PopChar X 3.0 Improves Usability — Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 3.0, a notable upgrade to the company’s long-standing utility for discovering and inserting the thousands of characters available in modern Unicode fonts. Since PopChar X’s basic functionality hasn’t needed changing, most of the improvements focus on usability and performance. To that end, PopChar X features a Search field that speeds finding characters, showing either characters that contain the letter entered (so typing an "e" shows all the accented variants of "e") or the characters whose Unicode name matches the string entered (so entering "greek" while looking at the Unicode characters in Lucida Grande shows all the Greek characters). The PopChar character table can now optionally be a movable window that remembers its position, rather than a huge menu, and other preferences cause it to disappear as soon as you insert a character or click outside it. In an attempt to bring order the hundreds of fonts many people have installed, the PopChar font menu now shows only recently used fonts; a new drawer provides a large scrolling list of all available fonts. And lastly, if you find yourself entering the same characters repeatedly, PopChar provides a view showing only the recently used characters. For a full list of current and new features, see Ergonis’s Web site.
PopChar X 3.0 is now a universal binary for improved performance on Intel-based Macs; it requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later and no longer supports Classic applications. It’s a 1.6 MB download. Ergonis employs an unusual upgrade system that requires attention; in essence, all upgrades are free within two years of purchase ($30) or renewal ($15), but to use any upgrade after that two year mark, you must renew again. To avoid surprises, look in PopChar’s registration dialog to see if you’re eligible for a free upgrade before you download and install a new version. [ACE]