FARR – Launch Your Apps & Find Your Files Quickly [Windows]

Ads by Google

Hit a key combination, type in a few characters and up comes Firefox. Onlookers think its magic, but you know you have installed a program launcher. Launchers are all the more useful for quickly opening commonly-accessed files, launch applications or when you are like us and your installed programs list fails to fit on the screen!

I had been using launchy as my preferred program launcher for quite some time, until I found FARR. FARR stands for “Find and Run Robot”, a program-launcher in simple english. However, it has some neat tricks and a truck-load of options up its sleeve. Let’s take a look.

You can install and download FARR from donationcoder. The program is absolutely free for use, however the developers want you to visit the site so they give away a free license key that you might want to enter by clicking on About from the system tray menu.

You can summon FARR via the Pause/Break key or with the Ctrl+Space combination. Start typing the first few characters of program/file you want to launch and it displays a list of top matches.

Ads by Google

The first difference you would notice (compared to other program launchers) is that the results are numbered. Pressing any number would launch that particular result. The next time you summon FARR, the previous results that you launched would appear automatically so that you can quickly launch them if you need. Let’s say you launched Firefox — next time you can simply press Ctrl+1 to launch Firefox (reminiscent of Win + # shortcuts in Windows 7).

FARR allows you to extend its functionality by means of plugins. There are some excellent plugins available on the FARR Plugins page. There are plugins for integrating Remember the Milk, Google Tasks, Everything search, Twitter and many more. You can find plugins for file information to screenshots to language translators.

There are plenty of options to keep the tweakers busy. You can customize the memory usage, hotkeys and skins. Specify how FARR gains focus, remains on top or not. You can specify your own font settings and play with transparency settings. On a more functional note, you can customize how FARR should treat missing files, duplicate links to the same file, control the history list, or exact match as the stopping condition and so on.

You can of course, customize the locations that are searched by FARR. However, if you really want to dig in deep, you can even control the order in which the results would appear. FARR uses a scoring system to determine which result would appear at the top. You can customize the scoring criteria to alter which results appear on the top.

So, if you would like to make PDF files rank higher than DOC files if they have the same name and are at the same location, you could add an entry for PDF files and assign it a higher score.

FARR also allows you to create aliases, which allows you to associate specific terms with a file or group of files. If you would like to launch Dreamweaver, Firefox and Vim for development, you can associate “development” with these three shortcuts and then typing in “development” and choosing the alias, all 3 apps will launch.

There are plenty of options and functionality offered by FARR to satisfy all. If you are a diligent tweaker, you have loads of options to play with and customize according to your taste. If you are an average user, use the default options and you are good to go. The large plugin list and an involved community provide the icing on the FARR Cake!

Do you use launcher applications? Which one is your favorite? Let us know

Join live MakeUseOf Groups on Grouvi App Join live Groups on Grouvi
Windows Troubleshooting
Windows Troubleshooting
30 Members
Windows_10
Windows_10
38 Members
Windows Hacks & Customization
Windows Hacks & Customization
49 Members
Best Windows Software
Best Windows Software
32 Members
Ads by Google
Comments (18)
  • sebastian

    I use Executor, SlickRun and FARR (this in portable version). I have more launchers than things to launch. But I have them mostly for tweaking and learning more tweaks. Also I’m a keyboard maniac and I can not imagine myself using my laptop without a launcher. It would be completely annoying.

  • FRED

    Nah way to much work and mucking around, use Object Dock or Rocket Dock. You just move your mouse over to the edge of your screen area and a dock slides up with your apps and short cuts.

    Launching anything is a one click affair, to add new apps/shortcuts to the dock you just drag and drop it on the dock. Using something like FARR would be a step backwards.

  • nod5

    Nice review! It is worth mentioning that FARR has a very useful forum section at Donationcoder.

    I’ve been a FARR fanatic for quite some time but keep finding new cool ways to tweak it and speed up my searches all the time. The forum is great for help with that and for keeping up to date with new features.

  • Dan

    Does anyone know if this will work with bookmarks? If it does, I’d totally switch over, but Firefox bookmark support in Launchy would win me over without question.

  • jollyrogue

    the search bar in the Win7 start menu is good enough.. Just hit windows key and type in what you want.

Load 10 more
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.