While building applications, games, css/xhtml Web sites, etc. it often becomes evident that a new tool is required. Just like some early inventor realized that pounding a nail with a rock was less efficient than it needed to be, the keen developer will come up with shortcuts.

Escape Characters IconEscape Characters - Web
I often find myself constructing urls by hand in an attempt to test out some new Net app. Inevitably, I need to use some character which needs to be encoded before transmission (#, %, &&, etc.). At some point I coded up this quick little form/javascript combo that I keep locally for quick checks of the appropriate codes. It's one of those things that saves maybe 30 seconds each time it's used. That's two whole hours over the course of your life!
>> Download or try it

Web Developer IconWeb Developer extension for Mozilla Firefox - Firefox
Wow! This is a must have for anyone who develops Web content. If your primary browser isn't Firefox then this might be the reason to switch. The Web Developer extension for Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla adds a menu and a toolbar to the browser with various web developer tools. It was developed by Chris Pederick and has useful features like: view with/without styles, switch window size, show/hide images, outline all block level css elements (!!!), validation checks and tons more.
>> Check it out at

Favelets IconFavelets - Web
I did not invent favelets. These are just too useful to not mention, though. Favelets (sometimes called bookmarklets) are mini applications embedded into an Internet shortcut (favorite, bookmark, etc.). They use the "javascript:" url methodology to perform a useful, one-off action. Several that I tend to keep handy are favelets for switching my window size to 640x480 and 800x600, turning off my style sheets and doing a quick Babelfish translation.
>> Check them out at

Web Windows IconWeb Windows - Web
Speaking of sizing your browser window to 800x600 to see how your site will look, years ago I created these graphics that I set as my desktop wallpapers. When I needed to check out how a site I was developing looked at a particular screen size I would just size the window to fit into the outline on my desktop. Not particularly useful now, but I still get a few downloads of these every week so I thought I'd keep them around for now. Remember to set your desktop image NOT to stretch.
>> Download for the Mac
>> Download for the Windows