A new version of Launchy, one of my favorite time saving and convenient Windows apps, has just been released and looks like it’ll shave even more unnecessary seconds out of my computing routine. I haven’t touched the Windows start menu in months as it is since with Launchy I can typically start just about any program I need by just typing a small part of its name, 3 or 4 keystrokes usually. The particular feature in the new version that I’m excited about is the fact that it now indexes Firefox bookmarks as items that can be launched, including Quick Search bookmarks. To detour a bit, Quick Search bookmarks are an incredibly handy tool in Firefox that allow you to create a keyword or abbreviation to associate with just about any search field on any website. Simply by right clicking in the field and selecting “Add a Keyword for this Search” you can create a quick shortcut for that specific search that can be entered in the address bar. One of the default quick searches associates the keyword “wp” with Wikipedia’s search so just by typing “wp Simpsons characters” I can quickly begin wasting tons of time learning the history of Chief Wiggum along with all the episodes he’s appeared in, for example. Now with Launchy though, I can run a quick search without even having to open Firefox first. All it takes is Ctrl+Space to bring up Launchy, and then “gm pizza near parkville mo” (that’s my quick search keyword for Google Maps) and I’ve got the map of local pizza places. True, it’s not that big of a difference but it feels like having a command line interface to the internet, and that’s just cool.
Comment by Brett on 2007-02-01 05:32:58 +0000
I’ve been using the method described here for a little over a year now and I have a hard time being at another computer without it being configured. I mostly use my computer at work and, even though I can get away with it, I don’t like installing extra software. This little guy does the trick to allowing me quick access to the files and programs I use everyday from the Windows + R key combo.
Comment by Brett on 2007-02-01 08:45:28 +0000
The word “here” was a link to http://snarkhunt.blogspot.com/2005/04/dirt-cheap-macros.html.
Comment by Seth on 2007-02-01 09:06:26 +0000
Brett makes a really good point. I used to have Quicksilver installed on my work Mac, but I grew incredibly dependant on it. (it’s basically Launchy for OS X)
There are some things that I absolutely can’t work without, but I had to wean myself off of Quicksilver because it wasn’t on every platform I used (aka Windows & OpenBSD), so I got even slower on those systems that didn’t have it installed.
But I’m REALLY happy now that all browsers have a quick-search keyword feature. I do a lot of work looking up common numbers (MS Security Bulletin IDs, CVE numbers, Bugtraq IDs) and if I couldn’t specify in Firefox, Opera or SlimBrowser (IE the way it was supposed to be) to do “bid 11382” in the URL bar as a shortcut for typing “http://www.securityfocus.com/bid/11382”, I would probably quit my job.
Comment by Seth on 2007-02-01 09:08:27 +0000
I opened a second tab to view my post, because I thought the submission had failed. I can’t even be bothered to use the bookmark buttons anymore — I just type “coax” to get to this page. 😉
Comment by Matt on 2007-03-21 22:31:47 +0000
I tried launchy and now I’m hooked! I have to say the ability to pull up web pages in 4 letters is really nice.
It’s kinda like a fancy DOS prompt.
I would turn off explorer, but I think my wife wouldn’t enjoy that too much.
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