Tuesday 14 July 2009

Launchy and Application References: Workaround

Launchy, the open source keystroke launcher, is a useful application when you have a lot of application installed. By pressing ALT+Spacebar (default setting), you get a little popup window. Just enter (beginning of) the name, Launcy shows it in the popup window, with the corresponding application icon: just press enter and your desired application will start. So far so good!

But one of the little problems we have is that we have an application installed which is installed with the publishing feature of Visual Studio. This means, this application is installed on your pc, but instead of placing a shortcut (.lnk), it places an application reference (.APPREF-MS). This extension is not recognized by Launchy, even if you add this extension (its actually not showing at all in Explorer with 'showing all extensions' on).

Here is a work around I found to be able to start my published applications using Launcy.
1. Open the application reference file in a text editor.
2. Verify the location that is pointed to, e.g.: file://192.168.23.xx/Software/publish/MyApp/MyApp.application#MyApp.application
3. Create a shortcut to this MyApp.application
4. If you wish, you can change the icon of the shortcut to the one you needed (I placed an icon into the same directory).
5. Now you are ready. This shortcut does the same thing as the application reference (well, as far as I can see now :))

Good luck.


Mark Fulton said...

Actually, Launchy does recognize *.appref-ms files. The trick is that you have to add this file extension to the right directory. ClickOnce applications can place the Application Reference file (appref-ms) in "C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Start Menu" and not in "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu"

Make sure you're using the latest version of Launchy and that you know which directories to add the correct file types to.

Good luck!

Dan Fr─âticiu said...

Thanks Mark for the info.