Microsoft PowerToys

Stephen Yagielowicz
Want a free set of tools from Microsoft that will enhance the fun and functionality of your Windows experience and ease some common chores faced by adult webmasters?

Then PowerToys are for you.

PowerToys are "pet projects" that Microsoft's developers worked on after their main products had been released. According to the company, while it "take[s] great care to ensure that PowerToys work as they should … they are not part of Windows and are not supported by Microsoft."

One example of a useful PowerToy is the Image Resizer, which allows users to resize individual or multiple photos and graphics by right-clicking on them and selecting "resize pictures." This launches a dialogue box offering the options of resizing to four different sizes: small (640 x 480), medium (800 x 600), large (1024 x 768) and handheld PC (240 x 320). Choose the setting you prefer and then click OK.

By default, Image Resizer produces a resized copy, rather than modifying the original image, but an "advanced" tab gives you the option of modifying the original rather than making a copy. You also can specify a custom size as well as limit the tool to making images smaller but not larger.

Other PowerToys include a Color Control Panel Applet that aids "professional- level photographers and designers [in] getting consistent, accurate color from file to screen to print and beyond," plus a SyncToy, a RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer, a handy ClearType Tuner, an HTML Slide Show Wizard, a CD Slide Show Generator that allows users to view images burned on a CD as a slide show, a Webcam Timershot and more.

According to Microsoft, PowerToys only work on Windows XP machines with U.S. English regional settings and will not work with Windows Vista.

Download the PowerToys collection here.