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KeyView Pro 6

by Dunc Petrie

Many computer users are faced with a daily quandary: how to view data files produced by applications that they do not own. Windows 95 shipped with a "lite" version of Quick View Plus; however, it had fewer filters than its commercial sibling and now those are dated. I obtained Verity's KeyView Pro, Version 6, originally to use with Windows 95. When I upgraded to Windows 98, I didn't bother determining its inherent capabilities; instead, I re-installed KeyView Pro. If you have more robust requirements, have a look. 

KeyView Pro is a file utility that supports viewing over 200 file formats without requiring the presence of the application itself. Principal features include support for: 

  • Documents - current and legacy formats from word processors, spreadsheets, and presentation graphics (includes Corel Suite 8, Microsoft Office 97 and Lotus SmartSuite 97) and the Clipboard
  • E-mail - Eudora Pro, Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange and Outlook, Netscape Mail, and others
  • Browsers - Netscape (and most plug-in filters) and Internet Explorer (as an ActiveX object), Versions 3 or later
  • Faxes (DCX and TIFF)
  • Multimedia - sound (AIF, WAV, MID) and video (MPG, MOV, AVI)
  • Graphics - most current file formats including web-based
  • Compression (Zip, Z-comp, GZ) and Encoding/Decoding (BinHex, MIME, TAR, UU)
  • Viewing documents as formatted, text or hex
  • Searching for data within a file or copying data from a file
  • Converting files from one format to another - including HTML and a versatile batch option
  • Encrypting files with PGP (web download)
  • Printing single or multiple files

The program integrates with Windows 95, 98, and NT 4.0. Using Windows 95 (OSR2) it installed readily and has worked without problems for me (about three weeks of use). I subsequently installed the Windows 98 upgrade: same story. Choose either a typical (6.2 MB) installation that disregards the legacy data formats or a complete (10.2 MB) one. Netscape plug-ins provide support for Adobe Acrobat (PDF), Autocad (DWG/DXF), Corel, MicroGrafx (Designer and Draw), and RealAudio; there are others. Some might miss a Custom option; however, the "hit" for the complete installation is quite modest in this age of program bloat. 

It was refreshing, in this age of electronic documentation, to find not only a printed manual but also a coil-ring binding that will lie flat on your desk. 

Specialty file viewer programs might offer more formats in one category; instead, KeyView provides great breadth with a realistic selection of filters for mainstream use. At present, it could not display Access files in native format although I expect that this deficiency would be rectified. It is reasonably priced (about $50 at local stores) and one- third less expensive than a leading competitor. A 30 day, full-feature, trial version is available from the website: 

Bottom Line:

KeyView Pro 6

Originally published: August, 1998

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