6.23.2010

Productivity Tools: Launchy

Launchy is a simple application indexer/launcher for Windows/Linux/Mac OS. It is an application which combines some of the features of the Spotlight and Dock tools in Mac OS. You set up Launchy with a set of folders and file extensions to scan, and it will create a catalog of the files found in those folders. Any of the cataloged files can then be opened quickly by pressing alt+space at any time and then typing some, or all, of the file's name. It is important to note that Launchy does not catalog the contents of the files, only the files' names.

Lightweight

Except for the times that Launchy is rebuilding its catalog, you will never see Launchy utilizing your CPU. The index does appear to take up some memory (mine's currently at around 8MB), but that should be expected for this sort of application.

Filesystem Integration

Launchy integrates well with your filesystem. That is, you can start typing C:\Pro, hit tab, and then hit enter to open up an Explorer window for the Program Files directory. You can use this functionality to get to any folder/file on your filesystem, even those not indexed by Launchy.

Plugins

Launchy includes a plugin system and includes some interesting plugins out of the box:

Calcy/GCalc
Allows you to do simple calculations and conversions from within Launchy.
Controly
Indexes the applets from the Control Panel.
Runner
Create custom commands to run against the command-line.
Weby
Integrates Launchy with your bookmarks and allows you to do searches against several online search engines from within Launchy.

I've also found one additional plugin that has been very useful, the PuTTY plugin. This plugin adds all of the saved sessions from your PuTTY installation to Launchy's catalog. This gives you the capability to type ssh, hit tab, and see a list of saved PuTTY sessions.

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