Launch apps in a flash with Launchy (Windows)

Freeware application launcher Launchy saves you from those tedious searches of your Start menu. It loads files, folders, and Web favorites as well.


The more programs you have installed on your PC, the harder it becomes to find the one you want. That's why I've fallen in love with Launchy, a simple application launcher that saves you having to slog through your Start menu.

To use Launchy, you simply press Alt-Space on your keyboard, then type the first few letters of the program you want. For example, to launch Google Picasa, you'd type "pic" and then press Enter. (You may need another keystroke or two if other programs on your PC start with the same letters.)

Launchy also serves up Web favorites. To head straight to The Cheapskate, for instance, just type "cheap." It even indexes files and folders, so you can load, say, Word documents or iTunes music with just a few keystrokes. (If this sounds familiar, it's because Microsoft added similar functionality to Windows Vista's Start menu.)

Using Launchy may seem a bit unusual at first, but trust me when I say you'll grow to love it. And you can't beat the price: It's a freebie.