This is an ever growing list of software/utilities that I regularly use.
I have no relationships with any of the people behind these programs. I just use them a lot because, let's face it, they're probably cool.
There are absolutely items missing from this list.
This list will expand over time.
Sublime Text 3 is my go-to code editor. It has a robust plugin system and can use Python scripts, which is definitely cool.
Line-by-line Staging. Commit Editing. Unmatched Performance.
This is an excellent Git client from the makers of Sublime Text 3.
VS Code and Eclipse are tied as my second place go-to code editor. They both have more features than Sublime. I tend to use one of these two when working on a project that has a repo configured in a particular way.
Fiddler is a free web debugging proxy for any browser, system, or platform. I typically use it to configure a proxy for debugging purposes, especially for iOS apps and mobile Safari pages.
Browser dev tools allow developers to test and debug code. Try pressing the F12 button. Don't panic. Press it again. See? It's probably gone now.
I'm sure this and the next list are really about as long as my arm. I will add more to these lists when I encounter them.
Web-based Development Tools
RegExr is an online regular expression building/testing utility with lots of options and built-in reference material.
Ultimate CSS Gradient Generator by ColorZilla and CSS Gradient
These tools can be used to generate gradients to a certain degree. I typically take the generated CSS and further customize it using the browser inspector.
Diffchecker compares the contents of two text bodies. Regular code editors can already do this, but sometimes I like to use the browser version. If you have ever seen the number of open files I keep in some of my editors, you would understand.
These tools are code sandboxes for building, testing, and sharing prototypes and other similar projects.
WGU Task Page Dark Mode by DK
This one is a little self-promotion. But I often find myself working on WGU (Western Governors University) tasks at night, and the Tasks pages don't have a dark mode option. In addition, I find that the text is too small, but zooming in the page also makes some other page elements zoom, and that forces the text into a smaller container and makes it harder to read. So I made an extension that adds a dark mode and also makes specific text bigger without increasing the size of other page elements. Also available on GitHub here.
CSS Used by bobscript.com
Use one click to get all the CSS applied to the selected web element and its children.
This eye-care extension enables night mode creating dark themes for websites on the fly. Dark Reader inverts bright colors making them high contrast and easy to read.
Allows you to save and insert your own CSS and JS into any site using URL masking, and includes the ability to import/export your scripts for sharing and backup. I use this to create visual distinctions between production, staging, and local development environments, such as changing the dominant theme color and adding text to the document title that appears in the tab or changing the favicon.
axe - Web Accessibility Testing by deque.com
WAVE Evaluation Tool by WebAIM
These two extensions are for testing sites for ADA compliance. They greatly simplify the process of updating sites for ADA compliance.
Audio Only YouTube by ashishbansal.in
This extension allows you to stream only the audio from a YouTube video. It greatly reduces the amount of data that is consumed while listening the audio and not actually watching the video.
Clear Cache by Benjamin Bojko
Although there are already plenty of ways to clear your browser cache, this one lets you select which types of data to clear and for what time period, and it can be done in a single click.
ColorZilla by colorzilla.com
Features an eye dropper tool that allows you to capture any color on most pages and also includes a gradient generator.
W Zoom by wtoolkit.com
Enables per-tab zooming with options to include all tabs from the same site or under the same path. Normal zoom behavior is to zoom all tabs on the same domain by the same amount, which is not always optimal or desired.
Cluster - Window & Tab Manager by clusterwm.com
An excellent window and tab manager for all of us tab collectors out there. Although there are some tab management features on the way for Edge, I have found that this extension makes the process of navigating through my tabs possible. There is a search function that searches the URL and page titles, as well as features to save and restore windows for use later, in addition to the expected features, such as being able to close windows or tabs from the Window Manager page.
dBeaver is a free multi-platform database tool for developers, database administrators, analysts and all people who need to work with databases. Supports all popular databases: MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, Oracle, DB2, SQL Server, Sybase, MS Access, Teradata, Firebird, Apache Hive, Phoenix, Presto, etc. Personally, I like dBeaver way more than MySQL Workbench. It is faster and has been more stable for me, and the script management options are excellent.
GIMP is a free image editor, similar to Adobe Photoshop. I think it is cooler than Photoshop because it is much easier to add an alpha layer and then remove a color from a selection, such as when you are making logos and want to remove the background.
LibreOffice and OpenOffice, particularly Draw
I use Draw to create logos and other vector art, which I then capture and prepare for export using GIMP.
Every version of Microsoft Office
There is sometimes no way around having to use MS Office. I have been known to do some pretty complex things with Excel however, like create an alternate front-end and form generator for an attendance tracking system that was complicated and lacked the ability to generate warning forms.
HitFilm Express is free video editing software. The lighting effect is included for free, which explains why all of my videos have the lightning effect. Plus, it's cool.
Audacity is free audio recording and editing software. All of my lightning sound effects sound really cool because of the filters that are included.
FileZilla is an open source FTP client that supports FTP, SFTP, and FTPS. Some IDEs have similar clients built-in or available via plugin. However, I find FileZilla to be more robust, but I only really use it for projects that do not have a repo.
PuTTY is an open source SSH and telnet client for Windows. It has a comprehensive array of configuration options.
VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.
HandBrake is a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs.
Utilities for MacOS
According to the App Store page, "Xcode includes everything developers need to create great applications for Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Watch."
EasyFind is an alternative to (or supplement of) Spotlight and find files, folders, or contents in any file without indexing. It provides similar functionality to grepWin.
There are a few other utilities that I use, but I mostly use web-based and cross-platform tools when working in MacOS.
Utilities for Windows
Display Fusion (better license terms when using the Steam version)
Display Fusion is a monitor and desktop manager for Windows. It offers features like saving and loading configurations, independent task bar control, and advanced window management options, such as snapping windows to each other or to the edges of the monitors. I find it to be much easier to use than the standard Windows display manager when trying to manage more than two or three monitors on one machine.
Display Fusion is not free, but if you have multiple monitors and don't like the standard Windows display manager, then this tool is invaluable. The Steam version allows you to install it on an unlimited number of computers, as long as they have Steam installed. Steam does not have to be running, but it does have to be installed on the machine in order to download and run Display Fusion.
Ditto clipboard manager (also available in the Windows Store)
Ditto is a clipboard manager that stores clipboard history and can store commonly used strings, which can have hotkeys assigned to them. The combination of the easy shortcut (Ctrl+`) and the use of the arrow keys makes this a great time saver. For me anyway. You can use the mouse too if you really want to.
Ant Renamer file renaming utility
Ant Renamer can rename multiple files at one time with advanced features like regular expression matching. I use it mostly when I have to rename a bunch of images that all start with the same or similar strings, and want to do things like add numbers to the end or a label or something. It's extremely flexible.
grepWin is a utility that can search through multiple text files for a string or regular expression. It can also do find and replace.
Capture2Text enables users to quickly OCR a portion of the screen using a keyboard shortcut. The resulting text will be displayed in a popup and copied to the clipboard by default.
Input Director is basically a software KVM switch that works over the local network. In eGPU Series Starter Pack at 0:38, you can see Input Director being used with four different machines.
PDFill PDF Tools are free PDF functions to merge, split, reorder, delete, encrypt, decrypt, rotate, crop and reformat PDF pages, to add information, header, footer and watermark, to convert images to PDF, PDF to images or PostScript to PDF, to delete, flatten and list form fields, to scan to PDF, to create transparent images, and more.
These are essentially enhanced versions of functions found within the Windows Task Manager on the Processes and Startup tabs.
Path Copy Copy adds a context menu item to Windows Explorer that can be used to copy a full file path to the clipboard with many formatting options and path styles
File Converter converts audio files between formats.
|Supported output formats
|Compatible input formats
|flac, aac, ogg, mp3, wav
|3gp, aiff, ape, avi, bik, cda, flac, flv, m4a, mkv, mov, mp3, mp4, oga, ogg, wav, webm, wma, wmv
|webm, mkv, mp4, ogv, avi, gif
|3gp, avi, bik, flv, gif, m4v, mkv, mp4, mpeg, mov, ogv, webm, wmv
|png, jpg, ico, webp
|bmp, exr, ico, jpg, jpeg, png, psd, svg, tiff, tga, webp, pdf, doc*, docx*, odt*, odp*, ods*, ppt*, pptx*, xls*, xlsx*
|doc*, docx*, odt*, odp*, ods*, ppt*, pptx*, xls*, xlsx*, bmp, exr, ico, jpg, jpeg, png, psd, svg, tiff, tga
* You need to have Microsoft Office installed and activated in order to convert Office documents.
NirCmd is a NirSoft program that is a Windows command line tool for using the command line to do things like put all of the monitors in standby, among many others.
ControlMyMonitor is a NirSoft program that can control your monitor settings. It also has command line options. This is useful if you don't want to try to navigate through your monitor's clumsy on-screen display (OSD), or if you have a giant monitor that is too bright and has no OSD and that was designed to be controlled with a serial over USB interface in only specific circumstances.
Pretty much every NirSoft utility
NirSoft makes lots of awesome utilities that save me from having to write a ton of PowerShell scripts and that make solving annoying issues relatively easy. The list is too long for me to cover, but they include: Password Recovery Utilities, Network Monitoring Tools, Web Browser Tools, Video/Audio Related Utilities, Internet Related Utilities, Command-Line Utilities, Desktop Utilities, Outlook/Office Utilities, Programmer Tools, Disk Utilities, System Utilities, and Other Utilities. Check out the list for yourself!
PenAttention 10 highlights the mouse pointer and has many configuration options. It is useful for tracking the mouse pointer when screen-sharing or recording sessions.
These are not really utilities, but they are super useful. You should totally check out these articles right now.