Parallels Toolbox 5.1 is Now Available!

New tools, a new icon, and lots of improvements

Like many other people, I am a big fan of Parallels® Toolbox, and I use several different tools every day. So, when the Toolbox engineering team offered me the chance to use the new Toolbox 5.1 ahead of its release today, I jumped at the chance.

New Tools: One New Mac Tool and One New Windows Tool

There are two versions of Parallels Toolbox: one for Mac and the other for Windows. While there is a great deal of overlap between the two versions, they aren’t exactly the same. The main reason for this is that what would be a great tool on the Mac might not be so useful on Windows, and vice versa.

The new Mac tool is CPU temperature (Figure 1). This tool tells you the temperature of each of the CPU cores on your Mac, and also lists the fan speeds cooling off these cores. Heat is one of the major causes of “wear & tear” on electronics, and the geek in me likes to know about the temperature of my Mac. It is also interesting to see which applications cause the CPU temperature to rise significantly.

Toolbox 5.1
Figure 1_The new CPU Temperature tool

The new tool on the Windows side is Transform Text, which was released for Mac with Parallels Toolbox 5.0. (You can read about Transform Text in this blog post.)

New Parallels Toolbox Icon

Keeping up with the stylistic trends on the Mac, the Toolbox icon has been simplified, and now is more recognizable in the Mac menu bar (Figure 2).

Toolbox 5.1
Figure 2_The new Parallels Toolbox icon

Lots of Improvements for Individual Tools

There are lots of improvements in the 50+ tools in the Mac version of Parallels Toolbox. The improvement that I am most pleased about is the support for vertical text in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean within the Recognize Text tool. You can read more about this improvement in the updated blog post, also published today. In addition to support for vertical text in Asian languages, the recognition quality of all languages has been significantly improved. The Recognize Text tool is my second-most-used tool, and I deal with Japanese and Chinese text all the time, so you can see why this is the improvement that I am most pleased about.

While I am most pleased with the Recognize Text tool improvements, the improvement many users have asked for is to increase the size of the main Toolbox window and add a grid view. You can now resize the window vertically when you are viewing the full Library of tools, and you can choose between a list view and a grid view. (Figure 3).

Figure 3_The main Toolbox window can now be re-sized vertically

Other Improvements:

Some Mac developers are having issues with the notch in the new Mac models (MacRumors, The Verge), and the Toolbox engineers are no exception. While Parallels Toolbox fully supports new M1 Pro and M1 Max Macs with a notch, the Hide Menu Icons tool had to be updated to a Mac menu and may see future improvements to support screen notch even better. If you have one of these new Mac models and you notice a notch issue in Parallels Toolbox 5.1, please let us know in the Parallels Forums. While you are in the Forums, if you have a suggestion for a new tool, please let us know that, too!