Tech Tip – Launchy for Windows

Launchy Screenshot

I’ve mentioned before that I love keyboard shortcuts. When I’m typing in a Word document, for example, I don’t want to have to move my hand over to the mouse to make something happen. This love for keyboard shortcuts is one of the reasons I really liked the new Start menu in Vista, but I HATED how long it took my laptop to shutdown in Vista, so I’m back to XP only. The one thing that I really missed, though, from Vista was the ease of launching programs in Vista. This is where Launchy comes in.

“Launchy is a free windows utility designed to help you forget about your start menu, the icons on your desktop, and even your file manager.” That’s what the website claims. Here’s how it works. A quick keyboard shortcut, in my case Ctrl + Space but I changed it from its default keys, brings up a simple text box in the middle of the screen. Start typing some letters from the program you want to start and it will have a match REALLY FAST!!! For Microsoft Word, I just have to type “wo” and the program chooses Word as the top match so I press Enter. Another great thing is that it learns which programs you prefer, so many times you just have to type in one letter!

Download Launchy (Windows only) from

Here are some more tips from the site:

  • Search Google
    • Type in google, then tab, then your search query and press enter
  • Check the Weather
    • Type in Weather, then tab, then your zip code or city,state and press enter
  • Search other sites
    • Other sites you can search include wikipedia, msn, yahoo, amazon, netflix, imdb, and more.
  • Browse your computer
    • Type in c:, then tab, then a folder or file, hit tab, and continue
  • The Launchy Calculator
    • Did you know that Launchy has a built in calculator? Type in some algebra and see what happens!

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