Part of becoming a true power user is minimizing the number of long and exhausting reaches you go for between your keyboard and mouse. We’ve shared all sorts of keyboard tricks with you before, but Fingertips is a Windows software that can really shift your stance on productive application launching. I didn’t know what I was missing until I downloaded and tried it.
Fingertips is not like other application launchers in the sense that there is no real GUI, no slide-outs or menus, and we’re not replacing the visual Windows Start button. This software puts a new spin on keyboard hotkeys and achieves it in the most simple way. You just type in what application you want to launch and hit the Enter key.
Now, as a Windows user we’ve got an awful lot of real estate at our disposal – the Windows desktop, the Windows Start menu, the Quick Launch toolbar, and so on. If you’re anything like me, you need more than that. You need an instant, easy way to get to the program you’re looking for without minimizing windows and hunting for specific icons. That is where Fingertips comes in.
Right out of the box, Fingertips comes at you preloaded with every application already in your Windows Start menu. With that being said, the Start menu is now practically obsolete. It’ll also add in your Favorites from Internet Explorer. As you can see in the following screenshot, I’ve got hundreds of items ready for access right after my installation.
In the next tab over (Hotkeys), I really recommend you bind a hotkey combination to launching the Fingertip command window. Not doing so would mean putting yourself through that extra work and those extra motions before getting to where we really want to be.
As that screenshot shows, I have the command window showing after the Ctrl+` hotkey combination is executed.
For the sake of our example, let’s say I wanted to launch Control Center 3 (software that comes along with particular Brother scanners and printers). It takes two steps:
- Hit Ctrl+`
- Begin typing in the application’s name.
- Hit Enter.
You don’t even have to type out the entire name before Fingertips begins to suggest for you. Just a few letters will do.
That takes you no more than three seconds and then boom, there it is.
Now isn’t that a lot easier than retreating to your desktop and minimizing everything you’re working on? It’s easier than scrolling through a huge list of Windows Start menu items, too.
This software really shines when it comes to adding your own entries to the list. I originally picked up this software because I needed a simple way to launch my portable Dropbox applications. It works wonders.
To enter a new entry, go into Setup and check beneath the list on the Commands tab. Click “New“. Set your abbreviation, which is your text-based “hotkey” to launch that application or action. From there, enter what needs be. Fingertips can work with more than just applications alone, it can bring you straight to certain websites and perform actions in Outlook and Windows overall. You canfor more on that.
I made my own hotkey for MakeUseOf and it sure beats bringing up a new browser, waiting around for it to load, and then typing in the URL.
In such a small and simple package, Fingertips can completely transform the way you launch your most frequently used applications and perform other actions.