Launchy is a nifty little utility to replace desktop icons, start menu, or any other launch pad type programs. By default, Launchy indexes all the shortcuts in your start menu and system utilities. You can, however, maximize the productivity of Launchy by adding other directories and/or file types to index. You can select what file types to index universally and on a directory by directory basis. Launchy is activated by a hotkey of your choice (alt-space is default), and is without a doubt, the most efficient way to launch programs and files. It is also as smart as it is lightweight.
You can even choose to add other directories, such as your school directory, or work doucments. This allows you to easily access them, whenever you need to. Especially useful if you are disorganized, and it takes a long time for you to find files manually. Launchy isn’t very heavy on the system resources either, using up less then 20mb at most! Even if you aren’t sure of what you are looking for, Launchy most likely does. When you type in a file to launch, it finds the closest match to deliver to you. It even remembers what files you launch most often, so if you launch Firefox a lot but accidently type in fifox, it will still suggest firefox.
If Launchy doesn’t display the file you want to launch, fear not, stop typing for a moment and a menu drops down with the next closest matches. By default, it displays the top 10 matches but it can be configured otherwise.
There are a couple of extra features in launchy. Launchy has a bulit-in calculator called Calcy. All you have to do is type in the equation (+, /, * ,-) and the answer appears to your left.
With the new version (1.0), Launchy allows you to search google, wikipedia, yahoo, MSN and more. To do this, type in the search engine of your choice and make sure that the globe is showing as the icon then press tab, then what you want to search for. It then automatically opens your default browser or a new tab (if applicable) to that search engine with those words as the search.
Launchy can also be configured to run off of a USB stick on any computer. The configuration is not hard, just install Launchy normally, copy the Launchy directory to your USB stick then run Launchy, right click on it select advanced then check portable mode. Launchy is also skinnable. There is a growing database of user created skin at launchyskins.com and creating a skin is also easy.