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Tip of the Day
Language: Windows
Expertise: Advanced
May 24, 2006

Simplify Launching Applications from the Run Menu

You can launch applications like Visual Studio Enterprise Manager from the Run Menu on the fly. Many people use the Quick Launch for this purpose, but there is a better, faster way to do this with your keyboard.

Many standard applications have some shortcut names which allow you to launch them from command-line editors or Run Menu. For instance, "mplayer" is the shortcut name for the old Windows Media Player and "wmplayer" is the name for the new Windows Media Player.

Normally, to launch something like Visual Studio, you would probably put a shortcut on your desktop or in the Quick Launch Area. This is fine, but Quick Launch does take up quite a bit of space on your taskbar.

The most efficient solution is to put all your shortcuts in a particular folder, say C:\Shortcuts and then create a PATH in the Environment variables.

To do this, go to System Properties (Windows + Pause Key), click on the Advanced Tab, and then click on Environment Variables at the bottom. Go to the User Variable Section, and then click on New. This opens a new window.

Enter the variable name as PATH (case-sensitive) and enter the full path (in this example C:\Shortcuts) to the folder where you have stored all your shortcuts and save it.

Now you can access your favorite programs through their shortcut names from the Run Menu.

If you're really interested in saving keystrokes, you can rename all your shortcuts to smaller names like VS (case-insensitive) for Visual Studio, etc.

Srinath MS
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