The newest version of Launchy that was just released a few days ago includes a nifty plugin called Runny. This plugin will let you add your own custom commands to Launchy so that you get the most out of the free program. I do have to admit that this is a really great feature…and below I’ll demonstrate how to use it.

Let me go ahead and give you a quick run down on what Launchy is for those of you who aren’t familiar with it. Launchy is a free application that allows you to quickly run your programs and launch websites. After you install Launchy you run it by pressing ALT+SPACE which will bring up a small window that you can begin typing in. As you begin typing you’ll instantly see the results getting filtered away until you finally end up with the program or file that you’re looking for.

Launchy 1.25 adds the new option so that you can customize your own commands in Launchy which is a feature many people have been requesting. Here’s how you configure the custom commands:

  1. Run Launchy and right-click on the interface. Select the Plugins option from the menu.
  2. Click on the Runny option in the list of plugins, and then choose the  Plugin Options button on the right side.
  3. Configure the commands that you want to launch. You do this by providing a command name, which is what you’ll use to execute your command, as well as what you want to execute when that command is typed. For example, if you wanted to create an easy way to compose a new message in Gmail just use the following:
    Command Name: gmail or email (the name is up to you)
  4. Then you can compose a new email message to an individual by typing this in Launchy:
    gmail <TAB KEY> <PRESS ENTER>

In step 3 you might have noticed the “$1” at the end of the URL. That tells Launchy where to insert the first parameter, which in our case is the email address. Each parameter is always separated by the TAB key, and even if you don’t have any parameters you’ll still need to press the TAB key when completing a command. For example, if I created a command called cybernet that would just take me to I would have to execute it by doing the following:

cybernet <TAB KEY> <PRESS ENTER>

I wouldn’t be able to do this:

cybernet <PRESS ENTER>

This took me a minute or two to figure out, and I’m not quite sure if I like the way that works. If there are no parameters then I think I should be able to leave out having to press the TAB key.

Another example of how the Runny plugin works can be demonstrated with a Google Search:

Command Name: google
Launch Example: google <TAB KEY> cybernetnews <PRESS ENTER>

The example above would actually do a Google search for the term “cybernetnews”. As you can see you can do a lot with the new Launchy, but there is more that is new in version 1.25:

  • New control panel plugin (indexes control panel apps) 
  • Runny plugin (customizable commands) 
  • Notification of new Launchy Releases (can be turned off) 
  • Command line argument support (hit tab and type the arguments) 
  • Can use ‘.*’ as a filetype for directories 
  • Plugins can be enabled/disabled (right click on launchy, go to plugins) 
  • Plugins can now have configurable options
  • Always on top is now configurable

Make sure you head on over to the Launchy site and try out the latest version!