Sunday, February 8, 2009

Windows 7 and the Search Bar

I’ve seen a ton of posts about utilities for “quick launching” applications. I’ve also seen a zillion posts about the pros and cons of the toolbar in Vista vs launch pad on a Mac.

As a Windows user I have long used ObjectDock to mimic the launch pad type interface as opposed to the crappy quick launch that windows has had up to now. I also used SlickRun as a pop-up application launch wizard. The combination of these two apps gave me a lot of what Windows is missing from the app launch standpoint.

However, I have long overlooked our friend the Search function on the start menu. I still use the Search toolbar and indexer on XP at work. That is probably the most overlooked and awesome addition to XP that I can remember. I was mad that they “hid” it in the Start menu in Vista. But, I’m starting to come around to find it useful where it is.

First to use most launchers you have to use the mouse. I used SlickRun specifically to avoid the mouse. Just hotkey, type in a couple of letters and the app I want to run is display, click enter boom. On Vista/W7 you use the Windows key, then start typingsearchbar1

As I typed the word visual, the programs are auto selected. So, without picking up my hands, I type WINKEY+visual+enter and VS 2008 starts. Plus, all of the sub-utilities of VS are available and I can just use the arrow key to access them. This is a very good application access accelerator.

Plus, it shows your e-mail and music and documents that meet the search criteria


Between the new W7 Toolbar and making myself finally use the search function via the Windows Hotkey, I’ve found that I’m very, very happy with my application access options. You can customize what shows up in the results via the indexing configuration. That process will have to wait for another post.

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