Freeware stopwatch

Time laps as well as total times with this free stopwatch program.

Comfort Software's Free Stopwatch is, as its name suggests, a freeware stopwatch program that tracks time in hours, minutes, and seconds in increments of 0.01 second, or two decimal places. It can also keep track of laps, making it suitable for sporting events and similar competitions. With simple operation and precision timekeeping, it's useful in many other applications, too, such as the laboratory, workshop, and kitchen.

Free Stopwatch's rectangular interface can be easily resized and dragged around to suit just about any desktop. It displays the total time count in clear block numerals up to 24 hours (00:00:00.00) and the count for individual segments in a smaller display. This lets you repeatedly start and stop the counter and obtain an accurate count of each segment as well as the total time kept by the stopwatch. Other than two prominent buttons labeled Start and Reset, the program offers a menu bar with a Web-based Help file and a toolbar that lets you save data, copy it to the clipboard, or print it out. These options sound mundane but are critically important to coaches, timekeepers, trainers, and officials.

We clicked the Start button, and Free Stopwatch began to count the time, while the Start button became a Stop button and Reset became Lap. Pressing the Lap button saved the time below the counter as Lap 1 but didn't stop the stopwatch. Every time we clicked the Lap button, Free Stopwatch saved the lap time as Lap 1, Lap 2, Lap 3, and so on. Clicking Reset cleared the whole interface. The Options consisted of running at start-up, 13 interface languages, and a built-in metronome that ticks every second. However, it's mostly for sound effects since you can't change the beats per minute (there's no shortage of freeware metronomes, by the way).

It doesn't have a countdown mode or an alarm clock or any bells or whistles (beyond the metronome, of course), but Free Stopwatch certainly proved effective at timekeeping. Its large buttons and display make it a good choice for laptops and use in the field.

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