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A start menu for Windows 7 where I type "i" for Internet and "f" for Firefox to open that browser?
December 14, 2009 1:12 PM   Subscribe

A start menu for Windows 7 where I type i for Internet and f for Firefox to open that browser?

Prior to Windows 7 I was using the classic Windows start menu to access most of my software by pressing only three keys on the keyboard:

1. the Windows key, then
2. a key for the folder, e.g. (I)nternet, or (O)ffice, then
3. a key for the application, e.g. (F)irefox or (I)nternet Explorer.

Typing a part of the name in Windows 7's start menu is a lot slower, more cumbersome and error-prone.

Is there a solution to have this in Windows 7? There are many start menu replacements out there, but none I've seen does this. Can you help?
posted by oxit to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
You could:
  • Switch to the classic start menu - this is in Vista, pretty sure it's also in Windows 7
  • Pin some programs to the task bar and start/switch to them with WinKey+a number, where WinKey+1 starts the left-most program, WinKey+2 starts the second from the left, etc.
  • Keep in mind that when searching the program list, you don't have to wait until the search results come back to press enter. This might speed things up for you.

posted by AlsoMike at 1:24 PM on December 14, 2009


You could also try Launchy
Not sure if it's compatible with Win7 or not
posted by jckll at 1:29 PM on December 14, 2009


Switch to the classic start menu
Windows 7 has done away for good with the classic start menu.

You could also try Launchy.
As far as I'm aware, Launchy does what Windows 7 has built-in, but not the wished-for functionality.

Thanks anyway, please do keep suggestions coming, I appreciate it.
posted by oxit at 1:33 PM on December 14, 2009


I've used Colibri before, and I think you can configure it to work more like you need. Though I'm afraid I also can't be sure if it's compatible with Windows 7 yet.
posted by lucidium at 1:35 PM on December 14, 2009


Launchy can be trained to do what you want. Type in the beginning of "Internet Explorer", as few letters as necessary until IE is the first thing that shows up. Delete a letter. Hit the down arrow to select IE, then hit enter. Repeat this a bunch of times until only "i" is necessary to get IE. Do the same thing with "Firefox"/"f".
posted by likedoomsday at 1:52 PM on December 14, 2009


Another option would be creating hot-key combos within the shortcut properties.

Of course this assumes you aren't dead set on using the start button for some reason.
posted by lyam at 1:52 PM on December 14, 2009


if you have indexing turned on it should be instantaneous. i have windows 7 home premium. i push the start button on my keyboard, type "f" and firefox is highlighted, then i push enter and it opens. is the problem just that it's too slow or is it not bringing up the correct program when you start to type?
posted by no bueno at 2:00 PM on December 14, 2009


like no bueno said, if you have indexing on, push and release the windows key then just start typing the name of whatever you want to start (no menu categories needed). you shouldn't have to type more than one or two characters. You don't have to wait for the name to show up to hit enter, either.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 2:32 PM on December 14, 2009


you shouldn't have to type more than one or two characters.
Not when there is only one program that starts with f or fi. But I seem to have many duplicate starts. Thanks anyways, but this is not what I am wishing for.
posted by oxit at 2:43 PM on December 14, 2009


Windows 7 already seems to do what you want. On my machine, if I hit "[Windows], i, [Enter]", it starts Internet Explorer. If I hit "[Windows], f, [Enter]", it starts Firefox. I don't have to wait for the menu to fill out. I believe the Start Menu remembers what program/shortcut you choose after typing a particular string, so it may be that i=IE and f=Firefox are things that it's learned from me, so you might try "correcting" it a few times.
posted by The Tensor at 2:49 PM on December 14, 2009


Launchy can be trained to do what you want.
I does work for Internet > Firefox and "if" because "Mozilla Firefox" has an i and and f. It will not work for Office > Outlook and "oo" because there's no double "o" in "Microsoft Office Outlook". I could manually create links with my shortcuts, though.
posted by oxit at 2:50 PM on December 14, 2009


That's like a 4 line autohotkey script. I suck w/ AHK but that's really REALLY what it's built to do. Once you see the syntax, you could totally customize it to your absolute whim. Of course, I know what you're talking about. You would of course have to add entries manually, but you could also go straight to oft-used files/websites/whatever with this method.

And really, just use launchy and only have it look at your start menu.

I bet I can type "alt+space out" mere milliseconds slower than you can type windows key + whatever then whatever."

And yea, it remembers pretty darn fast, too. For me, typing in F, Fi, if, ox, fire, fier, etc gets me firefox as my first win, and W gets me word...and I've several thousand files indexed across dozens of filetypes. You also get the benefit this way of getting rid of everything off your desktop AND having touch-access to your files, if you have them.
posted by TomMelee at 5:46 PM on December 14, 2009


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