Best Application Launcher for Windows – Launchy

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App launchers are the best productive way to launch your programs on windows. Well, if you’re using windows 8 you don’t really need it. As windows 8 has made searching easy. Just press win key + S on the desktop or start typing the program name in the modern UI. You can find it easily. Even though many have got their mind stuck with the app launchers. So, they will use it even in windows 8 to launch their programs.

But, app launchers will not just launch your programs, file and folders. They also have capability to browse on web. May be you want to search on Google or check out your Gmail. Not all app launcher have these capability. But, the one we are going to look here does have all of them. The best app launcher I’ve ever used – Launchy.
So, we’ll have look here on its functioning and how it can make you productive and work faster on your PC.

Best App Launcher – Launchy

I’ll quickly show you why Launchy is the best. Download it from their site. They don’t show support for windows 8. But, it works all fine. Download the stable version (2.5). During installation you can choose for a portable version. With help of it you can store all the configuration on a pen drive rather than storing it on your PC.
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Basic Functioning

After installation press alt+space which is the default shortcut key for launching it. You should first change it launch bar skin. Because it’s small and not really cool. Right click on the bar and choose option or press ctrl+,. Under the skins tab change it to Mercury. It’s big, simple and cool UI. Press OK.
best_app_launcher_launchy_skin

Now, we’ll change some of the general settings. Under the General Tab change the hotkey to whatever combination you like. Check hide launchy when it looses focus. And also change the auto update of catalog to 30 minutes or more. That actually updates if any new file is added and it should get indexed. But, we won’t be adding every 10 minutes new files or folder. So, taking care of your CPU performance change it to something high according to your ease.

best_app_launcher_general_settings

Now we need to choose what files and folder should be indexed. By default the app choose the start menu programs. So, you’ll probably find your installed programs. But, we need to add other programs files and folders too. So, get to the catalog tab and on the left side you’ll find what file locations of your computer are indexed. Now, you need to add your file location. The files and folders that you frequently open and use. Click on the + icon under at the bottom-left. From their you need to choose folders or drives should be indexed. After adding them. Click on the particular location and on the right side you’ll find file type options. You need to check the boxes of include executable and include directories. This will index all your .exe files and also the folders. You can index your .mp3 or other extensions files that you usually open.For that click on + icon above the checked boxes of include executable. When you’re done click on rescan catalog to index your currently added locations. You will see increase in index. Press OK.

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Now, you’ve completely configured it. Now, we’ll take a look at the plugins which makes it the best application launcher.

Launchy Plugins

Under the plugins you’ll find only six plugins. Those are the default. The developer has provided the API to create your own plugins. More than 10 plugins are developed using the API. You can check it on the plugins page.  But, we’ll take a look at some popular plugins.

Weby

Weby helps you to search or complete specific tasks on the internet. May be you want to search on Google or send an e-mail. It’s a built-in plugin. Make sure the weby plugin is checked in the plugins tab. Now, in the option you’ll see Name(The name you want to trigger the search) and URL(Contains the task). So for example to search on google using launchy – Type Google than press tab and than type what you wanna search for. It’s same with other name triggers.

Runner

Runner works same as the Run command in windows. It runs your application with whatever short-name you choose. There will be some programs or games that you open daily. So, you can set a shot-name of 2-3 characters. Like cmd to open command prompt.

Killy

You need to download this plugin from the plugins page I mentioned above. Extract plugin into the plugins folder of Launchy. Killy lets you easily kill processes that running in the background. You need to type killy than press tab and process name. It’ll normally show you all currently running process, so, you can easily sort out the one you wanna kill.

These are the plugins that I use daily. But, you should check out all other plugins. For more productive work. Below are some resources for launchy, you should check.

Resources:
Take launchy beyond application launching
Launchy Discussion Panel

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