• How to choose and use the best PowerToys for Windows 10/11

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    #2530266

    WINDOWS By Lance Whitney Microsoft packs a lot of cool tools into its free PowerToys offering. Here are some of the best. Microsoft’s latest incarnati
    [See the full post at: How to choose and use the best PowerToys for Windows 10/11]

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    • #2530311

      In up-popping dialogue, error and warning windows, I would often like to copy the question or text or warning.
      But it’s not possible because select and copy doesn’t work.

      That’s when I like PowerToy “Text Extractor“.

      As a matter of fact, in “PowerToys/Settings/Text Extractor” you can not select and copy “Text Extractor” in the regular editor way. But with “Text Extractoryou can always and everywhere copy and paste the text.

      I love it.

      1 Desktop W11
      1 Laptop W10
      Both tweaked to look, behave and feel like Windows 95
      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2530367

        Yep, Text Extrator is a good tool. Thanks for highlighting that one.

      • #2530637

        I second Text Extractor.  Great tool!

        Not only useful for things that are [foolishly] non-copyable, like some error messages (looking at you Quicken & Comcast!).

        Another use is that sometimes I will have a text file with multiple columns and I only want to copy a single column.  There isn’t any easy way to do this in windows that I know of other than dump the text file into Excel and then copy the column.  With TE, this task becomes a lot easier.

    • #2530368

      Question about Find My Mouse: I run Windows 10 pro, and I can press and release either Ctrl key to make a circle highlight my mouse pointer. Is that feature available in Windows 11? If so, why would I need Find My Mouse?

    • #2530393

      The new power toys are great with one caveat a lot of new shortcuts to remember in order to use some of the Power Toys (which a lot are not list in the Shortcut File). That is not even counting all the activation commands in the Power Toys Run utility to use it correctly. A lot of new shortcuts to learn means most users will need a list of the shortcuts to refer to while learning. The following is how to create such a list on the PC that is available with one click and the list will close by itself.

      Create a folder in where you keep your documents and name the folder KS (short for Keyboard Shortcuts)
      Open a text editor such as NotePad , WordPad, or Word.
      Click to save this blank document
      In the Save window select this KS folder to save the document to
      For the name of the document enter the name of the Power Toy followed by the keyboard short cut to activate that Power Toy. Example for the Screen Ruler the name for the document would be
      Screen Ruler – WinKey + Shift + M
      Save the document.
      Repeat with other Power Toys and their keyboard shortcuts with the name for each text file is the Power Toy and its keyboard shortcut.
      When finished this KS folder will have a list of text files that the name of each file is the power toy and the keyboard shortcut for it. The folder is now a list of Power Toy keyboard shortcuts.
      Add this KS folder to your Taskbar as a Toolbar.
      One click of the double arrow above the KS displays a list of your Power toy keyboard shortcuts which you can immediately use without closing the toolbar. The toolbar will close itself when nothing has been selected from the list.
      The attached image is what mine looks like.

      BTW: Really love the Screen Ruler.

      KS-List

      HTH, Dana:))

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    • #2530464

      I was excited to hear about the Find My Mouse powertoy.  I downloaded and installed the latest version.

      I was disappointed to find that Finding my Mouse requires clicking the left ctrl key twice.  I already have Find my Mouse turned on in mouse options to find by clicking left ctrl once.

      I turned on the highlight my mouse. again, I would have to press left ctrl twice.

      I was hoping that the finding and highlighting would happen without reaching for the ctrl key.

      oh well.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2530505

      Well, it’s *interesting* to see many tools that were standard in MS Office & Image Composer, dumbed down & recycled in this “PowerToys” pkg. The PowersToys’ graphics & color tools are bits from the ancient MS Picture Manager & Image Composer – 2010+ earlier – which were all beautifully integrated with MS Office & FrontPage (which actually built websites, not just web pages!) I kept & installed all the old software which still runs fine on Windows 10 – leery of what 11 will do to them…

       

      • #2530525

        “Microsoft discontinued Microsoft FrontPage in December 2006.”
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_FrontPage

        Microsoft FrontPage reviews shown by date:
        https://community.spiceworks.com/products/5716-microsoft-corporation-frontpage/reviews

        That said, I’m willing to try a few of the PowerToys.

        Carpe Diem {with backup and coffee}
        offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
        offline▸ Acer TravelMate P215-52 RAM8GB Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1265 x64 i5-10210U SSD Firefox106.0 MicrosoftDefender
        online▸ Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1413 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox112.0b3 MicrosoftDefender
        • #2530541

          Microsoft Edge WebView2 Runtime was also installed as part of PowerToys installation. I uninstalled Edge WebView2 Runtime and kept the PowerToys.

          Carpe Diem {with backup and coffee}
          offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
          offline▸ Acer TravelMate P215-52 RAM8GB Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1265 x64 i5-10210U SSD Firefox106.0 MicrosoftDefender
          online▸ Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1413 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox112.0b3 MicrosoftDefender
          • #2530564

            I noticed that .  wasn’t happy about it.  Seems edge webview2 gets installed with more programs.  Hard to know which programs really need it.  In the past I uninstalled and the program that installed it continued working.  In fact, I use at least one of the powertoys as stand-alone,  Resizer.  the pt program isn’t running. And it was working fine without webview2 installed.

            Apparently webview2 is separate from ms edge.  more bs ms name confusion.

    • #2530531

      Does pone have to install ALL the powertoys? I have some older versions I am using and do not want to overwrite. I some other utilities I will prefer to some powertoys. And some powertoys I do not want to install at all.

      Are you given options on the installer?

      • #2530563

        I don’t see an option to pick and choose.  however some powertoys will run without the powertoys app running.   eg: the resizing app is installed and will stand-alone.  If you write the developers they can give more info about which ones stand-alone.

        • #2530565

          Thanks. Last thing I need is something else riunning in the background. Especially when I don’t want some of these like svg previews in Expolorer, etc. So I guess as intriguing as some are, I’ll stay where I am.

          • #2530587

            After installation, each of the 14 can be enabled/disabled within PowerToys Settings. Previews for various filetypes including .svg are separately enabled/disabled within the File Explorer add-ons powertoy.

            Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.1483 + Microsoft 365 + Edge

          • #2530639

            Why?  Are you memory limited?  I have had 16GB on my desktop system for 7 years now.  I keep two or three browsers windows open with many multiple tabs and it looks like over 100 processes running w/o any noticeable slowdowns or issues.

    • #2530659

      No. 16gb. But a lot if running processes and with a large home group of tabs in Firefox can get tight and slow at times. Lenovo Vantage, which I disabled, runs a ton of processes 7-12 for things I never use.

      Right now I have standalone resize that runs on demand. Several better color puckers on demand. So I ask about what runs in the background if this has startup processes.

    • #2530835

      In September 2022, out of curiosity I installed PowerToys x64 on my Win10 Pro machine after first creating a Macrium image. I would have prefered to install only the ones I wanted but went ahead anyway. Apparently, the installer also installed Microsoft Windows Desktop Runtime plus Microsoft .NET Runtime and Host software.

      The first toy I tried was Power Rename — it crashed when I tried to close it. 🤨

      The other toy I was interested in was Image Resizer. I have for years been using bricelam’s standalone Resizer (https://github.com/bricelam/ImageResizer/releases) without problems. Since his program has now been absorbed into PowerToys, I assumed MS’s installer would cleanly overwrite it. Not in my case. It stepped all over my standalone install and didn’t work properly. Should have known better, I guess.

      I ran the uninstall program for PowerToys using Revo Uninstaller Pro. I recall there were a lot of leftovers on my system. Since the other “toys” weren’t compelling to me and I wanted to apply the “K.I.S.S” principle, I restored from my Macrium image and all was well again.

       

       

       

      Win10 Pro x64 22H2, Win10 Home 21H2, Linux Mint + a cat with 'tortitude'.

      • #2530837

        Thanks Steve. I suspected as much and would have had the same issues. Glad I did not install.

        Went to the Github discussion. MANY people asking to instal only what they choose. They are not very responsive to that request.

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