LaunchBar: The Necessary OS X Element

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Date: Friday, June 28th, 2002, 17:15
Category: Archive

From the creators of Sharity, iJect and Completion Dictionary (among others), Objective Development never seems to stop amazing the PowerPage team especially with their greatest product LaunchBar.

LaunchBar is an essential third-party add-on for Mac OS X. It allows you to easily access the growing amount of applications, files and Web bookmarks that accumulate on your hard drive. Although multiple folders and the built in dock that OS X provide this feature, the dock can easily become cluttered, leaving you with a mess of icons that take forever to go through in order to find the specific application you need.

LaunchBar uses an adaptive evaluation algorithm to find the best matching items based on the abbreviation you type in. A sophisticated rating system considers the position and density of the given letters within the name of each item defined in the setup. The resulting ratings are then adjusted based on the items previous usage. The more often a specific item or abbreviation was used in the past, the better it will be rated.

LaunchBar can be activated very quickly by using a system wide hotkey (I use Command + spacebar). After pushing your hotkey simply start typing the name of any program, folder or document that you have added to LaunchBar’s directory, The directory is very easy to customize.

Highlights of LaunchBar include:

  • Accessing numerous resources by entering short abbreviations
  • Quick activation using a system wide hotkey
  • Ultra fast, adaptive search algorithm: Learns from the user’s habits
  • Switching between running applications
  • File system Browsing
  • Easy installation: Automated setup management and an extensive default setup allows to use LaunchBar “out of the box”

Recently been updated to version 3.2.2 this program adds support for Eudora, Mailsmith, Opera, SNAX and Watson as well as other improvements.

The free, built in evaluation license is sufficient for occasional use. It allows you to access a maximum of 7 different items per session. Those items can be accessed as often as you like, and even if you exceed the session limit you may still open 10 further items.

The LaunchBar Business License is available for US$39 per seat. A Home User License, restricted to non-commercial, non-profit use, is available for US$20 per seat. The purchase is exclusively handled by the Kagi online shop.

Objective Development
LaunchBar (direct OS X download)
US$39 business, US$20 home
PowerPage Rating: 5 bolts (out of 5)  BORDER= BORDER= BORDER= BORDER= BORDER=

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