Making Windows Just A Little Better 2

Welcome back. If you joined me last time you know that I’m trying to point out programs that make Windows just a little bit better. Programs that cover things that Windows doesn’t or programs that do things a bit better. Last time I covered QnE Companion, Fences 4, and IrfanView. Once again I’m sharing some of my favorite programs that take Windows to a new level and make it more useful and more powerful. 

Image for Windows by TeraByte Unlimited is a wonderful backup program that will help you to keep all your data safe and sound. It’s a part of the TeraByte Drive Image Backup and Restore Suite. Let’s face it, Windows doesn’t really give you a good way to protect your valuable data. Image for Windows is powerful, but it’s also very easy-to-use and intuitive. Lets look at just a few of its many features. 

Image for Windows creates a complete and total image of your system. That means that it not only backs up your programs and documents, but it also backs up the entire operating system. It protects you completely from a  hard disk crash or other calamity. Using Image for Windows I can restore individual files OR  I can restore my entire system. This type of backup is wonderful because it includes everything on your computer.  You don’t have to worry about forgetting an important file or a critical folder. When you run your backup it’s making sure that everything is copied and protected. 

Image for Windows lets you save your backups to internal hard drives, network drives, CD, DVD, BD, and USB “thumb drives”. The suite also includes a “MakeDisk” wizard that creates a recovery boot disk. Image for Windows uses technology so you can continue to use your computer while your system is backing up! That technology helps eliminate errors that can occur when a computer is in use during backup. Image for Windows makes it easy to restore a single file or your entire system. In the event of a hard disk crash you can use the boot disk to restore your system to a new hard drive. It’s just that easy. 

Image for Windows is a wonderful tool for protecting all of your precious data. Make sure that all your documents, pictures, videos, and more, are safe and sound. Keep everything backed up with Image for Windows and you’ll be glad you did!

Notepad++ by SourceForge.Net is a free text editor that’s been downloaded more than 28 million times. Notepad++ is the ultimate text editor that can be used for programming, jotting down ideas, taking notes, or anything else that involves text. One big feature is that it automatically saves your work which means your work is always safe. The program can be customized to suit your individual style and needs. It has a handy “auto-complete” feature that will save you lots of repetitive typing. Another feature is “line numbers” which are great for programmers or anyone that’s trying to reference text. 

Notepad++ has an impressive list of features and functions. It has support for keyboard macros which is handy in programming and regular text work. It has a wonderful search function which lets you search for strings of text in opened tabs or in a directory. There’s also support for over 140 plugins. Notepad++ has a tabbed interface which makes it easy to work with multiple documents at the same time. Another cool feature is “collaborative editing” which allows multiple users to work on the same document from different computers. 

Notepad++ supports more than 50 scripting, programming, and markup languages. In addition, it features auto indentation, and support for code folding and syntax highlighting. It also features line operations like split, join, move, and sort. This is a good, all around text editor for programmers or anyone else who needs to work with text. It’s open source and free which is a plus for just about everyone. Give this text editor a try, it’ll make Windows just a little better. 

Power Toys by Microsoft is a cool set of utilities direct from Microsoft designed to let users tweak and improve their user experience. These tools run the gamut and for this article I’ll just point out a few of them. 

There’s a “Color Picker” tool that lets you have access to the color codes from anything that’s on your screen. This allows you to use that color in other apps. Another tool is the “Awake’ Power Toy that I use quite a lot. It allows you to keep your computer awake on-demand without having to make changes to your basic power settings. This is really handy when you’re doing time consuming tasks and you want to make sure that your computer doesn’t go to sleep. Another favorite tool of mine is called “Fancy Zones” and it lets you create even complex screen layouts and place your programs into those windows. It’s perfect when you’re working on a project and using multiple apps because Fancy Zones lets you create an odd number of zones and have them be of varying sizes. Pretty slick!

Power Toys has another cool tool called “Text Extractor” that uses OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to snip material from just about anything. The OCR lifts the text or image that you want and puts it right in your clipboard so it’s easy-to-use. The “Keyboard Manager” tool lets you customize your keyboard. It allows you to remap keys and you can even create your own keyboard shortcuts. That’s very handy for making your computer your own. In addition to the tools I’ve mentioned, Power Toys also includes Image Resizer, PowerRename, Mouse Utilities, File Explorer Add-Ons, Quick Accent, Screen Ruler, Hosts File Editor, and more. You owe it to yourself to take the time to check out this cool set of handy tools. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article. There are lots of programs available that can make Windows just a little bit better, a little bit more functional. I hope you’ll  stay tuned for more articles that call attention to other programs that make Windows just a little bit better and a little bit more powerful. 

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