“I’m back”

It has occurred to me that I have not written any content on my website in almost a year. Shameful… A lot has been going on both professionally and personally. I have learnt a lot of new tools and techniques which I will share over the year to help other creatives.

In this post, I want to talk about a free Microsoft tool which will supercharge your workflow. This tool is called Microsoft PowerToys. Sorry Apple and Linux users, this one is not for you.

Image showing the icon of Microsoft PowerToys

This suite of toys will boost your productivity as they are all contained within one application and they are all accessible through Windows Key shortcuts. Here are the main ones that I use in my content creation:

Text Extractor.

Have you ever used Google Lens or the tap-and-hold functionality of iOS to select text on your screen? The Text Extractor tool does just that. Simply drag a marquee selection over any text, whether it’s an image or selectable text, and it will be copied directly to your clipboard.

As a thing worth mentioning. You may have noticed that Microsoft added a similar feature last year to the good old snipping tool where you can quickly select text from a screenshot.

This tool is very handy as you can quickly copy and paste text if it is not easily selectable.

Image Resizer

This tool adds a command to the right-click menu, which allows you to resize an image (also works in bulk). You can choose between several pre-determined image sizes.

An example of when this is useful is when working with high-resolution stock images and you don’t want to open your image editor to resize and resample them. The stock images I license are typically very large in file size and unsuitable to place on websites.

Screen Ruler

The screen ruler is a tool that allows you to measure pixels on your screen, making it easy to determine distances between on-screen objects such as images and columns.

I find this tool particularly helpful in ensuring that objects in my designs are symmetric and properly aligned on the screen. This is especially useful for those of us who are a bit OCD about precision.

Colour Picker

My favourite tool from Microsoft PowerToys. The colour picker will let you sample any pixel on the screen. You no longer need to install a suspicious-looking browser extension.

A screenshot of the colour picker using Microsoft PowerToys

It also lets you magnify your pointer to select the exact pixel you want to sample which is useful for anyone using a high-resolution display.

You’ll then get a colour picker with all the usual colour modes like HEX and RGB. I use this tool all the time for sampling colours. It would be great if Microsoft would add a colour contrast checker to the tool.

Where to get Microsoft PowerToys.

There are lots of other tools available but those are the main ones that I use.

Microsoft PowerToys can be downloaded directly from the Microsoft website (opens in a new window), GitHub, or through the Windows Store.

It is a great tool that can boost your productivity in all parts of content creation. If you find these types of blog posts useful, please let me know. I would love to continue writing them to help other people.