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Run that "Run" menu the way you wanna!

So my friend Nik asked me something about emulating launchbar and quicksilver on the mac, where you can basically type a command at the mac and it will figure out what you're looking for with pattern matching.

This won't do that. Not by a long shot. ; )

The thing he asked me was about the windows run menu, and getting things to run from there with simple commands.

If you're on a windows box, you can do the following:
hold down the windows key,
press 'R'
type 'calc'
hit enter.

Bam! you've got the calculator. Well.. that's handy and all.. but what if you want your own programs in there.

Nik pointed me to the PATH environment variable as the place to change what the run menu searches in.

If you know what your environment variables are, then you probably don't need my hand holding. I added one that points to My Documents\bin\ as I preserve my my documents folder across formats, and I like to keep everything there.

For the rest of you. There's already an environment variable in there pointing to your systemroot. that's C:\Windows\

If you go there, and drop any windows shortcut in that directory, the name of that shortcut becomes the keyword you enter in "run".

Yay! Make a shortcut that points to photoshop, name it 'ps' and put it in C:\Windows\

Then, windowskey-R, type 'ps', hit enter BAM! Photoshop! I'm never going to use my mouse again!


I hadn't a clue how cool this would have been!
1. It passes arguments along.. so.. i made a shortcut called 'ff' that points to firefox. if i use the command 'ff google' firefox opens up and runs google. also, because firefox is soo damned smart, if it's already running, it'll just put google in a new tab.

2. you can do shortcuts to sites. take a firefox shortcut and add a url as an argument after 'firefox.exe'. That pretty much give limitless capacity for web application shortcuts.

3. firefox will take multiple arguments. guess what
"ff" does... ; )


You can also make shortcuts directly to web sites and they'll open in your default browser.

And, BTW, there are some LaunchBar/Quicksilver knock-offs on the PC, but to a one, they all suck right now. They're fine for launching apps (some better than others), but that's about it. Forget customizable search queries, plug-ins/support for major apps, etc...