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A few handy Windows utilities

I spend the vast majority of my time at work within Visual Studio 2005. Spending so much time in a glorified text editor has caused me to be a keyboard-oriented computer user. Anything that allows me to work without reaching for the mouse (or even moving my hands away from the home row or arrow keys) or thinking too much is a great help. Here are a few utilities I use to make me more productive.

Launchy

Ctl + Space away from any application.


Launchy is, as the name implies, a primarily an application launcher. I started using Launchy a few years back, after Quicksilver on the Mac warped my brain (in a good way). Anymore, it is one of the first few applications I install on any PC I use for work. It does more than just launch applications, but like Quicksilver, I haven’t seen the need to move beyond the basics.

AutoHotKey
This one is a new one for me. AutoHotKey is a scriptable macro utility. I found this program yesterday as I was doing some particularly repetitive coding and I wanted to assign some more useful functionality to the Windows Key. AutoHotKey allowed me to remap the Windows key to be an additional modifier key; now pressing Windows plus the arrow keys emulate Home, End, PgUp, and PgDn. I was very impressed with the sheer power of the application. As long as I don’t run into any serious flaws, I could see this application becoming part of my everyday arsenal.