Working on your computer all day, you tend to notice how often you open applications and search for files. We have talked about desktop searches and they are great. But what if you need something a little lighter? Something you could even use while portable? Launchy is what’s called a keystroke launcher and is up to the task.
Launchy will let you open an application or find a file within a folder with a few quick keystrokes. Here is a walkthrough on how to use it.
We start our journey Launchy’s download page. You will need to download the correct version. We will be talking about the Windows version here, but the Linux and Mac versions are pretty much the same. At first glance, it looks like you need to pay for this software. This is open source software and this is asking for a donation.
Click on the blue bar displaying the operating system you’d like to download software for. Here you will also see an option to donate. If you choose to make a donation, all of the donations help to keep the development of the software progressing. Otherwise, click the link to download the latest version.
Once downloaded, run the install wizard and start Launchy. If you are running Launchy on a USB drive, you can make follow those instructions.
This is the default look of Launchy. To change this, click the gear icon in the top right corner of the Launchy window.
Here you can make all of your changes like setting a keyboard combination if you’d like it to be something other than ALT+Spacebar. This is how you will activate Launchy when you want to use it. Make sure Launchy is set to start with Windows so you do not need to start it manually every time you reset your computer.
Initially, you’re a computer will need to be indexed. Depending on how much information you have on your computer, this can take a little time. After the initial index, your computer will be checked every 10 min. to see if new applications have been installed. As mentioned earlier, to use Launchy you will need to press the keyboard shortcut and the app will appear. Once you see the app, start typing in an application’s name and you should see a bunch of possibilities.
This also works with folders on your computer. If you’d like to, you can look through folders like the My Computer, My Documents, and others.
If you want to select a file inside of the folder, press the tab button. This will look inside the folder. To look at a folder in a folder, continue hitting the tab button when the correct folder is highlighted.
I have been a longtime Launchy user. I feel lost without it. When you get used to the ease of opening the apps and folders, it’s hard to go back to all that clicking.