by Barry Dysert
(last updated March 27, 2017)
For those of us who value ultra-efficiency, Launchy is the tool to have. Its goal is to let you keep your hands on the keyboard while still quickly being able to launch practically any program you choose.
I, for instance, am a .NET developer. This means that I have project solutions buried several folders deep, with a different directory tree for each project. Instead of taking the time to navigate through these folders with Explorer, I can just press a hot-key (Alt+Space), start typing the project I want to open, and Launchy finds it immediately.
When you first start Launchy, you see a small screen that doesn't really look like any other Windows application. (See Figure 1.)
Figure 1. Launchy's command screen.
As you start typing, Launchy goes to work finding files that meet the criteria you're entering. And since Launchy learns as you use it, the more you access a file, the more quickly it will be found. For example, by my typing just the letter "d", Launchy brought up the following choices: (See Figure 2.)
Figure 2. Launchy at work.
Assuming I want to open the file "DigitechMigration.sln", I would just need to press Enter and I'd be in business.
Launchy is highly configurable, too, as can be seen by displaying the Options dialog box . (Just click the little "gear" icon in its upper right corner of the main Launcy screen.) (See Figure 3.)
Figure 3. Launchy options.
Perhaps most interesting, you can find skins and plugins to modify how Launchy looks and how it does its work. (These can be found at the Launchy website and are implemented by use of the Skins and Plugins tabs in the Options dialog box.)
Launchy is a free download. You can find it here:
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