Every developer I know has a small selection of utilities which sit in the background or are regularly used to provide assistance when required.

A couple of utilities which I use regularly when doing development work are Sizer and Expresso.

  • Sizer allows windows to be resized to a specific height and width, which makes it great for testing how websites will look in different screen resolutions.
  • Expresso is a regular expression tool, making it much easier to harness the power of regular expressions. In the past, I had to resort to building a small online regular expression tester to help me test regular expressions, though since finding Expresso, I haven’t had to use it anymore.
  • Notepad2 is a notepad replacement, which is just as fast, but with some helpful features such as line numbering and HTML syntax highlighting.

In addition to these two, there’s also some general windows utilities which are very helpful.

  • The Google Toolbar needs no introduction. If you’re not already using it, get it now.
  • PopTray is a POP3 email checker which quietly sits in the system tray, and discretely notifies the user when new email has arrived.
  • Web accessories and Power Tweaks for Internet Explorer add some cool additional functionality like ‘Open Frame in New Window’.

One thought on “Helpful developer tools and windows utilities

  1. By FAR the best regex tool is Regex Buddy, and believe me, I’ve tried them all! The killer feature is real time highlighting of regex matches as you type. Sounds obvious, but nobody else does it. You have to manually enable this feature by clicking on the highlight toolbar button, though.

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