gbLaunch is a freeware utility for launching applications, documents, folders, and URLs. Simply drag applications onto gbLaunch to create an all-in-one-place, easy-to-access list of your favorite programs. Then, just double click any line item to launch the application. Documents, folders, and URLs are also supported. URLs may also be added to gbLaunch.
|Download (ListBox version) (v1.0, 160K)|
|Download (ListView version) (v1.0, 190K)|
text only, short names
text+icons, short names
large icons only
EXEs, documents, URLs
That's it. All other features of gbLaunch allow you to tweak the way gbLaunch looks (such as displaying icons instead of application names), or works (such as automatic window sizing to fit the contents of the application list) - but the basic operation always stays the same.
When a document file is added to the list, the icon is extracted from the executable that is associated with the file type/extension.
When a URL is added to the list, icons are extracted from the default client for opening *.htm files.
A common folder icon is used for all folders dropped to the list.
If no icon can be found for an item, a black-on-yellow exclamation icon is used.
The icon sizes displayed are set by the system and are described as the System Large and System Small icons. On most systems, the dimensions for these two icons sizes are 32x32 and 16x16. gbLaunch queries the user's system for the correct icon size.
Items may be dropped onto the gbLaunch icon in Explorer, a shortcut link to gbLaunch, or the gbLaunch active window. Items may also be added from the clipboard.
There are other ways in which items may be added to gbLaunch. Here's the list of all options:
gbLaunch recognizes text as a URL when it begins with "http://".
When pasting an item from the clipboard, only the first line of pasted text is examined for an acceptable file or URL.
gbLaunch maintains two list of allowable extensions - one for executables and one for documents. Both extension lists may be modified by the user (see context menu). Any file type not found in the extension lists will be rejected by gbLaunch.
gbLaunch automatically creates a subfolder called "Lists". At any time, the current content of gbLaunch can be saved to that folder under a user-specified name. Existing lists can be used to replace the current content of gbLaunch. Or, existing lists may be merged with the existing content of gbLaunch.
gbLaunch can display the full path of items in the list. Or, to minimize the size of the gbLaunch window, a "short name" can be displayed. For files, the short name is just the file name without the folder path.
When the short name is displayed, full path information can be retrieved in three ways (other than changing the display to full path):
The short names of executables or documents is simply the file name, without the folder heirarchy. For URLs, the short name is also just the file name. If a URL does not include the file name, the short name is the content from the end of the URL up to the rightmost backslash. There is no short name for folders.
Exit No Save
By default, the current list of items is saved in the gbLaunch INI file, and restored in the next session. If you've made changes in a session but do not wish the list to be saved, use the Exit No Save context menu item.
The history of command lines for each executable is maintained in the file "CLHistory.txt". When a command line entry is requested, the most recently entered command line for the executable is displayed as the default command line value.
If the dialog requesting a command line is canceled, the executable file will not be launched.
Two supporting context menu options are provided - one to erase all entered command lines, and one to remove all but the most recent command line entry for each executable file.
AutoSize is applied when the following actions are taken:
AutoRollUp is applied when the following actions are taken:
When an item is highlighted in gbLaunch, press the Enter key to launch the item.
The following key combinations are also available to the user:
|Launch Select Application||Launches the currently selection item in the list, using the default client for the item's file type.|
|Launch w/Command Line|
|This settings allows you to enter a command line string
when you launch an application. This is a one-time action - it does not
apply to future application launches.
You can optionally set gbLaunch to ask for a command line each time an application is launched. But if you have the setting turned off, this one time setting can be of used.
|Remove Selection||Removes the currently selected application list item|
|Remove All||Removes all items from the application list|
|Add File ...||Opens a file browser dialog from which a file may be selected/added to gbLaunch|
|Add Folder ...||Opens a folder browser dialog from which a folder may be selected/added to gbLaunch|
|Add From Clipboard||Get text currently on the clipboard. Uses the first line of that text as the item to add. This is particularly useful for adding Internet URLs.|
|Add All From Selected Folder ...||Opens a folder browser dialog from which a folder may be selected. All valid files in that folder are added to gbLaunch.|
|Add All From Desktop||All valid files on the Desktop are added to gbLaunch.|
|Open App Folder||Opens the folder containing the selected item from the application list|
|Select Font||Opens a dialog for selecting the text font (font name, size, attributes).|
|AutoSize Once||Immediately autosizes the list to fit the current data. This has no effect on the AutoSize setting.|
|Show Path||Opens a dialog containing the full path of the selected item. This is useful when short names or icons only are displayed.|
|Copy Path||Copies full path of the selected item to the clipboard|
|Copy Paths||Copies a list of the full path for each item in gbLaunch to the clipboard|
|Sort Ascending||Sorts gbLaunch content in ascending order. Uses currently displayed text.|
|Sort Descending||Sorts gbLaunch content in descending order. Uses currently displayed text.|
|Edit Executable Extensions||Opens a simple InputBox for editing the recognized executable extensions.|
|Edit Document Extensions||Opens a simple InputBox for editing the recognized document extensions.|
|Clean Command Line History||gbLaunch always uses the most recent command line entered for a file. The file also contains previous, no longer used command lines. This command eliminates all but the most recent command line for each application.|
|Clear Command Line History||Clears the saved command line for all applications.|
|Save List As ...||Saves current item list in the Lists subfolder as a user-named text file.|
|Open List||Displays a list of all files in the Lists subfolder. Selecting a list will replace the current content, or merge the list with the current content - based on the "Merge on Open" setting. The list is generated each time the context menu is shown, so it is always accurate.|
|Open List Folder||Opens a window to the List folder. Items in the list may be deleted or edited manually.|
|Text||Causes the list to display with text only. No icon is shown.|
|Text + Icons||Causes the list to display with both text and icons, where the icon is extracted from the application EXE file. A System Small icon is shown.|
|Icons||Causes the list to display with icons only. No text is shown. A System Large icon is shown.|
|Short Names||By default, gbLaunch show the full path name of applications. This setting shortens the display to just the name of the file (no path).|
|Include Ext in Short Name||By default, short names do not include the file extension. Use this option to have the extension included in the short name display.|
|Top Most||Keeps gbLaunch on top of all other windows|
|AutoSize||Tells gbLaunch to maintain it's window size to fit the length/height of all items on the list. See the section below for more information on when AutoSize applies.|
|AutoRollUp||Tells gbLaunch to automatically hides the list, leaving only the caption visible. See the section below for more information on when AutoRollUp applies.|
|Auto Command Line||Has gbLaunch ask the user for a command line string whenever an application is launched. If 'Cancel' is chosen in the dialog, or if the entered command line is empty, the file is not launched.|
|Merge On Open List||Determines what happens to the current content of gbLaunch when a saved list is opened. If this setting is unchecked, opening a saved list will replace the current content. If this setting is checked, opening a saved list will merge the list with the current content.|
|Alternating Line Colors||Changes the background of every other line for easier reading of items in the list.|
|Sort by Type||Enhances standard sort by first sorting on the item type (extension, folder, URL) before sorting on the item name.|
|Help||Opens this online Help page.|
|About||Displays the current version of gbLaunch.|
gbLaunch detects when it is already loaded. Only a single instance of gbLaunch is allowed.
When a session ends, current settings and the current list of items in gbLaunch are placed in the gbLaunch INI file, and restored when gbLaunch is restarted.
Comments and suggestions are welcome!