KeyView Pro lets you view files in many formats

KeyView Pro lets you view files in many formats

KeyView Pro works standalone or in a browser to open multiple file types in PC, Mac or Unix formats. The $59 viewer works with new and old operating systems.

This viewer, which works in both standalone and browser modes, can also do file format conversions

By John Breeden II

GCN Staff

Tired of downloading unsupported file formats from the Web? Try pulling everything together with Verity's KeyView Pro.

I don't know how many times I have downloaded a product de-monstration movie, screen shot or white paper, only to find that I can't do anything with it. All too often my browsers choke on files with extensions such as .png, leaving me with unusable chunks of stored data and wasting my time. Even some files in formats I could normally read, such as TIFF, might have been created on an Apple Macintosh and refuse to show up on my PC.

KeyView Pro 6.0 lets me view about 200 file formats. The program will run standalone to examine files already downloaded to the hard drive, or as a companion to a Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator browser. It replaces Microsoft Quick View functions and is a lot more versatile.

I have seen a slew of viewer programs for looking at various file formats, but most stop right there. KeyView Pro also converts the files into usable formats. If you need to work in a .png graphics file, have KeyView turn it into, say, a .jpg file for your graphics program.

Box Score ''''''''
KeyView Pro 6.0

Viewer for multiple file formats

Verity Inc; Sunnyvale, Calif.;

tel. 408-541-1500

Price: $59

+ Can view most file types and convert
alien formats to usable ones

+ Works with new and old operating

' Cannot handle every file you might

Real-life requirements:

Windows 3.x, Win9x or NT; 386 or faster processor; 5M of free storage

Conversion time

The conversion utility worked quite well. I took a single image and converted it to 15 formats. KeyView, or another program that natively supported the particular file type I created, could open it every time. Image quality did not degrade.

Word processing files were no trouble, either, so why bother keeping a bunch of bulky office suites on your hard drive just to read co-workers' documents? KeyView Pro's file conversion was in fact a bit more reliable than that of the various word processors, and it almost never garbled any characters inside documents.

I tested the utility with Mac and Unix files, which it could display and convert to PC formats. My troubles with Mac .TIF files are now a thing of the past.

The program was a bit sketchier at handling multimedia files. All .avi, .mid and QuickTime files displayed properly, but the KeyView controls were not as good as those of the native viewers. I found a few multimedia files that KeyView could not open.

As a complete package, KeyView Pro can fill in a lot of holes and relieve you of the need for multiple viewer programs. The road might still have a few potholes, however.

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