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Start Programs the Easy Way with Launchy
By James Wise
posted June 1, 2009
TECH TIPS – Do you have a lot of programs
on your computer? Do you find yourself wasting time finding and
starting your programs? If so, you might want to checkout one of my
favorite free utilities called Launchy.
Some days, it seems like I must have a thousand programs installed. For
the ones I use all the time, I have quick ways to get to them (like the
quick launch bar where I have Outlook, Word, etc…). Every now and again
though, I have to run a program I might use just once a month. I never
remember where it is so it takes me a minute to find it in the start
I like the start menu in Vista because you can just start typing a
program to run it. You can have that same sort of functionality in
other versions of Windows with Launchy (which can also run with Vista).
To download Launchy, go to http://www.launchy.net/.
Better still, the AppSnap program we covered recently (http://www.edgefielddaily.com/wisetechtips050409.html)
can download and install it for you. After installation, reboot your
Launchy runs quietly in the background. When you want to start a
program, just hold down the ALT key and hit the SPACE bar and Launchy
pops up. Start typing the name of the program you want to run. As soon
as it shows up, hit enter to start it. For example, type “pow” and
Launchy (based on the programs you have) suggests PowerPoint.
If you want to run PowerPoint, just press enter. If you open the
Launchy window and want to close it, just press escape.
Launchy has a lot of options as well like custom “skins” to change how
it looks, an option to change the hotkey (from ALT SPACE to something
else of your choice), and options for determining which programs it
suggests. These options are all accessed by triggering Launchy (e.g.
ALT SPACE) and clicking the icon in the upper right hand corner.
You can even use Launchy for other purposes like going to websites
(e.g. “ALT SPACE edgefielddaily.com ENTER”), calculations (e.g. “ALT
SPACE 120*54”), etc…
There are a number of other application launchers out there but Launchy
is a favorite of mine!
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