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Launchy (Category: Software Review)

Posted by Varun

Launchy is a Open Source Keystroke Launcher,or in a lay man's term a '1 stroke program launcher'.It's the simple yet undoubtedly useful concept behind this,which has captivated me.There are 2 kinds of Windows users:
1. The ones those patiently go through the Start Menu tree to Launch their programs
2. Ones with a desktop cluttered with shortcuts (Looks disgusting,frankly)

Launchy takes care of both kinds,by offering a simple interface.

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Like I said it's very simple,only a search box and a result thumbnail space.Start typing in a few letters of the desired program,and launchy shows you possible programs/files matching your query.

See the simplicity? Launchy starts up with Windows itself and once you get the hang of it,it's bye bye start menu and cluttered desktops.

Now before you start twiddling your fingers,there's a few things to be done.Our pal launchy ain't no psychic.We have to tell it what to search for and where.It's very simple.

Step 1 : Press Alt+Space (this is the default shortcut for bringing up launchy)
Step 2 : Right Click the Launchy window and select 'Options'.
Step 3 : Click the 'Catalog' tab.

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Step 4 : Click the add (+) button under 'Directories' to add a custom folders (Remember the first 4 entries should be there by default,so you can launch programs,etc right away).I've added my songs folder
Step 5 : OK,so now we have told launchy where to look.Now lets specify what to look for.So Click on the directory you have just added.Now,to the left there is a box to specify what kind of files to search.Add your extension to the box provided (in my case *.mp3) and hit '+'.
Step 6 : Hit rescan catalog and then OK.Congratulations! you have done it.

Now to test it,try typing in something that you know is in the folder (in my case a song) and launchy should start giving you hints.

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Other features :

1.Launchy acts as a calculator as well.Simply enter some algebra in the launchy window and it will be solved once you hit enter.
2.Launchy comes with a 'weby' plugin that allows you to get results from search engines of your choice.Setting it up is quite easy.Once done,type search engine name,then a tad and then the query

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Potential Problems : On rare occasions, launchy has abruptly stopped functioning,so you have to restart it's the kicker..the start menu.However this has happened only once or twice and i've been using launchy for months now.

Varun's Rating : Personally i have fallen in love with this app.It's very user friendly,packed with nifty features.Haven't seen any drawbacks at all.I'd say a 4/5 for this one

Launchy is a free software.You can get it by visiting the author's page here

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