Program and file launchers- MaxLauncher and others

I launch programs in a variety of ways, with hotkeys, from the task bar, Quick Access Popup, Executor & AHK Command Picker.


While looking on SourceForge MaxLauncher came up, it has a keyboard that you can assign files or programs to launch from. I thought its display was pretty cool , and easy to setup and use and it has lots of tabs so you can have lots of keys. Its visual, which is something I like and its easy to assign a button to a program, file or folder.

The issue is, although it’s a single button press to activate a key on the keyboard, when the popup menu is active, you still have to initialise it with another hotkey. At the moment I have Ctrl+ Spacebar as the activation hotkey to bring it up, then I just type Q and it will active the script on the tab that was last opened, in this case tab 1 (you can rename the tabs).

if you want to ycle forward through tabs then you need to use Ctrl + Tab and it jumps between them.

To minimise the pop-up just press off the p;op-up window or use the Ctrl+ Space hotkey again and it will minimise on the taskbar.

So you always need to activate first, then decide on the single key that you want or Ctrl+tab to cycle through different tabs to navigate to the different key that you want to activate. Or press the number of the tab.

My initial interest and its appeal was the single keystroke instead of double or more keys or 2 key presses with modifier keys eg ctrl+1, also in Revit you need 2 key taps to run a command, but in the end you still needed to pop up the program so it’s the same as 2 keystrokes at least.

Also the different tabs can be for different projects/activities/ coding processes (eg Web & html/AHK/Python/SQL etc)

It also has a nice search function as well.

Issues with install & setup

When I first installed it somehow I lost the ribbon at the top with the File/view/Data/Tools/Settings/Help buttons and tried to uninstall manually and reinstall. i had to do it a few times (I didn’t use the uninstall with the program (I wonder why not? ) and I had to clear it out from a few places on the PC.

Finally did it, not only files in C:\program files & Documents but also C:\user\AppData\roaming and only after deleting the last was I able to reinstall with the top menu items.

It was late when doing that and I was being bloody minded, but overall I think its an OK program and program launcher, I like the simple and logical display.

Alternatives to MaxLauncher

While looking up MaxLauncher on YouTube I came across this video showing 25 alternatives to it:

One that seems to work in the same way is MadAppLauncher that also works on a pop-up with keyboard interface.

There are a lot of other launchers out there if you look on AlternativeTo , I think about 45 different ones.

End comment 1

I must admit app/file launchers have made my life a lot easier. I find I can move around my PC with a lot more ease with all the shortcuts.

I may start using this as an alternative to AHK Command picker, as I can just put a link to the script on a key easily instead of going in and editing the file for AHK Command picker, also it means I can have v1 & v2 scripts all located in the same place.

I’ll need to play with it and do a viseo on it too.

End Comment 2 Epiphany

I just realised, this is like the stream deck but without bells and whistles. I’m as T’ick As for not realising when I first looked at it. You can’t assign hotkeys to a key so you’ll have to assign a .bat file or cut a ahk script down to just one funcxtion to align it with a key, but otherwise its great. Plus visual image reference which is good on Stream Deck .

You can also drag/drop a shortcut onto a key, so that is great for the .bat &.ahk scripts, keep the shortcut but update the scripts in the background.

Trying to get Hotkeys to work in MaxLauncher

I’ve been breaking down a few scripts to be able to assign them to individual keys.

A good example is opening AutoCorrect.ahk to notepad++ so that I can quickly add a new Hotstring to speed up my typing, eg ::pac::Pak’n’Save for doing my tax as I use the shop a lot for bills. Now I can quickly open it and edit.

BUT!!!!! To reload the script there is a Hotkey, say F12 or ^F12 (Control+F12) to activate this. I’ve been trying to write simple scripts that will send these keystrokes to the PC, as if I were typing them & they don’t work.

On some hotkeys that I put into a script to call they add a Shift key also , on one instance I was getting Explorer popping up , but when I go to incorporate that into the script it doesn’t actually activate the hotkey.

I’ve been testing it out with a number of variancves for hotstrings, trying to get the text expander to work

;Sendinput "tmz{Space}"
;Sendinput "{raw}tmz "

; MyText := FileRead("1.txt")
; 	sleep 500
; A_Clipboard := MyText
	; 		Send "^v"

Sendinput "{raw}t"
sleep 10
Sendinput "{raw}m"
sleep 10
Sendinput "{raw}z"
sleep 10
Sendinput "{raw} "
;Sendinput "{raw} "

; Sendinput "t"
; Sendinput "m"
; Sendinput "z"
;Sendinput "{raw}tmz "

Trying lots of ways to send keystrokes to a editor to see if they will activate the hotstring, but to date, no success.

So I can easily access scripts but I can’t put a hotkey on a button to Reload the script so far. I thought a .bat file might work but that sends text to the command console.

I went down a rabbit hole on this one trying to see how I could send the hotkey via the keyboard and was looking at .js and .ba files and .bat files, all very complicated.

Then……… Use the program but add an argument for the hotkey for RESTART or ExitApp and it works great

These are not working out as well as what I thought. They need a bit more reviewing.

They don’t seem to be working in Firefox. I’m trying to close tabs with Ctrl + W but that doesn’t work (^w) in the arguments;