I have been using an application launcher called AppRocket for years. I have now switched to Find And Run Robot (FARR) (http://www.donationcoder.com/Software/Mouser/findrun/index.html). It is a great timesaver to run an application launcher instead of navigating through menus or spending hours setting up special shortcuts, etc. Here are a few features that I think make FARR superior to other methods of launching programs and documents. [more]
- It does not build an index beforehand, so it is always up to date. You can arrange the order of the directories it searches, so the rarely used ones will be searched last. As soon as it finds a match for what you have entered, you can launch it.
- It uses rules to determine the order matches appear, such as recently launched items get a higher rating.
- It has a plugin system and many plugins have been written, such as one to search your clipboard history, firefox/opera plugins.
- Aliases can be set up so that parameters can be passed – the selected text passed to search engine, for example.
Software from Donation Coder is free but supported by donations.