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Productivity - Program Launchers (57)

X-HotkeyP v4.8.2 [rev1]

billon on 6 Jun 2016
  • 3MB (uncompressed)
  • Released on 1 May 2016
  • Suggested by Danix

HotkeyP is a small but powerful macro and hotkey utility that enables you to create a wide range of macro commands and keyboard shortcuts that can perform common tasks such as opening files, running programs, empty the recycle bin, reboot your PC, start the screensaver and much more.

X-HotkeyP is a version of the software packaged in winPenPack format.

Runs on: WinXP / Vista / Win7 / Win8 / Win10
Writes settings to: Application folder
Path portability: Automatic relative path (eg. ..\..\personal\work.doc)
License: GPL
How to extract: Download the ZIP package and extract to a folder of your choice. Launch X-HotkeyP.exe.
What's new?
  • Commands "Opacity +", "Opacity -"
  • Environment variables can be used in commands (e.g. %SystemRoot%).
  • Option to play sound when a hotkey is pressed.
  • Option "Wait before executing this hotkey", command will be executed after 5 second unless the user cancels it.
  • Only pressed shift keys are released before macro.
  • Command "Delete temporary files" can delete read-only files.
  • HotkeyP window is transparent when showing User Account Control dialog.
  • Large HotkeyP icon looks same as small icon.
  • All texts are Unicode, it's useful especially for the "Paste text" command.
  • Hotkeys have option "Run as administrator".
  • Commands "Maximize all", "Show HotkeyP window", "Reload hook".
  • Command "Hide window" changes tray icon to yellow.
  • %HotkeyP% in command path is replaced by installation folder.
  • Caps lock is turned off during "Macro".
  • Removed shortcut Ctrl+N which used to delete all hotkeys.
  • Path to HTK file is not stored in the registry if the file is in the HotkeyP folder.
Fixed bugs:
  • Paste text command did not work on some keyboard layouts.
  • Multi-command did not work with paste text
  • Some system hotkeys could not be redefined (Ctrl+Win+P, Ctrl+Win+F, Win+Shift+M, Win+Shift+up, Alt+Win+1, ...).
  • Key state is reset when reloading hook.
  • Hotkey Win+mouse showed the Start menu if used with macro.
  • Right-click on the small icon in the notification area showed the taskbar menu on Windows 10.
  • Could not get executable file name of universal apps on Windows 10.
  • "Information" about a window could not get full path of 64-bit processes.
  • "Paste text" with parameter %l truncated text to 1024 characters.
  • The second parameter of "Macro to active window" could not be longer than 15 characters.
  • "Minimize to tray" did not work for the Explorer.
  • "Magnifier" lost focus after quick mouse movement.
  • The Spy application worked only with 32-bit processes.
  • Some minimized applications could not be restored to foreground when hotkey was pressed.
  • Active window lost focus after waiting before executing a hotkey.
  • "Maximize all" randomly activated another window.
  • Icon was not yellow if asking before executing "Hide application" or "Hide window".
  • "Send keys to window" was too quick and sometimes missed shift keys.
  • Start automatically at Windows startup.

Hoekey v1.22

webfork on 22 Dec 2015
  • 51KB (uncompressed)
  • Released on 9 Nov 2015
  • Suggested by nevemark

HoeKey lets you assign most keys on your keyboard to various different actions. You can use it to run programs, control window actions, create and run aliases, hide/unhide windows, or even use it as a portable launcher.

Configuration is done in a text file access by Edit Config.

Runs on: WinXP / Vista / Win7 / Win8 / Win10
Writes settings to: Application folder
Stealth: ? Yes
Path portability: Requires manual entry of relative path (eg. ..\..\personal\work.doc)
License: Freeware
How to extract:
  1. Download the ZIP package and extract to a folder of your choice
  2. Download the the latest version of HoeKey from the homepage and overwrite the existing HoeKey.exe file
  3. Launch HoeKey.exe
Similar/alternative apps: Clavier+, X-HotkeyP, Slickrun, TyperTask, HotKeyz
What's new?
  • Added %z in strings to get current directory of first selected file (%Z for url-encoded).
  • Fixed not copying first char of define.
Latest comments
BGM on 2015-11-02 15:54

Oh - forgot - with HoeKey you also get a little panel that lists all of the hotkeys you assigned. That's really handy.

freakazoid on 2015-11-02 18:11

This used to be one of my favorite programs back in the day! :)

webb on 2015-11-03 04:01

It's now at version 2.0

Add string aliases, *foo=something to define, ~N=MsgBox|Some text:%{foo} to use.
Add SetBrightness command. e.g. ~N=SetBrightness||Absolute Value (0-100)|Relative Value (-100 - 100). Requires Vista or newer.
Remove RunAlias command.

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Splat v1.1.8

Midas on 4 Mar 2018
  • 2MB (uncompressed)
  • Released on 10 Aug 2015
  • Suggested by Checker

Splat (Simple Program Launching and Termination) allows you to build profiles that can launch or close programs and services. Supports drag-and-drop, hotkeys, process priority, and includes the ability to open specific files, folders, URLs, and even other Splat profiles. The program can aggressively close (kill) applications that may not shut down normally or add delays of time, CPU usage, or whether the previous program has closed yet.

Great for a computer startup sequence that won't slow down your computer or for switching between different separate program groups (such switching from a view all your financial programs, data, and files to all your photo/video editing tools)

Runs on: Win7
Writes settings to: Application folder
Dependencies: Administrator rights
Stealth: ? Yes
License: Freeware
How to extract: Download the ZIP package and extract to a folder of your choice. Launch Splat.exe.
Similar/alternative apps: Lacuna Launcher
What's new?
  • Added the ability to create a profile shortcut in your startup folder. Right-click a profile and choose the option from the menu.
  • Fixed: Context menu did not work for reordering profiles.

a023.gif Applause for "Best new portable freeware of 2015" !
Latest comments
webfork on 2015-01-18 22:43

I very quickly integrated this into the startup sequence on both of my main machines. Great to get multiple portable software up and running in a system-friendly way.

Midas on 2015-01-19 13:16

Thanks, webfork. Your comment made me realize that Splat can be used as a start-up manager... duh!

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GUIPro PortAL v1.5.0

I am Baas on 8 Dec 2015
  • 166KB (uncompressed)
  • Released on 21 Jun 2015
  • Suggested by I am Baas

PortAL is lightweight launcher based on hotkeys, menus, and system tray icons. Note that all of PortAL configuration is based on a single XML file which contains the list and the organization of applications.

Runs on: Win2K / WinXP / Vista / Win7 / Win8
Writes settings to: Application folder
Dependencies: MSVCR90.DLL MSVCP90.DLL
Stealth: ? Yes
Path portability: Automatic relative path (eg. ..\..\personal\work.doc)
License: GPL
How to extract:
  1. Download the installer and extract / (un)7-Zip to a folder of your choice
  2. Move img folder from $_OUTDIR to doc folder
  3. Delete $PLUGINSDIR and $_OUTDIR folders
  4. Launch PortAL.exe

Note: To extract the 64-bit version too, choose "Auto Rename" (u) when prompted. The 32-bit executable is smaller in size.
What's new?
  • Addition of a skin system.
  • Addition of the event attribute.
  • Addition of the variables section to define internal variables.
  • Addition of the clipboard variables.
  • Addition of the %config% variable.
  • Improvement of the file notification system.
  • Fix memory leak when reloading the configuration.
  • Avoid error when a percent character is not forming a variable.
  • Avoir error when loading a config file with an empty group.

Full changelog at
Latest comments
Shadeclan on 2015-07-03 17:22

Current PortAL version is now 1.5 as of 22 Jun 2015.

Although I am not the developer, I've been doing some user testing for him and I might be able to help some of you with issues.

veyselcelik: I looked at the message you posted and that comes up when the configuration file has an error. You might try restoring the default file and see if the message goes away.

Proteanic: The app icons are appearing just fine in my configuration. You may want to go out to the Obsidev/GUIPro Issues section of GitHub and report the problem - the developer may be able to resolve your problem. Personally, I find that explicitly pointing to the icon in the config file usually takes care of any issues of that sort.

A friend of mine wanted to try PortAL but couldn't get it to run. The current version of PortAL needs the Microsoft Visual Studio Redistributable package installed to work ( but the developer has agreed to compile the necessary binaries into the installation package so that users should not need to install the Re-distro package in the next release.

The developer has added the ability to create user-defined variables inside the configuration file, which has been a big convenience for me. He has also created some cool new skins which can be changed within the PortAL tag in the config file, along with the ability for users to make their own skins. A local help file which explains how to configure PortAL is not included in v1.5 but will be included in the next release. Until then, you can find configuration help here:

I discovered a few issues during user testing which will be fixed in the next release. My user testing notes can be seen here: The developer is very responsive - feel free to give observations, report bugs or make comments in the obsidev / guipro issues section of GitHub.

Checker on 2015-07-03 18:33

@ Shadeclan: Thanks ... and updated ;)

webfork on 2015-07-03 19:34

Shadeclan: Thanks for the data. See response in forums.

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Pretty Run v8.2.0.6

webfork on 8 Apr 2016
  • 7MB (uncompressed)
  • Released on 14 Jan 2015
  • Suggested by lautrepay

Pretty Run is a powerful keystroke-based program launcher and search tool. It searches the start menu, desktop or any other folder for the shortcuts or files that meet your query. More than that, Pretty Run allows searching Internet Explorer favorites, Firefox and Chrome bookmarks, Control Panel items, Printers, mp3 files (by tags), jpg files (by exif data), databases, clipboard and on the internet (more search engines can be added to those already included).

Program also includes screen capture tool, Magic Words, a note manager, etc.

Note: To help compensate for drive letter changes that happens with removable drives, use the %PrettyRunDrive% environment variable.

Runs on: WinXP / Vista / Win7 / Win8
Writes settings to: Application folder
Stealth: ? Yes
Unicode support: Partial
Path portability: Requires manual entry of relative path (eg. ..\..\personal\work.doc)
License: Freeware
How to extract:
  1. Download the ZIP package and extract the file prettyrunsetup.exe
  2. Use Universal Extractor on this file, saving to a temporary folder
  3. Move the contents of {app} to a folder of your choice
  4. Open PrettyRun.ini in a text editor
  5. Under [Options], add the following line:


  6. Launch PrettyRun.exe
Similar/alternative apps: Executor Launchy
What's new?
  • Added engine to search GDrive.
  • Added engine to search OneDrive.
Latest comments
oblivion on 2014-03-12 11:45

Interesting, effective, but slow.

An option to limit folder recursion might help (you can say %PrettyRunDrive%\portableapps -- for instance -- but the scan subfolders option is going to make PrettyRun go to a lot of unhelpful places, whereas if you could restrict it to just one subfolder down, it might be faster.

The MP3 tag search is also quite slow.

It's not the most intuitive to set up, either.

FindAndRunRobot (from has a similar philosophy to this but is much, much faster (despite also taking a similarly non-indexed approach) and has a lot more functionality, too.

Midas on 2014-06-02 11:13

Pretty Run changelog hasn't been updated since v6.1.0.17 (

Ganamyde on 2014-06-04 04:15

Installs adware and spyware in background.

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