Computers are wonderful tools for quilters, and the Internet is a great place to find the perfect software application to make your computer an easier and more powerful tool to work with. Here are a few we use all the time...
Irfanview - http://www.irfanview.com/
Irfanview is a wonderful little image viewer/editor that we use constantly around here. It's very fast, it has a lot of nice features, and it will open and edit just about any type of image file you're likely to come across. Plus, it's 100% free! Some of its features include the ability to crop, resize, color-correct, rotate, sharpen, convert file types, make slide shows, and many more. It's very useful for folks who like to download patterns from the Internet as it allows you to precisely re-size an image before you print it. Highly recommended!
Graphic Converter - http://www.lemkesoft.de/en/index.htm
If you're a Mac user, a good alternative to Irfanview is Graphic Converter. It's not freeware like Irfanview, but it's a nice program for working with images, handles most of the tasks you're likely to need it for, and is reasonably-priced at $30.00. There's a downloadable demo version available from the author's website, so you can try before you buy. If you're running OS X, iPhoto is perfect for most basic image-related tasks, and it's included free with the latest versions of OS X.WinZip - http://www.winzip.com/
Stuffit - http://www.stuffit.com/mac/
GUITar - http://www.edenwaith.com/products/guitar/
Compression software is essential if you download programs from the Internet, as many programs are compressed to make them smaller and easier to transfer. If you're using Windows XP or Mac OS, the software you need is part of your operating system. For users of earlier versions of Windows, a " zip" utility is a must-have. WinZip allows you to compress (or " zip" ) files, as well as unzip them, so you can use it for everyday tasks like archiving folders full of files that you want to keep but that are mostly just taking up space on your computer. Makes it easy to send files to others too: simply zip an entire folder and you can e-mail dozens of files as a single attachment. Great for trading quilting photos, wedding pictures - whatever. The program costs $29.00 and there's a free (non-expiring) demo that you can download to try it out. If you're a Mac user, Stuffit Expander is a free program that will allow you to open compressed files, but unlike Winzip will not allow you to create your own. The full version of Stuffit is far more comprehensive and will allow you to open and create compressed files for both Mac and Windows computers. For some reason, the Windows version costs $29.95 and the Mac version is $79.99(?). Panther now includes file compression software with the operating system. If you're a Jaguar user, I highly recommend GUITar (click here), which is free and works with the built-in compression engine of OS X
Graph Paper Printer - http://webperso.easynet.fr/~philimar/graphpapeng.htm
Allows you to print just about any type of graph paper you can imagine. Wow!!! This is a Windows application (we're looking for one for Mac). The program is shareware and costs $20.00. You can download an evaluation version to see if you like it. It will allow you to print standard graph papers and to see what's available in the registered version.
Notetab Lite - http://www.notetab.com/
We couldn't have created our website without this excellent text editor. From updating pages to writing copy - this great tool makes light work of otherwise difficult and time-consuming tasks. It's another free-for-the-download application. For Windows.
BBEdit Lite - http://www.barebones.com/products/bblite/index.shtml
BBEdit Lite is an excellent, free text editor for Mac OS. Not as powerful as its commercial sibling, BBEdit, but it's a good editor that will allow you to do things that aren't possible with Simpletext or TextEdit. The link above will take you to a page that informs you that the program is no longer in development. If you continue reading, you'll find a clickable link that will take you to a page where you can download the program. I finally got a chance to work with TextWrangler recently, and I can recommend it without reservation--it's a great program.
Try these sites for lots of other great software. From address books to recipe card programs to label printing programs to silly little babies that dance on your desktop, these sites have it all. I've chosen sites that test, review, and rate the software to make choosing programs easier. Some of it is commercial software, most of it is shareware or trialware, and much of it is free!
Download.com - http://download.com.com/
ZDNET - http://downloads-zdnet.com.com/
Stuff for your Mac, right on Apple's website.
More Mac software. Two of the most popular sites for the Mac community.
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