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Everybody knows how to start applications in Microsoft Windows through the Start Menu. You can click on the Start Menu button, grapple with the sub-menus until you find the program you wanted to launch and then you can run it. Using the Start Menu in Windows to run an application is not only cumbersome but also a tad slow for most of us. If you have ever wished for a quicker and neater looking method to launch programs, then the open-source program Launchy can make those wishes come true.

Launchy is an open-source cross-platform application that can be used to quickly launch desired programs with only a few keystrokes. It stays inactive in the background until you invoke it using the Alt + Space keyboard combination. This would pop up a tiny Launchy window where you can type in the name of a program or shortcut present in your Start Menu, a program or file in specified folders or a website name present in your Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox bookmarks. Launchy quickly displays possible targets in the drop-down list. When you see the program or website you want to launch, select it using arrow keys on your keyboard and then just hit Enter and it would start that application.

Launchy also supports you to add additional command line parameters to programs you want to launch. When you try to launch a program and it appears in the matches list, just hit the Tab key and then type the command line parameter. For example, you can start a website in Google Chrome by typing chr and when Google Chrome is selected, hit Tab key on your keyboard and type the website name. In the following screenshot, I have tried to open www.MintyWhite.com in Google Chrome using Launchy.

Actually, Launchy does more than just launch applications. It can act as a simple calculator. To use it as a calculator, just open the Launchy window and start typing the numbers and operations you want to perform on them. Launchy will instantly show the result in the title. You can also search popular sites like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Wikipedia and more using Launchy. Just type the keyword for these search engines, hit the Tab key, type the search string and press Enter. For example, to search Wikipedia for Lady Gaga – type wiki, hit Tab, type lady gaga and press Enter.

If you do not like the default look of Launchy, then it also supports choosing different skins. There are dozens of skins that Launchy comes packed with. Additionally, you can also download many other skins from the Launchy website. You can choose the skins and other settings from the Launchy Options window which you can open by clicking on the gear like icon on the top-right corner of the Launchy window. In the options window, you can choose general settings like visual effects, showing tray icon, auto-hide the Launchy window etc. You can also add directories in the Launchy Catalog so that it can index programs and files found in those directories. You can even change the hotkey for Launch which is Alt + Space by default.

So if you want a better, quicker and well organized  way to launch programs and websites, then you can start using Launchy now. It is open-source and absolutely free application. It is cross-platform and available for Linux and Mac in addition to Windows. You can download it from the link below.

Download Launchy for Windows

Download Launchy for Windows

Download Launchy for Windows


About Sudesh

Sudesh has always been curious about computers and technology. Loves to play with both Windows and Linux. Likes to help people solve their computer problems. Has written technical articles and tutorials for some websites including MintyWhite.

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