12 Apps Every Windows Designer Should Have In Their Taskbar


Designers have a lot of pressure on them to produce the best looking projects in as short an amount of time as possible. As part of your daily routine, you need to have the best tools at your disposal to make development fast and efficient. Rather than downloading and trialling lots of different programs, pick from this selection of apps that every Windows designer should have in their taskbar.
1. ColorPic
If all you have to get started on your project is a logo, icon, or other image, ColorPic will help you get started. This utility let’s you select the main colors from the image and save them to a palette for repeated use. This is the most functional eyedropper tool ever that will become an essential part of your design toolbox.
2. KompoZer
A robust Web creation system that makes it easy to create Web pages with either a code-based or WYSIWYG interface. No longer do you have to shell out a lot of money to get professional design tools for Windows: KompoZer is open source, making it suitable for those on a tight budget.
3. Visio
An application Windows designers need to create workflow, prototype, and other diagrams that support projects and project documentation. This is a popular and pricy software application that first began as an addon for Microsoft Word.
4. Filezilla
Probably the best ftp application out there: best of all its free. This powerful client runs on several platforms as well as a portable application that can be transported on media and run on any computer. Filezilla is incredibly easy to use and is known for its speed, reliability and cool features, including its QuickConnect feature that reconnects to your favorite FTP sites automatically.
5. FormatCSS


A developers tool that helps format unstructured code into convenient views for clients. Just paste your valid CSS into the window, select formatting options, and Voila! You have visually appealing code you can be proud of.

6. MockupScreens


A Windows application that gives developers the ability to build prototypes from wireframes with common elements. Screens can be exported to file or viewed as an HTML rendering.

7. Bluefish Editor


A lightweight text editor that is perfect for coders. Featuring native project management functions and a robust search / replace engine, this handy app supports development in a variety of environments.

8. MWSnap


Are you one of those developers who are fed up with using the Prnt Scrn button to get your screen shots? If so, you’ll find MWSnap a handy app that will make your life a whole lot easier. Featuring hotkeys, five modes of selection, and a selection of dummy cursors, MWSnap is a designers dream.



A browser-based, open source tool designed to help developers generate perfect HML code. A professional-grade selection of FCK, timelines, fisheyes, DOJO, and more make it easy to create and resize components in this interface.

10. Adobe Fireworks


An essential tool that every developer should have. This application is perfect for generating prototypes of every grade and features symbol nesting, intelligent guide options, and automatic coding.

11. Inkscape


An open source tool for creating vector graphics, supporting features similar to Adobe Illustrator, and creates SVG formatted files.

12. WinSCP


A Windows-based SFTP/FTP client that comes with an easy to use file manager to make all your FTP transfers easy. This is an open source application that features secure FTP and SSH options.

This guest post was written by James Adams, a UK based blogger and designer (using Windows) who works for a supplier of next day ink. Check out his other writing about advertising and design on their blog.

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