Tips, Tricks, and Answers
The following articles are available for the 'Utilities' topic. Click the article''s title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.
If you need to search the contents of files fast, Agent Ransack is a tool worth having. It searches through multiple directories for content you specify and returns its results in a flash.
AutoHotKeys is a great multi-purpose utility that covers the spectrum from allowing you to define shortcut keys for often-used programs to developing scripts that assist you in your everyday activities like spell checking, keyword expansion, etc. It can really boost your productivity!
Would you like to have one place to go in order to see what all programs are starting when your system starts or when you logon? If so, AutoRuns is what you've been waiting for.
Cathy is a small utility that lets you catalog network and external media for fast searching. It's handy if you have a lot of data 'out there' and aren't quite sure where it exists.
Changing Explorer Navigation Controls
Every time Windows updates the operating system, it seems that they leave out or remove something that somebody loved in the previous version. If you want to add some great control back into Windows, you'll appreciate the two utilities mentioned in this tip.
Navigating to favorite files or folders need not be a time waster of click through a tree structure. ConFavor makes this type of navigation a thing of the past by providing you with your favorites at the click of the mouse.
CutePDF Writer is an extremely versatile utility that allows you to create PDF files from virtually any application that permits you to print. When you want to create a PDF file, you simply choose CutePDF Writer as the printer and you'll quickly have a PDF version of your document.
Are you frustrated by your desktop icons moving around whenever you change your screen resolution or use Remote Desktop? You'll be pleased with the simple but effective functionality of DesktopOK.
If you have more than one device and want to easily move files between them, Dropbox is the utility of choice. It provides a way to painlessly share information through the cloud.
If you want to be able to find any file on your hard disk in just seconds, Everything is a utility you'll find invaluable. Here's a quick description of what it can do for you.
How to Password Protect a File or Folder via Zip
If you routinely create ZIP files, you may want to add some protection to those files. This tip shows how easy it is to add that extra layer of security using a utility called 7-zip.
KeePass Password Safe
If you feel overwhelmed by the number of usernames and passwords you have to remember, KeePass Password Safe is your answer. You can lock away all your sensitive information and only have to remember one password to unlock them all.
Launchy is a small utility that packs a powerful punch. It allows you to instantly find files and launch them without ever moving your hands off the keyboard.
M8 Free Clipboard
If you've ever found it tedious to do copy/paste with one piece of information at a time, you'll really like M8 Free Clipboard. With it you can copy up to 25 clips and paste them at will. You may not need to deal with multiple clips every day, but when you need to it's great to have this in your toolbox
Process Explorer is a very well built utility that does a lot, from helping you with performance analysis to finding the process that has an undeletable file locked. You may not use it every day, but when you need it it's great to have in your toolbox.
Scanning and Fixing System Files
Is your system running a bit flakey at times? If you think the culprit might be a problem with some of your system files, here's a built-in utility you can call into action.
Setting an Alarm
By using the alarm capabilities of Windows, you can make sure you never miss another important time again. This tip shows you how.
SyncToy allows you to keep multiple pairs of folders in sync. This means it can also serve as a decent file-backup utility. The synchronization can be done through a GUI or scheduled to run as an unattended task every day.
If you want a simple, unobtrusive time-tracking utility to keep track of time you spend on various tasks, Toggl is the utility for you. This tip provides an overview of the software.
Understanding Process Monitor
A very useful tool in diagnosing what is going on with processes and/or files is the Process Monitor tool from Sysinternals. This tip introduces you to it.
Using Microsoft Fix It
Got a program on your system that you can't get rid of? Here's a handy little program that Microsoft provides that may be able to finally remove it.
Using N.R.S. Ghost Control
Ghost Control is a nice utility when you need to save your keystrokes and mouse movements while doing repetitive tasks. This tip shows you how to use it.
Using Process Monitor
A very useful tool in diagnosing what is going on with processes and/or files is the Process Monitor tool from Sysinternals. This tip presents three scenarios where the use of Process Monitor provides valuable insights about the activity occurring on your system.
Using Reliability Monitor
Reliability Monitor provides some measure of how stable your system is. It does this by noting, over time, various types of failures and comes up with a stability index you can view. This tip explains how to use Reliability Monitor.
Using Resource Monitor
Maximizing your system's performance is an ongoing activity that requires in-depth knowledge of various components. Resource Monitor helps by providing key metrics about your system as it is running. Tuning your system is beyond the scope of this tip, but the Resource Monitor provides a good start of where to look.
WizMouse was developed with one goal in mind: scroll the window under the mouse wheel even if it's not the active window. It works.
If Windows Explorer leaves you wanting more from a file management utility, you might want to give Xplorer2 a try. It is feature-rich with virtually no learning curve.