09 February, 2008


Launchy is a program launcher/file opener/website searcher for Windows. It is essentially Quicksilver for Windows operating systems, and was my favorite out of a few programs of its type that I researched.

Here’s how it works: Launchy runs continuously in the background while you are working, and can be brought forward by pressing Alt + Space. Once it appears, you start typing the name of the program, file, folder, or website that you would like to open, and Launchy searches through its database looking for anything that matches your search. Launchy then displays what it guesses you are looking for, at which point you can hit Enter to open that file, folder, or program, or you can wait for a second and Launchy will show you a list of other close matches. You can then use the Up and Down arrow keys to cycle through the matches, and press Enter to open the one you want. Once you hit enter, Launchy hides in the background again, and you can go about your business. If you decide that you do not want to open anything once you have started Launchy, press Alt + Space again, and it will hide again.

Another useful aspect of Launchy was the built-in calculator, and the ability to search the web simply by typing in a URL and pressing Enter.

Initially, Launchy did not help me very much, because by default, it only adds the programs from your start menu, and for some reason, I found that quite a few of my programs were not being found. Launchy also would not open anything but programs, which was unfortunate, because I frequently wanted to open folders quickly. The solution was to run Launchy (Alt + Space), right click, and choose “options”. I then added folders to the “Catalog” tab and added types of files for Launchy to index. Now, Launchy will run programs, open folders, and search the web for me. It speeds things up quite a bit for me, because I never have to take my hands off the keyboard to get to the files I need.

No comments: