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Oh that magical Common Files Directory

Oh that magical Common Files Directory
Once in awhile I like to open my Windows Explorer in Windows XP and roam the directories and folders to see what’s going on under the hood.

One of my favorite discoveries is the Microsoft Shared folder under C:\Program Files\Common Files.

Nestled deep within are a variety of tools and treasures that you may not know you even had installed on your computer. My favorite is the Microsoft Photo Editor (photoed.exe) a nice light application with basic editing tools and the ability to open multiple windows (images) in the same application.

I discovered this thanks to Irfanview which is superior in all but one way; it can only open one image at a time. However, in the Irfanview options you may define an external viewer; the benefit being you trawl thru your images with Irfanview and having selected one of many images to play with you send it to your multi window graphics editor of choice.

Getting back to the other goodies hidden here, this will vary by Windows version and Office version no doubt. However, my directory contains a TCP Testing tool, Graphing tool and Equation Editor amongst others.

My one warning before you do go hunting for hidden treasures is be careful as Windows Explorer allows you to do mre than just see what is there but ultimately, run these executables or even accidentally delete them.

Ensure you know what you are doing and do a Web search for any executable you don’t know before you run it. Happy hunting.

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