Launchy – basic Weby tricks and appending to a text file

by Scott Strain on October 20, 2008

Windows

Launchy is a open-source keystroke launcher for Windows (including Vista) covered briefly here last month. Here are some advanced tricks I’ve found for Launchy.

Note: Your new queries may not show up until you rescan catalog (under the Catalog tab).

Make your own Weby links:
For these bring up Launchy, right-click on it and select options. Then move to the plugins tab and select Weby on the left. Click the “+” (plus) button to make a new query, where the columns are name (what you type to launch it), website and query. The variable %s is used for whatever is typed after the -> when launched, for example “Yahoo -> test” will open up the page http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=test.

1. Site-specific search
This one is relatively simple and works with most sites, simply search for something like “test” and when you get the URL of the search results, hopefully you should be able to replace test with %S and use it to search for anything. Using Reddit to search for “test” I ended up at http://www.reddit.com/search?q=test&x=0&y=0 so in launchy I would put the name as “RedditS” (the name can be anything easy to remember), the URL as http://www.reddit.com/ and the query as search?q=%s&x=0&y=0


click to enlarge

2. Gmail Search
This one I picked up off of Chris Boughton via a LifeHacker article, you can use it to quickly search Gmail, provided you are logged in:

Name = Gmail, URL = https://mail.google.com/mail/#search/ and Query = %s

Alternatley you can also open up any gmail label with:

Name = GmailLabel, URL = https://mail.google.com/mail/#label/ and Query = %s

3. Quick directory search:
If your company or school has a simple directory search you may be able to use webby to search it quickly, this works similar to site-specific but you can make multiple queries to search different fields. So if when you search for a name on the site you get something like:

http://www.companywebsite.com/directory/index.php?txt_name=test&txt_jobtitle=&txt_phone=&Submit=Submit

You can make a Weby query with:

Name = WName, URL = http://www.companywebsite.com and Query = /directory/index.php?txt_name=%s&txt_jobtitle=&txt_phone=&Submit=Submit

Now the sneaky part, if your company phone shows the extension and you can search by extension, you can now make your own callerID. I would make the name for this something you can remember and type quickly for example W#, so you would have:

Name = W#, URL = http://www.companywebsite.com and Query = /directory/index.php?txt_name=&txt_jobtitle=&txt_phone=%s&Submit=Submit

4. Add to a text file (great for todo lists).
This one requires a bit of work outside of Launchy, first make a folder called todo on either your hard drive, or a flash drive if you a running Launchy from it. In this make a blank .txt file called todo.txt or whatever you like. Next in a text editor make a new file named add.bat with only the line echo %*>>C:\Todo\todo.txt where C:\Todo\ is your folder and Todo.txt is your blank text file. So now in your folder you should have add.bat and todo.txt.


click to enlarge

Next in Launchy under options and the catalog tab click the plus button and add C:\Todo, or whatever your folder is. Then while this is selected add *.bat and *.txt to File Types on the left (you have to type then and then hit the + (plus) button underneath). Be sure to have the box underneath for Executables checked, then you can re-scan catalog and you should be set.


click to enlarge

To use it bring up Launchy and type add and hit tab to get the add -> and type whatever you want to add, such as add -> write simplehelp article. Now you can bring up your todo list quickly by typing todo (or whatever the text file is named) to see your todo list in full.