5 Offbeat, Free Utilities for Everyday Tasks

If you’ve followed the utility software category for very long, you know that it’s very common for useful applications to get wrapped into operating systems. That’s happened with backup utilities, security utilities, and many others. Still, I keep a large collection of free, offbeat utilities around that I use frequently. In this post, I’ll round up several free, useful Windows utilities that can help with everyday web worker tasks.

JR Screen Ruler (above) is particularly useful for sizing your screenshots, especially if you put shots of many sizes into, say, a blog or web pages. When launched, the ruler appears to be approximately 400 pixels in length. You can adjust its size, and in addition to pixels, you can show inches, picas or centimeters.

JR Split File is from the same family of free utilities as JR Screen Ruler, and is useful if you work with large files a lot. You can use it to break large text files up into smaller parts, and then combine tham back into the same large file you started with. I often use this to get around size limitations for individual files in e-mail engines and on online storage sites.

Do you frequently use freeware applications of the type I’m describing in this post? I use so many of these applications, trying new ones all the time, that I find AppSnap very useful for managing them. It detects the versions of applications that you have loaded, and then compares with them recent updates. The program will go and load the latest versions you need when you hit an Update button. This saves me lots of time.

Finally, there are two web-hosted applications I like that work for me very much like utilities–and they’re free–that I recommend. I’ve written about Drop.io and Clip2Net before. After continuing to use these, I find applications for them almost every day.

Drop.io creates a web page upon which you can instantly store a file you want to share with colleagues or friends. It’s meant to be fast, and is. If you work with files that are sensitive and want top security, I would look to some of the security-focused online storage sites, but Drop.io does speedy sharing well.

Clip2Net eliminates the need for using multiple applications to take, crop and share screenshots and files. You drag and drop files you’ve created to share them and can make use of 500MB of storage space for them.

Do you know of any useful utilities good for everyday tasks?


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