PowerTools Software, Inc.  
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 Executive Summary
 SpecWriter 5.0
 ContractWriter 4.0
 SpeedContracts 4.0
 QuickBooks for Bldrs
 Free Excel Forms
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PowerTools Software Support Programs


Internet Explorer 5.5

Internet Explorer is a "Browser" program that you use to surf the Internet.  Internet Explorer is published by Microsoft, although there are other browsers such as Netscape Navigator by Netscape that you can also use in the same manner.  Browsers are programs that essentially open and display webpages written in a language called HTML.  You may use a browser to open and view HTML pages you receive over the Internet, or HTML pages that may be on your hard drive, CD, or any other common media.  Internet Explorer is included in Windows, and thus many people already have it on their computers.

We recommend that you use Internet Explorer to view our website and print our guides and manuals only because we have carefully designed these documents to properly display and print in Internet Explorer.  We have nothing against Netscape Navigator or any other browser, but they all have subtle differences between how they each display and print webpages.  This makes it impossible to design webpages that will print exactly the same way with all the browsers, so we simply chose to design the pages to fit the most common browser available.  Certainly you are free to use Internet Explorer to print our documents, and then use another browser to surf the Internet.

Even if you already have Internet Explorer, we recommend that you upgrade to the latest release, version 5.5, which is the first version of Internet Explorer with a Print Preview feature.  The Print Preview feature will allow you to preview our documents before you print them, which can be helpful, for example, by verifying that you have set the margins properly before you burn up the paper.  How can you tell what version of Internet Explorer you have?  Open your Internet Explorer, and select Help | About Internet Explorer, which will open a dialog box that will display the version number of your copy of Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer is FREE!, and can be downloaded and installed only from Microsoft's website.  Rest assured, the download is easy, the installation is automatic, and the process is entirely anonymous.  The new version will replace your existing version of Internet Explorer, but all your settings, connections and favorites will be preserved. Once the installation is complete, you can begin using the new version immediately.


 
More Info from
Microsoft Website


Download from
Microsoft Website

Acrobat Reader

Acrobat Reader is a document reader program that allows you to open, view, search and print documents that are saved in a PDF format, which stands for Portable Document Format.  Acrobat Reader is published by Adobe Corporation, which gives it away for free because they sell their Acrobat program that creates the PDF files.  You get the idea?  They give away the Acrobat Reader to create the demand for the program that creates the Acrobat files.  Still, everyone is happy because it gives all of us a method of sharing virtually any type of printed document created with virtually any type of program, with everyone else in the world.  Anyone can download the PDF document and open, view, search and print it, regardless of whether or not they have the program used the originally create the document.  All anyone needs is the Acrobat Reader, which is FREE.

Acrobat Reader is very simple to use.  The menu allows you to open and close files, zoom in or out, search the document for a specific word or phrase, and print the document.  There is an extensive help file included with the program, but I doubt you'll need it.  The search feature is really helpful because when you enter the search word or phrase, the program scans through the document and stops at each place it finds the match, allowing you to read the surrounding text and decide to stop or continue searching.  It's like an automatic index.

Many of the PowerTools Manuals, Guides, References and Charts are available in PDF format.  In fact, when you download any of our manuals, the installation program copies the associated PDF files into the PowerTools Manuals folder on your desktop. When you open the folder, you can see the various document files, and when you double-click on one, your computer automatically starts Acrobat Reader and opens the selected document.  From there, you can read the document and use the menu commands to zoom in or out, move between the pages, search or print the document.

You can learn more about Acrobat Reader (if you want) by visiting the Adobe website.  You can also download Acrobat Reader directly from their website, or from the PowerTools website, whichever you prefer.  It's exactly the same file, but our website is usually faster simply because we don't have thousands of people trying to download the file everyday.


 
More Info from
Publisher's Website


Download from
Publisher's Website


Download from
PowerTools Website


PowerArchiver 2000

PowerArchiver is a file compression program that takes one or more regular files and compresses them to a significantly smaller size in a process commonly called zipping.  The resulting zipped file can be copied, saved or Emailed like any other file, and can be unzipped at any time onto another computer. PowerArchiver 2000 is published by eFront Media, who gives it away for FREE, ostensibly to attract traffic to their site to offer other products.  PowerArchiver is an identical clone to another compression program called WinZip, which cost $30.00.  We'll leave it up to you to decide which program you want to use. (Hint: PowerArchiver is FREE)

OK, all of this sounds interesting, but what do you care?  Well, some of our files, especially the SpecWriter files, are too large to fit on a standard 3.5 inch 1.44 meg floppy disc, and if you want to copy such a file from your laptop to your desktop on a floppy disc, you need to compress it to a zipped file that can fit on the floppy.  After you have copied the zipped file to the other computer, you can unzip it and it will be identical to the original.  Creating a zipped file has no effect on the original file, you are creating a new file with a name you enter that is different from your original file, which remains unaffected.

Another reason to learn how to use PowerArchiver is to be able to compress a file or files before emailing them to someone.  Compressing several files together as one file, or simply compressing a single large file, increases the transmission and download speed of the file, and reduces traffic over the already crowded Internet.  Compressing files is considered good Internet etiquette and will surely gain you the admiration of those with who you conduct business.  We certainly appreciate when one of our customers takes 10 seconds to zip up a QuickBooks file before they email it to us for review.

PowerArchiver is easy to use, and it has a built-in help manual plus an extensive help section on the website.  The only confusing thing about using the program is understanding that they call the zipped file an Archive.  Once you understand that, the menu starts to make sense.  You'll also want to learn the difference between a Zip file, which requires you to have PowerArchiver on the other computer in order to unzip the file, and an EXE file, which will unzip itself when selected on the target computer.  You have the option of creating either (or both) types of compressed files.

You can learn more about PowerArchiver (if you want) by visiting the PowerArchiver website.  You can also download PowerArchiver directly from their website, or from the PowerTools website, whichever you prefer.  It's exactly the same file, but our website is usually faster simply because we don't have thousands of people trying to download the file everyday.


 
More Info from
Publisher's Website


Download from
Publisher's Website


Download from
PowerTools Website


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