Every now and then you come across an application that changes your life from that instant onward. Now, I'm not talking about the big applications. The FireWorks, the HomeSites, SQL Servers; these are all amazing applications. But that's not what I am talking about. I'm talking about the little applications. The ones that optimize your day. The ones you use 15 times a day and don't give much thought to, until you are at a computer that doesn't have them and then you freak out and your head explodes.
The RegEx Coach - Dr. Edmund Weitz
If you are learning regular expressions or just getting around to mastering them, this program will allow you, in real-time, to see what your regular expression are matching on. You can see matches, you can see splits, you can see replacements. You can even step through the process character by character to see how the regular expression is being evaluated. Heck, the damn thing even tries to translate your regular expression into english. Unbelievable! If you don't know regular expressions, learn them immediately.
Beyond Compare - Scooter Software
Beyond Compare will revolutionize the way you move files around. It does syncing, diff-comparisons, even FTP syncing, and it doesn't incur the overhead of processing that the windows explorer does (or so I am told). If you ever work in a development and beta environment. You will WANT Beyond Compare to sync them up.
TrayColor - Proxy Systems Ltd
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This can be a hard little application to find, but its a tiny, stand alone color picker that can grab any color off of the screen. I have seen lots of applications like this, but this one just always satisfies me more than any of the others. The beauty of it is that it does exactly what it needs to and NOTHING else. No frills, no bells. Just quality.
PrintScreen - Gadwin Systems
This application is a screen-capture application that can be hooked up to hotkeys. The screen shots can be saved to the clip board, exported automatically to a variety of different file formats, or even sent directly to a network printer. For anyone who has ever had problems with the built in print-screen functionality of the computer, this is a must have.
Flexible Renamer - Naru
This application allows bulk renaming of files using regular expressions. If you ever get lots of files from clients or from bulk image processing, then you have been in a situation where you want a ton of files to fit into a naming scheme. This will do that. If you love regular expressions, you will love this program. I am not sure if you can find a download anymore... if not, talk to me (hush hush).
Free&Easy Font Viewer - Styopkin Software
An absolute must if you are picking out fonts for a design and you just needs to get a feel for what they look like (all at once) so you can browse them like photo gallery. The free version does not allow custom text. The pro version allows you to enter your own text to view in all fonts.