What are Microsoft Power Toys?
Have you ever thought that there MUST be an easier way to navigate around Windows, split your screen or create a shortcut to a commonly used program or file? Well, now there is – in the form of Microsoft Power Toys!
Available from the Microsoft website at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/powertoys/ simply download and enable the toys you’d like to use! Read more about these below and learn some of the short cuts to use them!
The colour picker power toy is available to use throughout your whole system and is easily activated with win+shift+C. It enables you to sample colours from any running application, automatically be saving them to your clipboard in a configurable format. It also allows you to find any previous colours you have picked and choose them quickly. The colour codes are displayed in both hex and RGB so you can easily apply them to other applications.
An upgrade on the Windows key+> or <, this toy allows window management and creation of complex window layouts. It’s a quick and efficient way to manage the applications you have open and enable you to view multiple windows at the same time. The shortcut to enable this is Windows Key+’ or access via the Power Toys menu.
This is a shell extension for resizing images. Ever had the problem where you need to upload an image to a website or application and your default image is too large? Depending on the image file type, it can take a while to find the right application to adjust your image; now Windows come to rescue with this power toy! It enables you to resize one or multiple images at once! Simply select your image(s) in File Explorer and right-click to access the resize options.
A quick and simple way to customize your keyboard. Be more productive by remapping keys and creating your own keyboard shortcuts. It may make it easier to remember certain commands as well if you create them yourself! Do keep in mind that this toy requires Windows 10 1903 or later! Access this app via the Power Toys menu.
Windows has very specific filename rules, however, it will often let you ‘break’ these when saving locally and you’ll only notice when you come to transfer or upload files. It may be certain characters or the length of file names which can give you grief. Alternatively, you may wish to replace a common term, miss-spelling or a set of characters used in file names en-mass. PowerRename allows you to rename files in bulk, including search and replace options. It also has a lot of advanced features, like for example using regular expressions, targeting certain file types and previewing changes before proceeding. Access by the right-click menu in File Explorer
Power Toy Run
This toy will help you search and launch your apps instantly by using alt+space and starting to type. It’s an xtension of the standard Windows Search functionality. This feature also requires Windows 10 1903 or later.
Have trouble remembering all those app-specific keyboard shortcuts? ShortCut keys are a great time-saver for commands you use regularly, or if you are doing a repetitive task but there are just sooo many! Access this quick menu in any app by holding down the Windows Key for a second or longer. It will display all the shortcuts available to you for the current state of your desktop!
Want to know more about PowerToys and how they work? Catch this great video tutorial by Clint Rutkas (PM for PowerToys) – https://sec.ch9.ms/ch9/8573/6142b1be-862e-4923-8af9-809aff228573/powertoys-tabsvspaces_mid.mp4
There’s also a lot more in depth information on all the current Power Toys apps, Toys in development and what’s coming in the future at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/powertoys/