XP PowerToys




PowerToys are additional programs that developers work on after the product has been released to manufacturing, but before the next project has begun.  These toys add fun and functionality to the Windows experience.

They have taken great care to ensure that PowerToys operate as they should.  But please note that these programs are not part of Windows and are not supported by Microsoft.  For this reason,  Microsoft Technical Support is unable to answer questions about PowerToys.

The PowerToys are installed into the directory you specify during setup.  Typically this is the system32 directory.

To uninstall the PowerToys,  Open the control Panel.  Launch the Add/Remove Programs control panel applet.  Find the PowerToys for Windows XP entry, and choose Modify/Remove.  From here you can remove specific toys or all of them.



Faster User Switcher
Note: You cannot use this toy if fast user switching is not enabled.

What it is:  With Fast User Switching enabled on Windows XP, this PowerToy allows you to switch users without having to use the logon screen.

Special requirements: This PowerToy requires a Windows key on your keyboard.

How to use: Press the Windows key then the Q key to activate;  release and press Q to switch to a different user tile, then release both Q and Windows key to switch to that user.



Shell Player

What it is: This PowerToy plays MP3 files and WMA files from the taskbar.

How to use: Right click on the taskbar, click toolbars, then click "Audio Player."  If the taskbar is locked and you want to resize the player, you will have to unlock it.  This will allow you to access the play list editor and view all the buttons.



Task Switcher

What it is: Replaces the existing Alt + Tab application switching mechanism of Windows XP.  It provides a thumbnail preview of windows in the task list and is compliant with the new Windows XP visual style.

How to use: (NOTE: You must log off and then log on again for the changes to take effect).  Use just as you do the existing Alt + Tab mechanism by pressing the Alt key and the Tab key to activate.  While holding down the Alt key, press the Tab key to cycle through running applications.  To move backwards, press Shift + Alt + Tab.  Release all keys when the desired application is highlighted.



Open Command Window Here

What it is: This PowerToy adds an "Open Command Window Here" context menu option on file system folders.  This gives users a quick way to open a command window (cmd.exe) pointing at a selected folder in the Explorer UI.

How to use: After installation, right click on the folder you would like to have a quick launch command window for.



Tweak UI

What it is: Provides access to system settings that are not exposed in the Windows XP default user interface.

How to use: Go to Start, All Programs, Accessories, TweakUI for Windows XP.



PowerToy Calc

What it is: Graphing calculator

How to use: Go to Start, All Programs, Accessories, PowerToy Calc



Bulk Resize for Photos

What it is: Allows you to make a new, resized copy of your selected pictures in the same folder they are currently located in.  You can opt to resize one or many pictures (as a batch).

How to use: Right click any image(s) and select Resize Pictures in the context menu.



ISO Image Burner

What it is: Allows you to burn an ISO Image using a CD-ROM burner that is compatible with Windows XP

How to use: Go to Start, All Programs, Accessories, ISO Burner



Slide Show Generator

What it is: Generate a slideshow when burning a CD

How to use: Add only images to a CD-ROM using Windows XP Explorer, then Write these files to disk.  A new task is presented in the wizard for generating the autorun for the slideshow.



Virtual Desktop Manager

What it is: Manage up to 4 desktops from the Windows Shell Taskbar.

How to use: Right click on the taskbar, click toolbars, then click "Desktop Manager." If the taskbar is locked and you want to resize the manager, you will have to unlock it.



Background Wallpaper switcher

What it is: Allows you to switch the background image periodically.

How to use: Access this PowerToy by right clicking the desktop, click properties.  It has added a new tab that will allow you to specify the interval as well as the directory to obtain the images from.



Taskbar Magnifier

What it is: Allows you to magnify part of the screen from the taskbar.

How to use: Right click on the taskbar, click toolbars, then click "Taskbar Magnifier."  If the taskbar is locked and you want to resize the magnifier, you will have to unlock it.



Slide Show Wizard

What it is: This wizard helps you create a slide show of your digital pictures.  When you're done, you can put your slide show on the Web so that your family and friends can view it.

How to use: Launch the Wizard from the Start Menu under All ProgramsPowertoys for Windows XPSlide Show Wizard.  Follow the steps of the wizard to select and arrange your pictures, choose from a few simple options, and then save a Web-ready HTML slide show to a folder.





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