6 Windows desktop utilities every software developer needs

Most software program builders doing work on Windows have a really regular roster of applications: a code editor or IDE Git or another edition handle procedure a messaging client (whether or not Slack or just one of its clones), and so on. And with most developer workflows becoming on the […]

Most software program builders doing work on Windows have a really regular roster of applications: a code editor or IDE Git or another edition handle procedure a messaging client (whether or not Slack or just one of its clones), and so on. And with most developer workflows becoming on the net, the website browser has obviated a lot of other applications we could possibly usually install on the desktop.

But there are even now a number of desktop apps that programmers can benefit from, whether or not for managing one’s day-to-day workflow or for making content that is adjacent to the position of building software program (like movie walkthroughs or screencasts). In this article are six this sort of applications that are entitled to a location on any developer’s desktop.

OBS Studio

OBS Studio is as close to an all-in-just one alternative for live movie seize and streaming as you’re possible to get with out possessing to spend for just one. This open supply software rivals a lot of of its business counterparts in the two polish and overall flexibility. It supports seize from one windows, complete desktops, or set locations of the screen, on-the-fly switching concerning sights, and overlays from numerous sources (even now images, precaptured movies, live movie, and so forth.). And it presents similarly versatile aid for audio seize.

Every single function in OBS Studio can be hooked to a custom made hotkey, so you can fire up the application, lessen it, and handle your recording with out possessing to pop the application back open (although this does get some follow). Just one slight omission: There is no way to do interactive zooms on a field of the screen as you seize, this sort of as by working with some essential combination and the mousewheel. But specified how a lot OBS Studio offers you for the price tag, it’s all but unbeatable.

obs studio IDG

Environment up a movie seize session with OBS Studio. Various seize eventualities can be outlined and switched concerning on the fly, so that you can go from a photograph-in-photograph with a webcam (as revealed here) to a zoomed perspective of a precise window, for example.


The clipboard in Microsoft Windows has in no way been extremely adaptable, in big portion for the reason that it only stored just one clipping at a time. Windows 10 not long ago added a “history” function to the clipboard, but it even now is not as powerful as some of us would like (although the “sync clippings throughout devices” feature is nifty).

Ditto provides a substantial amount of money of added features to the Windows clipboard. Apart from storing as a lot of clips as you want, you can sort to look for, help save widespread clips for re-use, enable clips to expire after x days, and accomplish special paste features like pasting only the plaintext edition of a clip. My beloved feature: If you copy an graphic, you can open Ditto, drag the graphic out of the clip checklist, drop it to a folder, and it’ll be saved there as a PNG file. Screenshots do not get a lot easier than that.

ditto IDG

Picking out a paste from the Ditto clipboard. You can sort to look for from all the offered clips stored in Ditto. The tooltip revealed here displays the full text of the clip in context. 


A further longtime Windows suffering level is typing special characters—accents, math symbols, and so forth.—without working with a special keyboard or some other contrivance. Unichars makes use of a powerful metaphor for typing special characters: the compose essential (one thing Unix people should to be common with). Strike the compose key—it’s generally just one of the Alt keys, but you can reassign it—and you can mix just one or additional keystrokes in a one character.

For instance, if you compose “O” and a double estimate (“), you get an O with an umlaut (Ö). You get live suggestions from just about every keypress so you can determine out comparatively promptly how to attain characters, and some complete alphabets have uncomplicated prefixes: for example, use G and g for upper-scenario and reduce-scenario Greek, respectively. And at last, Unichars is fully customizable, so you can use essential compositions possibly for your very own characters or for overall boilerplate texts. The application itself has not been current in some time, but it even now operates reliably effectively on Windows 10.

unichars IDG

Typing special characters with Unichars. Tooltips pop up as you sort to point out what keystrokes will produce what characters. The compose essential (utilised to trigger a special character sequence) can be personalized, as revealed in the program’s most important window at still left.


Phrase has it that passwords are slowly becoming phased out and replaced with additional sophisticated ways to authenticate oneself, but we’re even now a ways from the passwordless planet. Till then, a password supervisor will proceed to make on the net lifetime a lot, a lot easier, so why not decide on a no cost just one? Just after all, the open supply venture KeePass continues to be just one of the most common, widely supported, and broadly configurable password administrators offered.

KeePass works as a typical encrypted repository for person tricks, not just passwords. Entries are versioned, so if you have to have to dig out an more mature edition of a password, you can obtain it in your KeePass database record. In addition, 3rd-get together builders have created a slew of practical increase-ons—like a pronounceable password generator, or Windows Howdy integration. But with or with out increase-ons, KeePass is enormously practical. For instance, entries can be configured to car-sort into a window with a specified caption when a hotkey is pressed.

Various incarnations of KeePass exist. Some are for other running techniques, like KeePassX for Linux and MacOS other folks are reincarnations, like KeePassXC, published in C++ rather of C#, or KeeWeb, an Electron application edition. But the first KeePass continues to be a good draw for Windows end users.

keepass IDG

A KeePass password entry. KeePass offers you a lot of approaches of generating passwords to pick out from, and demonstrates you the strength of the password graphically. 


If you do any do the job at all with images, you have to have at the very least just one typical-reason graphic administration and viewing tool—something additional than a file explorer, but a complete lot much less than Adobe Photoshop. Irfanview strikes a fine harmony. It masses quick enough to provide as an on-the-spot graphic previewer, but also packs in a lot of other practical options with out allowing them get in the way.

Thumbnail searching, mass graphic conversion, and speedy-and-dirty enhancing are all here. There is even aid for some certainly unique graphic formats and extensions, like multi-page TIFFs, and a plug-in architecture for every thing not included by default. Whilst Irfanview is not open supply, it’s no cost to use, supported by the donations of countless numbers of end users around the globe.

irfanview IDG

Viewing images with Irfanview. The thumbnail perspective at appropriate can be opened from any graphic, enabling you to conveniently browse other images in the exact folder. 


“Where did all my disk house go?” is the second most widespread query builders talk to them selves (appropriate after “Is there any additional coffee?”). Subdirectories, and sub-sub-directories, can fill up with all varieties of digital litter—log files, momentary files, abandoned downloads, software program in no way thoroughly uninstalled, stale backups, you title it.

WinDirStat analyzes storage house on a Microsoft Windows procedure and offers you with a effortless graphical overview of what is using up how a lot house. The attractiveness of WinDirStat’s presentation is how you can see at a glance in which the greatest and most outlying makes use of of house are, the improved to one them out and reclaim them a lot quicker. Its very own disadvantage is it can get minutes on conclusion to scan a generate, but the prosperity of insight you get back from the scan procedure is additional than value the wait.

windirstat IDG

WinDirStat examination of a procedure generate. Every single rectangular spot signifies a directory, offering you a quick at-a-glance perspective of which directories get up the most house. The highlighted spot signifies the contents of the Recycle Bin, which hasn’t been emptied in some time.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

Rosa G. Rose

Next Post

5 ways to drive agile experimentation using feature flags

Thu Jun 4 , 2020
Cloud application architectures, microservices, CI/CD (continual integration, continual development) pipelines, exam automation, and infrastructure as code are all technologies that enable agile development and devops teams to provide code to generation frequently. They have taken computer software development from the times of quarterly releases and advanced integrations to a modern […]