Microsoft releases PowerToys v0.55.0 with an incredible three new utilities

Microsoft PowerToys

Making good on its recent promise to add a new mouse tool to PowerToys, Microsoft has released a new version of the utility collection complete with the addition of Mouse Pointer Crosshairs (previously previewed as Inclusive Mouse). But it doesn't end there -- there are two more new tools to explore as well!

The release of PowerToys v0.55.0 also sees the addition of two new add-ons for Explorer. For developers, there is now support for 150 file type previews, as well as a new tool for generating STL file format thumbnails.

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Ostensibly an accessibility tool, the Mouse Pointer Crosshairs utility does very much what you would expect from the name. Enable the utility and then press the Ctrl + Alt + P keyboard shortcut (although this can be customized if you'd prefer to use something different) to highlight the position of your cursor with crosshairs that follow mouse movement.

Over on GitHub, the PowerToys team details the latest additions:

  • File Explorer add-on: Developer files for preview pane. This should add about 150 file extensions total. We are using the Monaco Editor to power this experience. Thanks @aaron-junker!
  • File Explorer add-on: STL file format thumbnail generation! Since STL is a common 3D file format, this allows a quick visual check. Thanks @pedrolamas! Preview pane support is already in Windows.
  • Mouse Utility: Crosshair over pointer via Ctrl+Alt+P. This feature was co-developed with the accessibility team at Microsoft. When the team told us about the idea and described trying to find your cursor by looking through a straw, we knew we could leverage code from the other mouse utilities to quickly enable this feature.

PowerToys lead, Clint Rutkas, shared news of the new release on Twitter:

PowerToys v0.55.0 is not just about the trio of new utilities, however. There are also numerous bug fixes and tweaks, as detailed in the changelog:

General

  • .NET runtime is now on 5, our next release will be upgraded to .NET 6. Moving to .NET 5 and then 6 helped reduce our moving parts in a single release so we went this route. Why this is important is this is one of the major work items needed for ARM64 support. In addition, this should help provide a speed boosts once we are on .NET 6.
  • @jsoref's spelling plugin help

Always on Top

  • Fixed one of two borders showing incorrectly bugs.
  • Border defaults to OS accent color now. Thanks @davidegiacometti
  • Reduced CPU / GPU activity. Not done improving, we know we can do better.

FancyZones

  • Bug fixed to not lose zones after update
  • Fixed editor margin issue for Chinese language. Thanks @niels9001

File explorer add-ons

  • GCode thumbnails now have transparency. Thanks @pedrolamas
  • New Utility - Developer files for File Explorer preview pane. This should add about 150 file extensions total. We are using the Monaco Editor to power this experience. Thanks @aaron-junker!
  • New Utility - STL thumbnails added! Preview pane support is already in Windows. Thanks @pedrolamas!

Image Resizer

Mouse utilities

  • New Utility - Crosshair over pointer via Ctrl+Alt+P. This feature was co-developed with the accessibility team at Microsoft. Thanks @niels9001 for helping with the icon!

PowerRename

  • Files are sorted now how File Explorer sorts.

PowerToys Run

  • Improved speed and fixed bugs with Window walker plugin. Thanks @htcfreek
  • Window Walker will now show path of elevated apps. Thanks @davidegiacometti
  • Added UEFI command to system commands. Thanks @htcfreek
  • Fixed crashing bug in EnvironmentHelper class. Thanks @htcfreek
  • Fix URI plugin bug with ^:. Thanks @franky920920
  • VS Code plugin not showing workspaces with latest Code version was corrected. Thanks @ricardosantos9521
  • Fixed bug that caused plugins to not load. Thanks @davidegiacometti
  • Fixed crash in Uri plugin and Web search plugin. Thanks @cyberrex5!

Settings

  • Fixed a regression with settings being reset when moving from admin to non-admin

Video Conference Mute

  • Fixed crashing bug with Zoom and other clients. We found someone we could remotely debug with and identify the actual crashing part.
  • Change of behavior: When leaving a meeting, VCM will now leave your microphone in the state it was. This mimics behavior of applications if VCM was not present.
  • Change of behavior: When you exit PowerToys, your current microphone state will remain.

You can download PowerToys v0.55.0 here, or use the built-in update option to upgrade an existing installation.  

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