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Author Topic: Stick-A-Note + Universal Viewer - Mini-Review  (Read 10117 times)
IainB
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« on: June 18, 2012, 05:15:07 AM »

Originally posted:2012-06-18
Last updated2013-01-04

Basic Info
App Name Stick-A-Note by Anand K. Gupta, and used in conjunction with
Universal Viewer Free from http://www.uvviewsoft.com/
Thumbs-Up Rating Thmbsup Thmbsup Thmbsup Thmbsup Thmbsup
App URLStick-A-Note from http://sites.google.com/site/stickanote/ and
Universal Viewer from http://www.uvviewsoft.com/
App Version ReviewedStick-A-Note Freeware v2.1.0. (2012-01-01)
Universal Viewer Free v5.7.2.0 (2012-06)
Test System SpecsInstalled and run on Windows 7-64 (Home Premium)
Supported OSesPrevious versions of Windows up to an including Windows 7-64 (Home Premium).
Support MethodsStick-A-Note: Refer to website Feedback page: http://https//sites.googl.../stickanote/home/feedback
Universal Viewer: Refer to Support page: http://www.uvviewsoft.com/support.htm
Upgrade PolicyUpgrades also freeware, posted to the websites (which have other tools also available from their respective developers)
Trial Version Available?Stick-A-Note is FREEWARE, and so is Universal Viewer Free, though, confusingly, some of the latter's plugins may be Shareware/Honestyware (and the UV Navigator panel might be such a plugin, I think).
Pricing Scheme(Not applicable.)

SCREENSHOT OF APP INTERFACE:
Stick-A-Note "About" window, and with its own Stick-A-Note attached:


Introduction:
In a separate DCF discussion thread:
Re: Gmail Notes (Sidebar add-on for Firefox only) - Mini Review
- I commented:
@TaoPhoenix:
Well, I think you're quite right about Stick A Note, and I was wrong (too hasty).
I had previously just given Stick A Note a very hasty and cursory once-over. It didn't seem to work properly and the notes didn't seem to persist, so I uninstalled it, thinking to come back and recheck it at a later stage. But I hadn't done so yet.
After reading your comment, I installed the latest version of Stick A Note, and it seems to work fine and the notes persist (are sticky), even (and especially) in Gmail. I've not seen that before - a sort of "local" form of Gmail Notes, without the frills or the cloud.
And I like that the notes are stored in one location as .TXT files. Makes them small and easily indexed/searchable.
I think maybe you or I should do a thorough trial and mini-review of Stick A Note now!
So, here is a review of Stick-A-Note being used with something that helps to make Stick-A-Note even more useful from an information management perspective - i.e. Universal Viewer.

Overview:
Stick-A-Note arose from a project by @anandcoral - NANY 2012 - Pledge & Final Release: Stick A Note
Anand's website describes Stick-A-Note as useful for sticking a text note to any window of a program or document. The note shows only on that window and "moves" with it - i.e., can be brought back when that window is opened again (as long as Stick-A-Note is running also).

You can use a hotkey on any program or document window to either stick a new note to it, or reveal/hide the existing note - the hotkey acts as a toggle. Win+n is the default, but that was reserved for something else on my system, so I ended up setting this to Ctrl+Shift+Alt+N for Stick-A-Note.
Right clicking on the Stick-A-Note systray icon selects Settings, which is used to define the hotkey and other values. There's not much to set - Stick-A-Note is a simple and minimalistic app.

Who could make use of Stick-A-Note + Universal Viewer: (Used in conjunction with each other.)
Anybody who:
  • (a) wants to be able to make persistent sticky notes on any window.
  • (b) wants to be able to view all their the notes in a tree view.

The Good:
Stick-A-Note is an excellent tool for making ad hoc persistent notes on any window - as long as it has a unique Window Title.
If the user is OK with only being able to see/review all their notes as .txt files, then that is OK, but if they want a "tree viewer", then they could use, for example, Universal Viewer, Windows Explorer or xplorer².
As an example, here are some Stick-A-Note .txt files (name is prefixed "SAN") in a directory:


Constraints and "needs improvement" section:
Stick-A-Note on its own does exactly what it was designed to do.
There can only be one note allowed per window.
I am not aware of any constraint on the amount of text that is allowed in a note.
From my perspective, it was lacking a "tree viewer", and the Universal Viewer therefore seemed a useful addition, as well as being a powerful multi-purpose viewer in its own right.

Why I think you should use this product:
  • Stick-A-Note is a very handy ad hoc sticky note tool!
  • Universal Viewer helps to extend its usefulness in terms of making the notes more readily viewable.
For example, this is Universal Viewer in action on the same Stick-A-Note directory as above:


How it compares to similar apps:
Stick-A-Note: is listed on alternativeTo as an alternative to several sticky note apps.: Stick A Note:


Anand's website gives an example of two possible alternatives:
This is some information from GumNotes: (which I find not as intuitive as Stick-A-Note, but it does have a good notes viewer)


Conclusions:
  • Stick-A-Note is a simple and minimalistic app. which does what it was designed to do, and very well. Very sticky/persistent notes.
  • Universal Viewer: Could be well worth considering as an adjunct to Stick-A-Note, especially as it can also view image files and many other formats of document files (not just .txt) that you may have in the same directory as the Stick-A-Note .txt files.

More notes/examples:
  • 1. Here is Stick-A-Note in action on this page in Firefox:


  • 2. This is using Windows Explorer with Preview Pane enabled, rather than using Universal Viewer:


  • 3. This is using xplorer² with Quick Review pane enabled, rather than using Universal Viewer:
    I have settled on using this for max flexibility and ease of use. It gives a better display, and I can search/filter and then immediately manually edit (just press the F3 key) the SaN*.txt files, if I want - which suits my needs well:


  • 4. Another use for Stick-A-Note. I use a Firefox add-on called InstantFox, which gives you a bunch of extra functionality/shortcuts in the Awesome bar. The only trouble is, you need to know/recall the hotkeys to invoke these shortcuts. So I created a Stick-A-Note note on the New Tab page to remind me. The size of the note is constrained to what you see in the image below, so it means I can't see all of the hotkeys, though I can if I select Edit to expand that note. In any event, I find this very handy:

« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 11:16:28 PM by IainB; Reason: Update review. » Logged
Ath
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2012, 06:02:28 AM »

Thanks, IainB, for this useful combo-review! thumbs up
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anandcoral
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 11:38:45 AM »

Thank you IainB, for this very sweet review of SAN and the five stars  cheesy

I am sorry that I missed this post earlier, I found it from the Newsletter today (Thank you Mouser).

Yes I have plan for an option to search for text in all notes and display, UV does help in achieving it without the inbuilt one yet.

Thanks once again.

Regards,

Anand
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IainB
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2012, 07:08:40 PM »

2012-08-02 (NZT): Added some notes and screenshots for information/clarification to the bottom of the Opening Post:
  • 1. (2012-08-02) Here is Stick-A-Note in action on this page in Firefox:
  • 2. (2012-08-02) This is using Windows Explorer with Preview Pane enabled, rather than using Universal Viewer:
  • 3. (2012-08-02) This is using xplorer² with Quick Review pane enabled, rather than using Universal Viewer:
    I have settled on using this for max flexibility and ease of use. It gives a better display, and I can search/filter and then immediately manually edit (just press the F3 key) the SaN*.txt files, if I want - which suits my needs well.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 05:30:02 PM by IainB; Reason: Minor correction. » Logged
Curt
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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2012, 02:42:31 PM »

INFO:
because these SaN_ files are text files, they are fully readable by simply pointing at them in Explorer, if you have QTTabbar installed:



But as you maybe can see, SAN did not use Unicode, to create the file ("rĂĄd" became "r_d").
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IainB
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2012, 07:33:52 AM »

Added a further note and a screenshot to the bottom of the Opening Post for:
Quote
4. (2012-08-22) Another use for Stick-A-Note. I use a Firefox add-on called InstantFox, which gives you a bunch of extra functionality/shortcuts in the Awesome bar. The only trouble is, you need to know/recall the hotkeys to invoke these shortcuts. So I created a Stick-A-Note note on the New Tabs page to remind me. The size of the note is constrained to what you see in the image below, so it means I can't see all of the hotkeys, though I can if I select Edit to expand that note. In any event, I find this very handy.
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IainB
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2013, 09:37:50 PM »

New Year clean-up: I have just tidied up/updated the summary details at the top of the review in the opening post.
No real changes to anything otherwise.
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rjbull
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2013, 03:42:31 PM »

@IainB:

You clearly state you used Universal Viewer Free.  Have you been tempted to upgrade to the payware version with its extra formats?

Quite a lot of sticky notes programs can attach notes to specific windows too, most of them payware but including the free ZhornSoftware Stickies, and the notes part of PowerPro.  Were you specifically looking for a free solution?
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IainB
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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2013, 08:08:28 AM »

@rjbull: I have only used the free version.

I also use Stickies.
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dr_andus
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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2014, 08:35:50 PM »

I have just done a quick trial of Stick-A-Note, Stickies, Notezilla, and GumNotes, hoping to be able to use them to annotate ConnectedText topics (when viewed in the main window and in floating windows). Stick-A-Note and GumNotes emerged as the most promising, as those seem to be the only ones that you can create as notes linked to a specific document window with a single hotkey. I did have some problems with not being able to attach a note so that it would show when a topic is called up both in CT's main window and/or in a floating window, but turned out that both Stick-A-Note and GumNotes allow you to edit down the title of the note to the actual title of the CT topic, and then it recognises them, no matter in what kind of window they are displayed.

Comparing Stick-A-Note and GumNotes directly, the advantage of the former is that it does follow the window when you drag it around. On the other hand, GumNotes' strength is that it does have a viewing window for all notes and also has quick text export functions.
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IainB
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2014, 09:55:16 PM »

@dr_andus: I use SaN in OneNote, but with a caution.: if you update the link reference point used by SaN, then you will orphan the SaN note. For example:

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dr_andus
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2014, 06:01:59 AM »

Thanks, IainB. My problem with ConnectedText was of a slightly different nature. There are two ways of viewing a CT topic: in its main window, and/or in a floating window. The problem was that the same topic is displayed with different window titles, so that if I created a Stick-A-Note (or GumNote) in one or the other, it would only show up in that particular window.

However, eventually I figured out that if I remove all the superfluous window-specific text and leave only the topic title in the Stick-A-Note (or GumNote) header, then it would work with both. E.g. a topic in the main window would have:

Quote
ConnectedText - The Personal Wiki System - [project title:topic title]

while, in a floating window it would show
Quote
project title - topic title

So if I delete all the superfluous stuff ("ConnectedText - The Personal Wiki System - [project title: ...]" or "project title - " in the Stick-A-Note window, and only leave "topic title" for both, then the note would show up regardless which type of window is being used.

After a bit more testing I found that Stick-A-Note is more reliable than GumNotes. Sometimes document-specific GumNotes just would not show up when the given document or software window is called up, which defeats the whole purpose of having these notes. On the other hand, Stick-A-Note seems remarkably consistent, and the fact that it moves with its window makes it the winner for me.

Now if only Stick-A-Note had some kind of a basic note-viewer pane that could be called up with a shortcut, and the ability to export the notes (individually or collated into a single text file).  Wink
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 07:27:46 AM by dr_andus » Logged
IainB
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2014, 09:00:59 PM »

...Now if only Stick-A-Note had some kind of a basic note-viewer pane that could be called up with a shortcut, and the ability to export the notes (individually or collated into a single text file).  Wink
_____________________________
You effectively can already have tree-style note-viewing and editing capability - using, for example:
(a) Universal Viewer;
(b) Windows Explorer;
(c) xplorer²;
- as per above examples/images.

I find the use of xplorer² is the best as it is so fast to edit a file (press F3) using the built-in editor.
If you wanted to open up and edit several note files at once, Send To a tabbed editor such as (for example) EditPad Lite would do nicely (I regularly use EditPad Lite for editing several text files at once).

As I wrote above:
Quote
From my perspective, it is lacking a "tree viewer", and the Universal Viewer therefore seemed a useful addition, as well as being a powerful multi-purpose viewer in its own right.
Given this, unless you wanted to add some additional new functionality, then creating a special notes tree-viewer for viewing standard, non-proprietary txt files in the "database" (which is a folder) might seem to be an exercise in redundancy - i.e., unnecessary.
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IainB
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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2014, 11:21:41 PM »

2014-01-10: Made various updates to the review in the opening post.
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rjbull
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« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2014, 03:12:25 PM »

Stick-A-Note is an excellent tool for making ad hoc persistent notes on any window - as long as it has a unique Window Title.
I'd like to make persistent notes that can be stuck to similar windows by some form of wildcard.  That is, I'd like to be able to stick a note to a Web page and all its child pages, and to be able to stick a note to a particular file whatever editor I'm using to edit it.  I haven't yet seen a sticky notes program to do this...
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IainB
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« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2014, 09:01:59 PM »

@rjbull: Pretty tall order. I'm not sure whether GumNotes (referred to in the review) could help there. I haven't tried it in ages, and I'm sure it will have been modified/improved since I last trialled it.
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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2014, 07:55:20 AM »

Hi rjbull

Sorry I did not checked your message earlier. Life is hectic to be the least. Always fail to make any one happy or satisfied, no matter how hard one tries.

Anyway, yes SAN can solve your problem.

For example, give the title value, say "myfile", then if you open "myfile.doc" or "myfile.txt" or "all myfiles.xls", SAN will show the notes for it.

Give it a try and revert in case of any problem.

Regards,

Anand
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IainB
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« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2014, 09:26:01 AM »

^^ Will that give @rjbull what he seems to require? I'm not so sure that it will.
For example, I have a SAN for the "About" window of the ATI Tray Tools utility.

The SAN file is SaN_About.txt, and it contains:
-------------------------
[APP]Stick A Note , 2.1.0[/APP]
[TITLE]About[/TITLE]
[NOTES]ATI Tray Tools v1.7.9.1573 (still latest as at 2013-07-03).
Latest version from "old" site page:
http://downloads.guru3d.c...load.php?det=733#download
From "new" site page:
http://www.guru3d.com/files/index.html[/NOTES]
-------------------------

This same SAN pops up on various other windows with the string "About" in the window title and which are nothing to do with the ATI Tray Tools utility - e.g., whilst editing a file called About everything.text or Not About.txt. Whilst this is not a problem per se for me, it does serve to illustrate that SAN does not attempt to discriminate between different application windows with the same string (e.g., "About") in the Window title. That is, SAN seems to work best or more specifically where the window title term(s) is(are) unique rather than potentially generic.

So, where the requirement is:
...I'd like to make persistent notes that can be stuck to similar windows by some form of wildcard.  That is, I'd like to be able to stick a note to a Web page and all its child pages, and to be able to stick a note to a particular file whatever editor I'm using to edit it. ...
___________________
- I have been unable to realise the first part (web pages) with SAN, but the second part (file names) can be realised to a greater extent by judiciously naming files in a unique fashion.
To be able to realise/meet both requirements with SAN would be very useful to me.
For files, I had been pondering the idea of somehow getting SAN to use the text in a file's Comment field, rather than just in a text file called (say) SaN_About.txt. The text would thus travel with the file, regardless of what application opened it. The implication is that the text might (say) even be duplicated in the file's comment field and in a file called SaN_About.txt - but that wouldn't be very elegant.
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rjbull
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« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2014, 03:31:38 PM »

Thanks, anandcoral and IainB; I'll take a look when I get up enough steam...

- I have been unable to realise the first part (web pages) with SAN
Occasionally I get coupons for reduced price on something.  When that happens, I'd like to make a sticky note reminder that not only pops up on the Web site home page, but on other pages I visit within that site, so I don't forget.  Very mercenary, perhaps, but trying to be practical.

For files, I had been pondering the idea of somehow getting SAN to use the text in a file's Comment field, rather than just in a text file called (say) SaN_About.txt. The text would thus travel with the file, regardless of what application opened it.
I'm not sure what you mean by the file's comment field.  Some approximation of this may be had by software that understands the DESCRIPT.ION comment files originated by 4DOS.  Some programs, like my regular file manager Total Commander, honours these and copies the file description across when it copies or moves a file.  However, I think you mean some form of comment more embedded within the file itself?
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IainB
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« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2014, 06:27:40 PM »

@rjbull: I don't really have any useful suggestions as to how SAN could help you with the coupons problem. It's an interesting puzzle.

By the file's Comments field I mean the "Comment" column that you can add in Windows Explorer (Windows7).
In the DCF discussion: IDEA: Allow commenting of files in directory listing
 - I described it:
...I use xplorer² file manager (Windows Explorer replacement). That has 2 comments fields - one (A) seems to be peculiar to xplorer², and the other (B) is a system one. For a JPG file, if you write/edit a comment in (A), it appears in (B), but it does not appear in either the EXIF or IPTC info of the file.

xplorer² has this note about using Comments:
Quote
File comments rely on an advanced NTFS feature called “Alternate Data Streams” (ADS). Imagine a file as a kind of "folder" that has a stream for the regular contents and secondary streams for other information, including comments. When you move the file around, all these alternate streams are silently carried along.
What that means is that if you run a file backup to a non-NTFS disk, then you will strip off the ADS (Comment) data [in the back-up copies of the files].
There is no manager for the Comments, so you have to display them in the file manager, though xplorer² says you can export the comments and file names to a spreadsheet for analysis. ...
__________________________

Does that make sense to you?

I am finding that the Comment field (for most files) and the Tag field (in image files) are potentially two very useful tools for increasing and storing file meta-data. I just wish they were easier to use and get into an information management database.
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rjbull
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« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2014, 04:13:40 PM »

By the file's Comments field I mean the "Comment" column that you can add in Windows Explorer (Windows7).
[...]
xplorer² has this note about using Comments:
Quote
File comments rely on an advanced NTFS feature called “Alternate Data Streams”
[...]

I'm on Vista Home Premium, 32-bit, UAC On, user account, and can't see a Comments field in Windows Explorer.  Total Commander mentions "NTFS file comments, MS-Office embedded comments, comments from files.bbs and descript.ion, etc. if available."  Explorer comments are supposedly available by pressing Alt+Enter.  On a generic .TXT file that just seems to get me the standard Properties box.  On a PDF, the Properties box has an extra PDF field that says "Information on this page reflects the actual contents of the Adobe PDF file. This page may differ from other pages of this property sheet that display Information from the Windows file system."  Whatever that means.  I can't seem to add or change information.

One good thing about third-party solutions; they aren't dependent on the vagaries of the particular version of the OS  Angry

I am finding that the Comment field (for most files) and the Tag field (in image files) are potentially two very useful tools for increasing and storing file meta-data. I just wish they were easier to use and get into an information management database.

Agreed, and wouldn't it be nice if there were a universal standard.  DESCRIPT.ION has been the closest to that for years, though it's primarily text description, whereas you seem interested in more extensive metadata.
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IainB
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« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2014, 06:21:38 AM »

^^ Making use of some odd bits and pieces to get my daughter another laptop (I just destroyed hers with a tea spill), I have just built up an old DELL Inspiron laptop (Intel Centrino Duo CPU), fitted with an old 120GB hard drive from a dead Toshiba laptop, and a new/unused Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit.
I have been running it with UAC ON and OFF, and I had no problem in adding the Comments and Tags columns into Windows Explorer. The same columns show up in xplorer² also.

This is the first time I have ever installed/used Vista, so it was all a bit of a discovery for me. Seems a lot like Win7. Or, more correctly, Win7 seems a lot like Vista.

I recall using DESCRIPT.ION files - I think it was under 4DOS, which I used a lot at one time.
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