TUCOWS ARTICLE

Must Have Application - True Launch Bar

Free Launch Bar is a neat utility, but it's big brother, True Launch Bar, is a Must Have Application that keeps your quick launch icons organized. Read all about it!
Published: Nov 14, 2006
Author: Michael E, Callahan
Related OS: Windows

True Launch Bar

by Michael E. Callahan aka Dr. File Finder


A Little Background

I spend a lot of time working on the computer and I try to make that time as beneficial as possible. I started out a few weeks ago just trying to find a way to organize my Quick Launch icons. On the rare occasion that I have a crash the system comes back up and those icons are all rearranged. I'm used to having them in a certain order, so I started looking.

The first program I stumbled upon was Free Launch Bar which is,as the name implies, free. I downloaded it, fiddled with it and became aware of its big brother, True Launch Bar. The rest, as they say, is history.

It's Unbelievable

Yes, True Launch Bar does replace the built-in functionality of"Quick Launch", but it does so much more! To begin with, it fulfilled my desire to keep my quick launch icons in a certain order.Even if there's a crash, when the system comes back up and True Launch Bar loads, there are all my launch icons is the same, exact order. Cool.

If it had just done that I would have been happy, another mission accomplished. Ahhh, but it does so much more. For one, it lets you put things into groups. Well, you know I had to start messing around with that feature. You can also gain access to any folder and that gives you amazing power and flexibility.

For example, I test a lot of programs and many software authors don't include and uninstall icon when their product is installed. That means that I always have to open Control Panel and then go intoAdd/Remove Programs to uninstall things. Not any more!

In the screen shot above, the little red arrow is pointing to a folder in my launch bar. The folder is Add/Remove Programs. That's right,now I can quickly and easily access this function and remove programs I've evaluated. No muss, no fuss, no fiddling around. It's right there and with one mouse click I'm on my way.

The next screen shot shows just a portion of the Add/Remove Programs dialog that appears when I click that icon. Oh, and the icon next to that? That brings up a small version of Control Panel, so it's always right there. It's unbelievable.

Even More Features

With the ability to put folders right in the Quick Launch area,you can access the folders you need most. Also, since you can group shortcuts together, you can also create your own pop-up menu system. For example, I created a folder and put all the launch icons I use most in it. Now I can just click on the folder and the programs are listed for me. Also, it saves room for more tools.

You can also put text labels along with your icons, "skin" the interface to change the look, customize the colors the program uses, assign hotkeys, and more. For example, you can change settings so a pop-up menu comes alive when the mouse moves over it. Adjust the appearance of the menus, the transparency, the icon sizes, and "auto sensing."

With Auto sensing you can create toolbars that will have different content depending on what programs are open. This is a really powerful feature that can make you much more efficient.

The Power Of Plug-Ins

All by itself True Launch Bar gives you the ability to work smarter, faster, and more efficiently. Just the features I've mentioned are amazing, but there's still more. Plug-Ins! A wide range of plug-ins are available that work with True Launch Bar. The cover a wide array of functions, including:

  • Address book
  • Mail Monitor
  • Net Monitor
  • System Monitor
  • Virtual Desktop
  • CD Control
  • Calculator
  • Weather Forecast
  • Wireless Monitor

The plug-ins add even more power to True Launch Bar. I tried out nearly all of the available plug-ins and all of them were excellent.

Summing It Up!

I started out just to keep my Quick Launch icons in order, and I ended up with a powerful tool. True Launch Bar is simply loaded with features from the ability to add folders, group shortcuts, and run plug-ins. You can customize the way it works to suit your needs and the wayyou work. It supports skins, large icons, drag and drop, XPvisual styles, and more.

True Launch Bar by Tordex is one of the most impressive programs I've looked at in 2006. Whether you're a student, a parent, or the CEO of a corporation, this is truly a Must Have Application! It can make you more efficient, more productive, and better organized. It's also my honor to award it the Tucows Editor's Choice Award for excellence. Give this product a try - I give it my highest recommendation!






About Michael E, Callahan

Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.

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