Have you ever double clicked on an icon, and wished that the file would temporarily open in app on your computer that is not the default program it is associated with, just for that particular session?
The Portable Extension Warlock (PEW) is a free program that allows you to create an alternative set of file associations that can be used whenever needed. It a portable applications is designed with other portable applications in mind, for those times when you might plug use a USB full of your preferred applications on a computer that is not your own. But it will also work great if you merely want to set an alternative, temporary set of file associated on your own PC.
This software is part of DonationCoder’s NANY 2012 event (NANY=New Apps for the New Year). It consists of 3 executables as follows:
- Portable Extension Warlock: lets you set the associations with your desired apps
- PEW Dropzone: once you set your new extensions, you can run tis and drag files to the dropzone to launch them (see screenshot upper right).
- PEW Launch: this one can create shortcuts that can be launched from docks and/or toolbars.
PEW will actually let you set multiple associations for the same file extension, which when launched will prompt a dialog to choose the app you want in each particular instance.
For more on how to use PEW, check out the video below:
The verdict: this one can be really useful, not just for those who use other public computers but also for users who might occasionally want to use different default apps to open some file types. The only drawback is that it requires MS .NET Framework to be installed on the machine that you are using it from, which is no big deal for Windows 7 and Vista (as it comes preinstalled) but may be an issue on XP.
If there was one thing I could wish for is for the associations to be switched automatically once PEW is running and until it I switched off, without the need for a dropzone to drag files onto.
PEW doesn’t write to the registry and doesn’t alter your system in any way. Overall a very nice program and a very cool concept!
Visit this page to download PEW (~300K).