Thursday, January 03, 2008

Tools of the Trade

One of the fun things about prowling around the internet between books (besides looking for heroes) is that sometimes I run across great programs that make my life easier.

One of them I found just last week is the image viewer from FastStone. I discovered it by reading someone else's blog, thought it sounded intriguing, and went to check it out.

If you're in the market for an image viewer that will let you annotate and highlight and mark up images, FastStone's image viewer is worth a look.

No, I don't get a cut. No, they don't know I'm writing this. And no, it doesn't cost anything -- though you can certainly make a donation.

In my other life I do a lot of family history and local history. I spend much of my life looking at lists. And then filing them away, and then taking them back out and looking at them again. And trying to find all the people I thought I remembered seeing on them.

FastStone's image viewer saves me vast amounts of time and my eyes a lot of eyestrain. It gives me the whole screen to work on (I'm not stuck with three or four or five toolbars taking up a third of my space). And it magnifies.

So where are the tools?

They are lurking on the sides and at the top and bottom. Take the cursor, bump it against the edge, and toolbars magically appear.

You choose what you want to do, the program creates a space for you to do it on (drawing board gets a big workout from me) and you do it. Then you click "ok" and you can save your annotated or marked up image.

Very slick. Very helpful. And if you have ever spent more time than you ever want to spend with the 1790 census or any other long list, you might be glad to have this tool, too.

I've also been using it to make notes on research materials for Seb and Neely's houseboat adventure. I think it's got a ton of uses. I'm impressed.

Pity I actually have to write. I'm having so much fun highlighting and annotating it's going to be a struggle to get back to 'real work.'



Blogger Madeline said...

Have fun with your new toy Anne. I'm definitely looking forward to Sebs story. I don't care when it gets finished. The wait will be well worth it.

05 January, 2008  

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