Launchy Menu Replacement Quick Start
Launchy quick starts programs, folders, searches, web sites and is even a calculator. Avoid clicking through multiple menus to get the program you want. Great for keyboard users, but everyone will find Launchy useful if they try it for a couple days. Launchy searches folders for programs or other extensions you specify. Most other quick start programs require you to set up keywords or key combinations.
It comes with a variety of skins, but in its default look, it enters the Vista era. It is hard to tell here because of a blue background, but the outline of Launchy is transparent. It is open source which means it is free, but donations are accepted by the writer.
Press Alt+Spacebar and you see this view, waiting for your input.
It is always on top if you have programs running.
WinKey+Spacebar is very convenient to use. However this key combo can be changed if you like.
If you type a keyword from a Firefox shortcut it goes immediately to that site once you press Enter.
Much faster than clicking on Firefox, finding the url and enduring multiple clicks.
Launchy disappears after you press Enter, or if you decide you don't want it, press Esc or Alt+Spacebar again.
If you type in the beginning words of a program, folder or anything, it selects a list of possible programs that you may want.
Using the arrow keys you can select the one you want, press Enter and the program is launched quickly.
If you don't see what you want, when you arrow down to the bottom, Launchy continues with more items.
Type Google+Tab+Search word and it opens the browser with Google's list of offerings.
Type imdb+Tab+movie name it opens the browser at the movie.
Type C:+Enter and it opens explorer at that drive and so on.
After some use it remembers what you normally use and just the program or folder you need appears after a couple letters. Press Enter and your program starts almost instantly.
By default it automatically indexes your program files list. You can tweak Launchy to index any folder you choose.
To get to the config or setup as shown below, just Right Click on the Launchy window instead of typing.
You can add folders to scan by clicking the left most Add button and choosing the program.
If you highlight one of the folders and click the middle Add button, you can add what extensions you want it to index, such as .exe, .mp3, .jpg and so on.
Click the right Add button, and the extensions you enter are scanned and indexed on every folder on your list.
Keyboard users will take to it right away. Others will find there is a small learning curve while you add the folders and other things you open or use often. Give it a day or two of use, and I think most will find it is a 'keeper'.
The only negative I can find is that it uses slightly more resources than most other menu/start type programs. Not excessively so, and it doesn't slow anything down. You only notice the figure in task manager if you look. Considering the speed of opening programs and getting around, Launchy is well worth it.