6 Windows desktop utilities every software developer needs

Most software builders performing on Home windows have a very typical roster of tools: a

Most software builders performing on Home windows have a very typical roster of tools: a code editor or IDE Git or one more model management technique a messaging consumer (whether or not Slack or a person of its clones), and so on. And with most developer workflows currently being online, the web browser has obviated numerous other tools we could possibly commonly set up on the desktop.

But there are even now a range of desktop apps that programmers can advantage from, whether or not for controlling one’s working day-to-working day workflow or for making material that is adjacent to the work of building software (like movie walkthroughs or screencasts). Listed here are 6 this sort of tools that are worthy of a position on any developer’s desktop.

OBS Studio

OBS Studio is as shut to an all-in-a person solution for dwell movie seize and streaming as you’re most likely to get devoid of possessing to pay back for a person. This open up resource application rivals numerous of its professional counterparts in the two polish and adaptability. It supports seize from solitary home windows, full desktops, or set areas of the display, on-the-fly switching among views, and overlays from several resources (even now photographs, precaptured motion pictures, dwell movie, and many others.). And it gives equally versatile help for audio seize.

Every single purpose in OBS Studio can be hooked to a tailor made hotkey, so you can fire up the system, lower it, and management your recording devoid of possessing to pop the system back again open up (despite the fact that this does get some apply). A person slight omission: There is no way to do interactive zooms on a area of the display as you seize, this sort of as by working with some vital blend and the mousewheel. But supplied how much OBS Studio offers you for the cost, it is all but unbeatable.

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Environment up a movie seize session with OBS Studio. Many seize situations can be outlined and switched among on the fly, so that you can go from a photograph-in-photograph with a webcam (as revealed in this article) to a zoomed perspective of a particular window, for instance.


The clipboard in Microsoft Home windows has hardly ever been quite versatile, in big element since it only saved a person clipping at a time. Home windows 10 just lately included a “history” purpose to the clipboard, but it even now isn’t as strong as some of us would like (despite the fact that the “sync clippings throughout devices” attribute is nifty).

Ditto adds a large amount of money of added operation to the Home windows clipboard. Aside from storing as numerous clips as you want, you can kind to search, save popular clips for re-use, make it possible for clips to expire after x times, and complete unique paste capabilities like pasting only the plaintext model of a clip. My favorite attribute: If you copy an impression, you can open up Ditto, drag the impression out of the clip record, fall it to a folder, and it’ll be saved there as a PNG file. Screenshots really do not get much much easier than that.

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Choosing a paste from the Ditto clipboard. You can kind to search from all the accessible clips saved in Ditto. The tooltip revealed in this article displays the total textual content of the clip in context. 


Yet another longtime Home windows suffering point is typing unique characters—accents, math symbols, and many others.—without working with a unique keyboard or some other contrivance. Unichars makes use of a strong metaphor for typing unique characters: the compose vital (one thing Unix people should to be familiar with). Strike the compose key—it’s typically a person of the Alt keys, but you can reassign it—and you can mix a person or extra keystrokes in a solitary character.

For instance, if you compose “O” and a double quote (“), you get an O with an umlaut (Ö). You get dwell comments from just about every keypress so you can figure out reasonably promptly how to receive characters, and some full alphabets have easy prefixes: for instance, use G and g for higher-circumstance and reduce-circumstance Greek, respectively. And eventually, Unichars is entirely customizable, so you can use vital compositions both for your individual characters or for whole boilerplate texts. The system by itself has not been updated in some time, but it even now operates reliably properly on Home windows 10.

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Typing unique characters with Unichars. Tooltips pop up as you kind to indicate what keystrokes will generate what characters. The compose vital (utilized to result in a unique character sequence) can be customized, as revealed in the program’s main window at left.


Phrase has it that passwords are slowly but surely currently being phased out and changed with extra exquisite methods to authenticate oneself, but we’re even now a methods from the passwordless globe. Until then, a password manager will proceed to make online everyday living much, much much easier, so why not pick a no cost a person? Right after all, the open up resource project KeePass continues to be a person of the most common, greatly supported, and broadly configurable password supervisors accessible.

KeePass works as a standard encrypted repository for consumer secrets and techniques, not just passwords. Entries are versioned, so if you want to dig out an older model of a password, you can come across it in your KeePass database background. Additionally, 3rd-get together builders have designed a slew of valuable increase-ons—like a pronounceable password generator, or Home windows Hello there integration. But with or devoid of increase-ons, KeePass is enormously valuable. For instance, entries can be configured to auto-kind into a window with a supplied caption when a hotkey is pressed.

Many incarnations of KeePass exist. Some are for other operating techniques, like KeePassX for Linux and MacOS others are reincarnations, like KeePassXC, penned in C++ as an alternative of C#, or KeeWeb, an Electron application model. But the primary KeePass continues to be a excellent draw for Home windows buyers.

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A KeePass password entry. KeePass offers you numerous approaches of producing passwords to pick out from, and displays you the power of the password graphically. 


If you do any work at all with photographs, you want at least a person standard-goal impression management and viewing tool—something extra than a file explorer, but a full good deal fewer than Adobe Photoshop. Irfanview strikes a great harmony. It masses quick adequate to provide as an on-the-location impression previewer, but also packs in numerous other valuable attributes devoid of letting them get in the way.

Thumbnail browsing, mass impression conversion, and swift-and-soiled editing are all in this article. There is even help for some truly unique impression formats and extensions, like multi-web site TIFFs, and a plug-in architecture for anything not involved by default. Though Irfanview is not open up resource, it is no cost to use, supported by the donations of 1000’s of buyers globally.

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Viewing photographs with Irfanview. The thumbnail perspective at correct can be opened from any impression, allowing you to commonly search other photographs in the same folder. 


“Where did all my disk place go?” is the 2nd most popular dilemma builders ask by themselves (correct after “Is there any extra espresso?”). Subdirectories, and sub-sub-directories, can fill up with all sorts of digital litter—log data files, non permanent data files, deserted downloads, software hardly ever thoroughly uninstalled, stale backups, you name it.

WinDirStat analyzes storage place on a Microsoft Home windows technique and presents you with a effortless graphical overview of what is getting up how much place. The natural beauty of WinDirStat’s presentation is how you can see at a glance exactly where the major and most outlying makes use of of place are, the greater to solitary them out and reclaim them more quickly. Its individual drawback is it can get minutes on end to scan a travel, but the wealth of perception you get back again from the scan approach is extra than worthy of the wait around.

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WinDirStat analysis of a technique travel. Just about every rectangular location signifies a directory, providing you a quick at-a-glance perspective of which directories get up the most place. The highlighted location implies the contents of the Recycle Bin, which has not been emptied in some time.

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