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Wise Tech Tips

Start Programs the Easy Way with Launchy

By James Wise
web 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 menu.

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 computer.

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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We still need recipes for Cooking Section

WEBNEWS –  Send in your favorite or favorites. There is no limit to the number of recipes you can send in. With the Editor’s wife being the driving force behind her own personal section, help her create an exchange of local favorites, home cooking, grilling, sauces, and deserts!  Send in your submissions here.