Tools of the trade, AKA tools I couldn’t do without: 7-Zip

Another tool that I install straight away on new PCs is 7-Zip. I’m still amazed to see IT pros using unregistered (or dodgy) versions of WinRAR and WinZIP. 7-ZIP is better, faster, and free (open-source).

It can handle lots of formats, including ISO files, which I sometimes find handy.

7-Zip’s main features, as per their website. I’ve highlighted some of the formats that I regularly use 7-Zip with:

  • High compression ratio in 7z format with LZMA and LZMA2 compression
  • Supported formats:
    • Packing / unpacking: 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP and WIM
    • Unpacking only: ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DEB, DMG, FAT, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR and Z.
  • For ZIP and GZIP formats, 7-Zip provides a compression ratio that is 2-10 % better than the ratio provided by PKZip and WinZip
  • Strong AES-256 encryption in 7z and ZIP formats
  • Self-extracting capability for 7z format
  • Integration with Windows Shell
  • Powerful File Manager
  • Powerful command line version
  • Plugin for FAR Manager
  • Localizations for 79 languages

License: GNU LGPL –

Tools of the trade, AKA tools I couldn’t do without: Greenshot

One of the very first tools that I install on a rebuilt/new PC is Greenshot. From their website (emphasis mine):

Greenshot is a light-weight screenshot software tool for Windows with the following key features:

  • Create complete or partial screenshots quickly.
  • Easily annotate, highlight or obfuscate parts of the screenshot.
  • Send the screenshot to a file, the clipboard, a printer or as e-mail attachment.

I find it really handy for taking screenshots, annotating them, and then pasting them into an email. Mine’s configured to automatically save the capture to a folder, as well as open it in the image editor. I can then make changes and re-save over the top of the already-captured image.

A handy keyboard shortcut in the image editor is CTRL+SHIFT+C. This copies the modified screenshot with annotations, obfuscations, etc to the clipboard.

License: GPL