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Utility Software

Don't let the title fool you: Utility Software can be among the most useful and productive applications you have on your computer.  And in spite of the fact that these are all free, they are, for the most part, mature, powerful applications (especially Audacity, Irfanview, Gimp).

However, be careful.  Some of these, like BulkRenameUtility, are powerful applications that can do a lot of damage if you don't know how to use them properly.  Do a search on Youtube for a tutorial if you are not sure.

Scanning Software I have not tested this (NAPS) application personally but it gets good reviews from most users.   Scan2PDF looks interesting but has not been tested yet either.
Capturing the Screen Screen Capture Software
Grepwin Search any documents for any text; search and replace.  A little complicated but VERY useful.
7Zip Zip compression utility.
IMGBurn Burn CD's, DVDS, even Blu-Ray Disk.  Careful not to click on the wrong link-- the web page wants you download some useless "optimization" applications.
VLC Best Video Player-- Don't use Windows Media Player if you can avoid it.
NotePad++ If you just need content and you don't need or want a mountain of formatting options.
BulkRenameUtility If you know what you are doing, this is an incredibly useful too.
Irfanview Best Graphics File Viewer
Audacity Terrifice audio recorder, editor, mixer.
Gimp Powerful Photoshop clone.