Cobview: add a context menu entry that delivers quick info on various file types


Cobview is a Windows shell extension that installs a command in Windows’ right-click context menu which can be used to get general file/properties information for most file types

If you’ve been following this blog you may have seen my previous posting regarding getting informational tooltips for most file types.

Cobview provides a similar function on-demand as a command in the context menu. Here’s more info on this program:

  • Information provided: this is different for each file type. For images, for example, you will get 2 tabs, with a preview of the image in one and the file details (resolution, bit depth) in the other. Syntax highlighting is offered for text files (Pascal, c++, java, html, etc; see thumbnail to the right). For dll or exe files the exported and imported functions are displayed. For MP3 files the ID3 tags are displayed.
  • Plug-in architecture: in theory if you write code in any language you could create your own plugins to support any file type that you want. More info here.
  • Other options: once the information is displayed you can either save it to a .TXT file or copy any of the rows presented into the clipboard.
  • Unsupported file types: video file formats (AVI, MPG, MP4, FLV), Adobe PDF, MS Office file types (XLS, DOC, PPT and variations on those). There are others of course, but these stand out.

Wish list: not sure that its still in development, but my 2 cents all the same.

  • The addition of video file plugins for AVIs, MPGs, MP4s, and FLVs that would display information on a video’s width, height, aspect ratio, frame rate, resolution, codecs used for video (as well as the counterparts for the audio track), etc … would make this software infinitely more useful. (Perhaps it can be made to incorporate the Mediainfo.dll library to easily do this?). Here’s keeping my fingers crossed.cobview (html)

The verdict: this is a nice program that nonetheless could be made a lot more useful than it currently is. It handles images, MP3s, text files, and exe files/dlls well, but suffers from the absence of support for video files. I particularly like that its possible to preview an image without needing to launch an image viewing program. Depending on what types of files you frequently work with it could be very useful.

[Thanks Fred Thompson for writing to let me know about this program].

Version Tested: 1.0

Compatibility: WinAll; no info on Vista.

Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 3 megs).