Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Massively Useful Software: Launchy

I've been using this nifty little program for a while. If you've ever used Quicksilver on the Mac and wished something like that existed for Windows, Launchy is it.

The way it works is you press a keyboard shortcut (Alt-Space by default) and start typing the name of the program. It has a memory of everything in your start menu and browser bookmarks, so as you type the name it'll show what it thinks you are referring to. For example, all I have to do to launch Adobe Illustrator is press Alt-Space, type "illu" (for Illustrator) and press enter. I don't have to use the mouse to launch the program.

I used to have a really organized Start Menu becuase that was my primary method of running programs, but now I don't have to. In fact I don't use my start menu anymore. Even things like the Control Panel are perfectly accessible from Launchy.

It's open source and apparently written in Qt, which means that there could be a Linux release soon. Yes, I know there's something called the command line interface that let's you run programs with tab-completion. But for people like me who think of the command console as creepy basement--dark and scary as hell, but it's the only way to get to the water heater to fix it--Launchy is a nice way to run programs without having to use the mouse.

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