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Oxfordshire Family History Society

Yet More Handy Little Programs

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Past Meetings Monthly Computer Open Day

Purpose of This Page

This page provides notes and links to accompany the talk "Yet More Handy Little Programs" given to the OFHS Computer Group meeting on April 7th 2008. It lists each of the programs mentioned by the various speakers, together with brief details and where to find them.

As time passes, the nature of the internet is such that some of the programs listed will become unavailable, whilst others will be available from different web addresses. We have left the original links here, since they represent a record of what was presented at the actual meeting. If a link no longer works, you can probably view the original site, with the aid of the Internet Archive or "Wayback Machine". This may be found at:


Last updated 2012-11-12

Program Details

(Alan Simpson)

Compare and Synchronise Files or Complete Directories
Lets you see the differences between individual text files, or complete directories. Then lets you selectively copy changes in either direction. Just the job for keeping the contents of your desk PC and your lap-top synchronised. (Particularly if you have made changes to the files on both machines and need to merge the contents to make a composite "most up to date" version.)

Download from http://winmerge.org/ - itís Open Source software, free to download and free to use.

BK ReplaceEm

(Alan Simpson)

Perform search-and-replace operations on multiple files
At its core, ReplaceEm is essentially a text search-and-replace program. However, unlike the search-replace functionality of a standard text editor, ReplaceEm is designed to operate on multiple files at once. And you need not only perform one search-replace operation per file -- you can setup a list of operations to perform. If different groups of files need to have different operations performed on them, this is no problem either. You can also specify a backup file for each file processed just incase the replace operation didnít do exactly what you wanted.

Download from http://www.orbit.org/replace/ - itís free to download and free to use.

Change Case

(Alan Simpson)

Automates changing the case of a set of file names
A simple way to ensure all your file names are in a standard format. You can change all the files in a directory and its sub-directories in one mouse click if you want. You can choose from one of four options:
  2. lower case
  3. Capital case
  4. Word Capital Case
Download from http://www.zealsoftstudio.com/changecase/ - itís free to download and free to use. All its author asks is that you send him a postcard.

1-4a Rename

(Alan Simpson)

Incredibly versatile way to rename a set of files
Turn those obscure file names your digital camera produces into a logical sequence. Lets you preview the "before" and "after" filenames before you change anything and even lets you undo the changes if you still managed to get it wrong!

Download from http://www.1-4a.com/rename/ - itís free to download and free to use. All its author asks is that you send him an email.

(The "1-4a" stands for "One for all")

Mouse and Key Recorder

(Alan Simpson)

A way to automate just about everything!
Remember the old days of Windows 3.1 when there was a "Recorder" that let you remember whole sequences of mouse clicks and key strokes? It never worked very well and disappeared when Windows 95 was released. Kratronics have now produced a Mouse and Key Recorder that really works! Just the job to handle those tedious repetitive tasks. Windows was never really designed to allow this level of automation and perhaps one of the best features of this Mouse and Key Reorder is a really comprehensive manual that warns you about the pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Download from http://www.kratronic.com/tools/recorder/ - there is a 3 month free trial version but it only costs around £12 for the full licenced version and is well worth the money.


(Alex McGahey)

Everything you have ever wanted to know about the calendar!
Allows conversion of dates for any Western European callendars between AD 326 and AD 2999

Download from http://freespace.virgin.net/guy.etchells/Cal.htm - - itís free to download and free to use.

Parish Locator

(Alex McGahey)

Locate any one of nearly 15,000 UK parishes
It will also show the distances between parishes and can produce a list of parishes in any County or a list of parishes within a given radius of any other parish and also allows Import and Export via "csv" files. It is possible to plot the location of parishes to either the screen or the printer.

Download from http://www.parloc.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/parishlocator.html - - itís free to download and free to use.


(Alex McGahey)

Resize picture files for use on the web and in emails
Can convert single files or apply the same changes to a batch of files.

Download from http://bluefive.pair.com/pixresizer.htm - - itís free to download and free to use.

Windows Messenger

(Wendy Archer)

Talk to fellow researchers anywhere in the world

(Included as part of Windows)

Copernic Desktop Search

(Wendy Archer)

The Search Engine for your PC
Find your files and emails with the power of a search engine right on your desktop.

Download from http://www.copernic.com/en/products/desktop-search/ - - itís free to download and free for non-commercial home use.


(Wendy Archer)

"A Universal Memory Extension", "A Backup for Your Brain"
With Evernote you have a scrolling notebook to record notes and any text or pictures you want to copy from documents or the web, classified by keyword if you wish.

Download from http://evernote.com/ - - Version 2.2 is free to download and use. Full features are available for a 60 day trial, after which a slightly reduced feature set is free indefinitely

Short Keys Lite

(Wendy Archer)

Create your own keyboard shortcuts
Use a one or two character Prefix Key to trigger insertion of a longer text.

Download from http://www.shortkeys.com/lite.htm - - the Lite version is free to download and free for non-commercial home use.

Perfect Menu

(Wendy Archer)

Easy access to your favourite programs and web sites
Gives a halo of useful links as icons when right clicking on the mouse.

Download from http://www.pitrinec.com/pmeindex.htm - - itís free to download. (Also lots of other useful programs on this site)


(Les Binns)

Free video phone calls, provided you have broadband internet access
Make calls from your computer ó free to other people on Skype and cheap to phones and mobiles around the world. All you need is a handset available at minimal cost from your local store.

Download the Skype software from http://www.skype.com/intl/en-gb/ - - itís free.

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