HELP! All My Custom Highlights Disappeared! / Were Reset?!! And, the Quick Access Toolbar Went Back to the Top  SOLVED

Forum for the PDF-XChange Editor - Free and Licensed Versions

Moderators: TrackerSupp-Daniel, Tracker Support, Chris - Tracker Supp, Vasyl-Tracker Dev Team, Sean - Tracker, Paul - Tracker Supp, Tracker Supp-Stefan, Ivan - Tracker Software

Post Reply
brody-xr3
User
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:27 pm

HELP! All My Custom Highlights Disappeared! / Were Reset?!! And, the Quick Access Toolbar Went Back to the Top

Post by brody-xr3 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 12:47 pm

Hi,

Quick access toolbar rest itself and now all my custom highlight colors that I'd created and dragged into the QAT are gone.

The toolbar itself even changed it's position - back to above the ribbon.

I'm alarmed by what could have precipitated this. But, first thing I need to HOPEFULL fix is...there any way I can recover the myriad customized highlight colors?

I do a FULL disk backup every day - so I have access to about a weeks worth of whatever files contain the settings.

Since finalizing that set of highlights I never exported the settings manually - that is I never specifically made an .xces export.

So, I'm hoping that, even if the file itself was never manually generated that it exists itself somewhere within the program's own file structure, of which I have a daily full disk image backup of this PC going back about a week.

Sincerely,

BXR

User avatar
Paul - Tracker Supp
Site Admin
Posts: 5202
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:37 pm
Location: Chemainus, Canada
Contact:

Re: HELP! All My Custom Highlights Disappeared! / Were Reset?!! And, the Quick Access Toolbar Went Back to the Top

Post by Paul - Tracker Supp » Wed Jan 06, 2021 2:54 pm

Hi BXR,

I am sorry to hear you lost your custom highlights. You are on the right track to export your settings to file in case this happens again.

Now the good news, since you have access to the
full disk image backup of this PC going back about a week.
then you may be in luck if that back up includes the Windows Registry.

Settings, when changed in the Editor, and this includes customization of the UI, are stored in RAM until program close, at which time they are written to the registry. All your per user settings should be in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Tracker Software\PDFXEditor\3.0\Settings

If you can restore that entire key you should find your customizations restored along with it.

I am keen to hear how that goes for you.
_________________
If posting files to this forum - you must archive the files to a ZIP, RAR or 7z file or they will not be uploaded - thank you.

Best regards

Paul O'Rorke
Tracker Support North America
http://www.tracker-software.com

brody-xr3
User
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:27 pm

Re: HELP! All My Custom Highlights Disappeared! / Were Reset?!! And, the Quick Access Toolbar Went Back to the Top

Post by brody-xr3 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 4:30 pm

Hi Paul,

Ah! Bless, you, mate!

Just after midnight out here in the Far East where I am. 4Tb backup drive sitting on my desktop back in the office. It SHOULD include the registry as it is an actual full image - Ghost's successor Veritas System Recovery.

Includes a tool to allow me to drill down on a file-by-file basis. I've never gone as deep as the registry

Should I be able to get there - confident I can - is there a way to extract a SINGLE key from a registry location? Or a tool that would do so?

Or, should just: backup current registry and upload old one?

Put another way - can one get a slice of a registry out of a registry file?

Sincerely,

BXR

User avatar
Paul - Tracker Supp
Site Admin
Posts: 5202
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:37 pm
Location: Chemainus, Canada
Contact:

Re: HELP! All My Custom Highlights Disappeared! / Were Reset?!! And, the Quick Access Toolbar Went Back to the Top

Post by Paul - Tracker Supp » Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:19 pm

My pleasure mate!

Being Australian I get to say that... ;-)

Yes - you can pull just the key from HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Tracker Software\Vault

The key is encrypted with a machine specific seed, so this will only work on the same PC, not a different one.

Having said that, I would think it more convenient just to apply your license again. Just log into your account here: https://www.tracker-software.com/myaccount and download the key as a file. As long as the software is installed you just double click the KEYFILE to apply the license.

Good luck!
_________________
If posting files to this forum - you must archive the files to a ZIP, RAR or 7z file or they will not be uploaded - thank you.

Best regards

Paul O'Rorke
Tracker Support North America
http://www.tracker-software.com

brody-xr3
User
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:27 pm

Re: HELP! All My Custom Highlights Disappeared! / Were Reset?!! And, the Quick Access Toolbar Went Back to the Top

Post by brody-xr3 » Thu Jan 07, 2021 3:07 am

Hi Paul!

You wrote:
HAVING SAID THAT, I WOULD THINK IT MORE CONVENIENT JUST TO APPLY YOUR LICENSE AGAIN. JUST LOG INTO YOUR ACCOUNT HERE: HTTPS://WWW.TRACKER-SOFTWARE.COM/MYACCOUNT AND DOWNLOAD THE KEY AS A FILE. AS LONG AS THE SOFTWARE IS INSTALLED YOU JUST DOUBLE CLICK THE KEYFILE TO APPLY THE LICENSE.

More convenient sounds good!

I'm confused, though. I have the images for those previous days. That give me access to the files - that is i can BROWSE, copy and even restore whole files.

But, to actually apply the image requires a re-write of the image over to the disk - a good several hours process on 1TB.

Seems like you're saying that applying the license again it could grab the old registry info. But, in this case, the key exists only within the registry of the un-applied backup images.
2021-01-07_11-05-12-920.png
Have I got it right?

Sincerely,

BXR

brody-xr3
User
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:27 pm

Re: HELP! All My Custom Highlights Disappeared! / Were Reset?!! And, the Quick Access Toolbar Went Back to the Top

Post by brody-xr3 » Thu Jan 07, 2021 3:16 am

Hi Paul,

You indicated:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Tracker Software\Vault

I can CERTAINLY get there in the backup images:
2021-01-07_11-13-35-236.png
So, question is...do I just grab the WHOLE SOFTWARE file? Or, should I just try for the Tracker key?

What do you recommend?

Sincerely,

BXR

Willy Van Nuffel
User
Posts: 1660
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:10 pm

Re: HELP! All My Custom Highlights Disappeared! / Were Reset?!! And, the Quick Access Toolbar Went Back to the Top

Post by Willy Van Nuffel » Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:30 am

Hello,

From what I am reading here, I think there is a little misunderstanding.

I suppose Paul is talking in his latest post about the registry key with the license key of PDF-XChange Editor, not about the registry key with the settings that need to be restored.

In case you have access to files like SOFTWARE or NTUSER.DAT in your backup, you can try to extract the required settings by exporting the key "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Tracker Software\PDFXEditor\3.0\Settings" to a REG-file by using the RegFileExport freeware from NirSoft (examples on how to do that, are also available on the following webpage) :
https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/registry_file_offline_export.html
The download-link is on the very bottom of that page.

Once you succeeded to extract the Settings and to create a REG-file, you can double-click it to apply it to your current installation.

Good luck.

brody-xr3
User
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:27 pm

Re: HELP! All My Custom Highlights Disappeared! / Were Reset?!! And, the Quick Access Toolbar Went Back to the Top

Post by brody-xr3 » Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:52 am

Hi Willy & Paul,

Willy! Thank you very much for the direction! When I see how many people you help I feel impressed, and grateful.

I downloaded the nirsoft tool but...it seems a bit complex. Strangely, I can't get it to "run" - clicking the .exe file, even run as admin initiates no response. I'll need to look more at the documentation. By any chance do you know of any other similar tools?

Paul! Good on ya! :D How does all this look to you? Are Willy and I on the right track?

WFIW - encourage keeping a week's worth of settings (or more! :D ) always buried but accessible in the code. It's ironic that one of the MAIN ways the daily backup I run has saved me in the past was in reference to Word's own "normal" template. Heavily modded on my side, it is EASILY corrupted. Can't count the number of times I've had to turn to these image files to get it back. Thus, it would be great if there was a...month's worth? six month's worth of settings tucked away for folks to fall back on.

Sincerely,

BXR

Willy Van Nuffel
User
Posts: 1660
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:10 pm

Re: HELP! All My Custom Highlights Disappeared! / Were Reset?!! And, the Quick Access Toolbar Went Back to the Top

Post by Willy Van Nuffel » Fri Jan 08, 2021 8:05 am

The RegFileExport application is a command-line program. This means that you have to use the Command Prompt window for this.

I will try to explain what you have to do, step by step:

1) create a separate folder on the hard disk of your computer for this special purpose, for example C:\BXR

2) in this folder, copy/paste the following files:
-- RegFileExport.exe (the file you got out of the RegFileExport.zip from NirSoft)
-- NTUSER.DAT (the file that you should find in your backup files)

3) start a command prompt
= right click the Windows START button, click RUN, at "Open:" type CMD, click OK

4) in the command prompt window, type the following (supposed you created the C:\BXR folder):
CD C:\BXR
press the ENTER-key on your keyboard

5) still in the command prompt window, type the following, double-quotes included:
RegFileExport.exe "NTUSER.DAT" "Editor.reg" "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Tracker Software\PDFXEditor\3.0\Settings"
press ENTER

6) If everything goes well, the Editor.reg file should be created. Please verify if you find it in the C:\BXR folder via Windows File Explorer.
In case it is, you may close the command prompt window, by typing in that window the word EXIT and pressing the ENTER-key

7) Verify the content of the Editor.reg file by opening it with Notepad

If the Editor.reg file seems to have the right content, I mean several registry keys, then finally double-click it, to write the settings to the Windows Registry

It hope this will work for you.

User avatar
Paul - Tracker Supp
Site Admin
Posts: 5202
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:37 pm
Location: Chemainus, Canada
Contact:

Re: HELP! All My Custom Highlights Disappeared! / Were Reset?!! And, the Quick Access Toolbar Went Back to the Top

Post by Paul - Tracker Supp » Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:42 pm

Thanks for your help on this Willy,
I suppose Paul is talking in his latest post about the registry key with the license key of PDF-XChange Editor, not about the registry key with the settings that need to be restored.
Yes - you nailed it. I was thinking JUST for those settings that were lost. You can get the software licensed just by applying your key again.

How many "myriad customized highlight colors" do you have? Seriously, at this point, given the complexity is pulling those reg keys from your backup I am wondering is it might not just be simpler to make them again?

Dare I tell an anecdote of when I went to college? On my first day of the Windows Admin course the lecturer had written in HUGE letters across the whiteboard "Reinstall". I almost walked out of the class then and there thinking to myself "I already know that!" Now that was back in Server 2000 days and things have changed, but point being the lesson was not how to fix things, but when to know to fix them or just start again...

I am not familiar with that backup software or their process to extract files from it. With the best will in the world, it is perhaps beyond the scope of our mandate. Having said that, IF you can recover those keys, extract the key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Tracker Software\PDFXEditor\3.0\Settings, it is what you want to apply. You definitely do NOT want the entire HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE key!

Does that help?
_________________
If posting files to this forum - you must archive the files to a ZIP, RAR or 7z file or they will not be uploaded - thank you.

Best regards

Paul O'Rorke
Tracker Support North America
http://www.tracker-software.com

brody-xr3
User
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:27 pm

Re: HELP! All My Custom Highlights Disappeared! / Were Reset?!! And, the Quick Access Toolbar Went Back to the Top  SOLVED

Post by brody-xr3 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 6:22 am

Hi Willy & Paul!

Willy! - S U C C E S S

And! Was easy as PIE! LITERALLY a 2-minute fix. Nearly hilarious how simple it was with your step-by-step there. Take a LOOK!:
2021-01-09_13-19-40-984.png
Then:
2021-01-09_13-20-50-482.png
Resulting IN:
2021-01-09_13-29-04-340.png
How about THAT?!!! Willy! Really grateful! You made it EASY! Thank you, Willy.

Paul! - You knew right where to point us. Thank you VERY much for taking the time to read through that LONG cri de coeur and lighting the way.

You're right - sometimes fixes can reach the point of diminishing returns. Better just to go forward sometimes.

Still, what with ALLLLL the wee settings in PDF-X - (Bless them all, though cuz...that's what MAKES it so great) - a full settings reset means not ONLY the highlights, but even even just figuring out:

how to get the QAT below the Ribbon - Not Classic View - Not Tablet Optimized

Add all the wee setting to the 10+ highlights and underlines I created meant it was going to be TRULY a huuuuuuuge timesink.

Fore example - I needed three unique greens that were themselves distinguishable on white backgrounds. Take a look at how I did that:

https://www.google.com/search?q=paint+swatches+pastel+color+names+hex+too&tbm=isch#imgrc=SnOlJpvF19CiQM
https://visme.co/blog/wp-content/uploads/painting-color-palette-hex-codes-pastel-colors.jpg
https://offeo.com/learn/20-pastel-spring-summer-color-palettes/
https://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-create-a-pastel-color-swatch-in-photoshop--cms-35536
https://www.canva.com/learn/30-examples-pastel-colors/
https://offeo.com/learn/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/08-1.jpg
https://www.google.com/search?q=light+pastel+colors&tbm=isch#imgrc=kIsc5e7u3da-VM
https://www.google.com/search?q=light+pastel+colors&tbm=isch&chips=q:light+pastel+colors,g_1:background:HjQ6pda141U%3D
https://www.schemecolor.com/beautiful-light-pastels-color-scheme.php
https://www.schemecolor.com/happy-pastels.php
https://www.schemecolor.com/pastel-blues-yellows.php
https://www.schemecolor.com/pale-pastels.php
https://www.schemecolor.com/birthday-pastels.php
https://www.schemecolor.com/pastel-minded-color-scheme.php
https://www.schemecolor.com/pastel-wallpaper-flower.php
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/386042999291501950/
https://www.google.com/search?q=16+pastel+colors&tbm=isch#imgrc=Yks9znJ6bWtBlM
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/392094711313077903/
https://colormatchy.com/16-pastel-color-sheme-with-purple-blue-pink-and-magenta/pastel-color-sheme-with-purple-blue-pink-and-magenta-and-how-to-use-pastel-colors-in-your-designs-delicious/
https://i.pinimg.com/564x/53/ae/66/53ae66546fcb4f099b583b4943af8450.jpg
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/404268504034314398/
http://www.mylusciouslife.com/prettiness-luscious-pastel-colours/
https://www.google.com/search?q=pastel+bright+green&tbm=isch

Annnnd...
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/107734616074898341/
https://i.pinimg.com/564x/68/fb/7f/68fb7ff937c54742666770c6dd0d76ac.jpg
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/542472717613431074/

Plussss...
https://www.google.com/search?q=orange+pastels&tbm=isch#imgrc=7MJrP-KPFwlzeM
https://encycolorpedia.com/ffb347
https://encycolorpedia.com/f9ab38
https://visme.co/blog/wp-content/uploads/pastel-colors-hex-codes-pastel-colors.jpg
https://www.google.com/search?q=pastel+red+hex&tbm=isch&hl=en#imgrc=zdBBm2RTLFnFQM
https://www.google.com/search?q=pastel+pink+peach+hex&tbm=isch#imgrc=Nxgh4rkPYC3O2M

Keep in mind! That to create custom highlight colors in PDFX there's...no hex color input. One needs to add in the three RGB values.

Correctly.

For.

each.

one.

Plus 10 highlights? That's...30+ values you need to collect (through another app).

And...there's not a lot of preview (as I recall). So it is just: do, add, check. Redo in the case of errors.

Don't forget there's the NAMES of the colors, too, should you need to name the work each color indicates.

Now! Of course this begs the question: do all users create 10 or more custom highlight colors? Surely not.

But, as I mentioned about just getting the QAT to sit below the ribbon - there's a LOT of USEFUL features that I set as I use PDF-X to do my work.

And, for me...that's the key - I use PDF-X as part of my occupation. Having to turn back all the settings and start over - HUGE work. The analogy I would make is it is like asking me to:

Day 1 (all settings get reset) Work from my phone > Day 2 - work from an unfamiliar laptop > Day 3 - use this computer, but there's no printer > Day 4 - sit here today, but there's no desk light only one monitor...

Sure! After about a week I may get the program back into the configuration that works best for me. But, that seems to miss the point of my previous WFIW suggestion. As far as I can tell, the settings key data is QUITE small - mine was 251 kb. What I was encouraging was this - every time the settings change, or once a day, or on some regularly recurring basis have the program simply copy and write the previous set of data within the program's file structure. Thus saved, any user at any time could roll back to the settings they had before.

How does that sound?

Sincerely,

BXR

brody-xr3
User
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:27 pm

Re: HELP! All My Custom Highlights Disappeared! / Were Reset?!! And, the Quick Access Toolbar Went Back to the Top

Post by brody-xr3 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:54 pm

Hi Willy & Paul,

Interestingly - as I was just about to backup the settings I went in to the interface and lookit:
2021-01-10_20-41-05-272.png
Closed and opened again. Scratched my head. Googled a bit. Opened a file. Stared into the maw of that file...

Then, it hit me! I made a small customization to the QAT. Closed. Re-opened and...
2021-01-10_20-51-57-761.png
Not sure if it's related to the under-the-hood import I pulled off. But! Will be reinstalling, just in case.

Sincerely,

BXR

brody-xr3
User
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:27 pm

Re: HELP! All My Custom Highlights Disappeared! / Were Reset?!! And, the Quick Access Toolbar Went Back to the Top

Post by brody-xr3 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:52 pm

AND... it was only related to...the SECOND scrollbar at the right. Not the first time I've missed that. :D!

Sincerely,

OT

User avatar
Paul - Tracker Supp
Site Admin
Posts: 5202
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:37 pm
Location: Chemainus, Canada
Contact:

Re: HELP! All My Custom Highlights Disappeared! / Were Reset?!! And, the Quick Access Toolbar Went Back to the Top

Post by Paul - Tracker Supp » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:31 pm

Hi Brody,

well done! I had no idea that your customizations would be that extensive!

Great that your settings file did export. I suspect the lack of export the first time was indeed because you had not yet closed the editor, which triggers saving the settings to the registry.

Do not hesitate to get back to us if you have any further questions.

Paul
_________________
If posting files to this forum - you must archive the files to a ZIP, RAR or 7z file or they will not be uploaded - thank you.

Best regards

Paul O'Rorke
Tracker Support North America
http://www.tracker-software.com

brody-xr3
User
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:27 pm

Re: HELP! All My Custom Highlights Disappeared! / Were Reset?!! And, the Quick Access Toolbar Went Back to the Top

Post by brody-xr3 » Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:45 pm

Hi Paul,

Yeah! It's was a big relief. :D! And, a rea bit of McGyver-ing among us three, eh?!

By the way, you wrote:

YOU HAD NOT YET CLOSED THE EDITOR, WHICH TRIGGERS SAVING THE SETTINGS TO THE REGISTRY.

Please can you expand on this? Sounds like you mean if my OS crashes? Or...I just click close? So I know what not to do.

Sincerely,

BXR

Willy Van Nuffel
User
Posts: 1660
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:10 pm

Re: HELP! All My Custom Highlights Disappeared! / Were Reset?!! And, the Quick Access Toolbar Went Back to the Top

Post by Willy Van Nuffel » Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:12 pm

Hi,

1) Glad to read that a restore of the settings has worked and that it has resolved the problem.

2) I understand that the reason for not seeing the "Export Settings" icon was just the vertical scrollbar that was not in the top position.

3) What Paul wants to say is that PDF-XChange Editor only writes its settings to the Windows Registry at the time you quit the application.

4) Maybe a good suggestion for Tracker Software Development is to "automatically" save the settings to a new "*.xces" file when changes have been made or at a regular time interval, like proposed by BXR.

Kind regards.

User avatar
Paul - Tracker Supp
Site Admin
Posts: 5202
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:37 pm
Location: Chemainus, Canada
Contact:

Re: HELP! All My Custom Highlights Disappeared! / Were Reset?!! And, the Quick Access Toolbar Went Back to the Top

Post by Paul - Tracker Supp » Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:21 pm

Hi Willy,

again you have read me correctly!
2) I understand that the reason for not seeing the "Export Settings" icon was just the vertical scrollbar that was not in the top position.
I missed that bit. Sorry.

To expand, the Editor will load settings from the registry into RAM on application start, and write them back from RAM on application close. If you modify the registry while the Editor is closed, it will pick those changes up nest start. If you modify the registry while the editor is running, these changes will be overwritten my whatever settings are in RAM when the Editor closes.

So I am actually not sure how this worked for you. IF those settings were written to the registry while the Editor was running, they would be overwritten. If they were written to the registry while the Editor was closed, they should have been picked up on application start. Perhaps I am missing the right flow of events. More to the point, it works and the above is now essentially a moot point. ;-)
4) Maybe a good suggestion for Tracker Software Development is to "automatically" save the settings to a new "*.xces" file when changes have been made or at a regular time interval, like proposed by BXR.
I did float the idea but it wasn't received terribly well. Writing a new, or even updating an .xces file with every change is not practical, it would be writing a LOT of times. We store all kinds of session data in RAM and not just settings and customizations.

Doing it on a regular bases, this may be better suited to a command line https://help.tracker-software.com/pdfxe ... ns_ed.html and Task Scheduler.

cheers
_________________
If posting files to this forum - you must archive the files to a ZIP, RAR or 7z file or they will not be uploaded - thank you.

Best regards

Paul O'Rorke
Tracker Support North America
http://www.tracker-software.com

brody-xr3
User
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:27 pm

Re: HELP! All My Custom Highlights Disappeared! / Were Reset?!! And, the Quick Access Toolbar Went Back to the Top

Post by brody-xr3 » Wed Jan 20, 2021 7:22 am

Hi Paul,

I'd be interested in a scheduled task. If you have some coding time to spare to write it or have it written, that would be GREAT! I think LOTS of folks would find it useful. Perhaps as s plug in?

The idea - the value of using a scheduled command line task - occured to me as I was wrestling with a big Win10 reinstall I've been working on.

When I finally got to Firefox here's what I found in the deeply buried profiles directory:

2021-01-20_15-12-11-417.png
2021-01-20_15-12-11-417.png (5.63 KiB) Viewed 660 times

That's eight MONTHS of bookmarks - 15 files of 3.5+ MB each. I think you were on the right track to suggest a backup of the .xces. You mentioned there's lots of writing to the file. I'd suggest saving it only incrementally - once a day? Seems like best practices. Having the command line schedule task would be a useful piece of insurance.

Sincerely,

OT

Post Reply