Microsoft PowerToys 0.51 adds a mouse highlighter for presentations

Microsoft PowerToys 0.51 adds a mouse highlighter for presentations

Microsoft’s PowerToys suite is getting an update to version 0.51 today, adding a new tool called Mouse Highlighter. This is different from the Find My Mouse feature introduced in the last version, and it’s more so geared towards presentations.

When you enable Mouse Highlighter – which you can do by pressing WindowsShiftN simultaneously – a yellow circle will show up around your mouse whenever you click the left or right buttons. If you’re trying to show someone how to follow specific steps on their computer, this feature can make it that much clearer when you’re clicking on an item. It can also serve for viewers to locate your mouse.

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Meanwhile, the recently-launched Find My Mouse tool is getting some improvements with PowerToys0.51, too. If you noticed the feature wasn’t working when using different virtual desktops, that should be fixed now. Microsoft also added a few customization options, so now you can choose things like the spotlight and background color when locating your mouse, the size of the spotlight, and the duration of the animation.

There are actually a ton of improvements to different utilities that are part of PowerToys. FancyZones has a new window switching functionality so you can assign two apps to the same zone and switch between them with a keyboard shortcut, along with improvements to follow the system theme colors more faithfully. Meanwhile, the Image Resizer can now remove non-essenntial metadata from images when resizing, reducing the overall file size further. The full list of changes is below, but be aware that it’s a long one:

What's new in PowerToys 0.51

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.

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

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.

One tool that isn’t available with PowerToys 0.51 is called Always on Top, and it does exactly what you’d think. This will allow you to choose any window you want to always be on top of other windows, but the team says it’s still looking into how it would feel the best. Lead developer Clint  Rutkas noted that the feature should be available in the next release.

You can download PowerToys 0.51 from GitHub, or check for updates in your PowerToys app if you already have it.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.

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