Tag Archives: Notepad++

Five Free Applications That Every PC User Should Use

Please note that this article was written on April 2014 and it will not be updated on a regular basis. These applications are free to use for home users. Please check the web site for licenses if you want to use them at work.

Notepad++ (notepad-plus-plus.org)

Notepad++ logoAn improved copy of the classic Windows’s Notepad. Why do we want to use that? For a lot of things like: spell check, character count, auto-completion etc..

This should be the primary tool of any web programmer, and not only that, has support for a lot of programming languages. And if that doesn’t work, then you can define your own set of rules while writing code. And if you will configure it, this app will have automatic back-up like Microsoft Word.

Compatibility (according to Notepad++ manufacturer): Works only Microsoft Windows (all versions) environment. Sorry Mac users, you are missing a great application!

Meisio’s Rating:
Stability: 5/5
Usage for common users: 3/5 (occasional use)
Usage for professionals: 5/5 (daily use, I am writing my article with Notepad++)

Faststone Image Viewer (faststone.org)

FastStone Image Viewer logoEveryone uses an Image Viewer, right? You will want to use Faststone because it has support for all major graphic formats used. And you can resize / resample, rotate / flip, crop, sharpen / blur, adjust lighting / colors / curves / levels and many many other things you can do with images :) I am using it for batch processing: changing resolution, renaming files, adding a fixed size to all images. Sometimes I prefer Faststone instead of a graphic editor because it is faster to operate.

Compatibility (according to Faststone Image Viewer manufacturer): Microsoft Windows (all versions).

Meisio’s Rating:
Stability: 4/5
Usage for common users: 5/5 (daily use)
Usage for professionals: 4/5 (daily use)

Jing (techsmith.com/jing.html)

Techsmith Jing logoThis application saves a lot of time and it is easy to use. You can capture your screen and make your own video demo in a matter of seconds. You will get a flash file which you can share quick and easy with ScreenCast.

Compatibility (according to Jing’s manufacturer): Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8) and Mac (OS X 10.6.8 or later)

Meisio’s Rating:
Stability: 4/5
Usage for common users: 3/5 (occasional use)
Usage for professionals: 3/5 (occasional use)

TeamViewer (teamviewer.com)

TeamViewer logoTalking about life saving applications, TeamViewer saved me a lot of times. I am using it in personal purposes, to assist my family and my friends with small computer issues (Yes, my mother is one of those persons that owns a computer and often gets in trouble). But this application can do so much more, it is very useful for professional users to remote control other computers or for on-line meetings and presentations.

Compatibility (according to TeamViewer manufacturer): Windows, Mac, Linux and mobile (Android and iOS (iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch))

Meisio’s Rating:
Stability: 4/5
Usage for common users: 2/5 (occasional use)
Usage for professionals: 5/5 (daily use)

Dropbox (dropbox.com)

Dropbox logo This application is already well known by a lot of people. With Dropbox you can back-up, share, sync your files in cloud (2 GB). This application provides a lot of utility and you can get even more free space until 16 GB if you refer it to your friends. And it is totally secured!

Compatibility (according to Dropbox manufacturer): Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and mobile (Blackberry, Android, iOS and Windows Phone)

Meisio’s Rating:
Stability: 4/5
Usage for common users: 3/5 (occasional use)
Usage for professionals: 5/5 (daily use)

Bonus application: Prey Project (preyproject.com)

Prey Project logoThis anti-theft application is useful especially for laptops or mobile devices (phone, tablet etc.). Can help you recover the data from it or you can play with the thief’s mind, I will let you discover for your own the features :). Better safe than sorry, right? Get it while it’s hot!

Compatibility (according to Prey manufacturer): Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Ubuntu and mobile (Android and iOS)

You are welcome!

How to check the integrity of your XML Sitemap

Pages indexed in sitemap in Google Webmaster Tools

For this tutorial you will need Microsoft Excel, Xenu’s Link Sleuth and Notepad.

The search engine will look for valid web pages written in the XML Sitemap. And by valid pages I mean pages with the “OK 200″ http request answer. It will not crawl pages with Error 4xx or 5xx (Bad request 400, Unauthorized 401, Forbidden 403, Internal Error 500 etc.) or pages with redirection 3xx (Moved 301, Found 302 etc.)

So how can we make sure that our sitemap is good? If you are submitting a new sitemap through Webmasters Tools it will take a while until all the links will be crawled and checked by the search engine. To receive a feedback can take ages. Of course, you will receive an instant answer regarding the integrity of the code submitted, but what about those pages with 404 error or what about the permanently redirected 301 pages? They are not suppose to be in the sitemap and I will show you an easy way to detect them using Xenu’s Link Sleuth (Windows only freeware application) and Microsoft Excel.

Import your data from Sitemap to Microsoft Excel

1. Open an Excel file
2. Go to “Data” Menu Tab (Alt+A)
3. Load your XML “From Web” (presuming that the XML is already online at yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml).
4. Import Data into the Worksheet in a table (By default it will be named Table1)
5. Save it as XLS or XLSX
Sitemap imported in Microsoft Excel

Preparing the file to be imported by Xenu’s Link Sleuth

1. Open any text editor (I recommend Notepad++ for many reasons, you can download it from here: Download Notepad++)
2. From the Excel file select the entire column with URLs and copy & paste it into your text document
3. Save it as .txt file (E.g.: links-to-be-checked.txt)

Checking the URL’s integrity

Options in Xenu’s Link Sleuth

1. Open Xenu’s Link Sleuth (you can download the application from: snafu.de or cnet.com)
2. Click on Options > Preferences
3. Modify the default options with what you see in the print-screen. Very important to select “Maximum depth” field with 0 and check “Treat redirections as errors”
4. Load your html data by going File > Check URL List (Test)
5. In case you have a very large number of links, be patient. There is a big chance that some URLs will not be checked because of some hosting issues or the scanning to stop in the middle of the scanning process. You need to access File > Retry broken links (CTRL + R).
6. When the link spidering is finished, export your results by accessing File > Export to TAB separated file (E.g.: export-for-excel.txt)

Importing the results in Microsoft Excel

1. On a new Worksheet import the Xenu’s Link Sleuth’s file by accessing “Data” Menu Tab (Alt + A) and after click the “From text” button;
2. Follow the Text Import Wizard: “Delimited – Characters such as commas or tabs separate each field” checked, “My data has headers” checked. After press “Next” button and make sure you have “Delimiters: Tab” checked and press Finish.
3. Convert the results into a table by selecting the whole table and pressing “CTRL+L” (By default it will be named Table2)

Synchronising the results using VLOOKUP function in Microsoft Excel

1. Add another column to your first table (E.g.: “Status Code”)
2. On the first cell write the following:

=VLOOKUP(A7, Table2[[Address]:[Status-Code]], 2, FALSE)
A7 – Lookup value
Table2[[Address]:[Status-Code]] – The imported table from Xenu’s Link Sleuth with the first 2 columns: Address and Status-Code
2 – The column index number, will return the value from the second column from the Table2, named Status-Code
FALSE – The lookup value will have to match perfectly with the search field

3. Apply the formula to all the cells bellow
4. Finally, you have your results in one table, now you can take measures and remove or fix those links which have different “HTTP OK 200″ from the XML Sitemap. Use the filter from Excel, like in the image, to view your web pages with problems.

In case you are missing something, you can download the final Excel file with the Sitemap already checked from here: how-to-check-the-integrity-of-your-xml-sitemap.xlsx