This weekend I tried installing one of the Microsoft XP Powertools… On my Windows 7 laptop.
Now, I thought that the marvels of virtualisation present in windows 7 would allow me to install a XP add-in. It did not. I received a compatibility error and the tool did not want to install.
(I know, I should have tried installing as an Administrator… But still )
I wanted the Image resizer powertool, and went on the Google to find an alternative. I found that most of the powertoys are not available for windows 7. This is partly explained by the fact that quite some things are now included in the windows 7 standard build (Cleartype tuner, Open command window from here, alt-tab replacement, …).
There are however quite some powertools that have a good alternative. Here is the list:
Color Control Panel Applet
Professional-level photographers and designers know that getting consistent, accurate color from file to screen to print and beyond is a requirement for great results. This new tool helps you manage Windows color settings in one place.
This is now available by default in Windows 7:
Open Color Management by clicking the Start button , and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type color management, and then click Color Management.
With new sources of files coming from every direction (such as digital cameras, e-mail, cell phones, portable media players, camcorders, PDAs, and laptops), SyncToy can help you copy, move, and synchronize different directories.
Works fine on windows 7
RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer
Are you a serious photographer? Now you can organize and work with digital RAW files in Windows Explorer (much as you can with JPEG images). This tool provides thumbnails, previews, printing, and metadata display for RAW images.
Most cameras that use a RAW image format include a RAW Driver, that allows you to do this. If you, however, experience problems with this (Canon RAW codec under 64bit Windows 7), an option is to install FastPictureViewer Codec Pack 2.5 (http://www.fastpictureviewer.com/codecs/)
This PowerToy lets you use ClearType technology to make it easier to read text on your screen, and installs in the Control Panel for easy access.
Windows 7 users should use the built-in ClearType tuner found in the Windows Control Panel under Appearance and Personalization to adjust their ClearType settings. Another option is to click on the Start Menu and type cleartype into the search box and hit Enter..
HTML Slide Show Wizard
This wizard helps you create an HTML slide show of your digital pictures, ready to place on your Web site.
I could not find any real clone or similar software. Photo Flash maker from Anvsoft does a similar thing. You select your photos, select a Flash template, export your flash file and upload to your website/server.
Open Command Window Here
This PowerToy adds an "Open Command Window Here" context menu option on file system folders, giving you a quick way to open a command window (cmd.exe) pointing at the selected folder.
This option is now a standard feature of Windows. You just need to Hold SHIFT, right-click on the folder you want to be in via a Command Prompt, and choose: Open Command Window Here
With this PowerToy, in addition to seeing the icon of the application window you are switching to, you will also see a preview of the page. This helps particularly when multiple sessions of an application are open.
The windows 7 GUI includes this natively, Aero-Peek.
This PowerToy gives you access to system settings that are not exposed in the Windows XP default user interface, including mouse settings, Explorer settings, taskbar settings, and more.
This is really an XP add-on. In windows 7 the GUI changed that much that you’d have to look for a windows 7 specific tool such as The Ultimate Windows Tweaker. I have not tried this, so proceed with caution.
With this PowerToy you can graph and evaluate functions as well as perform many different types of conversions.
Well, the windows built in calculator in Windows 7 improved a lot, and you might not even need the power calculator. If you do, it does not exist If you insist and really need all that functionality, there are some good alternatives on http://www.ticalc.org.
This PowerToy enables you to resize one or many image files with a right-click.
Have a look at the Image Resizer windows 7 clone from Brice Lambson on Codeplex: https://imageresizer.codeplex.com/ It’s Fast, and imitates the XP power toy very well.
CD Slide Show Generator
With this PowerToy you can view images burned to a CD as a slide show. The Generator works on Windows 9x machines as well.
Google’s Picasa would probably be the preferred option for this. This is however a full image catalogue program that will take full control over your images on your machine. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but if you’re looking for something smaller or simpler that just does this, have a look at Photozig Albums Express. The software is free, but Email registration is required.
Virtual Desktop Manager
Manage up to four desktops from the Windows taskbar with this PowerToy.
For windows 7 you have quite a few options:
AltDesk – Free Trial, 15€ Personal Licence
Emerge Desktop – Free – Be aware this is a complete desktop shell replacement. Even though it is very customisable, you’ll need to download and install applets to get all the required functionality. Have a look at their site and read well how it works.
Dexpot – Free for personal use – Simple, Small and does all and more than the original XP powertoy. Give it a shot! I did, and I’m still using it (also on XP now)
Use this PowerToy to magnify part of the screen from the taskbar.
Windows 7 has good native support for this. To access the options: Open Magnifier by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, clicking Ease of Access, and then clicking Magnifier. You can now dock it to your taskbar.
This PowerToy lets you take pictures at specified time intervals from a Webcam connected to your computer and save them to a location that you designate.
The closest I get with this one is Camersoft Webcam Capture. This freeware software package does the job, and more.