Essential Utilities

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Recommended utilities for modifying and repairing The Sims 2. 

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Definition: Utilities are separate programs which modify the game files.  Do not install utilities to the Downloads folder or any other folder inside My Documents

Vista and Win7 users: Older programs may work better when installed somewhere other than C:/Program Files, because they store their data files in the folder with the executable. In addition, you may need to "hide" the EA Games folder located inside the Public Documents folder to allow the utilities to read the correct folder in your personal documents folder.

Double Deluxe owners: Some utilities, such as HCDU, may not find your game data.  If so, temporarily rename your whole My Documents/Ea Games/The Sims 2 Double Deluxe folder to The Sims 2 for testing.  Don't forget to change it back!

Mac users:  Although there are some utilities for Mac users, such as Mac UnPac, their availability and functionality is limited compared to the PC utilities.  Here's a suggestion for safely sharing files with a PC user from shastakiss at Garden of Shadows:

Originally Posted by shastakiss
Mac user builds in an easily-shared (aka small) hood, on the size lot that will allow adjustment. (i.e. a 1x2 rowhouse built on a 3x2 lot). You just need to zip up your hood and know the name of the lot you want shrunk. Wish granter plops your hood into their neighborhood folder, opens up Lot Adjustor and shrinks the lot, zips back up your hood and sends it back to you. Since your hood is never opened by their game, it's never affected by their eps and sps. You'll still have to do that "change-one-thing" part of LotAdjustor to get everything just ducky.

Quaxi

SimPE -- the ultimate Sims 2 tool


Theo

Plugins for SimPE -- Bin hair, scan for orphan meshes, copy or replace a Sim's appearance, change a Sim's clothes, or safely delete a Sim.


Theo at More Awesome Than You

Wardrobe Cleaner -- removes all outfits from the household wardrobe.


Numenor at MTS

The Scriptorium: v. 2.2f -- Easier installation of custom lights, stairs, etc.

AnyGameStarter v. 2.1.1 (all games) -- Easily build lots compatible with a limited suite of EPs.

CatOfEvilGenius at ModTheSims

Quick Easy Hair Binner -- stand alone hair binning utility
Zirconia Wolf's tutorial

MikShape plugins: Cat's Sims Mesh Mirror, Cat's UV Data Merge, Cat's UV Flip


Maxis

Homecrafter -- make your own walls and floors


JFade @ DJS Sims

Wardrobe Wrangler -- multi-purpose utility -- change shoe sounds, age ranges, clothing catagories, and more!

Compressorizer -- reduces the size of your custom content files.  Especially nice for skintones!

Wall-Terrain-Floor Editor -- tidies up files created by Homecrafter.

Collection Creator -- Group your favorite sets together for easy location in your bulging Downloads folder.


SimWardrobe

HCDU -- Hack Conflict Detection Utility -- finds potentially incompatible hacks in your Downloads folder. 

NPC Replacer -- Allows you to choose different clothing for the NPCs.

Sims 2 Catagorizer -- Allows  you to change the catagory for custom content objects.


Delphy at ModTheSims

Clean Installer version 1.6.16.0 -- see Mootilda's section below

Delphy's Download Organizer

Multi-Sims2Pack Installer


Mootilda at ModTheSims

Clean Installer version 1.6.16 -- Mootilda has taken over maintenance

Hood Checker -- tidies up several known bad things in your hood

Lot Compressor -- reduces the size of packaged lots

Lot Adjuster -- expand or reduce a lot.  Even helps make rowhouses!

Grid Adjuster -- modifies the height of the terrain

ConvertiWall -- changes all walls to another type

Hood Replacer -- replaces the neighborhood terrain


UVMapper -- allows you to render the UV Map to help retexture clothing and objects

SimPose2 -- pose Sims and objects outside the game for screenshots

MilkShape -- the 3d editor of choice for the Sims community