How to Use Windows PowerToys
Increase your productivity on Windows 10 with Windows PowerToys suite of tools. Here's a quick guide to use all PowerToys features.
PowerToys is a software designed to help users work in an organized and efficient manner. It gives users the power to customize at ease and adds plenty of features.
PowerToys was initially launched for Windows 95, then it came with Windows XP and after a long wait, we finally have one for Windows 10. Unlike the ones rolled out earlier, where a user had to download all the tools separately, in Windows 10 all the tools are available under one software, PowerToys.
Downloading Windows PowerToys
Before we begin discussing the numerous features offered by PowerToys, let’s understand the download and installation process. PowerToys is currently not available on the Microsoft store but you can download PowerToys from GitHub.
On the release page of PowerToys, click on the PowerToysSetup EXE/MSI link of the latest release.
How to Use PowerToys
PowerToys offers 8 different tools and shortcuts and we will discuss each of them.
Color Picker, to Identify Individual Colors
Every major photo editing software has a color picker to identify the various shades. Professional photographers and web designers find these tools of great help.
PowerToys just made it simpler with a built-in Color Picker. After you activate the tool from PowerToys settings, press Window Key + Shift Key + C to identify any color on the screen. The best part is, it works across the screen.
Clicking on it displays the color code both in HEX and RGB, which can be used in other software too. The code can be copied by clicking on the right-hand corner of the code box.
FancyZones, to Customize Your Desktop
PowerToys FancyZones allows a user to arrange and position several windows on the desktop. It helps in organizing and allows a user to toggle between multiple windows at ease. To customize the desktop, you can select a default template or customize one for your need.
To customize your desktop, click on “Launch layout editor”.
Choose the layout as per your requirement or click on “Custom” to make one for yourself.
Once you have selected the layout, you can easily arrange windows between these zones. Hold the SHIFT key and drag the windows to the various zones and they will fit right into it.
File Explorer, For a Quick Preview
PowerToys File explorer enables preview of .md (Markdown) files and SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) files. Press ALT + P and then select a file in file explorer to see its preview. The image on the right is the preview of the file “Screenshot” on the left.
Image Resizer, One Stop Solution to Handling Bulk Images
PowerToys Image resizer is a simple tool for resizing individual or bulk images at once using PowerToys. It is accessible directly from File Explorer.
Select one or more images to resize and then right click on them. From the context menu, select “Resize pictures”.
You can now resize all selected pictures using the preset default option or custom option for any different size. You can also resize the original pictures by clicking the checkbox or create a copy of them.
Keyboard Manager, a Key to Shortcuts
PowerToys Keyboard Manager can remap a single key to another key or shortcut and vice-versa. To remap a single key to multiple key shortcuts, say remap Q to CTRL + V, click on the “Remap a key” option.
To remap, put Q in the “Key” column and CTRL + V in the “Mapped To” column and then press OK.
You can follow a similar approach to remap a multiple key shortcut to a single key by selecting the “Remap shortcut” option.
PowerRename, to Rename Files in Bulk
PowerToys PowerRename can rename both partially and completely, one or more files at once. To rename files using this tool, right-click on single or multiple files in File Explorer and then select “PowerRename” from the context menu.
In the PowerRename tool, you can search for an alphabet, word, or phrase and replace it with either. It also provides an option of preview before making any final changes. You can also employ the various options to alter the search parameters for optimal results. Click on “Rename” to make the final changes.
PowerToys Run, For a Quick Search
PowerToys Run is a quick search tool just like the Windows Run, but with a search feature. It is to be accessed by pressing ALT + SPACE and then searching for the file or software. From the list of results, click on the one you want to open.
PowerToys Run is an efficient searching tool since it only searches for files on the computer and not on the web like the Start Menu, which saves a lot of time.
Shortcut Guide, List of Shortcuts
Windows 10 offers many shortcuts using the WINDOWS key. For example, WINDOWS + 1 opens the first application from the left on the taskbar, WINDOWS + D redirects to the desktop. There are numerous such shortcuts available and it becomes a herculean task to remember them all.
With the Shortcut Guide enabled, you can long-press (depends on the setting) the WINDOWS key, and a complete list of shortcuts will be visible on the screen.
PowerToys is one of the best software to sort and arrange files, employ shortcuts, and saves a lot of time in the process. Since it is in the initial stages, we expect some more changes and new features coming to it in the coming days.