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Not so long ago I have reviewed Google Pack, a free software package from Google. Today I want to quickly go through Microsoft PowerToys – a bunch of free Windows XP tools from Microsoft. Unlike Google Pack, this package appeals to a much smaller audience so I will try to keep it short.

Here is what you get with Mocrosoft PowerToys

    Color Control Panel Applet: tool to manage Windows color settings in one place.(Something handy for web designers and photographers)

    SyncToy: With this tool you can easily copy, move, and synchronize files and directories between various portable devices(digacams,PDAs,camcorders and etc) and your PC.

    RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer: tool for organizing and work with digital RAW files in Windows Explorer (in the same way as you can with JPEG files). Again, something more useful for designers and photographers.

    ClearType Tuner: by using ClearType technology this tool can make it easier to read text on your screen. I installed it and the difference in the quality of text is remarkable. For now I am quite satisfied with it, but I wonder how will I feel about it in a week, will keep you updated on it.

    HTML Slide Show: lets you create an HTML slide show of your digital pictures, that can be later on included in your website,blog or online profile (ex; myspace).

    Open Command Window Here: easily access command window pointing to selected directory through right-click menu from any system files folder.

    Alt-Tab Replacement: This is a good one. I hope you know that by keeping ‘Alt’ key pressed and clicking ‘Tab’ key you can easily navigate through your working windows and programs. This tool makes it even better, by also displaying small preview window that previews the icons you are going through. To use it, simply install the program and use Alt-Tab as you used to.

    Tweak UI: lets you do lots of stuff related to user interface settings, gives you access to features that are not normally accessible through windows panels. For instance, if you are one of those who like their dektop blank, with this tool you can remove even recycle bin from your desktop(service pack 1 required).

    Power Calculator: fully loaded calculator.

    Image Resizer: resize your image/s through right-click menu. I used this tool for a while and recommend it to anyone for doing quick image resizing tasks. Alternatively, you may check out Kaly’s review of web based resizing tools Resizr - Quick way to Resize Images Online Resizr - Quick way to Resize Images Online Read More .

    CD Slide Show Generator: tool for viewing images burned to a CD as a slide show.

    Virtual Desktop Manager: tool for managing up to 4 desktops from windows takbar. If you are like me, regularly have more then 20 web windows and several applications running on your desktop this tool can make managing them much easier. Make sure to go through properties after installing it, to customise it for yourself.

    Taskbar Magnifier: magnifes anything you put your cursor on and displays it in the allocated area in the taskbar. Unless you have problems with your eyesight can not think of any practical use to it.

    Webcam Timershot: set your webcam to take pictures at specified time intervals and save them (never tried it, but think can be nice for setting some survelliance).

You can download tools you like and read more on them here. Enjoy!

Gotta go now to receive my newly ordered 24″ monitor. Can’t wait to set it up :D

Update: My feedback on Cleartype Tuner is here.

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