Version 1.2 Major Updates


Faster Thumbnail Availability

Upon program startup, the first task PicViewPlus takes on is the automatic generation of picture thumbnail views. This thumbnail generation also occurs when a new picture folder is selected. The associated background processing necessarily slows down other tasks, such as moving from picture to picture. Version 1.2 reduces this processing time by writing each generated thumbnail view to a picture subfolder called PicViewPlus Thumbnails-WWWxHHH, where WWW and HHH represent the width and height respectively of the thumbnail pictures contained in the subfolder. The next time parent picture folder is opened, the thumbnail views are read from this subfolder instead of being computed. The result is that thumbnail views are available much faster than was the case earlier – often 20 times faster. This speedup is especially noticeable for folders containing lots of large picture files.

Thumbnail Sizes

The former method of specifying both the height and width of the thumbnail pictures has been changed to a selection of three sizes: Small, Medium, and Big. The standard size is Medium which is what it was before. Use Small thumbnails when you must rearrange a large set of pictures. Use Big thumbnails when you want to quickly review a large set of pictures. The first time you specify one of these sizes, PicViewPlus will need to generate the set of them, so program operation will be slower.

New License Key Scheme

A new license scheme is now in effect. When purchasing PicViewPlus on-line, you must now enter your computer's Id along with the other standard purchase information. To get your computer's Id, click button Preferences, then tab Support. Your computer's Id will be listed in the lower-right corner of the form. The license key you receive upon purchase will have this Id embedded within it. Enter this key (it may be multiple lines) within the same form, where indicated, and click button Update. Program purchase reminders will then cease.

Why the change? Well, the former license key scheme was easily pirated, and consequently valid license keys ended up being posted on many pirate web sites. This scheme is more secure, but does require that your computer have a network interface card (which contains your unique computer Id, often known as a MAC address). Most computers these days have such a card, and their cost has now fallen to about $10. To compensate for this minor inconvenience, the license agreement has been relaxed so that you may now install PicViewPlus on up to three computers. When purchasing PicViewPlus, simply enter the Id of each computer. The license key you obtain can be used on each of those computers.

Should you want to change your list of licensed computers, simply send your license key, along with the Ids of the computers you want to add or remove, to support@linkwise.net. An updated license key will be returned. You may make up to two of these updates.

Those users who have purchased the prior version of the license key should simply send a request for an updated license to support@linkwise.net (include the computer Id). There is no charge for this license update.

Enhanced Operation Tips

More operation tips have been added. To give you a better idea of the tip context, the tip subject is now placed in the tip window's title bar. In order to help you gradually learn more about the features in PicViewPlus, there is now an option (enabled by default) to have a tip displayed every 10 pictures.

Prior to this release, you could bring up the tip window at any time in PicViewPlus by toggling the Show Tip on Startup checkbox. Now, instead, you simply click button Show a Tip.

Resizable Picture Frames

You can easily enhance the appearance of your pictures by using a picture border that has the appearance of a picture frame. To do this, click button Preferences, then tab Picture Appearance. Click button Select Default Picture Frame.

There are several dozen of these picture frames to choose from, from plain to fancy. When you select a picture frame, it is immediately sized to fit the picture being displayed. Furthermore, you can also easily vary the thickness of the frame, making the frame image occupy from 1% to 99% of the total picture height/width.

By default, the picture frame you select will be used for all subsequent displayed pictures. However, you also have the option of attaching the selected picture frame to the currently displayed picture, so that this picture will always display with that designated frame, no matter what the current default frame is.

While there are many frames to choose from, you may also construct your own simulated picture frames using the instructions provided.

If you choose to make a printout of your picture(s), the picture frame in effect will also appear on the printed picture.

Printing your Pictures in Various Layouts

When you see one or more pictures you would like printed, you can now easily print them from within PicViewPlus. To do this, click button Preferences, then tab Print. Select a picture layout, and then click on each box within the layout to place the current picture there. Your composed layout can contain from one to 20 pictures.

Doing your printing in PicViewPlus rather than elsewhere has these advantages:

The full caption specification may be attached to a picture

The caption specification may now be attached to a picture. To do this, right-click the picture and select Attach current caption spec to this picture. Whenever this picture is again displayed, the attached caption spec will be used instead of the default caption spec used with the other pictures.

This capability is particularly useful when you want to overlay the picture with its caption, but you want the caption to appear within an area having little picture content. You can use a custom caption location to further refine the caption location.

Of course, you may also just as easily remove this attached caption spec by right–clicking the picture and selecting the removal option. Furthermore, you can make the attached caption spec become the default caption spec.

A picture frame may be attached to the picture

Similar to the way you can attach a caption to a picture, you can attach the current picture frame to the picture. To do this, first select a picture frame if one has not already been selected. Then right–click the picture and select option Attach current frame 'xxx' to this picture, where xxx is the name of the current/default picture frame.

Of course, you may also just as easily remove this attached picture frame by right–clicking the picture and selecting the removal option.

The picture caption may be placed anywhere on the picture

When you choose to have a picture caption overlay the picture, you can specify that the caption appear in one of four standard locations: upper-center, upper-left, lower-center, and lower-left. In the centered locations, the caption is center-justified. In the left positions, the caption is left-justified.

If these standard captions aren't suitable, you can place the caption within a text box of the size and position of your choosing. To do this, press down the keyboard Ctrl key and then drag the left-mouse button to create this caption box. When you release the mouse button, the caption will be placed within this box, center-justified. Excess caption text will overflow the bottom of the box so that none of the caption is lost. This action will also cause your default caption location to be set to On it: Custom. If you wish, this custom caption location may be attached to the picture.



Version 1.2 Minor Updates


The functions within the Preferences form have been separated into tabs

With all the new functionality added in this release, it wasn't possible to cram it all into the Preferences window. Consequently, the Preferences window now contains a tabbed control that lets you select which piece of functionality you want to change.

Control appearance is similar to that in Windows XP

If you are running Windows XP, you will note that the appearance of most controls has been changed to match those within the Windows XP operating system. Unfortunately, Win 98 users will not see this update (A limitation of Microsoft .NET).

Caption and Picture wallpaper selections can now be done visually

Caption and picture wallpaper selection is now done through the use of a listbox that shows you the appearance of the wallpaper as well as the name of the wallpaper. You no longer have to click on the wallpaper name to see what it looks like.

When you accidentally click on the PicViewPlus window Close button, you can now Cancel it

When you attempt to exit PicViewPlus by clicking on the Close box in the title bar of the PicViewPlus main window, you now have the option to cancel this close operation should you instead decide not to exit the application.

The caption on the picture timer has been changed from Timer to Picture Timer

The caption of the picture timer has been changed from Timer to Picture Timer so as better indicate what it does, which is to specify the amount of time that a picture displays. At the end of this time, the next picture is automatically displayed.

Control Focus Help via the Perferences button has been replaced with a question-mark icon in the title bar

Preferences option Control Focus Help has been eliminated. While it seemed like a good way to present helpful information about the operation of PicViewPlus, it was too much of an "in your face" sort of thing. Instead, a more standard technique is now used: a title bar question mark. Many system windows carry this question mark icon on the right side of the window's title bar, and PicViewPlus now uses this convention on all controls accessed through the Preferences button. To get help on one of these controls, first left-click this title bar icon, then left-click the control you want information on. A browser window will appear displaying help only on that control.

The picture folder path was removed from the title bar

The title bar of the displayed picture contained the full path (the folder hierarchy) of the displayed picture. Unfortunately, the picture often wasn't wide enough to display this full path. Consequently, the picture path was removed from the title bar. To see the full folder path now, click button Old Folder. The current folder path is now highlighted, with enough space to see it all.

Picture Window Title Bar Content Change

As pointed out above, the picture window title bar no longer includes the picture path. As before, it still contains the following: In place of the picture path, you are now notified if:



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