Quick View Plus Displays Almost Any Business File Format

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Make no mistake about it, Quick View Plus Standard ($46, 30-day free trial) is nifty little file-viewing utility for business users. It allows easy viewing--without having to open the originating program--of literally hundreds of file types, including word processing docs, spreadsheets, databases, and even compressed file archives produced by a myriad of programs, both new and old. The list is impressive and is available for perusal via a downloadable QVP .pdf fact sheet available at vendor Avantstar's Web site.

Quick View Plus screenshot
With classic Windows styling, the three-pane interface provides easy viewing of supported file types. Quick View Plus integrates into Explorer if you have Vista or Windows 7.

Quick View Plus integrates handily into the Vista and Windows 7 operating environments, so you can use its file-viewing abilities within existing Explorer windows rather than open QVP's own three-pane browsing/viewing application (which is all you get under XP). It also integrates with Outlook to render attached files in that program's preview pane--a super handy feature if you get lots of attachments. It also compresses files to zip format, though this is hardly easier than using Windows integrated Send To Compressed Folder function. You may also view any type of file as text or in hexadecimal. More useful is the ability to copy information from documents it allows you to view and paste it into other documents.

I used Quick View Plus to preview a host of different file types. The program handled all the graphics files I threw at it with the exception of an EPS file of a bitmap graphic saved from Photoshop 5. It also handled all the Office files I threw at it, including the docx, xlsx, etc. formats of Office 2007 and 2010. My only complaint was that the PDF previews didn't seem as cleanly rendered as with Adobe Reader or FoxIt Reader. File and header info is displayed for file types it doesn't understand.

Which brings me to a long-standing wish concerning Quick View Plus; It would be handy indeed if the program handled multimedia files. With the myriad of open source codecs and DirectShow operating system hooks available for free, I'm not sure why Avantstar hasn't implemented support for at least the basics such as MP3, AVI, WMV, WAV, etc. Perhaps they're worried about the image of the program but every time I run across a tune or movie that I'd like to take a quick look at it, I wish QVP had this ability.

Lack of multimedia support aside, Quick View Plus 11 Standard is an exceedingly useful tool, especially if you're dealing with a lot of legacy data, or trying to find that one piece of data in a sea of similar documents. The professional edition of Quick View Plus has the ability to view Microsoft Project files, which will be exceedingly handy for some, but not the average user.

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