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Weekly Wisdom from Bob Levitus
Action Files:
So Good It Should Ship With Every Mac

Dr. MacI've been a big fan of Now Software for as long as I can remember and have used and recommended Now Utilities for many years. But Now Utilities is incompatible with Mac OS 8.X. And even though the company was sold last November (to Qualcomm, of Eudora fame), and an upgrade has been promised since the acquisition, Now Utilities is still incompatible with OS 8 as of this writing.

My favorite component of Now Utilities, by far, was SuperBoomerang, which enhances the Open and Save dialog boxes by adding essential features like Find, Recent Files, and Recent Folders. And for months and months I mourned SuperBoomerang's demise and waited patiently for Qualcomm to release an upgrade.

I'm not mourning any longer. A small company in Sherrodsville, Ohio called Power On Software has introduced a nifty little utility called Action Files and it's everything SuperBoomerang was and more. Better still, it works perfectly with Mac OS 8 and costs a mere $40 if you buy it via the Web.

I've always said that the Open and Save dialog boxes are one of Mac OS's most confusing features. Action Files is the solution. It makes opening and saving files easier than ever before. Much easier.

Action Files is a control panel that adds a bunch of features to all Open and Save dialog boxes. First and foremost, it adds a menu bar with several useful menus. From these menus you can: Get Info, duplicate, create an alias, label, move to trash, and rename files and folders. You can also create new folders without closing the dialog box and returning to the Finder. Plus, there are menus that list all recently used folders and files for fast and easy access. Best of all, Action Files adds a Find function to Open and Save dialog boxes, where you really need it.

If that was all the program did it would still be worth the price. But there's more. One of its coolest features is the ability to click on a folder in the background (i.e. in the Finder and visible behind the Open or Save dialog box). When you do, it causes the dialog box to "point" to that folder instantly. I love this feature. Finally, Action Files makes your Open and Save dialog boxes resizable.

Power On is small software developer dedicated to creating utility products for the consumer, commercial, and education markets. Their team of experienced industry veterans developed significant portions of Now Utilities by Now Software, Speed Doubler by Connectix, and ALLright Utilities and COPYright Pro by CSG. Power On's development team also developed the ZiffNet/Mac utilities Dragon Drop, WunderBar, SmoothMove, and TabMania. I've known the principals of Power On for years and they're dedicated Mac-heads. And now they've created the best Open and Save dialog box enhancer I've ever used. Way to go, John, Sheila, and the rest of the gang.

But don't take my word for it. Power On Software offers a 30 day demo version of Action Files so you can see for yourself why I think it's one of the greatest utilities of all time. If you like it, you can converts the demo to a full retail product with the purchase of a license via the Internet.

I hate using a Mac without Action Files. In fact, I think Action Files is so good Apple ought to include it with every Mac they sell! Action Files. Power On Software. $40 (street price). 800-344-9160.

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Bob LeVitus is a leading authority on the Mac, the author of 22 computer books, including "Cheap & Easy Internet Access," "WebMaster Mac," and "System 7.5 for Dummies." Bob is also a contributing editor and columnist for MacUser magazine. E-mail comments and suggestions to Dr. Mac / Bob LeVitus has a new "vanity" web site at

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