How to supercharge your Windows 10 experience with PowerToys


Microsoft is updating the open-source Windows 10 PowerToys toolset with new features (toys) every month to improve your desktop experience.

Windows 10 PowerToys currently comes with utilities for optimizing app windows for big monitors, previewing new image types in File Explorer, resizing images, and more.

In this article, we’re highlighting the new key features of PowerToys that you should try to supercharge your Windows 10 experience.

Image Resizer

PowerToys comes with a built-in Windows shell extension called ‘Image Resizer‘ that allows you to resize your images directly from the context menu.

Image Resizer

After installing PowerToys and enabling Image Resizer, you can right-click on selected image files in File Explorer. Once selected, you need to select ‘Resize pictures’ option to reduce its size based on your input.

You can even resize images by dragging and dropping your selected files with the right mouse button.

Windows File Explorer’s preview pane

With PowerToys, you can also improve File Explorer’s preview pane by enabling a quick preview of SVG images and Markdown documents.

“Preview handlers are called when an item is selected to show a lightweight, rich, read-only preview of the file’s contents in the view’s reading pane,” Microsoft said last year.

File Explorer

With PowerToys, Microsoft aims to expand the preview pane of the File Explorer and support for additional file types will be added in future.

In fact, you can create your own custom preview handler by following Microsoft’s documentation.

Replace slow Windows Search with PowerToys

Windows Search experience could be slow when it mixes results from the Bing search engine, but a new tool within PowerToys allows you to restrict search results to local drives only.

PowerToys Run is a new utility that would allow you to launch apps faster than using the Windows Start menu. It works like Windows Run, but it has a user-friendly interface with a proper GUI for navigation.

PowerToys Run also comes with auto-completion and suggestions while typing. There’s also a context menu that allows you to find the location of the file or run it with administrator privileges.

By default, PowerToys Run launches with the Win+Space shortcut, but you can override the Win+R or Win+S key combos.

Windows 10 Color Picker

PowerToys also comes with a tool called ‘Color Picker Tool‘ that basically lets you click on any portion of the screen to obtain the selected area’s hexadecimal or RGB color code.

You can activate the color picker mode using its “activation shortcut”. You can also configure keyboard shortcut in the Settings.

Here’s a list of all basic features that work with Color Picker:

  • Color picker appears when activation shortcut pressed (configurable in the settings)
  • Color picker follows the mouse cursor and shows the actual color that is below the cursor
  • Scroll up will cause Zoom Window to open for a better color picking precision
  • Left mouse click will copy that color into a clipboard in a predefined format (setting)
  • Changes cursor when picking a color (can be turned off)
  • Color picker is multimonitor/multi DPI aware. It respect monitors’ boundaries and stays always in the view (predefined safe zones in top, bottom, left, right sides of a monitor).

Modify Keyboard shortcuts

PowerToys Keyboard Manager is another utility that allows you to remap individual keys on your keyboard to another key.

You can also remap existing keyboard shortcuts.

Batch Renamer Tool

Microsoft has also updated PowerToys toolset with a utility named PowerRename that allows you to batch rename large file collections.

“PowerRename is a Windows Shell Context Menu Extension for advanced bulk renaming using a simple search and replace or more powerful regular expression matching,” Microsoft explains.

To use this feature, you need to select the files and then click on the batch rename tool option in the context menu.

You can try the aforementioned features by downloading PowerToys from here.

Upcoming PowerToys feature

Microsoft is currently prototyping idea for a tool that will help you create simple GIFs and videos. The feature is currently in the early stage of development and is expected to begin rolling out sometime next year.

Original Article

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