TriPlus: Windows wide open

Chances are you have seen it before: the oversized Windows desktop. Your video card is unable to handle an increase in desktop resolution and compensates by creating a "virtual desktop" that occupies more space than your screen can show. As a result, you must scroll from side to side and top to bottom to reach the edge of your work space.

TriPlus Technologies LLC has made that would-be nuisance an asset with the introduction of the WinSpace Professional line of products.

WinSpace 3.0 Professional, TriPlus's latest version of this "virtual desktop organizer," lets users create and manage virtual workspaces. The oversized windows, called Elephant Windows, magnify desktop space for close inspection of highly detailed graphics and documents.

But this is only one of many useful features of the software. WinSpace 3.0 organizes a multiple work space environment, which keeps each desktop configuration just one click or hotkey away from the next.

WinSpace 3.0's Overview Map, as the name suggests, maintains a bird's-eye view of multiple work spaces for easy access and maneuverability in much the same way that virtual windows manager works on X Windows platforms for Unix users. Users can drag separate windows and desktops around this map to create the most efficient work area.

In addition to this organizational capacity, WinSpace 3.0 now saves users precious time with a SaveDesktop function, which preserves any work space design for easy access in the future.

WinSpace 3.0 is fully customizable and supports a multiple-monitor environment. Those features can be incredibly useful for users ranging from graphic designers to World Wide Web developers and is especially useful for laptop users with limited screen space.

Setup of WinSpace 3.0 is easy. An Install Wizard leads users through the entire process. After the first restart, users can follow a guided online tour and then view a daily tip - a useful option during the introductory period. From that point, WinSpace 3.0 Professional starts automatically when Windows is loaded.

WinSpace can be customized to fit each user's needs by setting hotkeys, the WinSpace 3.0 toolbar, Elephant Windows and the Overview Map. Those customizations enable WinSpace to conform to each individual's or organization's needs.

WinSpace 3.0 Professional runs on PCs equipped with Intel Corp. 486/66 processors or higher, Windows 95/98 or Windows NT 4.0, 16M of RAM and 4M of free hard disk space.

-- Armstrong is a free-lance writer based in Boston.

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TriPlus Technologies LLC

(888) 874-7587

www.triplus.com

Price and Availability

WinSpace 3.0 Professional and a free trialware edition, WinSpace Light, are available from the TriPlus Web site or through major resellers. The suggested retail price is $38. An upgrade from versions 2.0 or 2.1 is $20.

Remarks

This is a nice piece of software for users who view highly detailed graphics and documents, use a lot of concurrent applications and work in a multiple-monitor environment. It is a snap to set up and easy to use. Although this product is great for what it was designed to do, it's not for everyone.

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