Good, free, keyboard based windows application launcher?
September 9, 2006 9:35 PM   Subscribe

Quicksilver is to Mac OS X as _____ is to Windows

Actually, I use LaunchBar on my Mac, but have heard good things about another keyboard-based Mac application launcher, Quicksilver. One of which is it's free.

So what's the equivalent in the Windows XP world? Bonus points if it runs on Windows 2000 also.
posted by jaimev to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Googling "Windows LaunchBar" comes up with AppRocket as the main recommendation.
posted by kindall at 9:41 PM on September 9, 2006

Colibri is a pretty sweet application launcher with a similar look to Quicksilver. It doesn't have all the functionality that Quicksilver does, but I believe the latest version works on Windows 2000 (and it's freeware)
posted by Handcoding at 9:48 PM on September 9, 2006

I use slickrun, it works well on XP.
posted by bigmusic at 9:53 PM on September 9, 2006

I use Google Desktop to accomplish what appears to be something similar. Tapping control twice brings up the Google Desktop Quick Search Box. I type "p," and the first two results on my system are Adobe Photoshop CS2 and Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003, followed by web results. Then the up/down arrow keys are used to select. Extremely useful convenient.
posted by jroybal at 9:55 PM on September 9, 2006

I used to use Find And Run Robot when I used Windows.
posted by evariste at 9:55 PM on September 9, 2006

"Unicorns and Candy Canes"? Honestly. I haven't seen anything which comes close to Quicksilver.
posted by nathan_teske at 10:06 PM on September 9, 2006

Take a look at autohotkey. It should launch applications with the 'run' command, and do lots of other neat stuff.
posted by powpow at 10:27 PM on September 9, 2006

I'm not completely sure what Quicksilver does, so I can't be sure whether this is helpful, but maybe Object Desktop is what you're looking for.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:35 PM on September 9, 2006

Why have none of you said "Launchy"?. The answer is Launchy.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 10:43 PM on September 9, 2006

I'll second Find and Run Robot. It's not as slicked up as Colibri, but it's a lot more configurable.
posted by drumcorpse at 10:49 PM on September 9, 2006

Oh but Quicksilver is sooo much more than just an app launcher. Quicksilver's real power is in the actions and its ability to interact with a number of files in different ways. Often I'll work with multiple files in multiple apps without ever leaving the primary app by simply accessing everything through QS. It's a steep learning curve but once you pick it up, it's indispensable. To be frank, for me, Quicksilver's deep functionality alone is enough to cause me to pick Macs over PCs.

Look at this screenshot and check out all the actions you can access. I've never seen another PC app that gives you this much control and functionality.
posted by junesix at 11:12 PM on September 9, 2006 [2 favorites]

Caveat: Find And Run Robot is great for simply finding and launching applications and documents, but offers none of what Quicksilver's deep magic is, which is improvising sophisticated workflows on the fly entirely by keyboard. There is absolutely nothing like Quicksilver on Windows at this time.
posted by evariste at 12:07 AM on September 10, 2006


(i am an os x user who relies heavily on quicksilver and needed something comparable when running xp. approcket is the closest)
posted by SeƱor Pantalones at 3:02 AM on September 10, 2006

Seconding Colibri
posted by djgh at 8:21 AM on September 10, 2006

I second Launchy. I can't really compare it to Quicksilver, though, as I'm not a Mac user.
posted by k1ng at 4:38 PM on September 10, 2006

I use Find And Run Robot, and it would be the correct answer, if it wasn't such incessant nagware. (yes, I've "registered" the software three times now, but I'm forced to subscribe to their newsletter and the registration expires frequently).

... I'm looking for a replacement. Function over form, please; launchy focuses on looking good rather than working well, and Colbri isn't quite there yet (can't specify which file types to match nor which paths to search).
posted by Mozai at 9:33 AM on October 9, 2006

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