TPFC is dedicated to free tools, many of which get around or fix problematic default Windows tools and functions, some not seeing much change since Windows 95. Additionally, some institutions have decided on requirements for a pure Microsoft environment due to either security requirements, limited IT, or an over-basic understanding of computers, which means only pre-determined software (usually Adobe and MS Office/Office 365).
Portable software is a kind of best-case scenario in computers, opening the door to so many other possibilities from multiple versions/instances, ease of backup/sync/share, and more, but for those of us that must be practical...
To be clear, the following is focused on Microsoft-only tools, but because at least a dozen different websites I could think of have something similar, I'm also including portable or freeware links for those that can break out of MS jail.
- Screen Capture - There are a few ways to do this, but a somewhat-recently added feature allows for use of (CTRL+WIN+S) to send directly to clipboard. Much better than the old, tedious Snipping Tool. I highly recommend using this in combination with the next feature. (Recommended portable program: ShareX - loads of features.)
- Clipboard manager - (Win+V) - Nice, fairly simple clipboard history view, much better than the one built into Word. (Recommended portable program: ArsClip)
- Screen Recording - Use the Game Bar feature. Recommended portable program: (OBS / ShareX / ScreenToGif [for short animations])
- Text editor - it's not native to the OS but at least it's something better than notepad or a formatting-restricted Word document. MS Visual Studio Code. This one might actually be natively portable, but in the context of this post, you'll probably want to just install it. (Recommended portable program: Notepad++)
- Running non-Microsoft programs - Windows Sandbox (Requires Win10 Pro) - as it's part of the standard OS, you might be able to enable it and run unsanctioned programs inside. (Recommended not portable program: Sandboxie.)
- Browser - If you absolutely have to use Microsoft Edge, look into some add-ons. (Recommended portable program: I prefer Firefox, but we do have Google Chrome Portable, which is only barely portable. X-Chromium is much better.)
- Powershell - contains quite a few tools and capabilities to tweak your toolset and capabilities. (Recommended portable alternatives: MobaXterm Home Edition , ConEmu)
- WSL - access to the Bash shell and thousands of other programs.
- Tweak search settings - During System Setup: Open File Manager, run a test search, and then click Advanced Options – Check Indexed Locations and change it from C:\Users to whatever your username is e.g. C:\Users\AB123456. This is going to generally result in faster/better search results.
- Paste to text? - the current process for this is tedious and inconsistent across applications (Excel has one method, Word another, Office365 another). This is maybe my worst gripe.
Feedback and other tricks / suggestions are welcome.