The 2014 Windows Secrets’ ultimate utilities article is an excellent compendium of must-have apps. Many of the utilities on the list are among my favorites.
But there are others that I use all the time — some for many years. Most are free, and all work with Windows 8.1.
Here are additional utilities I think you, too, will find useful. Some are variations of products described in the ultimate utilities list. (Note: Clicking a linked name takes you to the product’s info or download page.)
Applications to keep you productive
I often copy text from a website or HTML-based email message and then paste the text into a Word document or other type of document. Unfortunately, the text gets pasted as formatted for the Web — not the file you’re working on.
With PureText running in the background, you paste the information using a Windows + V key combination (or some other key combo of your choice), instead of the typical Ctrl + V. The utility automatically strips out all unwanted formatting.
At its core, this app lets you define hotkeys — but it also does much more. Running in the background, AutoHotkey automatically corrects common spelling errors and typos. For example, I have a bad habit of typing “teh.” But AutoHotkey quickly changes it to “the.”
The app also lets you make fast text substitutions. When I type my first-name initial (“k”) by itself, AutoHotkey changes it to my first name, “Ken.” It lets me quickly add favorite phrases such as “As a matter of fact” by simply typing “aamof.” I can even enter a few letters, and the utility will paste in entire paragraphs of text.
AutoHotkey includes a script containing a list of predefined substitutions. Using a text editor such as Notepad, you can delete substitutions you don’t want and quickly create new ones. For example, having AutoHotkey automatically change “k” to “Ken” was a simple process of adding the following line: