Some windows tools I really like & use, and you may not know about…

No! this is not another “all the best tools any windows developer should use”. There are plenty of other good resources on that (see below)… I won’t talk about fiddler, I won’t talk about notepad++, I won’t talk about reflector… you get the point. Smile

This post is about some tools I use, most of them daily and extremely frequently, but are not…  how to say? windows developer ”mainstream” kind of tools, or in other cases they’ve been so useful to me that I feel obliged in publicly saying “thank you” and just pass the word along.

I remember now doing my “hacked” techdays 2005 session, back then for example, fiddler had not the visibility it has today. In fact I discovered it on the day before the session I think, as the session was prepped with a rather “low featured” java http proxy (the only I found useful at the time, proxies were really not mainstream I think, who the hell would be interested in changing http requests on the fly? Smile what for?). In fact I think someone from Microsoft asked me if I really couldn’t found any other proxy…. with better looks and… were not…how to say this… Smile “java” based? ) . And so I did, googled deeper and my use of fiddler started there.


So, to the point,  here they are, I think most of these (great IMO) tools are still somehow in the “shadows”. And all of them survived my “quarantine cool tool period” witch is rather long, and I use them frequently  for several months, even years, now.


Prism HUD, from UtilHaven, free version available


Got it almost always on, it’s a rather great example of a proper simple “data intelligence” based tool. (now really, “business intelligence” doesn’t make much sense for me as a term… but that’s a “bedtime story” for another post)

When your cpu starts peaking you can immediately see which process is causing it, if your network usage spikes you know it. Configurable. Low on resources, I don’t performance benchmarks (eg: olap) without  it. Only disable it when presenting or taking screenshots. Now if all decision makers would have this kind of real-time feedback on their business… Smile


John’s Background Switcher, free, from John Conners


Just an amazing and feature rich background switcher. Love it. Best one I’ve seen. Always seeing different things on my background (some of them rather surprising Smile  sometimes)


AutoHotKey, Free

Anyone who likes code snippets should see this one. For example: I really don’t usually remember my professional mobile phone, when I need it I just type mtlm-  anywhere (in fact I had trouble writing this as it immediately replaced it Smile )

Fully customizable, some example scripts:
windows key+g-> run google

my phone shortcut

my kind regards snippet
Kind Regards,
Rui Quintino


Pure Text

Great tool to strip html/rich text formatting. Pastes plain text. Use it a lot. Just press windows+v .

FireFox Copy Title

I really can’t possibly count how many times I’ve used this. Just right click any firefox page and select Copy Title, you’ll get this:

CopyTitle for Firefox


Quick Jump, from TechHit, not free but worth every $$ (unless off course someone remembers doing the same for free Smile )



Already mentioned it on my post.  Just press ctrl-shift-J and begin typing to get placed in your target windows folder. Works with most save & open file dialogs. (not with vs 2010 I’m afraid).


Outlook Add-On Clear Context, Free & Pro Edition


Ok, this not an unknown tool for sure, but still not very common between developers. I use it with my mail handling. If you’re being overload my email handling, just give it a try. You’ll get more time to code if you’re not dealing or searching email right?




Used from the first versions I think , just love it. Specially when combined with johns background switcher above. One click and I get back my beautiful and always fresh wallpaper!


Calibre e-book  management


Absolutely awesome tool to manage ebooks and a great companion to my beloved Kindle Smile .

Lots of features including book metadata retrieval, kindle connection, support for rss feeds & automatic delivery to kindle.

Just great!


CyberKiko FTPSync, Free & pro version

A great tool to synchronize files & folders with ftp servers. Used it already with great success! And Kristof is extremely responsive with support requests.


Jump To Folder, my little free Outlook  macro& form to speed search outlook folders


I know… but hey,  Scott Hanselman also put his cool baby app on his favorite tools page right? And I actually use it (as you can see in the screenshot ,  I even put a counter on itSmile )

Life Hacker

Yes, not a tool, but a great site that I review *every* single week. Some of the tools on this page I discovered on LifeHacker. Lots of interesting reading, being  cool tools one of them.

Final notes…

If you are still interested in “all the best tools” you can get, then be sure to check these links (sure many others exist):

Scott Hanselman – Scott Hanselman’s 2009 Ultimate Developer and Power Users Tool List for Windows

What is your best list of ‘must have’ development tools? —

(ps-some of the tools I used when writing this post include  copy title, quick jump, pure text,  jump to folder…aside from screenshot usage )