Microsoft has launched a new feature for PowerToys, a utility suite, named Crop and Lock. This tool enables users to crop an application window to display only the required details. Initially revived by Microsoft in 2019, the PowerToys suite has been made open-source on GitHub. The suite comprises other useful features such as plaintext pasting and the ability to keep an application always viewable.
The 'Reparent' mode, as Microsoft describes, facilitates more interaction but might have compatibility challenges with certain apps. This useful feature is worth considering for those who rely heavily on their Windows apps for daily tasks.
The PowerToys Crop And Lock tool lets you crop an active application window to create a smaller version or simply generate a thumbnail. To initiate cropping, focus on the target window and use the designated shortcut.
Thumbnail: This mode creates a window presenting the cropped area from the primary window. Although any updates in the main window's cropped section will reflect on the thumbnail, you cannot operate the main application via the thumbnail window. This mode is known for its compatibility with multiple applications.
Reparent: This mode generates a new window that takes the place of the original, displaying only the cropped segment. Here, you will interact with the application via the cropped window. If you close the cropped window, the primary window will be restored. However, this mode is not always compatible, as some windows may not adapt well to being incorporated into another application. If you face issues with a window not adjusting well to the "Reparent" mode, switch to the "Thumbnail" mode.
Cropping maximized or full-screen windows in the "Reparent" mode may be faulty. Instead, you might want to adjust the window size to match screen edges.
Some UWP apps, like the Windows Calculator, might not be conducive to cropping in the "Reparent" mode.
Applications with sub-windows or multiple tabs, like Notepad and OneNote, might not function well when cropped in "Reparent" mode.
Microsoft's Crop and Lock feature significantly enhances user interaction with Windows applications. The feature, designed to provide flexibility and increase productivity, allows a convenient way to focus only on essential details within an app. However, the potential compatibility issues in the 'Reparent' mode are notable, indicating that Microsoft continues to innovate while considering diverse app environments.
Microsoft has unveiled a new feature for its PowerToys utility suite, Crop and Lock. This tool enables you to crop an app window to highlight only the features you want visible. The company resurrected PowerToys in 2019 and made it an open-source resource on GitHub, bundling it with other utilities like plaintext pasting and the ability to keep an app always on top. Crop and Lock is compatible with both Windows 11 and Windows 10 v2004 (19041) or later versions. It has two modes: Thumbnail crop that's a live feed and more interactive 'Reparent' mode which could face compatibility issues with some apps.
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