Gems in brief: Updated favorites 2

Today is the last installment in our series of “Gems in brief” articles, and I use it to cover a few more old favorites that have recently been updated with new features and/or Tiger compatibility. (Tune in next week when I return to the normal format of one longer product review per column.)

Print Window 3.1.3 (   ; Standard version, free; Advanced version, $15). One of the most-missed features of Mac OS 9 is the ability to print a Finder window’s contents. Print Window provides this functionality to Mac OS X and a lot more. You can print the contents of any Finder window via drag and drop, a keyboard shortcut, the Services menu, or by selecting it from within the app. But you also get the ability to choose what to print: complete file and folder information or just names; the visible contents of a folder or all subfolders; icons or not. You can even include custom headers, sort listings, and choose the printing font. The new Advanced version adds the ability to print formatted CD/DVD covers, selectively print subfolders, and customize file information display.

WinSwitch 3.1 (   ; free). In Tiger, Apple finally lets you display the Fast User Switching menu as the short username or user icon so it doesn’t take up so much space. But WinSwitch—one of my favorite utilities for Panther for this very feature—is still quite useful. In addition to allowing you to display the menu as the user’s initials, customize the appearance of menu contents, and assign a keyboard shortcut to switch to the Login Window, WinSwitch can automatically launch applications or open documents when you switch to or from certain accounts. It can even list the root user—if enabled—in the Fast User Switching menu.

SubEthaEdit 2.1.2 (   ; free for noncommercial use; commercial use, $35). Sharing a document between several people who want to make changes simultaneously has traditionally been a recipe for disaster. SubEthaEdit makes such collaborative efforts feasible—even enjoyable—by allowing an unlimited number of participants to join an editing session over the Internet or via Bonjour. Each person’s contributions are tracked in a different color, and each participant can see what other participants are doing in the document. Integration with Apple’s iChat and Mail means you can chat or e-mail with participants on the side. SubEthaEdit is also a full-fledged text editor, with powerful formatting and search-and-replace functionality, and it provides automatic syntax highlighting via customizable styles. You can even export your documents to HTML, complete with author metadata. Finally, a Unix command-line tool lets SubEthaEdit interact with Terminal.

NetFlix Freak 2.1.2 (   ; $15). If you’ve got a NetFlix (www.netflix.com) account, avoid the Website and get NetFlix Freak. In addition to a much better interface for managing your movie queue, it offers better searching and browsing of the NetFlix library to help you find the perfect movie. You can also quickly search your own queue and see your entire rental history. You can categorizing rentals by “who rented” them—useful for keeping the peace at home—as well as by your own genres, and you can add your own notes to movie records. And NetFlixFreak now supports NetFlix Profiles and multiple NetFlix accounts.

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