Interactive tutorials can provide instant feedback on your work, and turn learning into a fun game. Many are Web-based, and most are free.
Delightfully tiny utility LICEcap lets you create GIFs showing on-screen action, to quickly communicate software features and issues.
Stardock's latest customization tool for Windows 8 doesn't fight the Start screen. It customizes it.
Screenshots are invaluable in daily office life, whether they're for shiny product pages or just to better explain a technical issue you've stumbled on. Here are six excellent (and mostly free) screenshot tools.
Staring into a monitor late at night can make it hard to fall asleep later. There's a solution, and it's free.
WinZip 18 comes with optional add-ons that may mean most users never see the main application window.
It turns out Instagram can be better on your computer than it is on your phone. Pixta, formerly Instagrille, is the secret.
Web-based text outliners range from Notepad-like simplicity to sophisticated, searchable, collapsible idea wranglers.
Already an excellent product, Corel Painter X3 improves on its predecessor by making some of its hidden features more easily accessible to beginners.
Learn all about NASA's Mars rover using its official Windows 8 app. Sadly, you don't get to drive.
Soluto's commercial service is much cheaper than the competition, but its remote control feature is not quite there yet.
Web-based RSS reader NewsBlur is one man's labor of love, but has features and polish that many established players could envy.
With its wide selection of paintbrushes and textured papers, sophisticated natural media simulation, and accessible interface, ArtRage is a compelling option for both budding and established digital painters.
Dragon Notes bills itself as a sticky-note app with voice recognition, but really, it's little more than a demo for Nuance's voice recognition prowess.
With snappy previews that treat Modern apps as first-class citizens and clever window tiles, there's a lot to like in Emcee. Sadly, a couple of critical shortcomings keep it from becoming a truly useful everyday tool.
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