Microsoft PowerToys 0.51.0 adds presentation mode to highlight the mouse, and more

PowerToys logo against a green and black background

No, you are not dreaming, you did not miss out on the news of PowerToys 0.50.0 release, Microsoft has skipped over that number entirely (even numbers are reserved for Experimental releases) and released 0.51.0. Release 0.49.1 really was the last release that happened just over a month ago.

Back to this release, Microsoft has added in a presentation mode helper to highlight the mouse when you click. The Find my mouse toy also gained some additional settings to enable more customization. The PowerToys dev team further states that they've been focusing work on the "Always on Top" system to help make any window to be the top most. A lot of thought is currently going into interaction models to make sure it 'feels' right for toggling as well as visualizing.

This release does not include any new PowerToys, so there's no 'What's new' section this time around, however, existing PowerToys did get some new features, fixes and improvements. You can view the full changelog below.

Changelog

Things to note

  • We shifted our localization internal service and are working on adding automated integrations back in.

PowerToys Awake

  • System tray and settings use same language for turning things on.

Color Picker

  • New formats added to copy colors as a float or decimal value.
  • Adjust color window now accepts lower-case HEX codes.

FancyZones

  • New window switching functionality! Now users can assign multiple windows to a zone and cycle between them using the Win + PgDn/PgUp commands by default. Thanks @FLOAT4!
  • Added functionality for zones to adopt system accent color and theme. Thanks @davidegiacometti!
  • Added visual preview of zone appearance in settings menu. Thanks @niels9001!
  • Fixed bug where FancyZones crashes on launch.

Image Resizer

  • Fixed bug where resizing images creates empty folders.
  • Added option to remove non-essential metadata. Helps significantly reduce the size of files. Thanks @CleanCodeDeveloper!
  • Fixed bug caused by Image Resizer receiving an unexpected property type or value. Thanks @CleanCodeDeveloper!

Mouse utilities

  • Find My Mouse: Improved functionality to activate when user double click time configuration is set above 100ms.
  • Find My Mouse: Fixed display on all virtual desktops as opposed to only the virtual desktop where it was created.
  • Find My Mouse: New settings to enable a lot more customization based on your feedback.
  • Minor UI tweaks for fluent icons, appearance, Ctrl usage, and utility descriptions. Thanks @niels9001!
  • New Mouse Highlighter PowerToy! When enabled, activate mouse highlighting with Win + Shift + H by default to begin displaying visual cues on your display when either the left or right mouse buttons are clicked. There is a much more powerful tool called SysInternal ZoomIt that is very helpful as well.

highlighter turned on while dragging mouse

PowerRename

  • Improved rename performance! This is now at parity (or better) with the prior version based on multiple tests.
  • Added keyboard accelerators with Enter and Ctrl + Enter to execute rename. Thanks @niels9001!
  • UI tweaks to now add number of items selected, grid-lines for improved readability, reduced font sizes & margins, and improved window resizing.
  • Fixed UI focus issues. Thanks @niels9001!
  • Added default window width and height. Thanks @niels9001!
  • Added PowerRename event logging for BugReportTool

PowerToys Run

  • New entries added for settings plugin. Thanks @htcfreek!
  • Added support for application URI handling like mailto: and ms-settings:. Thanks @franky920920!
  • Added DevContainer workspaces to search results of the VSCode Workspaces Plugin. Thanks @JacobDeuchert!
  • Fixes for crashing issues.

Shortcut Guide

  • Added rounded corners to keys and tooltips, and system accent colors for desktop backdrop. Thanks @niels9001!

Settings

  • Fixed default settings window size to prevent it from opening offscreen. Thanks @davidegiacometti!

Video Conference Mute

  • Minor UI tweaks for icon, clear button, and overlay image selection #14248. Thanks @niels9001!

Prototype work

  • Always on top prototype of being actively worked on. Right now you hit a key-combo and it enables it. We are investigating ways to highlight the window in some form as well.

Installer

  • Investigated how to fully shift to WIX bootstrapper and remove custom boot strapper
  • Investigated how to fully shift to HKCU vs HKLM.

Random helping out

There's also some development considerations that have been noted for this release which you can view below.

Development relevant

  • Focusing on cleaning up backlog of issues and developing a method to aid in prioritizing. @Dend and @crutkas are partnering to see if we can develop one signal to see what we are calling 'centers of gravity'.
  • Our primary dev branch is now named Main.
  • Adjusting plugin folder structure for PT Run #10796
  • Working on shifting our release pipeline onto same system that Windows Terminal uses.
  • Improvements to environment variable usage/update process in PT Run. Thanks @htcfreek!
  • Update .NET to 3.1.20.
  • Centralized process list in the BugReportTool.
  • Registry handling improvement for MSI and File Explorer add-ons.
powertoys screenshot

PowerToys is Microsoft's open-source project that offers a collection of nifty tools that people can use to customize the Windows 10 or 11 UI and experience to their liking. As we know, depending upon feedback and general stability, some of the utilities also make their way to the OS eventually. A prominent example of this is Snap Layouts and Span Groups in Windows 11 which borrow heavily from the FanzyZones tool in PowerToys.

If you are using PowerToys in Windows 11, you can grab it in the Microsoft Store. For others in Windows 10, you can open the app and click on "Check for updates" under the updates section on the General tab. Those who would like to try PowerToys for the first time can grab the version 0.51.0 installer from the app's GitHub page.

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