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20+ Required Windows Apps: Web Designer's Choice

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In April, Jeffrey Way provided us with a list of the "20 Mac Apps You'll Use Every Day." Not one to be biased, if you prefer Windows, this article rounds up the best programs available for boosting your productivity as a web designer.

1. Skybound Stylizer

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While I prefer to use Firebug, I'm finding this "out of the box" CSS editor to be really helpful. Skybound Stylizer has been out for a while, but the latest version, 4.0, is now out with a lot of incredible features to help you in the development process. One of the core features is that it supports Google Chrome, Firefox 2 - 3.6, and Internet Explorer 6 - 8.

Stylizer is an exotic visual CSS editor that keeps you in the drivers seat while delivering enormous productivity gains.

2. Notepad++


Notepad++ is by far my favorite text editor for Windows. It's fast, flexible and offers a variety of plugins. If you want to increase your productivity with this editor, be sure to install the ZenCoding plugin. You can download the plugin here.

Notepad++ is a text editor and source code editor for Windows, one main advantage of Notepad++ over the built-in Windows text editor, Notepad, is tabbed editing, to easily work with multiple open files.


3. IETester


IETester is the most stable and useful IE test tool available for Windows. With tabbing navigation, a source code viewer, and the debug bar, it'll help you through the process of "happy" IE debugging.

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IETester is a free WebBrowser 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.


4. Filezilla


Filezilla is the most popular and free FTP for Windows, and, of course, is my favorite FTP client for this platform. It's lightweight and easy to use.

FileZilla Client is a fast and reliable cross-platform FTP, FTPS and SFTP client with lots of useful features and an intuitive graphical user interface.


5. Dropbox


Dropbox is a multi-platform sync system, which is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. You can use it as a backup folder to transfer files to your friends and family. It's amazingly intuitive and fast.

Dropbox allows you to sync your files online and across your computers automatically.

6. Jing


Jing is a great tool to share images or videos in the Windows platform. It's free, but you can order the Pro version with even more features.

Use Jing to capture anything you see on your computer screen and share it instantly... as an image or short movie.



For PHP/MySQL development, Xampp automatically installs MySQL, Apache and PHP in your PC.

XAMPP is an easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl. XAMPP is really very easy to install and to use - just download, extract and start.


8. FoxitReader


FoxitReader is the primary PDF reader in my PC; it's very fast, and supports tabs to read my PDF files.

Foxit Reader is a multilingual PDF reader. Both the basic and full version readers can be downloaded for free. Foxit Reader is notable for its short load time and small filesize, and has been compared favorably to Adobe Reader.

9. doPDF


Print-as-PDF isn't installed by default on Windows. That makes this tool particular handy when you need to quickly send a document.

doPDF installs itself as a virtual PDF printer driver so after a successful installation will appear in your Printers and Faxes list. To convert to PDF, you just have to print the document to doPDF, the free pdf converter.

10. Breevy - Text Expander for Windows


Breevy is one of the most responsive, intuitive text expander applications for Windows. Whether you're a web developer, blogger or {your-occupation-here}, you'll find this one very useful. It's not free, but will save you hours upon hours of typing! It's worth the cost.

Breevy is a text expander and AutoText program for Windows that helps you type faster and more accurately by allowing you to abbreviate long words and phrases -- saving you time and money.

Free Alternative

11. Everything


Everything is a search program. As LifeHacker said, "It does what you really want when you hit Search in Windows."

"Everything" is an administrative tool that locates files and folders by filename instantly for Windows, 20,000 files will take about 1 second to index. 1,000,000 files will take about 1 minute.

12. Miro


Miro lets you play nearly every single video format in the world; but it's not just a video player: you can even subscribe to podcasts, video channels, etc. It's my video player of choice. And yes! It's free!

Miro is the only internet TV you'll need—it's an application that brings together thousands of shows from all over the web. There's TONS of great content, lots of it in HD, and fresh shows are added all the time. You can watch and organize video feeds when you're offline or traveling, find TV programs on sites like Hulu, and download from sites like YouTube. Miro downloads in HD, whenever it's available!


13. KeePass


KeePass is a nice and lightweight password manager for Windows. The amazing thing about it is that you can sync the database with Dropbox - But what if I own a Mac as well? Okay, just install KeePassX. There are numerous cross-platform password managers available (even one more in this round-up), but KeePass is simple and effective enough to get the job done.

KeePass is a free open source password manager, which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way. You can put all your passwords in one database, which is locked with one master key or a key file.

14. Sobees


Sobee is one of those applications you'll always love. It allows you to get the most out of your social sites. You can choose multiple layouts to display your social data, as it offers LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace support -- even a New York Trending News widget. Be sure to check this one out!

Enjoy the convenience of tracking all your different social networks and news from a single place and share, like or tweet what's on your mind easily.

15. Aptana


Aptana is, in my humble opinion, one of the best Integrated Development Enviroments (IDE) for Windows. It has great HTML, CSS, and JavaScript intellisense, JavaScript debugging tools, built-in support for JavaScript libraries, a DOM outline viewer, file transfer & synchronization, live previewing (Safari and Firefox), and much more.

Aptana Studio is the industry leading web development environment that combines powerful authoring tools for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, along with thousands of additional plugins created by the community.

(Available for Linux and Mac)

16. Picasa


Picasa is a must have if you want to organize and share your photos on the internet. It's light-weight, free, and just works!

Picasa is free photo editing software from Google that makes your pictures look great. Sharing your best photos with friends and family is as easy as pressing a button!

(Available for Linux and Mac)

17. Google Talk


If you're one of the GMail lovers (like me), then Gtalk is the perfect Gmail notifier for you. And of course, you can chat with your buddies as well!

Google Talk (GTalk) is a free-of-charge Windows web-based application for instant messaging and voice over internet protocol (VOIP), offered by Google Inc.

18. Adobe Photoshop CS5


Adobe Photoshop CS5 is, for obvious reasons, the greatest tool available for graphics / web design available in the industry. Photoshop is open on all of my computers... at all times.

Adobe Photoshop CS5 software is the ultimate solution for advanced digital imaging, delivering all the editing and compositing capabilities of Photoshop CS4, plus breakthrough tools that let you create and edit 3D and motion-based content.

19. Pidgin


Pidgin is a simple instant messenger. I use it to chat with my friends and family, similar to Adium for the Mac. AIM, MSN, Yahoo, and Facebook are supported.

Pidgin is an easy to use and free chat client used by millions. Connect to AIM, MSN, Yahoo, and more chat networks all at once.

20. InstallPad


Although I don't use InstallPad every day, it's still a great tool, and is worthy of being listed here. It helps you to install all of your favorite Windows applications at once.

InstallPad takes a list of your favorite programs and will download and install the ones you pick. It doesn't need to ask any questions, so you can go do more important things. InstallPad can resume downloads you've canceled, and can even try and find the latest version of your program online.


21. 1Password PC (Beta)


The hugely popular Mac password manager, 1Password, is currently in Beta mode for Windows! Whether you need to store hundreds of website passwords, or track your software licenses, 1Password will do the trick!

"1Password for Windows has been a dream of ours for a long time and we're thrilled to open beta testing to everyone!"

Free Alternative

22. Bubbles


Mac users have access to a nifty app, called Fluid, which allows them to turn any website (,, etc) into a desktop app. It's very helpful. PC offers its own version of this service, via an app, called Bubbles.

"Bubbles is an application platform, based on Browser technologies. It detaches Web Applications from the classic Browser and offers them with the familiar accessibility, capabilities and always-on nature of Desktop applications."


These are the applications I use nearly every day on my PC. Did I miss any? Don't agree with me? What do you recommend?

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