One of the first and still one of the best
program launchers available, PowerBar is designed to give you
quick, one-click access to your favorite programs. But that is
just the beginning. You get explorer or menu access to your each
of your drives. You get system information such as memory used
and available, disk space used and available, etc. OK, so those
things are fairly standard in a program launcher, but what about
these: virtual desktops, enhanced clipboard which saves the last
20 clipboard entries, multimedia player, screensaver enable and
disable, screen capture, resolution change on the fly, the
ability to place programs into the system tray, and computer
shut-down and reboot, among other things? If you're beginning to
think that this latest version of PowerBar does all the things
that four or five separate other programs you've already got,
you're beginning to understand what makes PowerBar a terrific
There is no installation -- just place the downloaded file in a new PowerBar folder and run it. To place programs on the PowerBar, just drag and drop. There are numerous set-up options such as location, size, color, and autohide, not to mention desktop options such as hiding desktop icons, enabling tooltips, browsing options and the like. All the "extras" such as screen capture and enhanced clipboard are accessed by right clicking either the PowerBar or a PowerBar icon you can place in the system tray.
There are a few things that could be improved, as with any program. For example, if you choose to hide the desktop icons, you can unhide them only be rebooting the computer. The Recycle Bin icon is refreshed . . . sometimes. And it would be nice if you could group programs (apps, internet, graphic programs, etc.) on separate tabs or pages that you can click to, rather than cluttering the single bar up with tons of tiny icons. But these are all minor issues compared to all that this program has to offer. Finally, the Help File needs a lot of help in both content and clarity (it clearly wasn't written by a native speaker of English), and the "?" button doesn't appear to work at all.
The evaluation appears to be full-functioning, except that you are limited to placing only 16 items on the bar, while the full version allows placement of up to 50 items. If you keep the program for more than 30 days, you should register it, although there doesn't appear to be any nag screens.
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