User manual

1. GETTING STARTED WITH PICKMEAPP

1.1. Introduction

PickMeApp is a portable tool to capture and transfer installed programs from one Windows-based computer to another.

1.2. What is meant by capture and transfer of software programs?

The capture  of applications enables you to create a personalized software package from programs installed on  your PC.  This software package is a snapshot of  the application itself and its customary settings.

Then this software package may be used to recovery the application on the PC, or to transfer the application on any compatible Windows operating system.

1.3. When is it time to use PickMeApp?

  • You want to have a backup of your installed programs and their settings;
  • You purchased a new computer, and you want to move your customary programs and their settings to a new computer.
  • You have to install an application with the same predefined settings on several computers.
  • You often reinstall Windows, and you want to save time on the installation of applications.

2. PICKMEAPP SETUP

2.1. Download PickMeApp client

  • Click the “download” icon on the left of nearly every page of the www.pickmeapp.com site.
    - For new users a registration dialog will be opened.
    - For log-in users a redownload dialog. will be opened.
  • After filling a registration form or a re-download form  you will be able to to obtain the latest version of PickMeApp. 
  • Download a PickMeApp distribution on your computer,  usually named PickMeApp_[version number].exe
  • The distribution is a self-extracting archive guiding  you through an easy deployment of the PickMeApp client.

    The newest versions of PickMeApp may have additional features and can transfer more applications; therefore, you are advised to update frequently.

VERY IMPORTANT!!!: Each PickMeApp downloaded directly from the PickMeApp site receives an unique PickMeApp ID. Only those PickMeApp installations that have their unique PickMeApp generated by the PickMeApp Site are valid applications. Only those installations can request support, receive updates, and enjoy many other features available for registered users.

2.2. Deployment

  • Launch the self-extracting archive:

     

  • Extract PickMeApp files to a destination folder on your computer.

    PickMeApp was designed as a portable tool. Therefore,  for effective usage, we suggest that you deploy PickMeApp to any removable storage device (e.g., USB flash memory).

    Note:  A destination folder path name needs to be less then 255 characters . ( for example G:\PickMeApp )

     

  • By default, PickMeApp is run when deployment is completed.

3. USING PICKMEAPP

3.1. Starting PickMeApp

  • Following PickMeApp deployment, a program folder named PickMeApp[version number] is created in the chosen location.
  • A PickMeApp folder contains configuration files, the PickMeApp executables, and a TAPPS folder for default storage of captured applications.
  • To start PickMeApp, run the PickMeApp.exe executable from the PickMeApp folder.

Note: Make sure that you have administrative rights on the computer before attempting to start PickMeApp.

 

3.2. Running PickMeApp

PickMeApp makes application capture and  transfer as simple as possible. The program interface is very straightforward. Usually, you need only three clicks to make capture or transfer operations: Run, Select, Capture or Run, Select , Install.

 

Left Panel: Installed Applications Panel

The Installed Applications panel lists applications installed on the source computer that PickMeApp can capture.

Right Panel: Captured Applications Panel

The Captured Applications panel lists captured applications and their locations.

Transfer Management Bar

The Transfer Management bar (middle) contains following buttons:

  • Capture marked application(s).
  • Install marked application(s).
  • Create new profile .

Process Bars

Process bars show the status of the capture/deployment processes, and enable the user to interrupt their execution.

Session Log

Session Log provides detailed reports about the PickMeApp execution.

Upper Button Bar

The button bar includes the following:

  • Settings:          Opens a setting window
  • Help:                 Opens an online help in the browser
  • About:              Opens a dialog box in which your PickMeApp version number is shown
  • Support:           Opens a support page in the browser
  • Donate:            Opens a donation page in the browser
  • Update:            Checks PickMeApp updates

3.3. Exiting PickMeApp

After you exit PickMeApp, no trace of its usage will remain in your operating system, outside of the PickMeApp folder.

All PickMeApp settings and captured applications are placed in the PickMeApp folder, ready to be used again the next time you start PickMeApp.

After you have captured an application, all application data is saved in the PickMeApp personalized installation package.

The installation package is contained in a single file with a .tap extension, and includes all the data necessary for the application transfer.

3.4. Updating PickMeApp

Periodicaly, PickMeApp checks for new updates.

As soon as a new update is availabe PickMeApp "Update" button will turned red.

New Update available

Pressing the Update buttion the "Update dialog" will be presented

Update Dialog

You may check the content of the update by pressing "Details".
To download update press "Download" button. A download progress dialog will be shown.

PickMeApp Update detail dialog

After the update will be downloaded you willl see  "Install" button.
After installation of a new PickMeApp version you will be asked to restart PickMeApp.

You  may check which version of PickMeApp is running by presing "About" button.
 

4. CAPTURING AN APPLICATION

4.1. How does it work?

  • Start PickMeApp
  • Choose the desired applications from the list and check the box beside them.
  • Click the Capture button in the middle bar :

 

  • Wait while the applications are being captured (as indicated in the progress bar).
  • When the progress bar turns gray, the transferred applications have been saved in the default profile referenced to the folder TAPPS, located within the main PickMeApp folder.

4.2. Using the Installed Applications list (Left Panel)

The left panel presents all installed programs that PickMeApp may discover on your computer.
 

Using the Filter

The filter is a convenient tool that enables you to quickly search for the application you want to capture. To activate the filter, simply type the name of the application, or part of its name, in the filter input line. Only alphanumeric and all punctuation characters can be typed.
 
To use the filter:
  1. Start PickMeApp
  2. Type some characters from the application name in the filter input line, or choose one of the predefined filtering options*.
  3. Check the desired applications, or choose the “Mark All” option.
  4. Click the “Capture” and transfer your application to the default profile.
  5. During the capture, you can skip/pause an application transfer, using buttons at the progress bar.
  6. Please wait until the progress bar turns gray, and the “Capturing process finished” message appears.
Note: During the capture, deployment or deletion of an application, the filter is disabled.
 
Predefined filter options
 
There are four pre-defined filter options:
  • <captured>         Shows only applications already captured in the selected profile.
  • <not captured>   Shows only applications not captured in the selected profile.
  • <selected>          Shows only previously marked applications.
  • <clear>                 Cancels the previous filter, and causes the applications list to revert to the default state.
Some ways to use the filter options:
  • <captured>          To see applications captured in the current profile.
  • <not captured>   To select a new application to capture.
  • <selected>          To see a list of applications you chose to capture.
The Mark All button
 
This button selects all applications available for a capture under a chosen filter.

The Unmark All button

This button clears the selection of all applications under a chosen filter.

Capturing multiple applications

With PickMeApp, you can transfer several applications at once. For this purpose, it is necessary to find all the desired applications in the list, and check each of them in turn.
 
To capture multiple applications:
  • Start PickMeApp.
  • Using filters or manual selection, check each application to be captured.
  • Click the Capture button, and transfer your applications to the default profile.
  • During the capture, you can skip/pause an application transfer, using the buttons at the progress bar.
  • The capture is complete when the progress bar turns gray, and the “Capturing process finished” message appears.

Using a destination profile

After an application is captured, all application data is stored in the PickMeApp personalized application package. The application package consists of a single file with a .tap extension that contains all the data necessary for application deployment. This file is saved in a “destination profile” selected by the user.
 
By default, all captured applications are saved in the profile “My captured applications,” located in the folder TAPPS within the PickMeApp folder.
 
To create a new destination profile, do the following:
  • Start PickMeApp.
  • Click on the “Create new profile” button.
  • Enter a unique profile name
  • Type in the name of a destination path or browse for a unique destination path.
  • Click the “OK” button
A new profile will be created at the chosen destination.
 
Changing the destination profile
 
To activate a destination profile for capturing applications:
  • Start PickMeApp.
  • Choose one of the available profiles in the right panel, and click on the profile name.
  • The chosen profile becomes the destination for applications captured.
Note: During the capture, deployment or deletion of an application, the filter is disabled.

Marking of installed applications

Installed applications on the list can be marked by a colored circle:

Yellow :  the application is currently running 

Green : the application is already captured in the current profile on the right panel

Blue : the application is already captured in one of non-active profiles on the right panel

Expanded Application entry

To learn more about an application, click on its name in the application list.

 
 
 
The Expanded Application entry includes:
  1. Est. Size                : Estimated size of the application package when captured.
  2. Est. Time               : Estimated time taken for the capture of the application.
  3. Version                  : Version of the application, as provided by the application vendor.
  4. Support Info          : Provides a link to detailed information about the application.
  5. Capture button     : Starts capturing the application immediately
  6. Repair button       : Repairs the application. Active only if the repair feature is available.
  7. Uninstall button   : Uninstalls the application from your system *
* Warning:   Uninstalling an application via PickMeApp will not cause its capture.
 
Repairing an application
 
The expanded application entry contains the "Repair" button. When the button is pressed PickMeApp will run a repair tool for the application. The button activates only if the repair feature is available for the application.

5. DEPLOYING A CAPTURED APPLICATION

5.0. Pre-deployment checklist

It is recommended to upgrade Windows Installer to version 3.1 when working with PickMeApp.

Many programs require a runtime environment to be installed on the destination system. As for now PickMeApp Beta doesn’t check if the required environment is installed. Therefore it is recommended to download and install the following:

Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5

Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1 Redistributable Package (x86)

Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 SP1 Redistributable Package (x86)

Java Runtime Environment

5.1. How does it work?

 To deploy an application:

  1. Start PickMeApp.
  2. Find the required unique package in the destination profile and check the box beside it.
  3. Click the “Start Installation” button to deploy your application.

 

  1. Wait until the progress bar turns gray, and the “process finished” message appears.

Note: An application cannot be deployed twice.

5.2. Using the Captured Application list (Right Panel)

The right panel contains a list of the applications captured under one or more profiles.
 
 
 
 
 
A small green circle denotes an application already installed in the system.

Using the Filter

The filter is a convenient tool that enables you to quickly search for the application you want to transfer. To activate the filter, simply type the name of the application, or part of its name, in the filter input line. Only alphanumeric and all punctuation characters can be typed.
 
To use the filter:
 
  1. Start PickMeApp
  2. Type some characters from the application name in the filter input line, or choose one of the predefined filtering options.
  3. Check the desired applications, or choose the “Mark All” option.
  4. Click the “Start Installation” button to deploy your application.
  5. Wait until the progress bar turns gray, and the “Installing process finished” message appears.
   
Note: During the capture, deployment or deletion of an application, the filter is disabled.
 
 
Predefined filter options
 
There are four pre-defined filter options:
 
<installed>           Shows only applications already installed in the destination computer
<not installed>    Shows only applications not installed in the destination computer
<selected>           Shows only applications previously selected
<clear>                 Cancels the previous filter, and causes the applications list to revert
 to its default state
 
Some ways to use the filter options:
 
<installed>          To verify whether the application you chose is already installed
<not installed>   To verify whether there are other applications you want to deploy
<selected>          To view a list of applications you chose to deploy
 
The Mark All button
 
This button selects all applications available for deployment under a chosen filter.

The Unmark All button

This button clears the selection of all applications under a chosen filter.

Multiple applications deployment

In order to deploy several applications from the personalized package at once, simply check the necessary applications in the list, and click on the Start Installation button.

5.3. Using Profiles

Profiles are specific locations where captured applications are stored.
 
Typically, several profiles for diverse purposes are created (e.g., for backup, mobilization for different platforms, and the like).

 

 

Adding a profile

This option enables you to create an empty profile with a chosen name and location.
 
When a profile already exists at the location you provided, the applications captured there are automatically included within it.
 
Import
 
The Import option allows you to import  captured applications and application descriptors. ( .tap , .tad, .pad  files) into the selected profile. The files will be copied to the profile folder from its original location.

Note: You  may import those files one by one or as set of files. Alternatively you may import a zip archive of those files. ( mix is ok ).

 

Edit

The Edit option enables you to change the profile name, or its location.
 
If you change the profile location, all application packages currently in the profile will be imported into the new location from the old one. The former profile will then be deleted.
 
Remove

The Remove option deletes all applications in the selected profile, and the profile itself.
 
The default profile cannot be removed.
 
Hide / Show inactive profiles

If at start PickMeApp does not discover the profile folder in the specified path, it marks the profile as inactive (red folder icon). This may occur because the profile is located on a disconnected mobile drive, or network storage.
 
You can hide or delete inactive profiles; you cannot edit them.

5.4. Save As Exe feature

PickMeApp "Save As exe" feature is used to repackage captured application as one installation package. This installation package may be used to install captured applications on any PC at once, without a need of the PickMeApp tool.

Possible "Save As exe " Feature usages.

  1. Version Compatibility. PickMeApp is changing rapidly. While we are trying to provide a backward compatibility, it can happen that old captured application packages are not supported by a new PickMeApp version.
  2. Software Distribution. This feature is especially useful for system administrators. Now PickMeApp can be used to repackage several useful applications as one installation package and to distribute it to other PCs.
  3. Simplicity. While we are trying to make PickMeapp as simple as possible, yet some users are confused while using PickMeApp. This feature simplifies program and settings transfer task. It makes a re-installation step similar to a standard Windows experience.

Yet to get the most of functionally while re-installing applications on a new PC, consider to use PickMeApp alongside with the original application packages ( TAP files ).

"Save As exe" Feature limitations.

Repackaging

  1. You can repackage up to 40 applications in one exe package.
  2. The size of the final exe package need to be less than ~1 GB.
  3. Repackaging adds about 2MB on top of the original package.

Installation

  1. You cannot choose which application to install.
  2. You have only limited information about applications being installed.
  3. You have no progress notification during installation.
  4. You cannot cancel installation in the middle of process.

Video Tutorial

Download BestOpenSourceApps installation package from the video !!!

6. PICKMEAPP AS APPLICATION MANAGER

6.1. Overview

PickMeApp as your ultimate Application Manager.

Now, alongside with programs and settings transfer, PickMeApp helps you to discover, download and install any of existing windows applications with just a few clicks.

PickMeApp is doing it by supporting Portable Application Description (PAD) format as well as our proprietary extension supporting silent , unattended installations of Windows applications.

As an example of PickMeApp usage as Application Manager the PickMeApp distribution includes the PickMeApp Collection  of  120 popular one-click installable programs.
All included programs are the latest releases linked directly to their original publisher sites.

- Those applications can be installed at once by PickMeApp .
- All installation work is done in the background.
- Applications are downloaded from each publisher's official site.
- The applications will be installed in their default locations.
- They will not bother you with any choices or options.
- They will be installed without extra junks like toolbars or etc.
- They will skip any reboot requests from installers. So please restart PC manually at the end

Each day we review, test and add new programs to our PickMeApp Collection.

All registered users who frequently install programs using PickMeApp will enjoy automatic updates of our growing PickMeApp Collection.

6.2. Portable Application Description (PAD) format.

Portable Application Description (PAD) is a machine-readable document format designed by Association of Shareware Professionals. It allows software authors to provide product descriptions and specifications to online sources in a standard way, using a simple XML schema that allows webmasters and program librarians to automate program listings. PAD files most commonly have .XML or .PAD file name extension..

Regularly updated PAD files are published by thousands of software information services and software catalogs
The ASP organization maintains PAD repository with more then 200,000 constantly updated software descriptors.

Additionally PAD files can be found in the following repositories.

  1. http://www.qarchive.org/repository/
  2. http://repository.appvisor.com/

A standard PAD file may include the following information about an application

  1. Application Name and Version
  2. Supported platforms
  3. Publisher Name
  4. Download links
  5. Type of license and EULA

6.3. Quick Introduction to use PickMeAp with PAD files

To make PickMeApp to recognize PAD files, the files need to be uploaded to one of PickMeApp profiles.

As soon as a PAD file is uploaded to a PickMeApp profile, PickMeApp is able to read an application description, to download an application package and  to run an application installer upon request.

Moreover if a PAD file includes a special PickMeApp extension (TAD), PickMeApp is able to provide a one click install of several chosen applications at once.

To use PickMeAp with PAD files you need to do the following steps:

  1. Go to software repositories and download PAD files of interesting applications.
  2. Import PAD files to an existing PickMeApp profile or create a new profile with those PAD files.
  3. PickMeApp will recognize those files and will list those applications on the Right Panel, alongside with captured applications.
  4. Now all standard PickMeApp features are applied to application descriptors as well.

Links for software repositories where PAD files can be found
1. http://www.padrepository.com/
2. http://pad.asp-software.org/repository/user/search.php?Home=user
3. http://www.qarchive.org/repository/
4. http://paddatabase.com/
5. http://paddb.com/Home.aspx

6.4. T-APP Application Description (TAD) format.

T-APP Application Description (TAD) format is an extension of PAD format.
It allows to specify silent or unattended installation instructions

Current version supports

  1. MSI
  2. command line directives
  3. TAP files.

Specification

The following xml tags should be presented in PAD file.

<PMA>
    <PMA_Extension_Version>1</PMA_Extension_Version>
    <PMA_Silent_Install>
     <Type>MSI | CMD | TAP | ZIP</Type>
      <CmdLine>app.exe </CmdLine>
    </PMA_Silent_Install>
  </PMA>

Examples

  • 7-Zip TAD extension
<PMA>
    <PMA_Extension_Version>1</PMA_Extension_Version>
    <PMA_Silent_Install>
     <Type>MSI</Type>
      <CmdLine>app.msi</CmdLine>
    </PMA_Silent_Install>
  </PMA>
  • IrfanView
<PMA>
    <PMA_Extension_Version>1</PMA_Extension_Version>
    <PMA_Silent_Install>
     <Type>CMD</Type>
      <CmdLine>app.exe /silent</CmdLine>
    </PMA_Silent_Install>
  </PMA>
  • Opera 16.0.11 
<PMA>
    <PMA_Extension_Version>1</PMA_Extension_Version>
    <PMA_Silent_Install>
     <Type>CMD</Type>
      <CmdLine>app.exe /silent /launchopera 0 /desktopshortcut 1 /quicklaunchshortcut 0 /setdefaultbrowser 0 /allusers</CmdLine>
    </PMA_Silent_Install>
</PMA>

Note: ZIP type is the same as CMD type, but firstly PickMeApp unpacks the downloaded package.  <CmdLine> should point to the exact name of the executable. 

7. PICKMEAPP LIGHT

7.1 PickMeApp Light Review

PickMeApp Light is about 50% of a full PickMeApp functionality.

PickMeApp Light captures and saves installed programs as single executable installation.
You may use this installation package to re-install your program on another PC without PickMeApp usage by coping  and running this executable on a destination PC. The setup will guide you through reinstallation process.

PickMeApp Light

7.2 PickMeApp Light vs PickMeApp

A full version of PickMeApp Application Manager allows you:

  1. Select and capture many programs at once
  2. Select and reinstall  many captured programs at once
  3. Create a single executable installation for several programs at once
  4. Select and install  many new programs at once.
  5. Manage separate profiles for different captured programs and new installations.
  6. Receive automatic updates.
  7. Submit request and receive online support.

Note: Currently there is no difference between PickMeApp and PickMeApp Light in supported applications.

8. CONFIGURATION

8.1. User Interface Preferences

 
 
The log and hint bars may be turned off. Logs will still be created in the background and saved in log files.

8.2. Network Preferences

In the Settings window, you can configure your proxy server, if you need one to get through your company's firewall.

8.3. Automatic Updates configuration

You can enable an automatic check for PickMeApp updates, and specify the manner in which the check will proceed.
 
There is also an option to rollback to a previous PickMeApp version.

8.4. Advanced options

You can enable capture and installation of an application with the current custom user settings. This is an experimental feature.

To make application capture safer you can disable capturing of applications that are currently run.

To make an installation process quicker you may disable a PickMeapp checking integrity of installed applications.
Note: some of applications are fixed automatically by PickMeApp during that test.

8.5. PickMeApp Command Line Interface

 

You can work with the PickMeApp using command line.  PickMeApp supports the following convention

  pickmeapp.exe  <command> <argument>

 Commands   
  /l    receive list of installed software
  /g   capture application
  /i     install application
  /u   uninstall application

Examples:
   pickmeapp.exe /l

The example above creates PMAOutput.txt file in the PickMeApp folder.
This file contains ID of installed applications and corresponding software names.

Example of the PMAOutput.txt:

{90140000-0011-0000-0000-0000000FF1CE}    Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010
{90140000-00A1-0409-0000-0000000FF1CE}    Microsoft Office OneNote MUI (English) 2010
 …

PickMeApp uses software ID instead of software names, so you should use this file to select software to work with.

    pickmeapp.exe /g {90140000-001A-0409-0000-0000000FF1CE}    Outlook.tap capture.log

The example above
  - captures the Microsoft Outlook application (using  number {90140000-001A-0409-0000-0000000FF1CE}
  - creates the Outlook.tap file with captured application.
  - creates the capture.log file

   pickmeapp.exe /u {90140000-001A-0409-0000-0000000FF1CE} uninstall.log

The example above uninstalls  the Microsoft Outlook application (by its number {90140000-001A-0409-0000-0000000FF1CE}  from the PC.  Note Run backup or recapture this application to be able to restore it and its data in any time.

   pickmeapp.exe /i Outlook.tap install.log

The example above
 -installs application captured before inside the TAP file
 -creates the install.log file.

9. TROUBLESHOOTING

9.1. PickMeApp fails to capture an application

Check that there is no other install/uninstall operation in progress.

Check that the application to be captured is not running.

Check that you have an administrator rights on the computer.

Check that the application is not listed as Currently not Supported

Restart PickMeApp and try again. If the problem persists, report it to the PickMeApp support service.

Note: Some applications cannot be captured / installed due to their dependency on specific hardware configurations.

9.2. PickMeApp fails to deploy an application

Check that the application is not listed as Currently not Supported

Ensure that there is no other version of the same application on the computer.

Check that you have an administrator rights on the computer.

For better comparability we recommend to switch off UAC  before running PickMeApp. 
You may enable UAC after finishing deployment.

9.3. Applications installed on the computer are not present in the left panel

PickMeApp shows only the applications it can capture in the left panel.
 
Check that the application is not hidden by a current filter.
 
Check that you are using the latest version of PickMeApp.

9.4. PickMeApp hangs during or after capture/installation

hat there is no other install/uninstall operation in progress.
 
Ensure that the application to be captured/installed is not running.
 
Restart PickMeApp and try again. If the problem persists, report it to the PickMeApp support service.

9.5. After deleting an application from the installed applications list (left panel), it is still listed there

Restart PickMeApp and try again.

9.6. PickMeApp does not allow you to choose an application to create a personalized package

This application has already been captured within the currently active profile. Either remove the application from the active profile, or select another profile.

9.8. PickMeApp does not remove an application installed on your computer

It is possible that the application registration entries are corrupted. Try to remove the application using its own uninstall option, or via the add/remove programs option in the control panel.

9.9. PickMeApp does not show the Profile Name, or the personalized packages are not present

Check that the profile location is accessible, and the profile folder is there. Check that all package files are in the profile location.
 
Add the profile again using the “Create New Profile” button, and supplying a path to the profile location.