A free tool with a small footprint that gets a lot of use


(Last Updated On: May 1, 2014)

VirtuaWinImage via Wikipedia

I’ve collected many small utilities over the years and some have come in very handy. One I use on a regular basis is VirtuaWin, a utility to create virtual desktops/windows. It is available in portable format (can be run from a stick) at http://www.portablefreeware.com/index.php?q=virtuawin&m=Search and the homepage is at http://virtuawin.sourceforge.net/.

I have this as a startup item. Since I have 2 monitors I set this to have 2 rows by 2 cols which gives me 4 virtual windows * 2 monitors = 8 virtual desktops. I can then switch between multiple applications with a swift hotkey combo (the hotkey default configuration differs depending on the operating system – when I installed it on XP the hotkey is windows key + arrow key, while on a windows 7 laptop the hotkey was ctrl+alt+arrow).
This allows me to have many applications running at once and I can see them all in full screen view. For instance I have a different window open for gmail, blogspot, Seesmic Desktop for Windows, The publications Database I do upkeep on, my experts-exchange account, Adobe flash, a graphics app. Then I have various smaller apps open but minimized.
The increase in productivity is fantastic and I have found this is an application I can’t do without. The icon sits in the system tray and either the hotkey combo switches screens or clicking on the icon and choosing the screen you wish to go to does the same, but lets you skip through the screens more quickly.
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