Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Free Opener can open almost any type of file you can think of

Yaara Lancet | April 4, 2013
What do you use to open files? If you're in the majority, your answer would be "depends on the file." This is not the case with Free Opener. Free Opener claims to open over 80 different file formats--anything from Microsoft Office documents and PDF files, to image, video and music files, with many more in between. It may not open as many file types as Quick View Plus, and it's certainly more of a viewer than an editor, but you can't argue with the price. It's a good first stop for trying to view that mystery document.

What do you use to open files? If you're in the majority, your answer would be "depends on the file." This is not the case with Free Opener. Free Opener claims to open over 80 different file formats--anything from Microsoft Office documents and PDF files, to image, video and music files, with many more in between. It may not open as many file types as Quick View Plus, and it's certainly more of a viewer than an editor, but you can't argue with the price. It's a good first stop for trying to view that mystery document.

Free Opener comes with a simple interface that includes four basic menus and one toolbar. I started off my testing with the types of documents I edit most often: DOC and DOCX. Despite the respectable editing options--color, formatting, highlighting, tables, etc.--the first thing I noticed was a mysterious lack of keyboard shortcuts. According to the program's menus, all the basic shortcuts should be available. They're mentioned in the menus next to their respective commands. In practice, important shortcuts such as Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V and Ctrl+Z failed to work, while others such as Ctrl+F, Ctrl+X, Ctrl+O, etc., worked without a hitch. The undo feature did not work from the menu either, and worked only when I used the toolbar button. Note that Free Opener will not prompt you to save your work if you close it without saving.

So far, the experience was surprisingly similar to Free Editor, a similar all-around tool. This continued through the available DOC editing options such as tables, formatting, highlights, and more, but that's where the similarities ended. As opposed to Free Editor, Free Opener has almost no spreadsheet editing capabilities, lacking support for functions or formatting of any kind, which cripples viewing as well. It includes only basic image editing features, and those are presented in a confusing and not-so-intuitive interface. Music and video files open without noticeable problems, and offer repeat and shuffle functions, although the volume on some videos was significantly lower than on my default player.

Which brings us to PDFs: This is the most celebrated format on the program's website, and true to form, Free Opener opened every PDF file I threw at it, and even presented an automatic table of contents on the left sidebar. Problems started when I tried using the table of contents for large documents. Crashing, not responding, or simply doing nothing were all common occurrences. It sometimes took manual page-flipping to remind Free Opener that more pages exist in the document, an action that can only be done my clicking icons on the toolbar or with the Pg Up/Pg Dn buttons. No scrolling.

 

1  2  Next Page 

Sign up for MIS Asia eNewsletters.