WinMerge, WinDirStat, FreeFileSync, 7-Zip, Bulk Rename Utility

Here are a couple of Windows tools that I find extremely useful.


Have you ever tried to manually find the differences between two text files, such as different versions of a piece of code or a configuration file? WinMerge does it automatically, and can also compare folders and even images.


Your disk is almost full, so it’s time to clean up. But where are the files that take up the most space? Good luck using the Windows Explorer to find out… WinDirStat shows files as a treemap, allowing you to identify large files at a glance. The one issue I have with it is that deleting files is very slow, so you’re probably better off doing this from the Explorer and refreshing afterwards.


Yes, you can use Git or another versioning system to synchronize files, but these are overkill (and not the right option) if you want to synchronize your collection of images or two backups. FreeFileSync is a great syncing tool that allows you to define multiple configurations, and multiple folders within each configuration – this allows you to synchronize a whole lot of folders at once with a single click of the mouse.


Yes, Windows has built-in ZIP support these days, but it is still quite rudimentary. Some people may still use WinRAR, but 7-Zip is the de-facto standard packing tool on Windows. You can use both standard ZIP and 7-Zip’s more efficient .7z format. A tip if you have to upload many small binary files to an ftp server: pack them without compression (using the store option), and the resulting file will upload much quicker than the many small files.

Bulk Rename Utility

So you’ve been processing data and generating many files, only to realize that the file naming is a bit off? Yes, a batch script could be the solution to modify the file names, but the Bulk Rename Utility will make it much easier. Take e.g. the LAStools las2las command, which appends _1 to each file name… Easily removed with this utility.

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