File formats used to be the bane of everyone's lives. Consolidation, standardisation, and the introduction of filters to programs that allowed them to read other programs' files has largely changed that.

But there's still been a small place for MacLinkPlus Deluxe as a way to cope with stragglers, Luddites and iconoclasts.

It calls itself the ultimate file translation utility and includes translators for a huge number of word processing, database, spreadsheet, graphics, compression and encoding formats for both Windows and Mac, although some of these only work in one direction.

Simply drag and drop your files onto the program or use the included Finder contextual menu plug-in. Then choose which format to translate the files into, if MacLinkPlus recognises it, or simply accept the defaults.

On top of conversion features, it can extract text from PDFs, convert documents to an iPod-friendly format and includes icWord and icExcel for viewing Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Apple/ClarisWorks files if you don't have Microsoft Office.

How useful this is depends on how often you receive files you can't read, or need to send files in a particular format you can't output from your normal programs. MacLink does do a reasonable job of converting files, but it did have trouble decompressing archives.

Is it worth the asking price? No. For existing users, there are few reasons to pay the upgrade price. It hasn't been upgraded to universal binary status, some older translators have been removed, and the new Office 2007 translator is one-way, so you can't save in the new formats only translate them - not useful given there are free translators that do let you, including Microsoft's one.

If you frequently need to translate strange files, it might be worth buying, otherwise, save your money.