» 602Pro If you need a nicely functional and freeware word processor (and PowerPoint and Excel clones), go to http://www.software602.com/products/pcs/index.html and download 602Pro. Supports all Microsoft Office formats. An even better freeware Office Suite is listed further down below. » Clip Tray ClipTray enables you to quickly store snippets of information from web pages. It loads in your System Tray and, when commanded, will paste the text contents of your clipboard to an html / plain text file, together with the date and time. You can view the contents of the file by selecting “View HTML” from ClipTray's context menu. Whenever you come across interesting information that you would like to save for reading later or for importation into your PIM, simply select it, copy it to the clipboard (CTRL + C will do this), and click on ClipTray. The drawback is that the URL is not saved with the date and time, so you have to "snip" that to Clip Tray too. Freeware. Go to http://www.bsoft.ic24.net/cliptray.htm for more info or to download. » Cogitum Co-Citer Adds a right-click menu to your Internet Explorer (or Internet Explorer dependent—see below for samples) browser shell that enables you to "capture" select portions of web page text you highlight. The text is then formatted into exportable strings in the Co-Citer interface with the date and URL. Step-saving and useful if you do web-research and want to cite your research later. Freeware. Go to http://www.cogitum.com/ for more info or to download. » IECitater A text capturer that cites directly into MS Word. When you open this little program it opens up a Microsoft Word document. Then, when you come upon any interesting text as you do Internet research or read any other copyable text (CTL + C, normally) from any other program on your computer, just press CTL + Q to have IECitater automatically copy and paste the text into the MS Word document along with the title of what you are reading. You will need to highlight the URL of web-pages and press CTL + Q again if you want it to save the URL. Step saving. Shareware that operates forever though they ask you to pay $12 to register it. Go to http://www.newpulses.com/iecitater.html for more info or to download. » Inject URL Sometimes you will want to save whole web pages for your research. This small program will "inject" the URL into a saved web page! Step-saving and useful if you do web-research and want to cite your research later. Freeware. Go to http://www.lodz.pdi.net/~eristic/free/injecturl_history.html for more info or to download. » Midas Extractor Sometimes you will want to save whole PDF web files for your research. This small program will turn the enormous-sized PDF files into plain text files, saving you a whopping ¾ or so of disk space! Plus, you can then import the files into your PIM. Costs $15 to register, but you don't have to. Go to http://www.surefiresoftware.com/midas/main.php for more info or to download. » OpenOffice.org As Mozila is to Netscape, so is OpenOffice to the excellent priceware office suite, StarOffice (for StarOffice see http://wwws.sun.com/software/star/staroffice/6.0/index.html). If you need a free and powerful and stable word processor and Office Suite, go to http://www.openoffice.org. Supports all Microsoft Office formats, but cannot be set up to integrate with any of the bibliographic software listed above (unless you want to write a plug-in--anyone game?). This is community developed "open source"-ware that is free. Very impressive software. Has a bibliographic function that could be further developed to accommodate the needs of academics, but is not there yet. » ShortKeys and Short Keys Lite EXCELLENT! Are you sick of typing the name "Shakespeare" a ga-zillion times in your programs? This little program will enable you to type "s" and hit the space bar to have the word "Shakespeare" magically appear! Of course, you can set it up with whatever keyboard shortcuts and outputed words you like. It monitors your keyboard, so it works in all programs, which is its real plus. A huge time saver while taking class notes on a laptop in a PIM and while writing papers. Lite version is free and is limited to 35 custom "short keys" and one file. Full version is $20 and is unlimited. Go to http://www.shortkeys.com/ for more info or to download. Note if you use Microsoft Word to do your typing almost exclusively: you do not need ShortKeys. (I am not sure if other word processors have a comparable feature). To train Microsoft Word to do shortcut keys for you, do the following: --Open Microsoft Word and make sure auto-correct spell checking is turned on. --Type, for example, 3w (for Third-World). Hit return. --Microsoft Word's auto spell check will then underline the word (3w in our example) as incorrectly spelled. --Right click over the underlined word. You will note that the spelling correction you want (in this example "third world") will not be in the list. --From the same right click menu box select _Auto Correct_. You will note that the word you want is absent from this menu as well. Then select _Auto Correct Options_. A dialog box will open where there is a space in which you can place your custom short keys. From here on, Microsoft Word will then auto-replace as you command it to (e.g., 3w will auto-replace as Third-World, or S will auto-replace as Shakespeare). Continue making auto-replace entries as desired. Again, the above works well if you use Microsoft Word (or another word processor that may support the same function) almost exclusively. But if want your abbreviations to work globally on your computer, i.e., in any program you use, you will need a program like ShortKeys. IMPORTANT: If you use ShortKeys, do not also train Microsoft Word as described above. If you do, 3w will turn into funky stuff like Third-WorThird-World, because both ShortKeys and Microsoft Word will be auto-replacing). You may choose to use both programs and turn off ShortKeys while using Word, but this much defeats the whole point. » web2text If you save whole web-pages for your research, you might want web2text. A small program, it adds a right-click option to your Windows shell to enable you to instantly format web-page language (.html) into plain text format (.txt) to reduce file size by about ½, so as to save harddrive space. This utility also facilitates importation of your research into a PIM, and cites the URL. Just right-click over the .html document, and select the appropriate option. A .txt document of the web-page is then made in a seconds, and you can delete the web-page and its graphics folder and keep the text file. Freeware. Go to http://www.jetman.dircon.co.uk/software/web2text.html for more info or to download. » Word of the Day After getting into the habit of reading your e-mail daily, you might consider subscribing to the Word of the Day from various on-line dictionaries. They are really great vocabulary builders! Free. Here are two: Send a blank e-mail to: join-WordoftheDay@lists.lexico.com Send a blank e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org » WordWeb Dictionary and Thesaurus Made by Yale, this is much better than the thesaurus in MS Word, and the dictionary is excellent besides. The program loads into the tray. You highlight the word (double-click on it) you need to define or find another word choice for, left-click the tray icon, and the word is defined along with synonyms for it in a small user interface. It works in most any Windows program, including in a PIM, word processors (etc.), and any browser. Freeware. A "Pro" version is also available which adds specialized words, the ability to open the program and type in a word to search for its meaning, and the ability to custom add to the dictionary. For more info or to download, go to http://wordweb.info/free/ for the free version, or http://wordweb.info/ for the Pro version.