Listed here are some of the Windows programs that I regularly use, and can recommend as being both practical and good value for money (in some cases, free).

With any software, ‘your results may vary’ depending on your equipment configuration, version of Windows, phase of the moon, and any number of other strange factors!

Always back up important files before installing new software, just in case something goes wrong -- I have found these programs to be well-behaved, but that may not be the case on your particular hardware and software combination.

A small, fast picture viewer with many added features such as slideshows, scanning, format conversions, resampling, picture rotation, filter effects, color correction and batch conversions. Simple installation and support for a very large number of file formats make this a great program, available as freeware for home use.

Online Image Compressor
There are quite a few image compression tools availabale online; this one does exactly what it should do - compresses your JPEG and PNG files for faster download from your website. Three levels of compression allow you to choose the best compression/quality ratio. Handles files of up to 50mb.

Versatile text editor designed as a replacement for the Windows Notepad, but also useful for website work. Simple installation, multiple file editing, export to Mac and Unix text formats, case and tab conversion are just some of its features. Supports big files, and search and replace can be done on all open files -- very handy for adding a style, meta-tag or whatever to all your pages at once!

Screen Calipers
An invaluable utility for measuring onscreen objects, window sizes, etc. Provides for both horizontal and vertical measurements, with “nudging” of the caliper to give pixel-level precision to the measurement. Beats holding a ruler against the screen!

AnalogX Simpleserver
Free webservers don’t come any easier than this -- just start the program, browse to (or drag and drop) whatever you want to be the starting file, click the start button, and you have your own local webserver. It’s ideal for testing sites during development, especially if, like me, you work on several projects simultaneously and want to test each from its own home folder. Also works well as a simple intranet server.


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