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by Steven Jeavock - GUI Computing

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This cute little VBX does for VB what Outside/In does for Windows. It allows you to view all different kinds of propriety file formats on screen. It supports many different formats- not as many as Outside/In, but enough for most common formats to be included.. So, a programmable viewing control that you can include with your VB app (for free!) is a breath of fresh air.

VBViewer is not as comprehensive as Outside-In for Windows, and if you’re looking for obscure formats, then Outside/In (and its royalties) is the only way to go. Still, with 24 file formats VBViewer’s pretty good value at $189 (refer to : Downloadable GUI Catalogue, size=756KB, for price update). Especially when the formats are the big guns of business. Also, Microhelp are overtly encouraging feedback from developers/users about new formats to include. Thus, as with O/I, you can expect on-going upgrades (see you on OZEMAIL) at nominal rates.

The file size is limited only by available Windows memory. It includes a SEARCH feature for finding phrases, expressions etc (for text files only). ASCII, HEX, PCX, TIF, GIF, BMP, ICO, WMF, MSWORD/WRITE, WORDPERFECT, AMI, DBASE, PARADOX, LOTUS, EXCEL, LOTUS(WK3), ZIP, LZH, QUATTRO PRO WIN, WAV, Q&A WIN, Q&A DOS, MSWORKS (DOC) and MSWORKS (DB) are the existing formats.

A couple of the more useful properties are :

.AutoFileType.
Let viewer figure it out. Auto determination is a relatively slow and lengthy process by any medium. Obviously, you and I do such cross referencing rapidly because we remember what we've seen and classify accordingly. However, viewer will necessarily have to scan an average of 12 (24/2) formats to reach a decision and consequently, the user will be paying the price. Nevertheless, extremely powerful for prototyping.

.SearchDialog.
Set it to any string and up it pops. Use it in conjunction with the .SearchHelp, .ScreenUpdate properties and .SearchHelp, SearchRequest and SearchResult events.

As far as VBXes go, VBViewer is pretty hungry resource wise. The DLL's to convert each format are the culprits. The vbx with the required DLL's consume in total, 577 Kb of disk space.

However, many will consider that a small price to pay for a lot of flexibility.

As with all MicroHelp, Inc products, VBViewer is distributed in Australia by GUI Computing, contact sales@gui.com.au.


Written by: Steven Jeavock
June 94

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