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Tools and Utilities for the .NET Developer

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This is a list of the tools/utilities that I use to do my job/hobby. I wanted this page to load fast and contain information that only you care about. If I have missed a tool that you like, feel free to contact me and I will add it to the list. Also, this list took a lot of time to complete. Please do not steal my work, if you like the page then please link back to my site. I will keep the links/information updated as new tools/utilities are created. 

Windows/.NET Development – This is a list of tools that any Windows/.NET developer should have in his bag. I have used at some point in my career everything listed on this page and below is the tools worth keeping.

7-Zip7-Zip is a file archiver with a high compression ratio.Free
AnkhSVNSubversion support for Visual Studio. It also works with VS2010.Free
Aurora XAML DesignerOne of the best XAML creation tools available. Has a ton of built in templates that you can copy/paste into VS2010.COST/Trial
BeyondCompareBeyond Compare 3 is the ideal tool for comparing files and folders on your Windows or Linux system. Visualize changes in your code and carefully reconcile them.COST/Trial
BuildIT Automated Task ToolIts main purpose is to automate tasks, whether it is the final packaging of a product, an automated daily build, maybe sending out a mailing list, even backing-up files.Free
C Sharper for VBConvert VB to C#.COST
CLRProfilerAnalyze and improve the behavior of your .NET app.Free
CodeRushDirect competitor to ReSharper, contains similar feature. This is one of those decide for yourself.COST/Trial
Disk2VHDDisk2vhd is a utility that creates VHD (Virtual Hard Disk – Microsoft’s Virtual Machine disk format) versions of physical disks for use in Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs).Free
Eazfuscator.NETIs a free obfuscator for .NET. The main purpose is to protect intellectual property of software.Free
ELMAHELMAH (Error Logging Modules and Handlers) is an application-wide error logging facility that is completely pluggable. It can be dynamically added to a running ASP.NET web application, or even all ASP.NET web applications on a machine, without any need for re-compilation or re-deployment.Free
EQATEC ProfilerMake your .NET app run faster. No source code changes are needed. Just point the profiler to your app, run the modified code, and get a visual report.Free
Expression Studio 3/4Comes with Web, Blend, Sketch Flow and more. You can create websites, produce beautiful XAML and more.COST/Trial
ExpressoThe award-winning Expresso editor is equally suitable as a teaching tool for the beginning user of regular expressions or as a full-featured development environment for the experienced programmer or web designer with an extensive knowledge of regular expressions.Free
FiddlerFiddler is a web debugging proxy which logs all HTTP(s) traffic between your computer and the internet.Free
FirebugPowerful Web development tool. If you build websites, you will need this.Free
FxCopFxCop is an application that analyzes managed code assemblies (code that targets the .NET Framework common language runtime) and reports information about the assemblies, such as possible design, localization, performance, and security improvements.Free
GAC Browser and RemoverEasy way to remove multiple assemblies from the GAC. Assemblies registered by programs like Install Shield can also be removed.Free
GAC UtilThe Global Assembly Cache tool allows you to view and manipulate the contents of the global assembly cache and download cache.Free
HelpScribbleHelp Scribble is a full-featured, easy-to-use help authoring tool for creating help files from start to finish. You can create Win Help (.hlp) files, HTML Help (.chm) files, a printed manual and online documentation (on a web site) all from the same Help Scribble project.COST/Trial
IETesterIETester is a free Web Browser that allows you to have the rendering and JavaScript engines of IE9 preview, IE8, IE7 IE 6 and IE5.5 on Windows 7, Vista and XP, as well as the installed IE in the same process.Free
iTextSharpiText# (iTextSharp) is a port of the iText open source java library for PDF generation written entirely in C# for the .NET platform. Use the iText mailing list to get support.Free
KaxamlKaxaml is a lightweight XAML editor that gives you a “split view” so you can see both your XAML and your rendered content.Free
LINQPadLinqPad lets you interactively query databases in a LINQ.Free
LinquerMany programmers are familiar with SQL and will need a help in the transition to LINQ. Sometimes there are complicated queries to be written and Linqer can help by converting SQL scripts to LINQ.COST/Trial
LiquidXMLLiquid XML Studio 2010 is an advanced XML developers toolkit and IDE, containing all the tools needed for designing and developing XML schema and applications.COST/Trial
Log4Netlog4net is a tool to help the programmer output log statements to a variety of output targets. log4net is a port of the excellent log4j framework to the .NET runtime. We have kept the framework similar in spirit to the original log4j while taking advantage of new features in the .NET runtime. For more information on log4net see the features document.Free
Microsoft Web Platform InstallerThe Microsoft Web Platform Installer 2.0 (Web PI) is a free tool that makes getting the latest components of the Microsoft Web Platform, including Internet Information Services (IIS), SQL Server Express, .NET Framework and Visual Web Developer easy.Free
Mono DevelopmentDon’t have Visual Studio – no problem! This is an open Source C# and .NET development environment for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS XFree
Net Mass DownloaderWhile it’s great that Microsoft has released the .NET Reference Source Code, you can only get it one file at a time while you’re debugging. If you’d like to batch download it for reading or to populate the cache, you’d have to write a program that instantiated and called each method in the Framework Class Library. Fortunately, .NET Mass Downloader comes to the rescue!Free
nMapNmap (“Network Mapper”) is a free and open source (license) utility for network exploration or security auditing. Many systems and network administrators also find it useful for tasks such as network inventory, managing service upgrade schedules, and monitoring host or service uptime.Free
NoScript (Firefox add-in)The NoScript Firefox extension provides extra protection for Firefox, Flock, Seamonkey and other Mozilla-based browsers: this free, open source add-on allows JavaScript, Java and Flash and other plug-ins to be executed only by trusted web sites of your choice (e.g. your online bank), and provides the most powerful Anti-XSS protection available in a browser.Free
NotePad 2Notepad2, a fast and light-weight Notepad-like text editor with syntax highlighting. This program can be run out of the box without installation, and does not touch your system’s registry.Free
PageSpyPageSpy is a small add-on for Internet Explorer that allows you to select any element within a webpage, select an option in the context menu, and view detailed information about both the coding behind the page and the element you selected.Free
Phrase ExpressPhraseExpress manages your frequently used text snippets in customizable categories for quick access.Free
PowerGuiPowerGui is a free community for PowerGUI, a graphical user interface and script editor for Microsoft Windows PowerShell!Free
PowershellComes with Win7, but you can automate tasks by using the .NET Framework. Great for network admins.Free
Process ExplorerEver wondered which program has a particular file or directory open? Now you can find out. Process Explorer shows you information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded. Also, included in the SysInterals Suite.Free
Process MonitorProcess Monitor is an advanced monitoring tool for Windows that shows real-time file system, Registry and process/thread activity.Free
RedmineRedmine is a flexible project management web application. Written using Ruby on Rails framework, it is cross-platform and cross-database.Free
ReflectorExplore and analyze compiled .NET assemblies, viewing them in C#, Visual Basic, and IL. This is an Essential for any .NET developer.Free
Regular Expression LibraryStuck on a Regular Expression but you think someone has already figured it out? Chances are they have.Free
RegulatorRegulator makes Regular Expressions easy. This is a must have for a .NET Developer.Free
RenameMaestroRenameMaestro is probably the easiest batch file renamer you’ll find to instantly rename multiple filesCOST
ReSharperThe one program that I cannot live without. Supports VS2010 and offers simple refactoring, code analysis/assistance/cleanup/templates. One of the few applications that is worth the $$$.COST/Trial
ScrewTurn WikiScrewTurn Wiki allows you to create, manage and share wikis. A wiki is a collaboratively-edited, information-centered website: the most famous is Wikipedia.Free
SharpDevelopWhat is #develop? SharpDevelop is a free IDE for C# and VB.NET projects on Microsoft’s .NET platform.Free
Show Me The TemplateShow Me The Template is a tool for exploring the templates, be their data, control or items panel, that comes with the controls built into WPF for all 6 themes.Free
SnippetCompilerCompiles code snippets without opening Visual Studio. It does not support .NET 4.Free
SQL FormatterInstantly format SQL code!COST/Trial
SQL PromptSQL Prompt is a plug-in that increases how fast you can work with SQL. It provides code-completion for SQL server, reformatting, db schema information and snippets. Awesome!COST/Trial
SQLinFormSQLinForm is an automatic SQL code formatter for all major databases  including ORACLE, SQL Server, DB2, UDB, Sybase, Informix, PostgreSQL, Teradata, MySQL, MS Access etc. with over 70 formatting options.COST/OnlineFree
SSMS ToolsSSMS Tools Pack is an add-in for Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) including SSMS Express.Free
StormSTORM is a free and open source tool for testing web services.Free
Telerik Code ConvertorConvert code from VB to C Sharp and Vice Versa.Free
TurtoiseSVNTortoiseSVN is a really easy to use Revision control / version control / source control software for Windows.Since it’s not an integration for a specific IDE you can use it with whatever development tools you like.Free
UltraEditUltraEdit is the ideal text, HTML and hex editor, and an advanced PHP, Perl, Java and JavaScript editor for programmers. UltraEdit is also an XML editor including a tree-style XML parser. An industry-award winner, UltraEdit supports disk-based 64-bit file handling (standard) on 32-bit Windows platforms (Windows 2000 and later).COST/Trial
UltraEdit StudioUEStudio offers all the functionality of UltraEdit plus other exciting and powerful features! Whether you are simply editing text, building applications, maintaining databases, or constructing websites, UEStudio’s stunning array of innovative features offers the functionality of a bonafide IDE at an unsurpassed value.COST/Trial
Virtual Windows XPComes with some W7 version and allows you to run WinXP along side W7.Free
VirtualBoxVirtualization by Sun Microsystems. You can virtualize Windows, Linux and more.Free
Visual Log ParserSQL queries against a variety of log files and other system data sources.Free
WinMergeWinMerge is an Open Source differencing and merging tool for Windows. WinMerge can compare both folders and files, presenting differences in a visual text format that is easy to understand and handle.Free
WiresharkWireshark is one of the best network protocol analyzer’s for Unix and windows. This has been used several times to get me out of a bind.Free
XML Notepad 07Old, but still one of my favorite XML viewers.Free

Productivity Tools – This is the list of tools that I use to save time or quickly navigate around Windows.

AutoHotKeyAutomate almost anything by sending keystrokes and mouse clicks. You can write a mouse or keyboard macro by hand or use the macro recorder.Free
CLCLCLCL is clipboard caching utility.Free
DittoDitto is an extension to the standard windows clipboard. It saves each item placed on the clipboard allowing you access to any of those items at a later time. Ditto allows you to save any type of information that can be put on the clipboard, text, images, html, custom formats, …..Free
EvernoteRemember everything from notes to photos. It will synch between computers/devices.Free
InfoRapidInforapid is a search tool that will display all you search results in a html like browser. If you click on a word in that browser, it will start another search to the word you clicked on. Handy if you want to trackback something to it’s true origin. The word you looked for will be highlighted in red. Clicking on the red word will open the containing file in a text based viewer. Clicking on any word in the opened document will start another search on that word.Free
KatMouseThe prime purpose of the KatMouse utility is to enhance the functionality of mice with a scroll wheel, offering ‘universal’ scrolling: moving the mouse wheel will scroll the window directly beneath the mouse cursor (not the one with the keyboard focus, which is default on Windows OSes). This is a major increase in the usefulness of the mouse wheel.Free
ScreenRInstant Screencast with nothing to download. Works with Mac or PC and free.Free
Start++Start++ is an enhancement for the Start Menu in Windows Vista. It also extends the Run box and the command-line with customizable commands.  For example, typing “w Windows Vista” will take you to the Windows Vista page on Wikipedia!Free
SynergySynergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware. It’s intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s).Free
TexterTexter lets you define text substitution hot strings that, when triggered, will replace hotstring with a larger piece of text. By entering your most commonly-typed snippets of text into Texter, you can save countless keystrokes in the course of the day.Free
Total CommanderFile handling, FTP, Archive handling and much more. Even works with Win3.11.COST/Trial Available
WizmouseWizMouse is a mouse enhancement utility that makes your mouse wheel work on the window currently under the mouse pointer, instead of the currently focused window. This means you no longer have to click on a window before being able to scroll it with the mouse wheel. This is a far more comfortable and practical way to make use of the mouse wheel.Free
XmarksBookmark sync and search between computers.Free

General Utilities – This is a list for power user users or anyone that wants more out of Windows. I usually install a majority of these whenever I get a new system.

µTorrentµTorrent is a lightweight and efficient BitTorrent client for Windows or Mac with many features. I use this for downloading LEGAL media.Free
AudacityAudacity® is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. Learn more about Audacity… Also check our Wiki and Forum for more information.Free
AVast FreeFREE Antivirus.Free
CD Burner XP ProCDBurnerXP is a free application to burn CDs and DVDs, including Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs. It also includes the feature to burn and create ISOs, as well as a multilanguage interface.Free
CDEXYou can extract digital audio CDs into mp3/wav.Free
CombofixCombofix is a freeware (a legitimate spyware remover created by sUBs), Combofix was designed to scan a computer for known malware, spyware (SurfSideKick, QooLogic, and Look2Me as well as any other combination of the mentioned spyware applications) and remove them.Free
Cpu-ZProvides information about some of the main devices of your system.Free
CropperCropper is a screen capture utility written in C#. It makes it fast and easy to grab parts of your screen. Use it to easily crop out sections of vector graphic files such as Fireworks without having to flatten the files or open in a new editor. Use it to easily capture parts of a web site, including text and images. It’s also great for writing documentation that needs images of your application or web site.Free
DropBoxDrag and Drop files to sync between computers.Free
DVD-FabConverts/Copies DVDs/Blu-Ray to different formats. (like mp4, mkv, avi)COST/Trial Available
FastStone CaptureFastStone Capture is a powerful, lightweight, yet full-featured screen capture tool that allows you to easily capture and annotate anything on the screen including windows, objects, menus, full screen, rectangular/freehand regions and even scrolling windows/web pages.Free
ffdshowFFDShow is a DirectShow decoding filter for decompressing DivX, XviD, H.264, FLV1, WMV, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2, MPEG-4 movies.Free
File Locator ProSearch and navigate through all your important data with FileLocator Pro™. Its unique features make it possible to dig out information in even the most obscure file formats.Cost/Trial Available
FilezillaFileZilla Client is a fast and reliable cross-platform FTP, FTPS and SFTP client with lots of useful features and an intuitive graphical user interface. You can also download a server version.Free
FireFoxWeb Browser, do you really need an explanation?Free
FireGesturesA customizable mouse gestures extension which enables you to execute various commands and user scripts with five types of gestures.Free
FoxIt ReaderLight weight PDF viewer. You should install this with the advanced setting or it will install a toolbar and setup some shortcuts.Free
gSynchItSynch Gmail and Outlook. Even supports Outlook 2010 32/64 bitCOST/Trial Available
Hulu DesktopAt home or in a hotel, this has replaced my cable/satellite subscription.Free
ImgBurnImgBurn is a lightweight CD / DVD / HD DVD / Blu-ray burning application that everyone should have in their toolkit!Free
InfrarecorderInfraRecorder is a free CD/DVD burning solution for Microsoft Windows. It offers a wide range of powerful features; all through an easy to use application interface and Windows Explorer integration.Free
KeePassKeePass is a free open source password manager, which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way.Free
LastPassAnother password management, synchronize between browsers, automatic form filling and more.Free
Live EssentialsOne download and lots of programs including Mail, Live Writer, Movie Maker and more!Free
MonitoresMonitorES is a small windows utility that helps you to turnoff monitor display when you lock down your machine.Also when you lock your machine, it will pause all your running media programs & set your IM status message to “Away” / Custom message(via options) and restore it back to normal when you back.Free
mRemotemRemote is a full-featured, multi-tab remote connections manager.Free
Open 3 is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose.Free
Paint.NETSimple, intuitive, and innovative user interface for editing photos.Free
PicasaPicasa is free photo editing software from Google that makes your pictures look great.Free
PidginPidgin is an easy to use and free chat client used by millions. Connect to AIM, MSN, Yahoo, and more chat networks all at once.Free
PINGPING is a live Linux ISO, based on the excellent Linux From Scratch (LFS) documentation. It can be burnt on a CD and booted, or integrated into a PXE / RIS environment.Free
PuttyPuTTY is an SSH and telnet client, developed originally by Simon Tatham for the Windows platform.Free
Revo UninstallerRevo Uninstaller Pro helps you to uninstall software and remove unwanted programs installed on your computer easily! Even if you have problems uninstalling and cannot uninstall them from “Windows Add or Remove Programs” control panel applet.Revo Uninstaller is a much faster and more powerful alternative to “Windows Add or Remove Programs” applet! It has very powerful features to uninstall and remove programs.Free
Security EssentialsMicrosoft Security Essentials is a new, free consumer anti-malware solution for your computer.Free
SetupVirtualCloneDriveVirtual CloneDrive works and behaves just like a physical CD/DVD drive, however it exists only virtually. Point to the .ISO file and it appears in Windows Explorer as a Drive.Free
Shark 007 Codec PackPlay just about any file format with this download. Also includes my W7 Media Playlist Generator.Free
Snagit 9Screen Capture on steroids. Add arrows, captions, etc to any screenshot.COST/Trial Available
SysinternalsSuiteGo ahead and download the entire sys internals suite. I have mentioned multiple programs in this suite already.Free
TeraCopyTeraCopy is a compact program designed to copy and move files at the maximum possible speed, providing the user with a lot of features.Free for Home
TrueCryptFree open-source disk encryption software for Windows 7/Vista/XP, Mac OS X, and LinuxFree
TweetDeckFully featured Twitter client.Free
UltraISOUltraISO is an ISO CD/DVD image file creating/editing/converting tool and a bootable CD/DVD maker.COST/Trial Available
UltraVNCUltraVNC is a powerful, easy to use and free software that can display the screen of another computer (via internet or network) on your own screen. The program allows you to use your mouse and keyboard to control the other PC remotely. It means that you can work on a remote computer, as if you were sitting in front of it, right from your current location.Free
UnlockerUnlocks locked files. Pretty simple right?Free
VLC Media PlayerVLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player and multimedia framework capable of reading most audio and video formatsFree
Windows 7 Media PlaylistThis program is special to my heart because I wrote it. It has been mentioned on podcast and various websites. It allows you to quickly create wvx video playlist for Windows Media Center.Free
WinRARWinRAR is a powerful archive manager. It can backup your data and reduce the size of email attachments, decompress RAR, ZIP and other files downloaded from Internet and create new archives in RAR and ZIP file format.COST/Trial Available

Blogging – I use the following for my blog.

Insert Code for Windows Live WriterInsert Code for Windows Live Writer will format a snippet of text in a number of programming languages such as C#, HTML, MSH, JavaScript, Visual Basic and TSQL.Free
LiveWriterIncluded in Live Essentials, but the ultimate in Windows BloggingFree
PasteAsVSCodePlug-in for Windows Live Writer that pastes clipboard content as Visual Studio code. Preserves syntax highlighting, indentation and background color. Converts RTF, outputted by Visual Studio, into HTML.Free

Desktop Management – The list below represent the best in Windows Desktop Management.

7 StacksAllows users to have “stacks” of icons in their taskbar.Free
ExecutorExecutor is a multi purpose launcher and a more advanced and customizable version of windows run.Free
FencesFences is a program that helps you organize your desktop and can hide your icons when they are not in use.Free
RocketDockRocket Dock is a smoothly animated, alpha blended application launcher. It provides a nice clean interface to drop shortcuts on for easy access and organization. With each item completely customizable there is no end to what you can add and launch from the dock.Free
WindowsTabTabbing is an essential feature of modern web browsers. Window Tabs brings the productivity of tabbed window management to all of your desktop applications.Free
This article is part of the GWB Archives. Original Author: Michael Crump

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