Eliminate Unnecessary Reaches to Your Mouse With the Fingertips Application Launcher

Craig Snyder 28-11-2011

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 25 Cool Windows 7 Keyboard Tricks That Will Impress Your Friends Read More 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.

fingertips application launcher

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.

fingertips application


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.

fingertips application

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:

  1. Hit Ctrl+`
  2. Begin typing in the application’s name.
  3. 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.

fingertips application

That takes you no more than three seconds and then boom, there it is.

fingertips mouse


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 can check here for 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.


fingertips application launcher

In such a small and simple package, Fingertips can completely transform the way you launch your most frequently used applications and perform other actions.

If Fingertips isn’t quite what you were looking for, take a peek at some of the other application launchers 3 Multifunctional Docks To Replace Your Windows Taskbar Docks take what the taskbar does and make it better: beautiful, effective, and fun to use. Once introduced for the Mac, docks have long been available on Windows. Let me show you the best ones. Read More we’ve covered. More of a mouse person, instead of keyboard? Take a look at MouseExtender Creative Ways to Launch Software & Open Folders in Windows Tired of searching for shortcuts on your desktop? In Windows, you can quickly access anything you want, you just have to take the time to set it up. We have compiled your options. Read More .

Related topics: Computer Mouse Tips, Mouse Gesture, Windows App Launcher.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Tim Walsh
    November 29, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Is it just me, or has Windows had this feature built in (maybe not as customizable) since Vista?  All I do is hit the windows key and start typing and it finds programs, files and folders for me automatically.  Also, if I put www. before my term, I can launch a website right from the start menu.  Am I missing the point here?

    • Craig Snyder
      November 30, 2011 at 3:57 pm


      Lots of users have chosen to disable Windows indexing service because of poor system performance.Fingertips is not a search-and-launch application, it is a more smooth and responsive frontend that searches from the databased list of applications (not from your local drive itself) for a list of programs to launch. It's a lot faster.Fingertips is, like you said, a lot more customizable (for example, being able to quickly and easily launch portable applications that don't write directly to the Windows registry and therefore are not listed in your Start Menu)

      I personally use Fingertips almost exclusively with my Dropbox. I have a huge collection of portable applications within my Dropbox [Broken URL Removed] that I need to launch fast. If I'm using Windows Search for that, that's going to take ages.

  2. Morten
    November 29, 2011 at 8:37 am

    A good alternative to Fingertips is SlickRun

  3. Victor Nitu
    November 29, 2011 at 4:42 am

    Still no match for Linux's GnomeDo app :)

    But, hey, maybe we'll catch the times Windows users will benefit the same usability features as the *any* other OS user does. And at a decent, low latency in starting, running and killing applications, which has been, by now, the worst part of my Windows experience.Maybe rather than creating new apps, it would be easier to port some good and fast opensource and create a new win-based branch of the floss community, the porting team. Just a dream.../no flame or OS-war intended/