RISC World

Top 25.....add ons for RISC OS

Aaron Timbrell with this issues Top 25.

After last issues massive giveaway, over £1000 of commercial, or ex-commercial, products we thought we would go for a change of pace this month. With the RISC OS Select scheme now available for download we though we would see what could be put together from the PD and Freeware world to extend existing versions of RISC OS, without you the reader having to spend any money.

So in the Top25 directory on the CD you will find our favourite extensions for RISC OS, some of these mimic improvements offered by SELECT, for example handling the global clipboard correctly, others add features not seen on any version of RISC OS.

This issue the add ons have not been split up into groups, but are listed alphabetically to make it easier to find that essential add on.


AltTab is a small module which allows you to bring windows to the front of the window stack easily if they get hidden under other windows. To run it, double click on it. To use it simply hold down Alt (and keep it held down). Then tap the Tab key (a partly hidden window will be outlined). Keep tapping Tab until the window you want is selected. The title of the selected window is shown at the top of the screen. Release Alt to bring the window to the front.


AMenu opens directories and runs applications and helps navigate the directory structure. It also organises messy windows and give you quick information on a number of subjects, including the date, time and the total free memory in your computer.


No need to click on a window any more to get the focus! When the mouse pointer enters a window, AutoFocus automatically gives it the focus if the window has already had the focus. This module has a special support for panes, dialogue boxes (with writable icons) and block selection.


Backicon livens up the boring old Back icon — the button on the title bar of a window, furthest to the left, that sends a window to the back of the pile of windows. For all the buttons on a window, clicking Adjust or clicking with Shift held down does something something different from clicking Select — apart from the Back icon. This tragically inadequate state of affairs is now resolved.
So, with the module loaded, this is how the Back icon behaves:
Clicking Select sends the window to the back (no change)
Clicking Adjust brings the window to the front, like Select-clicking on the title bar or the Resize icon except that the window cannot be accidentally moved or resized by accident.
Clicking Shift-Select moves the window towards the front by one step, moving it above the window that was immediately above it.
Clicking Shift-Adjust, predictably, moves the window towards the back by one step, so that the window immediately behind it is now in front of it.


The global clipboard provides a way of transferring data between applications. You select the data in one application and cut or copy it onto the clipboard (usually using Ctrl-X and Ctrl-C). You then move to the other application and paste the data from the clipboard (usually Ctrl-V). Clipboard allows you to save the current contents of the global clipboard, either to disc or to another application. You can also drag files from a filer window to Clipboard to put that file on the clipboard.


This is an application that allows detailed management of the RISC OS Global Clipboard. Unlike the usual single Cut/Copy/Paste action, Clipman will allow the temporary or permanent storage and renaming of multiple items Cut/Copied to the Clipboard. Items permanently stored are filed inside the application and will remain available until removed by the user. These objects can, at any time, be selected from the Clipman main window and pasted or drag and dropped into suitable apps and locations, as and when required.

DiscKnight disc checker

Want to know if your harddisk has any problems? Then why not try this cut down version of DiscKnight from the ARM Club, you will need the full version (for only £10) if you do find a problem, but it can be most gratifying to know that your harddisk is fine.


Drop the drawbanner directory into !Boot.Choices.Boot.PreDesk. DrawBanner allows you to have a customised start up banner, which can be constructed using !Draw.


To use this patch, simply copy it into !Boot.Choices.Boot.PreDesk (use !Open if this is too complicated-sounding). When you reboot the machine, you will be able to enter the Euro symbol by simply pressing Alt+'4' (on pre-RO4 machines a tick will appear instead). The previous mapping, a ¼ symbol, is now on Alt+Shift+'4' (I moved it so the mapping was consistent with the keyboard design - bottom right = an Alt mapping)


This is a plug-in for web browsers that allows Macromedia Flash files (vector animations) to be viewed on RISC OS. If you have an internet connection, you need a copy of Flash.


Freeze can save the state of a machine and re™load it back anytime. Using Freeze, an overloaded boot sequence can take less than 5 seconds!


Justin Fletchers very useful shared program library. This is used by a lot of programmers, indeed several of the applications in this issues Top25 use it, which is why we have supplied a copy.


The "Local Display" patch has been written for Filer 1.97 (the one in RISC OS 4.02). If you have another version of the Filer module, do not use this patch, otherwise your machine will certainly crash, or worse, you may lose data, your hard disc may be corrupted, etc. If you really want to use it, do this at your own risk. LocalDisplay allows you to see the display options for each filer window individually, so you can have one window opening with large icons, and another with full information.

Mouse Accurate

When the program is loaded, hold down the right ALT key and use the cursors to move the mouse one pixel at a time. The software can be quit from the task manager.


A comprehensive sound mixer application for RISC OS, now you can mix sound sources from all devices, including CD-Rom drives, on-board Audio, even a PC Card. This requires a copy of the Shared Sound module (see the PD Column for a copy).


This utility displays a variety of useful information on the iconbar. Select/Adjust on the icon-bar icon cycles forwards/backwards through the options which are set in the Config file within the application. The order of the entries in the file controls the order in which the options are displayed.


What this program does is make the desktop appear to be 9 times the size. You start off in the central area of the screen, indicated by the black square in the window (the black square is the area that is in view). If you now click on any of the other grey boxes, that one will become black and you will see that area of the screen. It's difficult to describe, try it and you'll see.


Double click on a title bar with adjust to reduce a window to its title bar. Double click on a reduced window to restore it, just like a Macintosh.


!Swipe allows you to grab text from icons and then paste it somewhere else. This means you can copy text from an icon to the universal clip board, and then on to another package.


This utility allows to bring up a menu consisting of a directory and its ancestors by clicking on the title bar of a window with the Menu button.


ToggleMode 2 is a little program which takes details of your four favourite RISC PC modes and installs a module in your Boot sequence. This module filters mouse clicks on the Display manager icon so that clicking Adjust in one of the icon's quadrants switches to one of the four modes you entered.


Welcome to the Wimp enhancer module. Enclosed is a module, Wimp2, which provides preemptive multitasking facilities for all versions of RISC-OS from RO2 to RO4. Also enclosed is a Wimp2 task manager, !Wimp2Ctrl, which allows monitoring and control of Wimp2 tasks (along with a natty CPU usage indicator). Also included is the application !Wimp2Demo which demonstrates Wimp2 in action. Feel free to run as many copies as you like and watch how desktop speed is unimpaired. BTW, make sure each is loaded in before you run another. Also available is a patch (written by Andrew Teirney) which intercepts normal wimp SWI's and patches them to call Wimp2. This patch application allows lists of applications that can be patched and those which can't, see the patch documentation for more details.


What can we say, the definitive editor for RISC OS, if you are still using Edit then give Zap a try, you may well be very surprised.

And there we have it for this issue, this rather nice little collection should keep most RISC OS users happy for some time. What will next issues top 25 be? I have no idea!

Aaron Timbrell