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Software to open all software

world Updated: Mar 31, 2010 23:45 IST

American scientists claim to have developed a computer programme that would help anyone to edit unaccessible softwares like Microsoft Word and Apple iTunes, and even add customised features to them.

The software would also help the user to move programmes from computer screens to mobile devices, which do not have a standard operating system, researchers at the University of Washington said.

The tool, named Prefab, allows people to personalise programmes based on their needs. It takes advantage of the fact that almost all displays are made from prefabricated blocks of code such as buttons, sliders, check boxes and drop-down menus.

The tool looks for those blocks as many as 20 times per second and alters their behaviour. It unlocks previously inaccessible interfaces and allows people to add the same usability tool to all the applications they run on their desktop.

It can also produce more advanced effects like creating multiple previews of a single image in Photoshop.

For this, Prefab moves the sliders to different points, captures the output and then displays all of them on a single screen. This could save time by showing a range of effects the user frequently adjusts.