Another Forty-Three of The Best Free Windows Enhancements That You Should Know About (part 2)


Miso Screenshot29. Miso: temporarily disable your screensaver and power-saving options

There are times when you do not want your screensaver or power saving options to kick in (i.e. PC going to sleep, display switching off, etc). For example, you might be giving a presentation, watching a video, engaged in screen sharing with other PC(s), etc.

This tiny app lives in the system tray and allows you to toggle these features on and off with a single click.

Go here to download Miso (WinAll; 32bit and 64bit).

30. Sevendex Plugin for Dexpot: displays Dexpot’s virtual desktops on the Windows 7 taskbar (see screenshot)

Dexpot Screenshot with Sevendex plugin

Dexpot is, in my opinion, the best freeware virtual desktop program for Windows. Sevendex is a plugin for Dexpot that displays the different desktops as thumbnails on the Windows 7 taskbar for quick and easy switching between them.

If you use Dexpot on Windows 7, I highly recommend you use this plugin with it. (Note: Sevendex is already bundled in your Dexpot download; go to the Dexpot settings then the “plugins and extras” section (in the bottom left sidebar). You should find the checkbox for SevenDex there; check it and click OK.)

Go here to download Dexpot (Sevendex works on Windows 7 only, 32 bit and 64 bit).

31. MadAppLauncher: simple, competent tabbed launcher

MadAppLauncher Screenshot

The attraction of tabbed launchers lies beyond their usefulness as launchers, in the prospect of using them to organize shortcuts that would normally clutter the desktop. (At least that’s my view).

MadAppLauncher is a very good tabbed launcher for programs, file, and folder. It is invoked via hotkey and it will map entries to the keyboard and optionally let you launch any program, file, or folder by pressing a key. Simple, drag and drop, and generally has a nice feeling to it.

Go here to download MadAppLauncher (Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7; 32 bit and 64bit). Also see my full-length review of MadAppLauncher.

RunIt Screenshot32. RunIt: a nifty launcher that appears when right clicking the edge of your screen

A launcher for shortcuts, files, or folders, activated by default via right clicking the upper edge of the screen. It’s a very simple launcher that just works really well.

The setup screen allows you to drag and drop shortcuts, files, and folders to it in order to add them to the launcher (which is quite handy).

If you’re looking for a simple launcher that can help organize your items then check this one out for sure.

Go here to download RunIt (WinAll; 32 bit and 64 bit). Or you can see my full-length review of RunIt.

supercopier2 screenshot33. SuperCopier: accelerate, pause, and resume file copying and moving operations

I mentioned TeraCopy in the first “43 of the Best Windows Enhancements” article; this is a similar program that, since I wrote that article, has become my favorite and the one I use. It works really well, has a very small (tiny) footprint, and is open source to boot. I did a little test comparing it to TeraCopy and SuperCopier proved the faster of the two (which I wrote about here).

Go here to download SuperCopier (WinAll; 32 bit and 64 bit).

Mo0 WindowMenu Plus Screenshot234Mo0 WindowMenu Plus: adds useful window manipulation options to the window menu

A program that adds a number of controls into the the windows on your desktop (the so called”system window menu” that appears when you right click on a n window’s title bar), including “keep on top”, transparency, minimize to tray, but also more advanced functions such as “kill process”, “process priority” and the ability to find the process behind the window on the hard drive.

For me, the most frequently used of these functions would be “maximize to”, which maximizes your window Aero-snap style to the sides or quadrants of the screen (and also horizontally or vertically), and the “move to” function, which can center your window or push it, without resizing, to any of the 4 edges of the screen.

The program will let you pick and choose the functions that you would like in your context menu, and consumes very little memory.

Go here to download Mo0 WindowMenu Plus (WinAll; 32 bit and 64 bit).

IconViewer Screenshot35IconViewer: copy, save, icons from file properties

Lets you right click properties on a file to find an additional “icons” tab, from which you can copy and save icons that reside in that file.

This utility makes any icon from any file immediately accessible, but is especially useful for files that contains multiple icons (e.g. DLL, Exe, or ICO files).

Go here to download Icon Viewer (WinAll; 32 bit and 64 bit). Also see my full review of IconViewer.

36. Piles: display any folder as a stack on the Windows 7 task bar

Piles ScreenshotPiles context menu screenshot

For Windows 7, lets you pin any folder such that it displays its contents as a jumplist in the Windows 7 taskbar (see screenshot above). Somewhat similar to previously mentioned Standalone Stack but visually more compact. It also installs a Windows context menu entry that will let you create a Pile from any folder by simply right clicking “create pile from folder”, then pinning the resulting shortcut to your taskbar

Note: the pile icon can be customized, as in the left screenshot, by right clicking on any piles folder shortcut and customizing the icon before pinning to the taskbar (or re-pinning it if it had already been pinned). The only drawback I found with this program is that, once clicked, each pile appears as an entry in Alt+Tab application switching list (unless you manually close it via right clicking the pinned shortcut); which is somewhat annoying. Otherwise a great little utility.

Go here to download Piles (Windows 7 only; 32 bit and 64 bit).

37. SendToClipboard: grabs the contents of text files into the clipboard

SendToClipboard Screenshot

If you take save notes as text files or have a whole bunch of code snippets in text files you might like this one: Send To Clipboard will import the contents of a text file directly into the clipboard, saving you the need to open a text file, selecting its contents, copying, etc.

I only wish it had the ability to import images into the clipboard as well (I did find a software that purport’s to do this with the very same name (here), but for some reason the download link is missing and I cannot find it anywhere).

Go here to download SendToClipboard on Softpedia (WinAll; 32 bit and 64 bit).

38. ViGlance: brings Windows 7 style superbar to XP

For Windows XP and Vista, ViGlance iconizes Windows XP taskbar buttons in the Windows 7 “superbar”style and provides many of the functions that the Windows 7 taskbar provides (including live previews the windows as well as pinning/unpinning.

ViGlance Screenshot

I tested this program on Windows XP and it is quite impressive; however, I read reports of some adverse effects while running this with some programs (e.g. MS Office apps), so make sure to check for this sort of thing. For a less fancy alternative to this try Taskbaric in conjunction with Activatebynum and Taskbar Shuffle. Another alternative: try Sbar Taskbar Replacement.

Go here to download ViGlance (Windows XP, Vista only; 32 bit and 64 bit).

39. DriveGleam: activity indicators in the system tray menu

DriveGleam Screenshot mainDriveGleam Screenshot tooltips

Installs activity indicators in the system tray that include CPU usage, RAM usage, virtual RAM usage, as well as hard drive activity for each existing partition.

It is similar to SysTrayMeter (#14 above), but more extensive. It displays tooltips on mouse-over that provide more detailed information. Users can pick and choose which of the different indicators to display.

Go here to download DriveGleam (Windows 2000, 2003, XP, Vista, Windows 7; 32 bit and 64 bit). Also see my full DriveGleam review.

TrayStatus Screenshot40. TrayBar: add activity indicators for common keyboard keys in the system tray menu

This app installs a slew of activity indicators in the system tray that are unlike most apps in the genre. Instead of the typical hard drive, CPU and RAM usage, TrayBar displays indicators that show whether common keyboard keys are toggled on or off; namely Num Lock status, Caps Lock status, Scroll Lock status, Alt key status, Ctrl key status, Shift key status, Windows key status, as well as (of course) Hard Drive activity.

TrayBar also lets you pick and choose which indicator to display, and provides more details tooltips on mouse-over.

Go here to download TrayBar (Windows XP, 2000 SP4, 2003, 2008, Vista, and Windows 7; 32 bit and 64 bit).

41. Path Copy Copy: copy filenames or paths from the context menu

PathCopyCopy Screenshot

Although I reviewed a number of these shell extensions that grab file and folder names or paths, this is my go-to option that I recommend at the moment. This is because it (a) has a good variation of options, (b) works well with Windows 7 64 bit, and (c) is still in development and featured on it’s developer’s site.

Path Copy Copy will let you select files and folders then copy their names as a list to the clipboard or copy their full paths, ; it can grab the long path (C:\Program Files), the so called short path, used in the command line (C:\PROGRA~1) or even the “internet path” (file://C:\Program Files).

Go here to download Path Copy Copy (Windows XP, Vista, 2008, Windows 7; 32 bit and 64 bit).

42. Diswy: show or hide desktop icons in a single click

diswy screenshot

It’s unavoidable: icons will invariably pile up and clutter your desktop. No doubt that you, like me, look forward to the nice feeling you get once you get rid of the clutter …eventually. In the meanwhile, there are so many things you might be doing that will require you to instantly declutter your desktop, such as taking screenshots, giving presentations, screen sharing, etc. Wouldn’t it be great if you could hide and display icons in a singe click.

Diswy does just that. It is a portable app that can be placed anywhere (e.g. pinned to your taskbar as in the screenshot above) and, once clicked, will hide your desktop icons. Another click will restore normal icon view.

This app is similar to the effect you would get if right-clicking the desktop / view / then unchecking (and re-checking) hide desktop icons.

Note: I previously wrote about a similar program called HideDesktopIcons, but am experimenting with Diswy since the former can sometimes be somewhat unreliable.

Go here to download Diswy (Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7; 32bit and 64bit)

43. FileToFolder: create folders from files via right click

FileToFolder Screenshot

This is one of my favorite utilities, and therefore I had to include it here. What it does is create folders from files; so, for example, you can select three files named ‘Project A.xls’, ‘Project B.xls’ and ‘Project C.xls’ then right click FileToFolder and send each one of the free files to a folder that is created in-place under the same name. Note, however, that any other files with the same name but different extensions will be sent to the same folder (e.g. ‘Project A.jpg’ and ‘Project A.xls’ will be sent to the same folder).

I find this app very useful when managing media downloads.

Go here to download FileToFolder (Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7; 32bit and 64bit). Also see my full review of FileToFolder.

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