Computer Guide

Associating a viewing for Windows Picture viewer
by George Skarbek - 20th June 2006

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Q: Whenever I right-clicked on a BMP, GIF, PNG or JPG file in Windows Explorer, along with Preview, Edit and Print being listed, my preferred photo-editing tool, Paint Shop Pro, was also listed. I did this by editing Registry (I have WIN XP) for each file type. But I cannot now remember how I did it. I know I can associate these flies to PSP, but I prefer Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, because it's faster.

A: This program is hard to find because for some inexplicable reason, Microsoft does not have an executable program associated with the viewer but only a dll (Dynamic Link Library) called shimgvw.dll. To use this viewer with jpg files, you have to right-click on a jpg file and select Open With and then select Choose Program, Browse and navigate to C:\Windows\System32 and select shimgvw.dll. Another consideration is to use the tiny but excellent free program IrfanView to view these files. If can be downloaded from or

Q: Is it possible to change a .pdf file into a word.doc?

A. Yes, it is, and there are many ways to do this. The simplest and cheapest (free) is to click on File, Save As, from the free Acrobat Reader, and save the text. This can be then opened in Word for editing. However, there is a catch: only the text is saved; all formatting, fonts, images are not converted.

There are many commercial programs that will do a full conversion. Use Google and enter "convert PDF to word" and you will have more than 300,000 items. If you leave out the quotes you will have 28 million.

For occasional use there are free programs. See: for a service that requires you to upload your file to their server, and then you can download the converted Word file or have it emailed to you.

Although this service is free, the conversion is excellent. I tested a complex PDF file with multiple graphics, tables, fonts and headers and footers, and all came out exactly as in the PDF file.
You probably think there is a catch with this program, and there is: for non-members, only the first 10 pages are converted. As membership costs $10 a year, this is still cheaper than any other program I know of.

Q: I was told to sort a folder containing many hundreds of files by date in order to locate the required ones. I think I was in Windows Explorer but could find no facility that would allow me to sort by date; I suspect I need to confirm how to get to Explorer and then go from there. Can you help?

A: From Windows Explorer, click on the View tab and select Details, then click on the Date Modified heading to sort by date. Click on it again to have it by descending order.

You can have this as your preferred view whenever you open Windows Explorer if you click on Tools, Folder Options, then click on the View tab and click Apply to All Folders.

Q: With what software do you capture and print the part of the screen, including the images that you have selected in your column? Do you know of freeware that can do the same thing equally well?

A: The ability to capture the screen, or sections of it, is a part of Windows. Just press the PrtScn (Print Screen) key and paste the image into a program that can handle images, such as Paint or Word. Pressing Alt + PrtScn will just capture the active window.

Q: I am trying to back up my Bookmarks in Firefox as I used to back up Favorites in IE, but I cannot find the appropriate file using Search in XP. All I get is "bookmarks.html". Grateful for any suggestions.

A: You have found them. Unlike IE, Firefox stores all the bookmarks in the one file that you have located. All you have to do is to back-up this one file. You can easily verify this by opening the Bookmarks file in IE. This method is much more efficient in the use of disk space in storing data than having many small files. In my case, I have about 500 favorites and these occupy 20 KB but consume more than 500 KB of disk space, owing to directory allocations. Also, copying many small files to a USB drive takes a lot of time, whereas copying one file is much faster.



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