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4 minute read - Recommended Tools

Recommended Tools to Support Testing

Jun 2, 2019

My Primary Tool is Total Validator Pro

I use it from the Chrome Extension when working on local web design (hint: set “Include / Stop after 1 pages tested” to work with a single page).

And I use it to spider a full site for more information.

I have also been known to use Xenu but this is windows only.

I also use Web Site Auditor.

As a SAAS tool I use Hexometer to monitor sites and scan them for missing links and validation issues.

I use to track SSL expiry and uptime:

Microsoft Virtual Machines

Microsoft release a set of virtual machines to support testing on their current operating systems and browsers.

These have a tendency to move around, so I will amend this link below and try to refer to this from my site, rather than amend many posts each time it moves.

The VMs can run on VirtualBox, VMWare and some other virtualisation systems.

FreePlane, FreeMind Mind Map Tooling

I use FreePlane for creating MindMaps. FreePlane is a fork of FreeMind.


  • Out of the box pdf export with no additional drivers
  • A good organic layout is created automatically
  • I can script it if I want to with Groovy
  • It can support attributes on the nodes now
  • The file format is easy peasy xml for easy parsing and manipulation
  • It is fast and when not in use doesn’t hog my processor
  • Very easy to use
  • It is cross platform

The fact that it is free and open source is a bonus and means that anyone can benefit from this tool with no monetary investment. I thoroughly recommend trying this tool out.

Online Utilities


  • Turndown for converting HTML to markdown


I rely on SnagIt and CloudApp as my screenshot tools.

In the past I have used:


I normally just use browser dev tools, but sometimes it is useful to have an isolated tool for handling XPath .e.g sketchpath

Browser Dev Tools and Extensions

I used to use a bunch of plugins for dev tools to help with XPath, CSS, etc. e.g FirePath, XPather, FireFinder, etc. But the dev tools have now reached the point that I use them raw without any plugins.

Chrome Browser Extensions

Firefox Browser Extensions

HTTP Proxies


An easy to use proxy that records all the traffic between your browser and the server. It lets you set breakpoints and ‘fiddle’ i.e. change, the responses and requests - great for simulating odd conditions and conducting exploratory testing.

It has an ‘autoresponder’ facility where, given a url pattern, you can have fiddler respond with 404’s or saved files.

Java IDE and Plugins

I use IntelliJ as my IDE. I use the inbuilt ‘run with code coverage’ to determine Code Coverage of my Unit tests and TDD work.

I use the following plugins:

Both of the above help me conduct objective code reviews when writing my own code, and offer pointers to help me improve my Java coding. I don’t follow all their advice, but it helps me understand the decisions I am making as I code.

In the past I used Eclipse with Emma, PMD, FindBugs, QAPlug.

Modelling tools

Misc Windows

  • AutoIt, and the SciTE4AutoIt editor.
  • WinMerge for folder comparison
  • free grep and tail with easy to use GUI on windows, with no install routine they are perfect for your usb toolkit
  • sysinternals tools - network, file and memory monitoring, etc.
  • Resource Hacker
    • Resource Hacker (TM) is a freeware tool for viewing the resources embedded in a Win32 executable. What hidden secrets await me if I test the application hard enough: What error messages have I not triggered? What icons and pictures have I not seen? What general strings have I not encountered?

Misc Cross Platform

Regular Expresssions

Much as I appreciate the conciseness, usefulness and elegance of Regular Expressions; I just don’t use them enough to have mastered them or keep the rules in my memory. I used to rely on “Mastering Regular Expressions”, which I still find very useful. But now I use one of the online tools to help me most often.