3 open source apps for Windows

Find ease with these apps for screen capture, file preview, and clipboard management.
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When switching from one kind of computer to another, use open source tools to continue working with ease.

For me, I worked on a Mac for many years, and now I have to work on a Windows machine at my job. I really miss a few of the MacOS features, so I set out to find open source solutions to these and other Windows conundra. Here are three to get you started.


Greenshot is a simple screen capture app.

Simply press the Print Screen key on Windows and position the crosshairs to select the portion of the screen you want to capture. Once you release the key, a pop-up will present several options to save the image. The simplest is Save directly, which creates a PNG file of about 2MB.

You can download Greenshot from getgreenshot.org or find the source code on GitHub.

selecting a screen capture in Greenshot



QuickLook is a file preview app. 

As QuickLook's developer writes on GitHub:

"One of the few features I missed from MacOS X is Quick Look. It allows the user to peek into a file with lightning speed by just pressing the Space key."

I totally agree! This handy app does exactly that by simply single-clicking the icon and pressing the spacebar. It works great for image files, such as JPG and PNG, as well as DOCX, PDF, AI, MP4, and other files. While it doesn't preview INDD files and some others, it will show the metadata. You can find QuickLook on GitHub.

QuickLook sample



Ditto is a clipboard manager.

Have you ever copied something to the Clipboard—a URL or text string—then copied something else and lost the first entry? Well, no more. With Ditto, you can save multiple Clipboard entries in an easy-to-use list that can be accessed with the Show hidden icons button on the taskbar. You can find Ditto on SourceForge.


Ditto saves multiple clips


Bonus: Ramme

I've previously written about Ramme, the Windows Instagram photo uploader, but it's worth adding to this list of handy Windows apps created by open source developers.

Whether you work on Windows, Mac, or Linux, many open source apps will make the computing experience fit your unique style. If you know of other handy apps to add to this list, please share them in the comments section.

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Jeff Macharyas is the Director of Marketing at Corning Community College in New York. He is a writer, graphic designer and communications director who has worked in publishing, higher education and project management for many years.


The was once a need for Greenshot but Microsoft has (finally) caught up with a Linux feature; W10 has SnippingTool.exe which allows partial screen shots. Back in the W7 days, I used to run KDE on the Windows boxes work forces me to use to achieve screen shots of parts of the screen.

Ditto has a somewhat worrying feature. On setup there is check box "Add Windows Firewall exception for Ditto on port 23443". Does this mean that it is sending my data to a server somewhere? Still it is useful to have a clipboard with more that one entry, something that KDE has had for ever. Maybe Gnome also? (I don't use Gnome.)

Would someone know of a screen pointer highlighter to draw a circle around the pointer for presentations, and open source. The only one I found is PenAttention, but it needs some love on Windows 7. Unfortunately I am not versed in .Net.



I think I'll take a quick look at QuickLook! :)

I hate how long it takes on Windows (10) to pull up a picture with the miserable Photos app. I have enough time to open a browser, navigate to my ownCloud server, log in and open it from there sometimes!

Thanks for the list.

The QuickLook is also available through the Microsoft Store, though he states it doesn't work with Windows 10 S.

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