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Best Alternatives to Microsoft PowerToys for Linux

It also allows us to perform mathematical operations, convert units, execute system commands, among many other functions. To invoke this function, we must press the Alt + Spacebar key combination, the same key function that Spotlight shows, the native search engine available in macOS.

If you want to implement this functionality on Linux, the solution is to use Albert. When we run Albert, a text box is displayed in the center of the screen from where we can enter search termsperform mathematical or currency conversion operations, run programs, translate texts, as well as many other functions.

Albert is available through its website for download completely free of charge.

Resize images

If you usually work with images and have the need to use a specific resolution, PowerToys Image Resizing function is ideal, since it allows us to establish a series of pre-established values ​​to change the size of an image through the right button of the mouse. mouse including the ability to reduce the image quality level in the same action.

On Linux, if you don’t mind using the command line, we can use the ImageMagick application, an application with which we can change the format of images in addition to its size with a simple command that is very easy to remember. The first thing we must do is install the ImageMagick application as we usually do on Linux.

Next, you use the command convert followed by the name of the image together with the extension, we establish what resolution we want it to have with the variable -resize and enter the name of the image along with the new format. It is easier to explain with an example. If we use the command

convert softzone.jpg -resize 2000x1000 softzone.png

By entering this command, the softzone.jpg image will be resized to 2000x maintaining the aspect resolution and the final file will have a .png extension, instead of the original .jpg.

Preview a file

The function available in PowerToys that allows us to see a preview of the file that we select with the mouse through the File Explorer, is not good. It is one of the options that I have never particularly understood because it is still available, since it does not provide a solution that helps improve productivity, unless we like to spend hours inside the File Explorer.

Linux Preview

Personally, on Windows I use the Quick Look app, a free app available from the Microsoft Store. With this application, I only have to press on the space bar once I have selected the file that I want to preview. This function is the same that macOS offers in its operating system and that at the moment, it is still not available natively for Windows.

We can also activate the quick view or quick look function in Linux using the GNOME Sushi application, an application that integrates with GNOME Files and that allows us to open a preview of any document by pressing the space bar in a new window. GNOME Sushi is available from the GitHub page for this project.

Prevent your computer from shutting down

The PowerToys Awake function allows the computer to be always awake and with the screen on, prevents it from going to sleep, so it is always waiting to receive any type of request. The Linux equivalent is called Caffeine, an app that’s also available for macOS.

Caffeine - Alternative Awake PowerToys

When running Caffeine, the icon of a cup of coffee will be displayed in the status bar indicating that our team is going to be awake all the time as necessary until we manually turn it off or close the app. While the macOS version has a large number of operating options, the Linux version only has two modes: off or on.

Caffeine is available for download completely free of charge through its website.

keyboard manager

Without leaving Linux, within the system itself we have at our disposal the application Keyboard Manageran application that allows us to change the keyboard shortcuts that we use the most to adapt them to our needs, just like the Keyboard Manager function of PowerToys.

With this application, we can reassign the operation of the keys and key combinations to adapt them to our way of working, whether programming, designing, editing photos with GIMP, editing videos professionally…

Shortcut Guide

Knowing all the keyboard shortcuts of each and every one of the applications that we have installed on a computer is an impossible mission, especially if we do not usually use them on a regular basis. The solution with PowerToys is found in the Keyboard Shortcuts Guide.

In Linux, there is no need to resort to third-party applications, since we can use the application Shortcut Guidean application that will show us a floating window with all the keyboard shortcuts available in the application that we have open at that moment.

The alternative to FancyZones

Managing the operation, size and position of applications on the desktop is an essential feature in any operating system. Although in Windows 10 the management of windows has improved a lot, with the FancyZones function of PowerToys it is a delight. With the release of Windows 11, Microsoft incorporated a window management system that surpasses PowerToys.

FancyZones for Linux

But for Linux users, a plugin is needed to improve window management and layout. The easiest solution is to use the Tilling Assistant application, an application available on GitHub at this link. Tiling Assistant allows us to choose different types of configurations beyond the default double panel, it automatically resizes the size of the windows as well as offering the option to customize the design.

Another interesting alternative to the FanzyZones functionality of Microsoft’s PowerToys can be found in Snappy Zones, an application that emulates the operation of this utility for Windows, allowing users to drag and drop application windows to certain areas of the screen.

rename files

The alternative to the PowerRename function available in PowerToys also has its alternative for Linux in the hands of GPRename. Thanks GPRename we can rename files in bulk both through the command line and using the Linux graphical interface.

GPRename

The first thing we need to do to start bulk renaming files on Linux with GPRename is to install using the command

sudo apt install gprename

Once installed, we find the application in the section Accessories of our distro. If you use a distro other than Ubuntu or Debian, you can download this application through the developer’s website by clicking on the following link.

Turn off the microphone

if we want mute microphone temporarily while making video calls, there is no need to resort to third-party applications, since this function is available within the Linux key combination options.

To create a keyboard shortcut in Linux that allows us to activate and deactivate the microphone, we access the Linux configuration options, specifically the Key Combinations section. Next, click on Mute or not the microphone and establish the combination of keys that we want to use to perform this action.

mute linux microphone

If the Linux distribution is very old and this option is not available within the configuration options, we can create a keyboard shortcut using the following command to disable the microphone within the keyboard shortcuts options.

amix set Capture nocap

The command that we must use to reactivate the microphone is:

amix set Capture cap

Finally, we must associate a keyboard shortcut or a key to run both commands quicklyas well as the Mute Video Conference option available in PowerToys.

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