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The system tray is perhaps one of the most undervalued features of the Windows taskbar. The icons represent running programs or system functions you can manipulate. For the uninitiated, the system tray sits in the bottom right hand side of the screen, also hosting date and time.
Some system tray icons do nothing but sit there until you close them. Others have pop-up menus with settings functions, whenever you right-click on the icon with your mouse. Good examples of this include Skype, Dropbox, Google Drive, CCleaner, and any anti-virus suite you may have installed.
But there is also other software available which adds some useful functionality to the system tray, making it the truly bad boy on the OS. Here are 9 of them rounded up for your reading pleasure.
Do you often find yourself uploading images to image hosting sites such as Imgur or Photobucket? If so, you will like this small app which is designed to make sending images to Imgur as easy and painless as possible.
You can either drag an image onto the Hyperdesktop window, click the “browse” button to find the image on your computer, or capture a screenshot using the buttons provided. However you do it, the image is then instantly uploaded to Imgur in seconds, and an Imgur direct link is copied into the “Image Links” box provided. It will also open that link in a new tab/window.
It’s a situation we have all experienced. You move the mouse over to move a window or click a tab shut (or close an app), and then discover that the wrong window is in focus. Which means you then have to click on what you want to close, and then close it with the mouse. OK, it’s only a matter or milliseconds, but still….it does get a bit annoying after a while. Wizmouse to the rescue then.
With Wizmouse enabled, you can use the mouse to close whatever you want, without clicking on it first to bring it to the foreground. Does one job, but does it well, and removes one small computing irritant.
Of course, Windows 10 does that automatically.
If I was the developer of this app, I would have given it a more bad-ass name such as App Annihilator, or Software Stomper. SuperF4 pounces like a wolf and kills whatever process happens to be in the foreground. So click on the app window, then click the keyboard shortcut CTRL+ALT+F4 to watch it instantly disappear. Remember to save your work first though.
ALT+F4 asks it very politely to get lost and the app can decide whether or not to play nice. CTRL+ALT+F4, with the assistance of SuperF4, makes it hit the road, whether it wants to or not.
Are you into screen capturing and screencasting? If so, take a look at GetShareX which turns you into a capturing and casting grandmaster.
Screenshots can be annotated, edited, and modified using a wide array of features. Screencasts are captured in MPEG format or turned into an animated GIF. Afterwards, upload to image hosting sites such as Imgur, or file cloud sync services such as Dropbox. Finally, get the URL as a short URL or as a QR code.
I am REALLY glad I found this one, because the sound settings were driving me ballistic. I use my headphones for talking on Skype and Google Hangouts, and I then use my speakers to listen to music and watch TV programs and movies.
But when I used the speakers, to be able to switch it over to my headset for calling, I would have to go to the Start menu, choose the audio settings, and then click on the headset. Then after calling, go back to the audio settings and click on the speakers again!
With Soundswitch, you can assign a Hotkey to toggle between different sound devices, and you don’t have to go anywhere near any audio settings.
In word processing, and in emails, there are many different types of formatting. Leaving aside the countless number of fonts out there, you also have different sizes of fonts, bold, italics, underlining, colors, weblinks, email addresses, embedded images…..the list goes on. And if you are in the habit of copying and pasting various pieces of formatted text from one place to another (say from an email to a word document), then you will know how frustrating it can be, when everything is uneven.
PureText enables you to turn a piece of formatted text into plain text. Just highlight the text and copy it to your clipboard. Then press the preset hotkey and that text will then be stripped down to just plain old text, ready for you to paste to wherever it needs to go.
Minibin [No Longer Available]
Are you the type of computer user that likes to have a completely clear desktop, devoid of anything? The opposite of our very own Matthew Hughes then, whose desktop looks like this:
Yes I know, I’m traumatised, too. Anyway, if you’re like me and you like nice clean desktops, then MiniBin is a good way to also remove the trash bin from your desktop.
Once installed, it will sit in your system tray and you can open and empty your bin from there.
Here’s where you can give your computer mouse some steroids and really ramp it up. X-Mouse Button Control gives you a list of possible buttons on your mouse (assuming your mouse has them) and you can assign different actions to each button. So my left hand button activates my Electric Sheep screensaver, and the right hand button starts the coffee maker. Really.
Are you always wondering if the number lock key or the caps lock key is on? Do you mean to type “hello” and end up with HELLO? Tray Status gives you individual small icons in the system tray which show the following :
- Number Lock status
- Caps Lock status
- Scroll Lock status
- ALT key status
- CTRL key status
- Shift key status
- Windows key status
- Hard Drive activity with current speed
Just enable the ones you want to see and leave the rest disabled.
The beauty of the system tray is that it can be as minimal or as packed as you want it to be. Which camp do you fall into, and what programs would we find if we looked in your Windows system tray?
Image Credit : Hand Pressing Key Shortcut via Shutterstock