Microsoft Windows XP PowerToys is a set of utilities designed to improve the Windows XP operating system by adding functions. It is designed to enhance the Windows experience, add fun and functionality and features easy to use utilities that are completely integrated in the Windows XP interface. Although Microsoft claims that these PowerToys only runs on Windows XP, I found that some of them can in fact be installed on other Windows versions. So, please let me if you successfully installed a PowerToy on another Windows version, and how it performed. The PowerToys collection features the following utilities:
This PowerToy enhances the existing Alt + Tab application switching mechanism of Windows XP. With it, in addition to seeing the icon of the application window you are switching to, you will also see a preview of the page. This helps particularly when multiple sessions of an application are open. You use this just as you do the existing Alt + Tab mechanism. Press and hold the Alt key and then press the Tab key to cycle through the running applications. When the desired application is highlighted release the Alt key. You can move backwards through the task list by pressing and holding the Shift and Alt key and then pressing the Tab key.
Download (533 KB):
TaskswitchPowertoySetup.exe (7 downloads)
CD Slide Show Generator
Enables you to view images burned to a CD as a slide show. Add only images to a CD-RW drive using Windows XP Explorer and then write these files to a CD-R or CD-RW disc. A new task is presented in the wizard for generating the autorun for the slideshow. Now when you take this disc to another computer that isn’t running Windows XP you can still view your images as a slide show.
Download (548 KB):
SlideshowPowertoySetup.exe (7 downloads)
ClearType is a method developed by Microsoft for smoothing the rough edges around text and make reading the screen easier. This PowerToy lets you adjust ClearType settings to your preference. You can use it to adjust ClearType settings in one of two ways. First, you can run through a wizard: You get a couple of screens and have to pick which display looks better. Second, you can use an advanced mode that lets you adjust settings directly.
It installs in the Control Panel for easy access. So, simply navigate to the Windows XP Control Panel to start using it.
Download (2 MB):
ClearType.exe (8 downloads)
Color Control Panel Applet
Professional photographers and graphic designers know how hard it is getting consistent, accurate color from file to screen to print. This utility helps you easily manage Windows color settings and easily switch between display color profiles.
With this PowerToy you can:
- Install and uninstall ICC color profiles Inspect, rename, and compare two different color profiles.
- View a 3D graphics plot of color profile color gamuts.
- Associate color profiles with devices, such as printers, monitors, and scanners.
- Apply custom color gamut adjustments to one or more displays on the fly.
- Set up display calibration reminders at intervals you specify.
Download (1 MB):
WinColorSetup.exe (9 downloads)
Open Command Window Here
Windows power users spend considerable time with the command prompt and usually need to execute commands from a specific directory. This PowerToy adds an “Open Command Window Here” context menu option on file system folders. This gives users a quick way to open a command window (cmd.exe) pointing at the selected folder. Simply, right click on the folder you would like to have a quick launch command window for and select “Open Command Window Here.” For an updated version of this PowerToy, see the “Command Prompt from Here Shell Extension“.
Download (514 KB):
CmdHerePowertoySetup.exe (8 downloads)
HTML Slide Show Wizard
This wizard helps you create a slide show of your digital pictures. When you’re done, you can put your slide show on the Web to share with your family and friends. Follow the steps of the wizard to select and arrange your pictures, choose from a few simple options, and then save a Web-ready HTML slide show to a folder. A slideshow has forward and back controls to navigate between pictures. Slideshows can be configured to show just the picture or thumbnail-type views of every picture and more. You can also size every picture the same for consistency.
Download (417 KB):
HTMLSlideShowSetup.exe (7 downloads)
This PowerToy enables you to resize one or many image files with a right-click. When resizing you can choose from one of four standard sizes or choose a custom size that you specify. You can also choose to resize the original image or create a new one. To use it, right click any image(s) and select ‘Resize Pictures’ in the context menu.
Download (520 KB):
ImageResizerPowertoySetup.exe (7 downloads)
The calculator included in Windows XP is limited in its capabilities. With the Power Calculator you can graph the results of your work and evaluate functions as well as perform many different types of conversions. Type simple expressions, and it will evaluate them and display the results.
Download (624 KB):
PowerCalcPowertoySetup.exe (9 downloads)
RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer
The ability to manipulate images in the native RAW format is desirable because all the detail is preserved, unlike when converting to none-lossless formats like JPEG where some quality is lost. Alone, Windows XP can’t view thumbnails and previews for RAW images, but with this PowerToy, serious photographers can organize and work with digital RAW files in Windows Explorer (much as you can with JPEG images). It provides thumbnails, previews, printing, and metadata display for most Canon and Nikon digital camera RAW formats.
Download (48 MB):
RAWViewerSetup.exe (6 downloads)
Use this PowerToy to magnify part of the screen from the taskbar. This is very similar to Magnifier that can be found under the Accessories menu on the Start Menu except that this PowerToy remains in the taskbar and has a smaller viewing area. To use it, right click on the taskbar, click toolbars, and then click “Taskbar Magnifier.”
Download (514 KB):
MagnifierPowertoySetup.exe (6 downloads)
With new sources of files coming from every direction (such as digital cameras, e-mail, cell phones, portable media players, camcorders, PDAs, and laptops), SyncToy can help you copy, move, and synchronize different directories. If necessary, you can also exclude certain files from synchronization based on filename or even file attribute. For example, excluding system files from synchronization.
Download (844 KB):
SyncToy.msi (8 downloads)
This PowerToy gives you access to system settings that are not exposed in the Windows XP default user interface. There are many settings and options that you can only set from Tweak UI. You can setup your mouse to your liking by setting click speed, hover sensitivity, etc. You can also customize many Explorer settings, taskbar settings, My Computer settings, and a wide variety of other settings.
Version 2.10 requires Windows XP Service Pack 1 or Windows Server 2003.
Virtual Desktop Manager
With this PowerToy you can manage up to four desktops from the Windows taskbar. Choose a diffirent background for each desktop and different applications on each. To use it, right click on the taskbar, click toolbars, and then click “Desktop Manager”.
Download (550 KB):
DeskmanPowertoySetup.exe (8 downloads)
This PowerToy lets you take pictures at specified time intervals from a Webcam connected to your computer and save them to a designated location. By default, Timershot will take a picture every 10 minutes and save it to a specific location. A simple save option allows you to save all the pictures or only the last picture you’ve taken.
Download (610 KB):
TimershotPowertoySetup.exe (8 downloads)
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