Microsoft has added three new features in PowerToys, namely, Screen Ruler, Quick Accent, and Text Extractor. PowerToys is available on GitHub for download. In this article, we will see how to use Screen Ruler, Quick Accent, and Text Extractor in PowerToys.
How to use Screen Ruler in PowerToys
The Screen Ruler utility in PowerToys lets you measure pixels on your screen based on image edge direction. This feature is helpful for graphics designers, 3D designers, etc., as they can measure the pixels in their images directly by using the Screen Ruler.
To use Screen Ruler, you have to enable it. The following instructions will help you enable Screen Ruler in PowerToys:
- Click on Windows Search and type PowerToys.
- Select PowerToys from the search results. This will open the PowerToys Settings.
- Now, select Screen Ruler from the left pane.
- Turn on the button next to Enable Screen Ruler.
After turning Screen Ruler on, you can launch it by using its keyboard shortcut. By default, the shortcut to launch Screen Ruler is Win + Shift + M. But you can change this keyboard shortcut by clicking on the pencil icon next to Activation Shortcut.
The Behavior section lets you do more with the Screen Ruler utility.
- Capture screen continuously during measuring: You can turn on this feature if you want to measure pixels on your screen in real time. Disabling this feature will take only a snapshot of the screen. Let’s say you want to measure the pixels in a GIF image. If you turn off this feature, Screen Ruler will pause the GIF while taking the measurements.
- Per color channel edge detection: If this feature is enabled, the Screen Ruler will test if the color channels are within a tolerance distance from each other.
- Pixel tolerance for edge detection: You can change the pixel tolerance level on your screen for measurement by moving the Pixel tolerance for edge detection slider.
- Draw feet on cross: If you turn on this feature, the Screen Ruler will add feet to the end of cross lines.
- Line color: You can change the line color of the Screen Ruler.
When you activate Screen Ruler by pressing the desired shortcut keys, the Screen Ruler toolbar will appear on the top of your screen. It contains four different functions for pixel measurement on a screen.
- Bounds: After selecting Bounds, you can measure pixels on your screen by drawing a rectangle. Press and hold the left mouse click and drag it in any direction to draw the rectangle. As you start drawing the rectangle, the Screen Ruler will start measuring the pixels on your screen.
- Spacing: This is a cross-shaped sign. Select it if you want to measure pixels in both horizontal and vertical directions.
- Horizontal spacing: It lets you measure the pixels on your screen in the horizontal direction.
- Vertical spacing: It lets you measure the pixels on your screen in the vertical direction.
How to use Quick Accent in PowerToys
By adding the Quick Accent feature to PowerToys, Microsoft has made it easy for users to type accented characters. To use this feature, enable Quick Accent in PowerToys. The following steps will help you enable Quick Accent in PowerToys:
- Open PowerToys Settings.
- Select Quick Accent from the left side.
- Turn on the switch next to Enable Quick Accent.
You can select the activation key by clicking on the respective drop-down. By default, the Quick Accent toolbar is activated by pressing either the left or right arrow keys or the spacebar along with the English alphabet key on the keyboard. Under the Toolbar section, you can select the Quick Accent toolbar position on your screen.
The Behavior section lets you enter the input delay for Quick Accent. You have to press and hold the key for the time defined under this section to show the Quick Accent toolbar on your screen. The time entered here is in milliseconds.
To use Quick Accent, press and hold a letter key on your keyboard and immediately press the activation key. For example, you have set the spacebar as an activation key for the Quick Accent toolbar in your PowerToys settings. Now, if you want to view all the accented characters for the letter A, press and hold A on your keyboard and immediately press the spacebar. This will show the Quick Accent toolbar on your screen.
How to use Text Extractor in PowerToys
Text Extractor is an amazing feature of PowerToys. You can compare this feature with the OCR software or tools. Text Extractor lets you extract the text in the selected area on your screen. To enable this feature, follow the steps written below:
- Open PowerToys Settings.
- Select Text Extractor from the left side.
- Turn on the switch next to Enable Text Extractor.
By default, the shortcut keys to activate Text Extractor are Win + Shift + T. But you can change these keys by clicking on the pencil icon next to the Activation shortcut option.
Activate the Text Extractor by pressing the shortcut keys defined for it. After that, a cross similar to the snipping tool will appear on your screen. Now, draw a rectangle on your screen to capture the desired area. Text Extractor will automatically copy the text written under the captured area to the Clipboard. Now, you can paste the copied text anywhere.
Visit github.com to download the latest version of PowerToys.
How do I use Microsoft PowerToys?
Microsoft PowerToys is a set of utilities that helps users boost their productivity. After installing PowerToys, you can do more with your system. For example, you can make any app appear always on the top by pressing the desired shortcut. PowerToys also has a color picker that lets you pick any color from your screen. The Keyboard Manager lets you map your keyboard and the Mouse Utilities lets you manage and control your mouse actions. To use PowerToys, you just have to press the desired keyboard shortcut for a particular action.
How do I pick color anywhere on my screen?
You can use free color picker software to pick colors anywhere on your screen. If you do not want to install third-party software, you can install Microsoft PowerToys. It is a set of utilities that will boost your productivity. After installing PowerToys, press the desired shortcut to launch the color picker. You can view or change the keyboard shortcuts by opening PowerToys settings.
I hope this helps.
Read next: How to use Awake PowerToy to keep computer awake.