Free tools

The Accessories you get with Windows (Notepad, Calculator, Paint) are small and fast, but sometimes you need more functionality. You have to realize that most of them haven’t changed much since Windows 95 (or even earlier). So here are some FREE tools I use instead:

  • Paint.NET: this .NET application is so much better than the regular Paint. It has layers, effects, anti-aliasing, …
  • Programmer’s Notepad: has all the features I need, and is still very fast. Great for programmers (syntax highlighting, code folding) or anyone else.
  • slimKEYS: this application is a *Universal Hotkey Manager* that allows you to assign hotkeys to simple tasks. It has a plugin-system, and it comes with some nice plugins, including slimLAUNCH, which allows you to quickly launch applications and documents.
  • Colibri: this application allows you to launch applications a lot faster and easier than via the Start-menu. The only thing I modified was the hot key to launch Colibri. The default Ctrl+Space I use in Visual Studio, for auto-completion, so I changed it to Win+Esc. (I replaced Colibri with slimKEYS, but left the description here)
  • Calctor: this is a calculator I developed myself. It looks very different from traditional calculators. You don’t have to press buttons, but you get a text editor interface. Just start typing and Calctor will evaluate your input immediately.
  • Screen Capture: another tool I developed myself. It allows you to capture the screen, a part of the screen, or a window, and copy it to the clipboard, or immediately save it to a file.