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Article by Peter Lazenby ©September 2000|
Installation is a complete no-brainer. Just unzip the archive, and copy newview.exe
to any location. That's about it. Newview, at this point, carries no additional
baggage above the executable, which weighs in at around 400k. Stick it somewhere
referenced in your PATH statement in config.sys, and you'll be able to access it
via command-line in any directory by passing the filename as a parameter: newview
(filename).inf, or newview (filename).hlp. I also added the file associations
*.hlp and *.inf to the newview.exe program object, in order to have NewView available
as an option in the rmb menu for .inf and .hlp objects. Multiple documents can be
opened, each in their own instance of NewView, by using standard object selection
with the rmb menu. Unfortunately, I haven't yet been able to replace view.exe with
NewView as the system default.
On first run, I reset some options (File -> Options...). The default font
sizes were far too small on my 1600x1200 desktop, so those were first to be changed.
This caused NewView (a previous release) to crash, but when I restarted the settings
had remained. Changing the fonts again with the latest release went smoothly, so
I presume this has been fixed. I also sized NewView to occupy a comfortable portion
of my desktop, a habit I've acquired from prolonged exposure to view.exe. As promised,
NewView retained my preferred size when reopened, something that I don't think is
possible using the default viewer.
Since I don't use any dialogue extenders, I left NewView to its own devices.
The result is a pleasing set of default dialogues:
NewView has the capability of storing notes to yourself in an open document.
Position the cursor where the note should start, then select "Tools -> Add
Note..." from the pulldown menu. Type in your text, and hit OK. Your note will
appear in red text to the right of your cursor location.
Though the Bookmarking function is one of the features yet to come, I found that
notes work almost as well. Selecting the Notes tab will display all notes in the
document... just highlight your choice and press the "Go To" button at
the bottom right of the notes container panel. NewView will jump to the top of the
page containing the note. From there it's just a matter of scrolling to the red
text which is easily noticeable. Perhaps the bookmark function will jump to the
exact spot, but for now the Notes function works in a pinch.
Ever wanted to print or save some parts of the .inf document? With view.exe,
this is accomplished by either printing the entire document, the entire page, or
saving the page to disk then editing out what you probably didn't want (some of
those pages can print forever I've found...) in order to get the hardcopy you need.
NewView provides an excellent solution for this. Using the standard conventions,
just highlight only the information you need, then copy and paste to where it's
NewView doesn't support MDI (Multi-document interface), but can still handle
multiple windows easily. Using a hyperlink that would normally spawn a new text
window using view.exe, the same text is presented in a "split-screen"
format in the main document window within NewView. The only drawback is that this
screen splitting doesn't go away as soon as the focus is brought back to the calling
document, but it will disappear by selecting another topic in the contents window.
Well, that aside, NewView does an admirable job as it stands. Hopefully, Voice
newsletter readers will give this application a try, and our editor will continue
to deliver our newsletter in both .inf and .html formats. That way, I won't be accused
of downloading the .inf format multiple times per month in order to make the numbers
look better :-)