If you’ve never heard of Launchy, let me do you a favor by quickly explaining it. Launchy is a simple application launcher for Windows, Mac, and Linux that makes it easy to open any application installed on your computer just by using your keyboard.
After installing Launchy, you’ll basically never have to open your Start menu again. If you want to open Firefox, for example, simply press the customizable Launchy hotkey (I set mine to CTRL + Space, but the default is ALT + Space), type a few letters of the program you’re looking for, then press enter. If the wrong program is shown, use the arrow keys to find it in the list.
One downside to Launchy is that it can’t launch applications installed via the ClickOnce deployment method by default. ClickOnce is popular deployment solution for .NET applications, and is used by applications like MetroTwit and even my own BreakTaker.
Adding support for ClickOnce applications in Launchy is easy, just follow these instructions.
Step 1: Open Launchy by pressing the Launchy hotkey or opening its Program Files entry.
Step 2: Right click Launchy and select Options.
Step 3: Click the Catalog tab. The locations in “Directories” are the areas that Launchy will search for application shortcuts, and the “File Types” specify which types of shortcuts it will look for.
ClickOnce applications don’t use the standard .lnk extension for their shortcuts, they instead use the extension .appref-ms.
For each directory listed, select it and click the plus button (+) under File Types. Type *.appref-ms and press enter, and repeat for each directory.
Step 3: After you’ve added *.appref-ms to each directory, click the Rescan Catalog button. Click OK once Launchy has finished looking for new shortcuts.
That’s it! Launchy should now be able to locate ClickOnce applications stored on your computer.