Free Programming Tools

Executable Compressors, Source Code Beautifiers, etc

Miscellaneous Free Programming Tools

This page lists an assortment of programmers tools useful for programmers in the course of software development. Note that some of these tools have been moved to their own page, so if you can't find them here, check the main free programming tools page.

Programming Tools Sorted By Category

Here's a brief breakdown of the tools by category. The largest category is the "Miscellaneous" category below - so if you can't find the utility or resource you're looking for in this category list, just click the "Miscellaneous" link.

(The list is more or less sorted alphabetically.)

Related Pages

Free Executable Compression Utilities


UPX, or Ultimate Packer for eXecutables, compresses executable binaries on Win32, Win16, MSDOS, Linux, Atari/TOS. The compressed binaries will be transparently decompressed and executed when your users run your program. This is useful if you want smaller disk footprints for your programs, or your are writing things like setup programs that need to be small.


Petite is a Win32 executable compressor for EXE and DLL files. The compressed executables are transparently expanded at runtime. You can only use it for freeware programs.

Free Source Code Beautifiers

Artistic Style

Artistic Style is a formatter for C, C++, C# and Java source code. It automatically re-indents and reformats the source code fed into it. It is released under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL).

GNU Indent

GNU indent allows you to beautify your C source code by changing the indentation scheme of the source code to a desired format.


This is a C and C++ source code beautifier, able to replace tabs with space or the reverse. You can use this to give all the source files of your program common formatting.

Free Rapid Application Development (RAD) and Free Application / GUI Builders

The software previously listed in this section have been moved to their own page. Please see the Free GUI Builders, Application Builders and Rapid Application Development (RAD) Software instead.

Free Program Maintenance Utilities (Make)

The free MAKE tools listed here have been moved to their own web page. Please go to the Free Make Utilities page instead.

Miscellaneous Free Programming Tools / Utilities

TurboPower String Resource Manager

Build string resource libraries in Delphi with this tool that "prevents string resource clashes and simplifies the translation of string resources".

API Monitor

This tool allows you to monitor the API calls made by a Windows application. It is useful in figuring out how other applications work as well as in tracking problems in your own program by examining the API calls it makes.

FiST - Stackable File System Language and Templates

FiST is a code generator for creating stackable file systems out of templates and a high level language. It comes with templates for Linux, Solaris and FreeBSD, as well as sample file systems built with FiST, namely an encryption file system, a compression file system, etc.


This program creates a skeleton source package for a program according to programmer specifications and GNU programming standards. The package that is created uses autoconf to configure itself and automake to generate the Makefile. Autoproject is distributed under the GPL.


This utility simplifies the use of the GNU getopt_long() function, used to parse command line arguments. It reads a interface file from standard input and creates a skeleton C main() function.


COBF is a C/C++ source code obfuscator. It changes your source code files in such a way that it remains compilable and yet is not easily understood by humans. It is supposed to be useful where you want to release source code but do not want others to plagiarize your code. The unobfuscated sources are provided along with binaries for Win32, MSDOS and Linux.


Cxref is a cross referencing utility for ANSI C, K&R C, and most popular GNU extensions. Such a tool is particularly useful when you are faced with the maintenance of somebody else's program or attempting to document a program (even your own).

Programming Language Creator

According to the documentation, the Programming Language Creator is designed to enable you "to easily create new programming languages, or create interpreted versions of any compiled language" without the need for you to wrestle with yacc and lex. If you want your application to have a scripting language, you might want to look at this to see if it meets your requirements. The binaries, available free, are for Win32, and the source code is available for a fee.

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