Better ASCII art viewer

Open and view NFO files with this compact, portable freeware.

ASCII art is the ancient variety of computer graphics and images created by typing ASCII text characters. Most users encounter ASCII art in the form of NFO files, literally, "info" files; they're text files that Windows can open and display, albeit via a cumbersome process that uses Notepad. CubicDesign's Compact NFO Viewer is a great choice for folks who just need to open and view NFO files now and again as well as those who regularly handle NFO files, too. It's not often that a new ASCII art viewer comes along!

Compact NFO Viewer certainly is compact, at 670.5 KB; it's completely portable, too, requiring no installation or extraction. We simply ran the downloaded executable file, and Compact NFO Viewer's efficient interface opened with a black background in a blank main view. We clicked Open on the program's taskbar and browsed to an ASCII art file, which opened in an attractive green font, though font and background color are configurable via the Options menu. We were able to edit the document and save our changes, but only to the unprotected original; there's no "Save as" choice for renaming a file or creating a new file from the original. On the Options menu, we were able to associate the program with our NFO files by right-click or double-click. Compact NFO Viewer also extracts URLs from documents and displays them in its right-hand Navigator panel, which also links to some of the developer's other wares. We were able to toggle this panel open and closed via the Navigator menu. There's no Help menu, but there's little need for one; this is a simple, efficient program, and ASCII art is hardly mysterious.

Compact NFO Viewer is just the thing when you need to view and even edit NFO files. It beats Notepad, and it's probably better (or at least better looking) than the DOS-Age viewers still in use out there.

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