Frequently (or Occasionally) Asked Questions


What am I buying?

Q: When I pay my money, what actually am I purchasing?

A: Rather than purchasing a copy of the software (what is this anyway? bits'n'bytes? electrons?) you purchase a user-license, which is our agreement that it's OK for you to use our software for its intended purpose. The details of our single-user licenses are given here.

Q: I purchased a single-user license for the software. Can I let my mother use it also?

A: Only if you don't tell us (since user licenses are not transferable).

Q: Does the user license ever expire?

A: No, unless you have purchased a user license for a specific period of 3 months or 1 year (this is a possibility with about half of our programs). If the license is for a specific period (which begins from the date of purchase of the license) then at the end of that period the software will revert to a trial or demo version, and you will have to purchase a new license in order to continue using the (fully-functional) software.

Security when purchasing

Q: How safe is it to order via credit (or debit) card?

A: Your credit card details are encrypted during transmission to any of our payment processors.

Q: If I pay via credit card, do you receive my credit card details?

A: No. Our payment processors just tell us you have made a purchase via credit (or debit) card and they don't give us any further details of the transaction.

Number of installations permitted

Q: Do I have to purchase more than one user license if I want to use the software on more than one PC?

A: If you are a natural person (a head, two arms, etc.) then No. The single-user license terms allow you to install the software on a desktop, a laptop, etc., for your personal use. If you replace your old PC with a new one then your license is not affected. We keep track of the number of activation keys issued on any single-user and are reasonable about this.

If the software will be used on more than one PC by more than one person at one time (e.g., within a corporate work environment) either (i) a number of single-user licenses should be purchased equal to the maximum number of persons who will be using the software at any one time or (ii) a multi-user license should be purchased. Multi-user licenses are currently available only for some programs (for an example see here); others upon request.

Activating the software

Q: What's this "activation key" you mention?

A: The trial versions of our software can be freely downloaded and installed. They are limited in some way, either functionally or by a trial period. This allows you to evaluate the software to decide whether to purchase a user license. If you purchase a user license then you can obtain an activation key, a sequence of characters, with which to activate the software, that is, to remove the limitations of the trial version. An activation key works only for a particular PC, since it depends on the "machine signature" of the PC.

Q: Does the machine signature contain any information?

A: No, it is a mostly random sequence of characters which is different for each PC, thus allowing the generation of an activation key that works only with a particular PC.

Q: How do I obtain an activation key?

A: When the trial version is run an 'Activate this software' window appears. If you click on the first button then a page appears in your web browser which takes you to an order page. When you make your payment your 'machine signature' is automatically transmitted and this results in the automatic calculation of your activation key, which is then sent to you via email.

Q: If I don't purchase a user license in this way, what then?

A: If you order via our Share-it order form without starting from the software, then after your purchase you will receive a message which tells you how to download the software and get an activation key, either (a) by running the software and, when the 'Activate this software' window appears, clicking on the second button (this brings up a page in your web browser where you enter your name and the email address you used at the time of purchase) or (b) using our request-a-key page at

Q: What if I am expecting an email message with an activation key and no message arrives at my InBox?

A: It sometimes happens that an aggressive spam filter will put a message into your Spam folder (or even delete it), so first check your Spam folder. If no message arrives shortly after your purchase or your request for a key then contact us.

Q: I use a spam-blocker which requires a sender to click on a link in an email message before their message can be delivered? Is this compatible with your key-delivery system?

A: No. Please purchase using an email address which allows our automated system to send you an email message with the key without having to click on any link to ensure delivery.

Offline activation

Q: I wish to use your software on a PC which is not connected to the net, so I can't get the activation key by going from the trial version of the software (installed on my 2nd PC) to your request-a-key web page. How do I get it?

A: What you need to do is this:

  1. Copy the installation program to your 2nd PC (e.g., via a memory stick).
  2. Install the software and run it.
  3. When the 'Activate this software' window appears, double-click on the text area. This will display the machine signature of your 2nd PC.
  4. Highlight this and save it to a file.
  5. Transfer the file to your online PC, open the file and copy the machine signature into an email message to us.

We will then calculate the key for your offline PC and send it to you. Copy our message to a file and transfer it to your 2nd PC. Open the file, highlight the key or any portion of text containing it, and copy it to the clipboard. Run the software and it should get the key from the clipboard and activate itself. Or if the software is already running then click on the 'Activate this software' button.

Installing and activating a later version

Q: I have been using the software for awhile and I wish to update to the newest version. Do I have to uninstall the old version first?

A: No. Versions are independent. Installation of the newer version will not affect the older version; the files are installed in different folders. After installing the new version and checking that it works OK you might as well uninstall the old version. You can do this via the "Uninstall" item in the Windows program menu (for the software).

Q: If I install a newer version will I need to get a new activation key?

A: No, provided that you install the new version on the same PC as the older version. If the old version has been activated then the new version should start up already activated. An exception to this is if the older version is very old, in which case the latest version should be downloaded and a key requested as explained above.

Q: I no longer receive email at the email address I used to purchase a user license. Can I get a new activation key sent to my current email address?

A: Yes. The 'request-a-key' page allows you to have the key sent to an email address different from your purchase email address.

Reinstallation after OS or hardware upgrade

Q: I have just updated my system and the software has reverted to a trial version. Can you please send the new activation key?

A: No need to ask us. See the answer to the next question. Just pretend that you have just purchased the license and that you need to get an activation key. When you start up the software it gives you directions as to how to do so.

Q: I have got a new PC [or I have changed from Windows XP to Vista or Windows 7, or I have upgraded my hardware] and I have reinstalled the software, but the old activation key does not work with the new installation. How do I get a new key?.

A: A new key is obtained in the same way as for the first installation and activation (that is, running the trial or demo version and going from it to the request-a-key page on our website). As mentioned above, you can also get a key via our other request-a-key web page at

Updating to a later version

Q: Can I update to a later version at no charge?

A: Yes. Download, install and run the new version. If you install the software on the same PC then the new version will normally start up as already activated. If you are installing the new version on a different PC then when the 'Activate this software' window appears, click on the second button to go to our 'Request-a-Key' page to have a new key sent to you.

Q: Does an upgrade from Hermetic Word Frequency Counter to the Advanced Version count as an update?

A: No. The price of this upgrade is the difference in the price of the two programs plus 10%. See Upgrading to the Advanced Version.

Compatibility with later versions of Windows

Q: Does your software run under Vista and Windows 7 (or 8 or 10)?

A: Yes, it runs under all versions of Windows from Windows 98 to Windows 10.

Mac compatibility

Q: Can I run your software on my Macintosh computer?

A: Yes, if you have either a Windows emulator (such as "Parallels") or a dual-processor Mac running some version of Windows. It is recommended to download the trial/demo version, install it and run it to make sure that it works on your Mac. This is especially important if the program processes text files (either as input or as output) because the character sets used on Macs and PCs are different. Also, if the program writes to an output file, and you plan on importing that file into Excel, first test this with the output of the trial/demo version.

SSD compatibility

Q: Does your software work with SSDs (solid state drives)?

A: The secure file deletion program Data Destroyer does not work with SSDs because (unlike with conventional hard disk drives) data on an SSD cannot be overwritten. The file and email encryption programs work OK but may leave unwiped plaintext on the drive. Other programs are OK.

Site licenses

Q: Do you offer site licenses or group licenses?

A: For some programs, yes. Full details here.