Sharing a passion for Linux and open source, with a decidedly non-techie slant

Another 3 Useful Desktop Utilities

Here's a quick look at another trio of useful little tools for the Linux desktop that can help you quickly and efficiently tackle some simple tasks.

The utilities I'm about to look at are ones that you might not always use, but which are handy to have around when you need them.

Let's jump in, shall we?

Eyedropper

The world would be a bit dull without a dash of colour here and there. But what happens if you come across a colour that you like, but can't quite identify? A colour that you might want to use in an image, in a CSS selector, or on your computer's desktop?

That's were Eyedropper comes in. Use to suck up a colour you see online or on somewhere on your desktop (like in an image or document), and get that colour's information. When you first fire up Eyedropper, this window displays:

Eyedropper when you start it up

Click Pick a Colour. Your mouse cursor turns into a circle. Hover over the colour for which you want to get information and then left click. Eyedropper does its thing, as shown below:

Colour chosen in Eyedropper

As you can see, Eyedropper displays colour codes in five regularly-used formats. Just click the copy icon beside the code and pasts it into, say, a CSS file and you're ready to go.

Tuner

Radio isn't dead. In fact, you can argue that the internet had kept radio not just alive but has helped it to thrive. There are hundreds or more radio stations online, and more than a few internet radio clients for the Linux desktop. One that I've taken a liking to is Tuner. While it's fairly bare bones, Tuner works very well.

When you start it up for the first time, you can view a random selection of stations, ones that have been Trending over the past 24 hours, or the most Popular ones from the last 24 hours. An example of some trending stations is shown below:

Tuner's list of trending stations

You can find stations under the list of Genres on the left side of the menu, or use the search box to find stations by their names — for example, I did search for stations at SomaFM.

Once you've found a station you like and want to return to again, you can click the Star this station icon in the header to add it to your Starred by You list, as shown below:

Favourites added to Tuner

PDF Slicer

Every so often, you need to do some basic manipulation on a PDF file. One utility that's well suited for that task is PDF Slicer.

To use it, launch PDF Slicer and open the PDF file that you want to edit.

PDF Slicer, with a file loaded

Select one or more pages. Then, using the controls at the bottom the application window (shown in the image below), you can:

Closeup of PDF Slicer's controls

By clicking the + icon in the toolbar, you can insert another PDF either at the beginning or the end of the file you're working on.

PDF Slicer is small, it's fast, and only has a few functions. But for many people, it's more than enough for doing simple work with PDF files.

Scott Nesbitt

#linux #desktop #utilities