Using Launchy to Launch Web Projects

I’ve been using Launchy, a free application launcher, for almost a year now, and cannot rave enough about it’s ability to increase my productivity as a developer. Launchy is a tiny app that runs in the background, ready to launch not only your application, but also documents, media, batch files, help files, websites, file directories and more. You simply type Alt+Space (or Ctl+Space) and up pops a tiny window that allows you to type in the program, file or directory that you want to open. Long gone are the days of using my mouse to browse through the Program directory in the Start menu, or cramming 20 of my most frequently used application in the Quick Launch area on the taskbar.

I thought I would share some of the specific ways that I use Launchy on a daily basis to launch projects in my development work.

Launching Projects

When I work on a web project, I typically need 3 applications: SciTE (my text editor), Firefox, and one or more File Explorer windows. Not only can I load SciTE and Firefox, but I can open them with all the frequently used files and web pages for that project already opened. Here’s how it works:

Create A Simple Batch file

Launchy can be used to launch any executable file, including batch files. If you are not familiar with how batch files work, check out these tutorials. In my case, I have a directory that contains all my batch files for launching projects. I’ll create a new one called dev-rambeck.bat. I prepend the word “dev” to all my projects batch files to distinguish them from other files that might have the project name in them. The below batch code will launch our applications with command-line parameters to open the needed files or web pages for our project.

:: Open Session for the Rambeck Group Project

:: Launch Firefox with the following tabs: Basecamp project, local version, remote version and the Drupal API
"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -new-window "

:: Launch our project directories in Windows Explorer
explorer.exe /n,Z:\rg\
explorer.exe /n,F:\Production\

:: Open SciTE with our saved project session loaded
START "The Datevine" /MAX "C:\Program Files\SciTE\SciTE.exe" "-loadsession:F:/Sessions/"

Customize Settings in Launchy

Now we will setup Launchy to index our directory of batch files in our chosen directory.

Right click the Launchy tab and click Directories.

Add the directory that contains our batch files and add the .bat file extension.

Refresh our index.

Now when you need to launch your project simply type Alt+Space then the first few characters of our batch file name.