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ControlPad - A Smart Windows Program Launcher

By Codrut Nistor

Posted in Software

In my quest for the ultimate time saver for Windows I tried everything - voice recognition-powered launches desktop and Quick Launch shortcuts various programs for starting programs with a keyboard combo or even a mouse gesture but the best thing I was able to find is the good old file manager. Sure we're not talking about any file manager but one that allows you to add shortcuts to its toolbar is more than enough for me. Today I just found a new program launcher for Windows and since I got so interested in ControlPad to try it... there must be something about it right?

ControlPad Command Window

Before saying anything else let me tell you that adding new programs to this fast launcher is really easy since I did it all without having to read a single line of documentation. Once you manage to open the command file add in a new line something like "666=C:Program Filesfoobar2000foobar2000.exe" and it's all done! The example above is the last line I added to my ControlPad and now all I have to do is press * for a second or so type "666" and then press Enter!

Now let's get back to the basics. How do you install ControlPad for example? You don't! ControlPad is a portable piece of code that comes inside a ZIP file and all you need to do is unpack its files and folders to some location on your fixed drive (or on a portable one of course). The Commands.ini file is also included so ControlPad won't have anything to do with your registry and various Windows configuration files. Sweet!

More than just running programs you can configure numeric codes for opening documents or Web pages and even send various keystrokes to the OS. How to do that? Using your numeric keypad of course! After starting the program all you have to do is what I mentioned earlier - keep the * key pressed for a little while and then type in your code (keywords are also supported but I think that numeric codes are more interesting don't you agree?).

ControlPad Settings

While editing the Commands.ini file could be a good idea for those into manually setting up stuff this can be done even easier. After opening the input window type a code/keyword press / on the numeric keypad and then choose the command you want to assign to it. I know it sounds funny to assign functional keys to numeric codes... so I will stop at saying this: ControlPad is a great program launcher. For more advanced uses I am eagerly waiting to see your comments!

Before ending this story let me add just this: about 8 MB of memory used highly customizable and extremely useful especially to those still using Windows Explorer this is ControlPad. Being also free for personal use I really think this program deserves a few minuts of your precious time. After all anything that can make our lives easier deserves our undivided attention right? ;)