD file will always open in Word.
You can use Corel’s free software ‘WordPerfect Lightning’ or download ‘LibreOffice’ to view the file easily.
► Download the ‘AbiWord’ software for free from the AbiSource website.
► Double-click the program to open it. Select Open from the File Menu and choose the WPD file to open it.
Since Android devices do not support WordPerfect, a converter is the best option to go for when viewing a WPD file. Just use Zamzar or BIDG WordPerfect Document Converter to convert the file into your native word-processing format.
Using the aforementioned ways, you can now open a WPD file on three different platforms.
The desktop publishing industry has undergone many changes. Before the printer could print out color or B/W, everything had to be done through code. Then came the PRN format, wherein the file contains the text to be printed and the instructions for a printer.
The earlier devices could print out ASCII characters and text. The next step in the evolution was the dot matrix printer, capable of printing grayscale graphics. Then came plotting, which used to cut vector shapes with the help of a stylus blade. However, there was no one device that could do both. But then came the Xerox machine, which could develop copies of a particular file. In the late sixties, the laser printer was invented. It could print graphics pretty easily.
With a PRN file, printing was all the more easy, as this file could translate the directions of the user and transfer them to the printer. You must have seen or heard about this file extension. But do you know how to use it? This Buzzle article will help you know what a PRN file is and how to open it.
What is a PRN File?
A PRN file gets created whenever you print a document. It contains instructions to print the file, the number of pages to be printed, which printer tray to use, as well as the content to be printed, similar to a PostScript file(.ps). PRN files are automatically created by the printer driver. These files contain a preview of the page you are about to print. This serves as a primary purpose to translate the input in the PRN file to the output. PRN files are Page Layout files.
PRN files are normally associated with Calcomp Raster Bitmap, PostScript File, HP Printer Control Language, Printer Text File, Signature Printer Driver, XYWrite Printer Driver, and FileViewPro. If you try to open it with a Notepad or Wordpad, it contains illegible text or garbage values.
How to Open a PRN File
Convert it to PDF
► Print the file and a default file with PRN extension can be seen accompanying the actual file.
► Navigate to the location of your file and rename it with .ps extension. Click outside the file to finish renaming the file.
► Go to Adobe Acrobat and select “Create PDF” to change your file format.
► If you have the older version of Adobe Distiller, just click File and then Open, find a name for it and save it in PDF format.
If the PRN file is displayed with delimited columns, i.e., separated by a comma, we use Excel sheets for its compatibility with any database program. Most programs export data in the Comma Separated Value (CSV) format.
► Create a PRN file with no header, footer, or comments. The PRN file should contain a single row of field names and columns containing the data.
► Import the PRN file in Excel, click on the Data tab on the Ribbon, and choose “From Text”.
► It will prompt you with a data source. Select the directory containing the file and select the file.
► In the Text Import Wizard, select Fixed Width, since your data is aligned in fixed-width columns.
► If your file contains information about the file like the size and resolution in the header, then tell Excel to start importing data from the first row of field names or data.
► Excel will guess how to separate lines and insert columns accordingly. If you wish to format it differently, add, move, or remove lines.
► Rename your ASCII file with the .txt extension.
► Select File and click on Open.
► Select File Type: Text CSV (.csv; .txt)
► Click Open after selecting the file. In the next dialog box that appears, select Separator Options. It displays different methods with which you can separate the data, for example, commas, tab, semicolon, etc. You can also preview your choices.
► The goal is to line up the data in visible cells. When the data lines up, click OK.
► You can run PRN files via Command Prompt using some DOS commands.
► To do this, select “Run” from the Start menu and type cmd to open the Command Prompt.
► If your printer is connected via USB, type “COPY /B [filename.prn] \\[Computer Name]\[Shared Printer Name]”.
► If your printer is connected via an older port connection, type “COPY /B [filename.prn] LPT1:”.
(Just a side-note; don’t put any box brackets while typing the names.)
Just drag and drop it on the printer icon to view the PRN file.
These were some of the methods through which you can open and view a PRN file. The misconception that people have is that you need the same type of printer to print PRN files. But the only thing required is the same printer driver installed on the computer.