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Universal Viewer Makes It Easy to See Almost Any Kind of File

If you've ever found yourself on the receiving end of some obscure document format with no way to read the contents, you'll appreciate this handy little utility. Universal Viewer is a free program that can read almost any kind of file.

Here's an abbreviated list of supported file types (the full list is much longer and makes for rather uninteresting reading):

  • Text, Binary, Hex, Unicode: Any files, no size limit
  • RTF, UTF-8: RTF and UTF-8 encoded texts
  • Image: All common formats including BMP, JPG, GIF, PNG, TGA, and TIFF
  • Multimedia: All formats supported by Windows Media Player, including AVI, MPG, WMV, and MP3
  • Internet: All formats supported by Internet Explorer, including HTML, PDF, XML, and MHT
  • Office: All types Office files, but only if installed
  • Converters: Some types can be viewed as plain text, such as DOC, DOCX, PDF, PPT, and ODT
If you read carefully, you saw one of this program's biggest shortcomings -- it doesn't read Office files unless Office is actually installed. Even so, the Universal Viewer displays Office files very quickly, which is handy if you are still using Windows XP (and therefore can't use the Preview Pane in Windows 7 to see files without starting Office).

One other plus: The program is completely portable, so you can copy it to a flash drive and use it on any PC with no need to install anything. [via CyberNetNews]

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