Yes, absolutely - all the basic functions of Sharp World Clock work offline (without internet connection), notably
- Showing correct Time in the World
- Daylight Saving
- Sunrise and Sunset
- Moon Phase
- Earth Shadow and Sun Position
Some functions however require you to be online, such as
- Weather Report / Weather Forecast
- Flickr Photos
- Feed Reader
The activation process for registering the program after paying can be done online (preferred, instantly) but also offline.
If you need a clock for UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) you can easily set it up in the Select City dialog. Just type "utc" into the search box or select it from the Time Zones dropdown, where there are also the military time zones, which are uneffected by daylight saving time:
UTC is the currently valid basis for the world time. Before 1972, GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) fulfilled this role. Time zones around the world are described using positive or negative offsets from UTC. The most western time zone uses UTC -12 hours, the easternmost time zone uses UTC +12 hours.
Sharp World Clock can display the time in any format you can think of, using English or any other language for the time format, weekdays and months. The default language is your system language, but you can change that if you like. In the US, the default time formats show 12 hour format with AM/PM indicators:
To switch to 24 hour format (while maintaining English as the language for weekdays and months), simply change the language to "English, United Kingdom" (here on a German Windows: "Vereinigtes Königreich").
You can, however, change the format to whatever you like, without changing the language by using a custom time format string. "HH" would be the hour in 24 hour format, while "h" would be the 12 hour format without leading zero. Click the help button in the time format tab for a lookup table or go to this page.
Some users have reported problems with single, "undocked" clocks (especially when using analog clocks) after restarting the program.
Please notice the following:
The design of the clocks is "synchronized" only for clocks that are docked in the main window. Synchronized in that respect means that the relation between the size of the included elements (clock face, city label, time label, flag) is adjusted in a way to keep the size of the elements equal. For single, undocked clocks there is no such mechanism, it would not make sense here: each undocked clock can be adjusted completely independently from any other. The size of the clock itself, the font size of the labels etc. can be adjusted without any relation to any other clock. When a clock is undocked from the main window, it loses it's relation to any other clock and there is no more synchronization of the elements.
To keep your clocks in an equal state, you must keep them in the main window. The "undocking" feature is not intended for several clocks, but in normal cases just for one clock (local time). For all other cases you can set up the main window in a variety of ways: horizontal, vertical, grid with a variable number of columns, padding, spacing.
Keep in mind, that the sizes of the elements (city and time labels, flags) are RELATIVE to the clock itself or the analog clock face. So if your analog clock face seems "too small" you must reduce the font size of the city label or the date label.
If for any reason you want to have several undocked clocks on your desktop, make sure that all labels (city name, time label) are not wider than the clock face itself. Only in this way the font size will be the same also in an undocked state. If you have very long city names for instance, you must reduce the font size until the label is just as wide (or smaller) as the analog clock face.
Sharp World Clock is distributed as a free trial version with a time limit. It can be used and tested for 15 days without functional limitations besides a reminder notification. The program can still be used after that period (mainly in order to activate it), but there are several limitations in place: no clocks can be edited and no special functions can be used like the alarms, weather and the time zone converter.
If you like the program and want to use it beyond the trial period, you must
- Buy a license key
- Activate the program
After you completed the purchase, you receive an email with a license key. This license key has to be entered into the text field at the Info dialog -> License tab in order to unlock the trial version.
A private user may use one license key on up to two personal computers (for instance a desktop PC and a laptop). If you with to use it on more computers, you need to purchase additional licenses. Business users need to purchase a license for each computer / user, unless they are using a special company license.
Once activated on the administrator account of a computer, the program can be used and configured independently, under any other user account of this computer. Activation is only required once.
If you want to switch to a new computer, you can deactivate a license on the current computer.
A license grants users the right to free minor updates within the same version number. For updates to a new version number (for instance 8.x to 9.x) registered users are entitled to a discounted update price, while new users pay the full price of a license. Users are also free to either upgrade for a reduced price or keep using their existing version, which does not expire.
Version 8 of Sharp World Clock is programmed from scratch with an enormous amount of time and effort and features many improvements and modernisations over older versions. Therefore the "free updates for life" claim of version 7 and before does not apply anymore, since version 8 is no update of an older program, but really a completely new program, despite of the same program name.
Version 8 can be installed parallel to an existing installation of version 7 (you might have to close the program during installation), since they are using different program and data directories and version 8 does not import any data from older versions, so you have to set up your cities, alarms etc. again. The icons also differ slightly. So you can try version 8 and uninstall it without affecting the older version. The saved data are not compatible between version 7 or older and version 8 (version 7 uses binary files, version 8 XML files and local databases and also a different data structure).
Registered users who bought a license of Sharp World Clock 7 earlier are invited to upgrade to the current version at a reduced price - please see the notes on the checkout page for details.
Version 8 of Sharp World Clock was programmed from scratch, over 90% of the codebase is new, to make it more modern and stable and able to implement the latest available programming techniques, which were impossible to use with the old code base. Many important improvements have been added, but some features of version 7 have also been removed. If there is wide demand for them, they will perhaps be implemented again in future updates.
|Programming Technique||.Net 4, WPF + WinForms
Binary settings files
|.Net 4.7, pure WPF
XML settings files (human readable and editable)
|Designer||Preset collection, no visual gallery||
Editable visual design template gallery
Many additional styling options for clock faces
more selectable hands, some of them two-colored (with inlay)
|Cities Source||Included database with just over 1,000 cities||Regularly updated database included with currently over 23,000 cities from GeoNames.org|
|Time Zones Source||Uses the Windows time zone collection, updated with Windows updates||Uses the huge and more accurate time zone database from IANA.org, updated with program updates|
|World Map||Small world map with cylindrical projection and approximated country borders (WinForms)||Larger world map with Mercator (Wright) projection and precise country borders, even for multi-part areas (WPF)|
|Meeting Planner||Shows the current date only (+/- 1 day). Correct only if all time zone info at the target day is the same as on the current day||Date picker allows to select a target date. Always correct, even on days with daylight saving transition|
|Calendar||Calendar Widget for 1 or 2 vertical months. Selectable background color||Calendar for 1, 2, 4 or 6 months. Solid color, linear gradient or background image for the background|
|Alarms||Alarm notifications are shown in a big popup window. One-time, hourly, weekly, monthly, annual alarms, count-down-alarms and periodic timer alarms||Small unobtrusive "slide-in" notifications in several colors, similar to the standard Windows notifications of Windows 8/10. One-time, weekly, annual alarms and count-down-alarms|
|Chimes||Chime voice can be changed, but "speak the time" sentences are "hard wired", so they sound correct only in English||Chime voice can be changed and sentences can be changed, so they sound correct in any language for which a voice is installed|
|Feed Reader||Added "Favorites" feature and feed titles can be edited now|
|Removed Features||Sticky Notes and some special alarm options (hourly alarm, monthly alarm, periodic timer alarm). The Sky Strip was added again in version 8.6|
|Added Features||Visual design gallery, larger and much more accurate collections for cities and time zones, a lot more designer options, dark or light theme for the program interface, cleaner code, program uses less system resources, clear interface is easier to use, more accurate meeting planner, windows stick to screen borders (magnetic effect)|
(No weather report or support, not recommended)
Two main problems can arise here:
- The license key does not seem to work - the program cannot be activated
- Activation seems to work, but the next time the program starts up unactivated. The activation does not seem to 'stick'
1. There are two possible reasons for this behavior:
a) The license key was not copied and pasted, but entered manually. Doing it this way, errors can occur, so copy & paste it.
b) You are trying to use a license key of version 5 or before on an installed trial version of version 8. This will not work. See the chapter Upgrading from Version 7
2. This issue can also have two possible reasons:
a) You are using an older version 8, where there might have been issues with the activation process. Always use a current version
b) You have imported the settings from an installation on a different computer. The activation information is in those imported files, but they cannot work on a different computer. So do not import the settings from a different computer, or if you do, deactivate the "Settings" checkbox in this dialog. Then activate as usual.