Microsoft Windows is a really impressive operating system. As of June 2022 it was estimated that Windows was running on 76% of desktop computers. That’s an impressive number and shows just how dominant Windows is in the desktop arena. But as powerful and impressive as it is, it could still do with a little tweaking, with a few well designed add-ons.
So, in this article and the one that follows, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite additions to Microsoft Windows. The programs that help take Windows to a new level and make it even more useful and more powerful.
QnE Companion by TeraByte Unlimited is a powerful set of tools that are designed to make you more productive. Once it’s installed you can configure it in a number of ways. You can have it accessible as a small floating window on your desktop or you can have it as a part of your Windows taskbar. No matter which way you choose, QnE Companion is right there, just a mouse click away when you need it. What does it do you ask? I’m happy to tell you.
QnE Companion has a Clipboard Companion that makes the Windows clipboard into something truly powerful. You can review all your clips in a handy list and use them over and over again. It makes it easy to paste into documents, email, and the like. There’s also a Screen Capture Companion that makes doing screen captures a breeze. You can capture the whole screen or just part of it. Save your screen captures so you can view them, use them in documents, or print them. All your screen captures are right there so they’re easy to work with.
QnE Companion also has QnE Launcher.The launcher is completely configurable and it can contain anything you want to have easy access to. It can be populated with files, folders, programs, and everything else that you use the most. The launcher eliminates searching for documents or folders that are buried and puts them a mouse click away. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
And last by not least, QnE Companion has an Icon Companion. This lets you manage the locations of icons on your desktop and even manipulate them. If you have tons of icons on your desktop the Icon Companion is going to be your new best friend. You can actually save a copy or your desktop and then restore it later. In addition you can search your icons and matching icons will flash. Search by last modified, oldest, newest, and more.
QnE Companion is a powerful set of tools that can really increase your productivity by puting everything you need right at your fingertips. You owe it to yourself to give it a try.
Fences 4 by Stardock is a tool that can automatically group your icons and shortcuts into areas on your desktop. These areas are called “fences” The program has lots of configurable options so you can make it work just the way you want it to. Fences is great for anyone who has a desktop that’s often cluttered and hard to work with.
Fences 4 has a “roll up” feature is a cool way to minimize the appearance on your desktop. Just double-click on a ‘fence’ and it rolls up into itself. Slick! Double-click again and your fence unrolls. Fences is completely customizable so it can use the colors and level of transparency that you want. Pick your own labels and personalize everything to be just the way you want,
Fences 4 can act as a portal to any folder on your computer. What this does is mirror the selected folder onto your desktop so you have quick access to everything in that folder. Another cool feature is called Desktop Pages. This allows you to make multiple pages of fences on your desktop that you can quickly move through. This gives you a great deal of control over how items are displayed and organized.
Create multiple pages of fences on your desktop and quickly swipe between them. To change to a different desktop page, just take your mouse cursor to the edge of your screen and click and drag. Then a new page of fences will be displayed. This feature provides greater control over how you can organize favorite programs, documents, websites and more.
Fences 4 is a full-featured product that can be a great help to you if your desktop is swimming in clutter. Give it a try.
IrfanView by Irfan Skiljan is a powerful tool for working with images. I’ve used IrfanView for years and to me there’s nothing else quite like it. Not to mention that it’s free for non-commercial use. IrfanVIew does just about everything that most people would want to do with images. It can do batch image conversions so if you need to convert 1000 BMP files to JPG, IrfanView has you covered. It can be used to resize images, convert them to different formats, do slideshows, edit images, and much, much more.
IrfanView also supports a wide range of plug-ins that give it even more functionality. As I mentioned, it’s free and it’s used by people all over the world. It has support for multiple languages and just tons of cool features. It has a paint option so you can draw circles, arrows, lines, and the like. It also supports Adobe PhotoShop filters. Other features it has includes a print option, Unicode support, a fast directory view, lossless JPG rotation, file search, multipage TIF editing, an email option, multiple step undo, and so much more.
IrfanVIew isn’t flashy, but boy does it ever get the job done. I’ve used it when writing review articles, when writing books, and when publishing a magazine. It’s powerful and full featured and the things I’ve mentioned are just a few of the things it can do. IrfanVIew can be used to change color depth, cut and crop images, add a watermark, create effects like sharpen and blur, and it can even extract icons from EXE and DLL files.
IrfanView is powerful, full-featured, and it’s FREE. This is just another program that makes Windows just a little bit better. Just a little bit easier to work with.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and stay tuned for more articles that call attention to other programs that make Windows just a little bit better.