I’m a big fan of utility apps that make life easier. Recently, several people have pointed me at a neat little program called Slick Run. Slick Run basically allows you to define shortcut commands to run your favorite apps, which is pretty darn cool. But most Windows users already have a tool installed that does the same thing. It’s called Windows Desktop Search.

Yes, Windows Desktop Search mostly searches, but you can also define program shortcuts and use them to launch an application.

You can define shortcuts by typing in ‘@[shortcut name], =[program executable]’ . So to create a shortcut for Firefox, in the windows search bar enter ‘@fox, =firefox.exe’. You can now launch Firefox by typing ‘fox’ in the search bar.

To sweeten the pot, it will pass anything after the shortcut name to the program, so if you type ‘fox google.com’ Firefox will open up on Google.

There are a few other examples in the help for Windows Search, which you can get to by entering ‘?help’. For instance you can define a shortcut to query a web site, with parameters.

And the best part, in my opinion, is that you don’t have to wait for yet another program to launch and initialize when you start your computer.