The ultimate launcher: Launchy

William of Bug this! Technie Journal writes about how he likes Vista’s start menu search feature, which lets you quickly find programs in the start menu (Tools that save you headache on trying to find your program in 100+ items start menu). I also liked the feature, and I agree with him in that the feature is not good enough to warrant a Vista upgrade. However, while he found a solution in Colibri, I prefer Launchy.

What does Launchy let you do? To understand, let’s look at some ways to open Remote Desktop Connection:

  1. Click Start, then All Programs, then Accessories, then Remote Desktop Connection.
  2. Press Windows-R to open a command prompt, then type mstsc, then press enter.
  3. Press ALT-Enter, type rem, then press enter.

Launchy screenshot#3 is Launchy in action. You can mistype commands, and it’ll still find reasonable matches — type reno and you’ll still likely find Remote Desktop Connection. Multiple matches? Choose from a drop-down list that puts the most recently used and best matches at the top. It’s super-productive.

With Launchy, here’s how I open Mozilla: ALT-Enter, moz, enter. Visual Studio? ALT-Enter, vis, enter. Cisco VPN Client: ALT-Enter, vpn, enter. This is very cool.

Thinking of how much I love Launchy reminds me that I’ve totally skipped the month of September in my drive to donate $5 per month to a free software product, so I’m going to donate $10 to Launchy — because it is that cool. My donation history to date far is as follows.

Thanks to Josh Karlin for writing such a great utility!

2 thoughts on “The ultimate launcher: Launchy”

  • Thanks for your link.
    I just want to know if there is any functional difference comparing to Launchy and Colibri. The ultimate killer app I think is a Launchy/Colibri interface with Windows Desktop Search. Currently I think Windows Desktop Search is doing good on full text searching capability (i am talking about the latest one 3.01, forget about the past :P, this one is so far so good, as it also handles my Outlook 2007 data) However launching application is extremely stupid inside WDS, so I wonder if there is a good mix. Colibri does googling too which makes it a quite interesting app (I am not saying its useful though, as the speed of launching google there is longer than I turn on my Firefox and launch google there)

  • Combining a launcher with a search engine is an interesting idea… But it’s not something I was looking for. Would be a nice option (perhaps activated on a separate keystroke; ALT-Space = regular launcher; CTL-Space = launcher + search) to have handy, though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>