October 8, 2008

DOWNLOAD-ME-NOW!: Launchy (Windows)

You do already know that Windows just has a lot of downloads available on the net. Still, it's either most of the free ones don't have any use at all, or that most of the things you want aren't free to download. Well, here's one download that's both free and extremely productive.

Meet Launchy. Sure the idea is to just let you launch a program/item you want without using your mouse, but when you actually use it, you're not gonna stop.

You can assign a "hotkey" or keyboard shortcut of your own to get this little window to pop up. Once you do get it to pop up, you can type the program you want to run and press enter. Heck, maybe even just a part of the program's name is enough to let Launchy know that "this is the program you want to run". It's really easy to get into it, because you'll realize that you probably wouldn't ever need the Start Menu, Windows Explorer, or the Bookmarks menu of your browser even!

CAPTION: I only need to type "sa" then press Enter to launch Safari.

That's because you can set the stuff you want Launchy to find. So if you are looking for a specific document you want to edit, you can set Launchy to look for a certain file type by typing the file extension to the left side of the Options window, then setting Launchy to look in a specific folder (the location of the document). Of course, this is more advanced territory, but configuring is easy enough even for relatively casual users.

CAPTION: You can edit tons of settings in this really light freebie.

What's great about this program, though, is that it's highly skinnable. Meaning that you can set Launchy to fit your personal style. Of course, you can just google "Launchy skins" and you'll be downloading many of them in no time. Just drag and drop the theme's folder into the installation directory (typically, C:/Program Files/Launchy/Skins) and voila, you can set Launchy to the skin you downloaded!

CAPTION: Not a real PSP. Just Launchy.

Launchy, despite the deceitfully simple idea, succeeds in the endeavor. You can search your favorite programs, music, documents, etc. on the fly without having to wait very long, and you can make it fit your personal taste. Soon you may find yourself asking "How did I ever live without this?!" and you will have to scrap the Start menu and Windows Explorer.

Rating: 10 out of 10!

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