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Start Menu Reviver 3.0.0.18

A Windows 10-style Start Menu replacement for Windows 7 and 8

by Mike Williams

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License: Free, for personal-use only
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8
Requirements:
Languages: English, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 28 July 2016
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 5638
Developer: ReviverSoft
RSS News Feed:
Twitter Feed: http://www.reviversoft.com/start-menu-reviver
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reviversoft
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Start Menu Reviver
A Start Menu replacement for Windows 7 and 8

Start Menu Reviver is a Metro-style Start Menu replacement which runs on Windows 7 and 8. Install the program and it pops up whenever you press the Windows key or click the Start orb.

The menu looks good, and works well. Left-hand buttons give you one-click access to common destinations: the Search window, Run box, Recent Documents list, Network and Sharing Centre and more. Right-hand tiles initially give you access to various folders (My Computer, Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos), applications and system areas (Control Panel, Task Manager), as well as switching you to the Start Screen in Windows 8 (you can launch Windows 8 apps from the menu, too). A Search box helps you find what you need, and a Power button displays all the usual options: Log Off, Switch User, Lock, Sleep, Hibernate, Restart, Shutdown.

You'll also want to customise these tiles, of course, and there are multiple ways to do this. Move the mouse cursor to the right of the menu, for instance, and a view of your Program Files folder appears; find an executable, drag and drop it onto a tile and it'll be added immediately.

Alternatively, right-clicking any of the right-hand tiles provides an option to customise it with a shortcut of your own. This can point to a program, document or website, and can optionally be set to run as an Administrator, if necessary. And if there's not enough space, the larger tiles can optionally be used to hold four individual shortcuts, giving you up to 32 in total.

There are some annoyances here. If you type the name of a program in the regular Start Menu search, for instance, you can immediately use the up and down cursor keys and press Enter to select and launch whatever you need. With Start Menu Reviver, though, the keyboard focus remains on the Search box, so you can't do any of this. To select and launch a program you must double-click it with the mouse (or tap it on a touch screen).

Start Menu Reviver also isn't quite as configurable as we'd like (the left-hand buttons appear to be fixed), and it uses a notable amount of RAM (50MB or so on our test PC).

The program looks great and has plenty of features, though, so if you need a Start Menu alternative then it's well worth considering.

Verdict:

Keyboard and search support needs work, but Start Menu Reviver is already a stylish and feature-packed Start Menu replacement

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

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