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)

User Interface

gbLaunch provides a variety of settings and user interface options to allow you to customize the way you use gbLaunch. Here are some of the various interface options you can choose from:

text only, short names
text+icons, short names

    large icons only

  list rollup (double-click caption to see list)

  text only, full pathspec

  EXEs, documents, URLs

Key Features

gbLaunch provides a variety of features to allow you to quickly access the application listing, as well as to minimize the footprint of gbLaunch on your desktop.

Using gbLaunch

Using gbLaunch couldn't be simpler.
  1. Drag an item onto gbLaunch to add it to the list
  2. Double-click an item to launch it

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 an executable file is added to the list, gbLaunch extracts the icon from the executable file.

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.

List Management

gbLaunch supports executables, documents, folders, and Internet URLs. Files are typically added to the list by dragging the file (or a link to the file) to gbLaunch.

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.

Backup Lists
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.

Path Information
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.

Command Lines

gbLaunch allows the user to enter a command line string when launching executable files. A setting is available to prompt entry of a command line every time an executable file is launched. A menu action is also available to prompt for a one-time entry of a command line.

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 and AutoRollup

The AutoSize option resizes gbLaunch to fit the current list of items. The AutoRollup option hides the list, displaying only the title bar of gbLaunch. Each of the options are executed in response to specific actions.

AutoSize is applied when the following actions are taken:

AutoRollUp is applied when the following actions are taken:


When gbLaunch has focus, the Up/Down arrow keys may be used to move up and down the list. THe Right arrow will open the context menu, which can be closed using the ESC key.

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:

Positioning Items

There are three ways in which the position of an item can be set.
  1. By default, when a new item is added to gbLaunch, it is placed at the bottom of the list.

  2. You can reposition items by dragging them with the mouse.

  3. You can also sort the list (ascending or descending order) using one of the context menus. When sorting, the list will be sorted according to the data currently displayed (full name, short name w/extension, short name w/o extension). Additionally, if the "Sort by Type" setting is selected, sorts will be done by type (file extension, folder, URL).


Right-mouse click anywhere in gbLaunch to get the application context menu. It contains both setting and action options.


Other Comments

This sections contains miscellaneous additional information about using gbLaunch.

Single Instance
gbLaunch detects when it is already loaded. Only a single instance of gbLaunch is allowed.

INI File
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!