Developer tools & tricks

Written by Darren Bruning on
Developer tools & tricks

Developer tools & tricks

This is a list of tools & techniques that I use every day. It’s inspired by Scott Hanselman's 2014 Ultimate Developer and Power Users Tool List for Windows, and like all my blog posts it’s a work in progress


How many times each day do you type in your email address? It’s only a keystroke away with Autohotkey.

I’ve got ctrl-shift-e setup to type in my email address, and then hit “left” a bunch of times to position the cursor just to the left of the @ symbol:

Why position the cursor to the left of the @ symbol? Because if you have an email address, you can type and Google will ignore the +anything. Why is that useful?

  • When you’re signing up for a new service, use the email address and then when you get spammed to that email address you’ll know they have sold you out.
  • When you need to sign up to a service multiple times (e.g. for testing), you can use different variations (e.g. for different test cases)
  • Need a longish and complexish password for something where you don’t actually care about the security? Just hit this hotkey and type something additional (e.g. some caps or symbols) and you’re done

I’ve also got a hotkey for ctrl-semicolon setup to insert the current date:

;ctrl-semicolon = insert current date e.g. 2015-11-18
^;::send %A_YYYY%-%A_MM%-%A_DD%

Why is that useful? When I’m scanning and/or filing documents, I rename them to have the date at the start.

Sumatra PDF reader

There are many PDF readers out there, and Sumatra PDF certainly isn’t the prettiest. But it’s fast, it’s free, and it has one killer feature: hit F2 to rename the file you’re looking at.