Useful programs for Windows users

Useful freewares, carewares, cardwares or donationwares. Whole list (display only the ones I use).
(updated on February 2, 2011)
HTML and CSS | PHP | Images | Internet | Dictionaries | Video | PDF converters | Registry | Security | Programming | Files / Disk | Desktop
New additions
Rename-It!: renames files from context menu (many options including regular expressions).

HTML and CSS

TopStyle Lite: very good tool to test and create style sheets.
cssed: allows you to test and create style sheets under Linux or Windows (requires GTK runtime environment).
CSE HTML Validator Lite: Controls HTML, XHTML syntax.
HTML Trim: Controls, tidies HTML, XHTML pages. One of the projects using HTML Tidy.
XENU: checks Web sites for broken links. For PHP or local checking use WinHttrack.
Context: file editor (html, css, js, php, asp etc.)
Notepad++: file editor (html, css, js, php, asp etc.)
Crimson Editor: file editor (html, css, js, php, asp etc.) and remote editing.
Dirhtml: creates index.html files from a directory list or a local site.
Color copier: multi-purpose color picker for web designers and programmers.
Tools: HTML validation, checking or troubleshooting.
Protecting a Website Email: fight against SPAM
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PHP

EasyPHP: environment allowing you to test php pages. You must set your browser to "online" or untick "work offline" not to read the pages of the cache and, if you don't use the default path (in order to use HTTP_REFERER or robots.txt), add <Directory "your local site path"> in the section #alias of the configuration file of Apache. Shut down your firewall (or allow activity for Apache and MySQL).
With Windows 2000 or XP, you can also use WampServer PHP 5 (and with add-on: PHP 4, Apache 2, PERL...).
For Windows 98, 2000, XP, Linux or Mac OS, you can try XAMPP (+PERL, Python...), for Mac OS X MAMP, with Linux...
HAPedit: when used with EasyPHP (or Wampserver, XAMPP...), it allows the edition and launching of PHP pages in almost any browser. The syntax highlighting is fine.
PHP Designer 2005: Edition of PHP, HTML, CSS,XML.
WinHTTrack: can also check local or remote Web sites for broken links and syntax problems.
The Regex Coach: lets you experiment or study (Perl-compatible) regular expressions interactively if you need them in PHP or MySQL requests.
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Images / Flash

IrfanView: image viewer, almost any type even Flash files (swf) with plugins. Also allows most changes...
The GIMP: image creation, edition, optimization...
PNGcrush or PNGout or OptiPNG: command line utilities to optimize png (Windows and Linux).
PngOptimizer: command line and Windows GUI to optimize png and convert bmp and gif to png.
GIFeq: gif optimization, avi to gif conversion.
swf2html: extracts links and text from SWF files (shockwave format). Also available for Linux.
SWFRIP: extracts ressources from SWF files (shockwave format). Allows uncompression of SWF files.
Flash Builder: creates stand-alone executables from most SWF Flash Macromedia files (you may have to set width and height or select the option full screen).
Powerbullet: can build Flash (SWF) presentations quite easily.
SWFTools: command line tools allowing extraction of text and other objects from SWF files as well as a conversion from pdf, jpg, avi, wav, gif to swf. Also available for Linux.
swf2avi (beta): conversion of flash frames to bmp or jpg, then from bmp to avi.
swf to avi: conversion of swf animations to avi.
Swifty Utilities: Utilities (SWF compression...).
CamStudio: records all screen and audio activity in an AVI file and can convert the AVI to Streaming Flash videos
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Internet

Mozilla Firefox: very fast browser, RSS reader, tab interface, smart popup filter etc.
FAQ and extensions to remove ads or block Flash, java (JRE 6.0), offline browsing (weak point), plug-ins, active extensions, updates... You can use the extension prefbuttons to quickly modify many settings, block the referrer ("HTTP_REFERER"), Tabbrowser extensions to customize tab browsing and manage redirections(META Refresh), Tab Clicking Options to customize tab browsing, User Agent Switcher, AdBlock Plus, NoScript, ScrapBook, Web Developer, RSS Editor (creation of RSS feeds), Sage (RSS/Atom news reader, aggregator), HTML validator, IE Tab, Dust-me selectors, Firebug, Sxipper, CacheViewer...
* some options may have unpredictable results.
SeaMonkey / Mozilla: complete web browser, toolkit, mail and news client. Very fast and with a lot of features. Many extensions.
FAQ and extensions for blocking ads or Flash, java (JRE 6.0), plug-ins, updates...
The extension MultiZilla can help you customize tab browsing, stop redirects (META Refresh), manage the referrer, switch User Agent, quickly modify many settings, remove privacy data, read RSS feeds...
* some options may have unpredictable results.
K-Meleon: light and fast Mozilla based browser, RSS aggregator, easy setting of many options (blocking the "referrer", animations, popups, javascript, java, flash..., changing "User Agent", clearing of caches...).
* some options may have unpredictable results.
Opera: light and very fast browser, RSS aggregator, easy setting of many options (blocking the "referrer", animations, popups, javascript, java..., changing "User Agent", clearing of caches...).
Safari for Windows: allows you to test the WebKit engine on Windows.
Google Chrome: allows you to test the WebKit engine on Windows and debug the layout. You may want to remove the Google Chrome user id, use Iron, ChromePlus or the portable version.
FireTune: easy optimization of Firefox 1.x.
Mozilla Backup: utility for creating backups of Mozilla, Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird and Netscape profiles. It allows you to backup mail, favorites, contacts, etc.
MozillaCacheView: utility that reads the cache folder of Firefox and SeaMonkey and allows you to extract them.
WebVideoCap: utility that allows you to capture .flv (Flash Video) files and RTSP/MMS video streams.
POP Peeper: email notification program, can also read your email, delete mail, also supports Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail and Mail.com.
Privoxy: Privoxy analyses HTTP requests and filters Internet junk sent to a browser set to use the proxy 127.0.0.1 port 8118.
Cookie Monster: allows you to manage cookies with Mozilla, Firefox, Netscape, Opera, MSIE ...
Filezilla: fast FTP client, site manager, file transfer...
Web Site Publisher: FTP client, site manager that will only upload the files that have changed.
NetRun: runs programs only when an internet connection is detected.
spywareblaster: disables spyware, cookies and ActiveX controls installed behind your back. Update first.
Spybot Search & Destroy: searches your hard drive and registry for so-called spybots or adbots, removes and blocks them. Update first.
If you want to use Internet Explorer
CookieWall: tracks all the cookies that come into your system. Let you select which ones should go as well as which ones can stay.(MSIE only)
Crazy Browser / AM Browser: browser tab interface, smart popup filter, clear the caches / cookies / history, block Flash, block ActiveX controls etc... Needs Internet Explorer.
Avant Browser: browser tab interface, smart popup filter, RSS/ATOM Reader, can disable Flash etc. Needs Internet Explorer.
Deepnet Explorer: browser tab interface, popup filter, RSS/Atom news reader etc. Needs Internet Explorer.
Cache Sentry: fixes serious bugs in the Internet Explorer cache manager.
Video Ads Blocker: allows you to easily disable and enable blocking of Flash, java, gif animated files, video, sounds. Thus blocks ads but also what is not there as advertisement.
Turn Flash: allows you to easily disable and enable the Flash component in Internet Explorer, useful to get rid of animated ads.
Web Tracks Eraser: allows you to easily clean up all the tracks of your Internet activities.
Web Accessibility Toolbar: developer toolbar for MSIE 5.x, 6 and 7 similar to Web Developer Toolbar for Mozilla or Firefox (manual examination of a web page, CSS development...).
Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar: Microsoft's developer toolbar for MSIE 5, 6 and 7 similar to Web Developer Toolbar for Mozilla or Firefox (manual examination of a web page, CSS development...).
DebugBar: developer toolbar for MSIE 5.x, 6 and 7 similar to Web Developer Toolbar for Mozilla or Firefox (manual examination of a web page, CSS development...).
Browser Extension Manager: can modify many Internet Explorer settings, enable/disable ActiveX components.
Outlook Express Freebie Backup: allows you to backup and restore Outlook Express settings, folders...
ChameleonNavigator: allows you to manage the "referrer", switch "User Agent", quickly modify many settings.
* some options may have unpredictable results.
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Dictionaries

Wordweb: dictionary.
Wordnet: a lexical database for the English language.
Tiny spell: spelling checker.
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Video

VLC Media Player: cross-platform multimedia player that plays most multimedia files as well as DVD, Audio CD, VCD, and various streaming protocols.
Avidemux: video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding.
WinFF: GUI for the command line video converter / encoder, FFMPEG.
Free video Dub: editing and cutting video files without re-encoding.
Stream Transport: let you browse and download FLV video clips from video hosting websites of HTTP, RTMP, RTMPT, RTMPE, RTMPTE protocol.
Subtitle Edit: video subtitle editor, maker. Can also import subtitles.
FlashGot: Add-on for Firefox. Downloads FLV video clips (HTTP protocol).
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PDF converters

GSview: graphical interface for Ghostscript under MS-Windows. Once a postscript color printer (for example Apple Color LW 12/660 PS on Windows CD or extendedPDF-Printer) has been installed, it uses the interpreter Ghostscript to view Postscript files and convert them to PDF, allows text extraction, page extraction, conversion to bitmaps, PS or PDF viewing (even with Firefox, Mozilla or MSIE)...
* Allows the conversion to PDF of any document printed with a Postscript printer driver.
MakePDF (~30k) or Postscript to PDF converter (~575k): graphical interface for Ghostscript under MS-Windows. Once a Postscript color printer has been installed, it uses the interpreter Ghostscript to convert Postscript files to PDF.
* Allows the conversion to PDF of any document printed with a Postscript printer driver.
LibreOffice: multi-platform office productivity suite - Open Source version of OpenOffice. Conversion to PDF (html, doc, xls, rtf, text... with hyperlinks).
The extension PDF Import allows LibreOffice 3 to open and modify an existing PDF file.
PDF995: easy to use PDF converter (text extractor and text or URL to link conversion with pdfedit995).
* Allows the conversion to PDF of any document printed with the printer driver provided.
Tomahawk PDF+: creation of PDF files and conversion to PDF (html, doc, xls, rtf, texte) with hyperlinks (last freeware version).
HTMLDOC: HTML processing program that generates HTML, PostScript and PDF files (with hyperlinks support) with a table of contents. Does not support CSS and XHTML.
xpdf: Command line PDF text extractor, PDF image extractor, PDF-to-PostScript converter, and various other utilities.
PDF Splitter and Merger: Extracts and merges pages of PDF files.
Adobe Reader Speed-up: reduces Adobe Reader launch time by disabling the plugins that are not essential.
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Registry / System

StartUpMonitor: notifies you when any program registers itself to run at system startup. It prevents useless applications from registering themselves behind your back.
Spybot Search & Destroy: searches your hard drive and registry for so-called spybots or adbots, removes and blocks them. Update first.
Startup Control Panel: control panel applet that allows you to easily configure which programs run when your computer starts.
Autoruns: shows you what programs (as well as Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services) are configured to run during system bootup or login.
ERUNT: Registry Backup and Restore for Windows NT/2000/XP.
NTREGOPT: Registry Optimization for Windows NT/2000/XP.
Page Defrag: defragments your paging files or Registry hives.
Power Defragmenter: fast defragmentation tool for Windows 2000 and XP.
JkDefrag: defragmentation utility for Windows 2000/2003/XP/Vista.
JkDefrag GUI: GUI with options for JkDefrag.
SafeDefrag: defragmentation utility for Windows 95/98/ME - French version only.
DIRMS: defragmentation tool for Windows NT, 2000 and XP. Command line utility or GUI, very efficient but takes a long time, even with the option -q. For maintenance, use BuzzSaw.
BuzzSaw: on-the-fly defragmentation program (Windows NT, 2000 and XP).
O&O Defrag 2000 Freeware (last freeware version): defragmentation tool for Windows NT, 2000 and XP.
RegSeeker: uninstalls software, removes leftover registry entries, cleans the registry, cleans histories, offers a few tweaks, allows you to control which programs run when Windows starts...
Easy Cleaner 2.0: uninstalls software, removes leftover registry entries, cleans the registry, cleans the hard drive, startup menu etc...
jv16 Power tools (last freeware version): uninstalls software, removes leftover registry entries, cleans the registry, cleans the hard drive etc... (not freeware any more on the author's site)
Registrar Lite: registry editor.
Xteq: powerful tweaker. Can also clean IE or Netscape caches, erase temporary files, sort favorites...
Last freeware version
XP Antispy: allows you to disable / enable unsollicited connections from Windows 2000 or XP components.
XPY: experts only (disables the default threats of a windows xp installation - antispy features, closes recent security holes, disables ActiveX and services...)
Safe XP: privacy and security tweaks for Windows 2000 or XP. Safe XP website.
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Security

Outpost Firewall: personal firewall system. Can restrict popups, java, cookies, block the "referrer", remove ads and banners etc.
* some options may have unpredictable results.
AVG 8.5 Free Edition: Antivirus system.
avast! 4 Home Edition: Antivirus system.
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Programming

UPX: compresses executables (to use UPX from Windows: UPX Shell - Graphical GUI - download and use UPX last version/ or Advanced Shell for UPX v.1.25).
IconEdit32: icon editor.
LiquidIcon: creation and extraction of icons and cursors.
ICEOWS: file compression.
7-Zip: file compression.
IZArc: file compression.
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Files / Disk

Rename-It!: renames files from context menu (many options including regular expressions).
Rename Master: very flexible files and folders renamer.
Ant renamer: files and folders renamer. Version 1.4 is more user friendly.
Tree Size: shows you the size of any folder, including its subfolders.
NTFS: NTFS project. FAQ about NTFS, conversion, Linux drivers...
NTFS Ratio: Gives information on NTFS ratios.
Ext2IFS: Installable File System Driver (IFS) allowing you to read Linux partitions from Windows NT, 2000 and XP.
Ext2 IFS: Installable File System Driver (IFS) allowing you full access to Linux Ext2 partitions (read and write) from Windows NT, 2000 and XP.
Attribute Changer: allows you to change all the attributes and dates of files and folders (FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS).
Clear Read Only flag: clears the read-only flag on entire folders and subfolders (FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS). (~1k)
REST2514: restores files deleted from the recycle bin or deleted while holding down the Shift key by mistake (FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS). Eraser too.
Eraser: completely removes files or folders from your hard drive.
WinMerge: compares files / folders, useful for determing what has changed between project versions, and then merging changes between versions.
GREX: compares/synchronizes folders, renames and splits/joins files.
TextDiff: text compare and merge utility. Compares folders too.
RKopie: manages customized zip-compatible backup jobs.
Unlocker: shows the processes locking files (Windows 2000 and XP) and allows you to unlock them so that they can be renamed or deleted.
Explorer++: multi-tab file manager for Windows.
QT TabBar: adds tabs to Windows explorer (XP and Vista).
Copy Handler: copies/moves files and folders with useful options (pause, priority...). Can only delete valid file names.
DropBox: Online storage (2 GB free, more if you invite friends). Allows you to sync your files in the DropBox folder online and across your computers automatically.
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Desktop

Traybar: application launcher from the tray bar for all Windows OS systems.
Tray Manager: manages icons in the tray bar.
TClock (source included): allows you to customize the Windows Taskbar, the Desktop, toolclock text, synchronize with a NTP server (time-A.timefreq.bldrdoc.gov for example).
ATnotes: allows you to store and manage notes.
VirtuaWin: virtual window manager (up to 9 desktops - useful modules).
IconLock: lets you save or restore desktop layouts, lock desktop or icon positions and disable desktop menu options.
Iconoid: icon manager, icon positioning... (cannot be used with virtual desktops)

Here is a small utility compressed with UPX and written in Delphi as I couldn't find any freeware doing the same.

zip 173k AchVte Trade cruncher and broker-on-line costs comparator. French version.

Other freewares

With javascript

W3C XHTML 1.0
W3C CSS