• SlickRun — A powerful way to launch anything

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    ISSUE 20.47 • 2023-11-20 Look for our BONUS issue on November 28! FREEWARE SPOTLIGHT By Deanna McElveen We all have that handful of programs that get
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    • #2604090

      Two tools I always have available are Perl (the Swiss Army Chainsaw!) and the Vim Editor (Vi Improved, or more precisely, Vi on steroids!). As Karl Malden would say, “Don’t leave home without them.”

    • #2604120

      Deanna, I read your articles in full each time a newsletter arrives.

      “One quirk to note: To close any pop-up box without using it, click it so it has the focus, then hit Esc on your keyboard. It took me much longer than it should have to figure that out.”

      You need a copy of my card “A month’s worth of Savvy Shortcuts”.
      The card has not been updated since I retired, and has my old Toronto telephone number, so I don’t hand it out blindly anymore.

      A postal address will get you a laminated card that you can prop up on your desk. An email address will get you a PDF copy of the card.

      You can contact me as CPRGreaves.
      Cheers, Chris

      Moderator Edit: Removed implied email address. Please do not post (or imply obviously) personal information for security reasons.

      Unless you're in a hurry, just wait.

    • #2604132


      I too read and enjoy all of your columns.  But I must be a REAL dinosaur because this program seems to me to create a whole lot of unnecessary work! I have a shortcut on my Bookmarks bar to the sites I use frequently and I think I can hit the Amazon shortcut and type books in the Amazon search just about as quickly as I can set up a secondary program to do that for me!!

      I HAVE installed many of your recommendations and please keep up the great work!!

    • #2604145

      The first thing I install on a new computer is Everything File Search from voidtools.com.

      The more you use it, the more you use it, especially if you assign it to a hotkey of your liking.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2604172

      Thanks for that Slick article.  Been having trouble with Tbird.  Somehow I stumbled across something called Better Bird.  after a few months, I like it better.


    • #2604198

      One additional tool not mentioned is ‘Everything’ by Voidtools. It can be run as a service and always available in the tray. it uses the OS master index of files and you can quickly and easily find anything on your PC or attached drives. Very handy for finding that document you created umpteen years ago, but know you have it stored somewhere…..Give it a try. You’ll get hooked quickly.

    • #2604204

      This is fantastic. I used the SearchUrl registry key in previous Windows versions but this stopped working in W11. Now i have it back! I’m very happy.

      For example, I use this to quickly find a package in the Microsoft Download Center:


      http:/ http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/search.aspx?q=KB$I$

      Now I type DLC in the SlickRun box, press Enter, it prompts me for the KB article number, and then opens the DCL page for that KB.


    • #2604252

      Deanna wrote,

      “Well, gee, Deanna. That’s pretty and all, but what the heck does this program do!?”

      That’s the FIRST thing that the article should have discussed. The way it’s structured, the reader needs first to make their way through 17 paragraphs and 7 illustrations before finding out what the featured program is actually for. Why would I want to know how to install the program before getting some idea of whether it’s worth the effort?

      We have to make the case for reading something before asking our audience to read it. (I did not; I only skimmed through it searching for an explanation of the program’s purpose.) Benefits before features!

      I did see the bit in the headline about “a powerful way to launch anything,” but to me that sounded like it was merely another replacement for the Start menu (AKA the “launcher”), and why would I want that?


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      • #2604317

        Why would I want to know how to install the program before getting some idea of whether it’s worth the effort?

        I had the same problem in figuring out what purpose this program would serve. But, having finished reading it now, it seems to me that I could get rid of the 9 rows times 18 columns of icons that I have on my desktop and let Slick Run launch everyone of them.

        I thought I needed to keep them all front and center so that I could find what I needed when I needed it. But, as long as I can remember what I want to launch, then it seems that this program would do it. And it seems to me that I could launch a particular program or URL using a number of different phrases that I might think of using to find it …

        Problem is: I probably more often identify the application that I want to launch by the visual appearance of its icon, rather than any words associated with it.

        Does this program also give you the icon associated with the application — as a backstop for making sure you’re getting the right app with the words you have used to launch it?

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        • #2604636

          Don’t know how this happened, but the attribution is to the wrong poster.
          The block quote should say “Cybertooth wrote” in #2604252.

          In other words,

          Why would I want to know how to install the program before getting some idea of whether it’s worth the effort?

      • #2604696

        Wasted perfectly good editorial space for this.    There are so many good current event topics  in the Windows world you could have written about.

    • #2604281

      I use FastStone Image Viewer all the time. https://www.faststone.org/
      It is a lightweight image viewer and editor. Very fast, scrolling, zooming, tagging, cropping, resizing, image editing, renaming, batch edits, etc. Freeware.

      I also use XYplorer file manager constantly. https://www.xyplorer.com/
      Great for navigating complex file structures, moving, sorting, copying, etc. It has an incredibly fast and capable search engine with many, many useful options. I use it frequently to search for files in a 2TB drive. Once it indexes the whole drive (a few minutes), it takes only seconds to find files. Include a wide range of built-in file viewers. Lifetime license for all you computers for US$35 – well worth it.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2604426


      Thanks for the recommendation, but…

      I tried the program. Looked promising. However, the “command line” kept vanishing and wouldn’t return until I uninstalled and reinstalled the program. Tried using Alt-Tab, where it appeared but wouldn’t come to the foreground. Tried the hot key. That didn’t work. Tried killing it with Task Manager but it wasn’t showing up in the list of applications or processes. So I uninstalled and reinstalled the program.  And then it did it again, so I uninstalled SlickRun one last time, deleted the installation file and am back to my old ways of launching applications and web pages.

      FWIW, I am running W11 Pro on a desktop machine.


    • #2604444

      It looks to be most useful for those odd programs which you use but don’t rate a shortcut, and are used infrequently enough that you have to hunt around a bit for the Start Menu link.  It does bring up URLs with lighning speed compared to opening the browser and then the URL.  Unfortunately it does not seem to support Universal apps gracefully.

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    • #2604530

      You should check out ActiveWords (www.activewords.com).

      While not free, it does everything SlickRun does and a lot more.

      It’s on my list of indispensable apps.

    • #2604661

      Why would I want to know how to install the program before getting some idea of whether it’s worth the effort?

      Why isn’t the app portable so one can test it without installing and just delete without uninstalling (leaving bloat behind)

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2604716

      Various utilities that I find useful.  All of these are non-intrusive.

      4K Video Downloader  (Rips videos from YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)
      Avidemux (Multi-platform video editor. Good for editing, letter-boxing, and trans-coding videos. Media format knowledge required; you’ll need to make yourself a cheat sheet.)
      BurnAware Free (CD and DVD burning software.)
      DVDStyler (Publish and burn videos to DVD format.)
      GoldWave (Digital audio editing tool. $50 lifetime license or $15/year. Download as trialware, pay later.)
      Mediainfo (Reads and displays metadata of image, audio, and video files.)
      Notepad++ (Microsoft Notepad -like text editor on steroids.)
      PeaZip (like 7zip only, IMO, better.)
      VLC Media Player (Mentioned by Deanna and others. Perhaps the best of all the free media players.)

    • #2604725

      Freeware I can’t live without (I’ve excluded anything you must pay for, although you can contribute to these developers):

      Attribute Changer
      Everything Search
      Free Batch Photo Resizer
      Geek Uninstaller
      JPEG & PNG Stripper
      Macrium Reflect Free
      O&O AppBuster
      O&O Shutup
      Pazera Password Generator
      ReNamer Light from den4b
      Winaero Tweaker
      Youtube Downloader HD

    • #2604726

      I try to comment but my comments disappear. So I’m signing off.

    • #2604723

      As I was reading the “SlickRun” article, I scrolled down a bit trying to figure out why there isn’t a short, clear paragraph, near the beginning of the article, giving a brief idea of what the program does and why I should download it. “A powerful way to launch anything” , for me, could mean a lot of things.

      There was a lot of detailed info further down the article and that’s nice, but you need to grab folks’ attention before they decide to pass on a lot of reading to get a grip on the why of things.  Just sayin’…



      "Mother Nature can be a hard teacher, for she gives the test first and only then, the lesson."

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    • #2604739

      Freeware I can’t live without (I’ve excluded anything you must pay for, although you can contribute to these developers):

      Hi WUBRINY / @bballeng
      Do these all run on Windows 10?

      • #2605808

        Yes, all of them work fine on Win10. Have not tried Win11.

        Forgot to mention VLC Media Player.

        Win11 has me seriously considering moving to Linux Mint. Think I’ll run them in parallel for a while to see how they compare.


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    • #2606047

      Something else I forgot to mention:

      ImgBurn and a few others may contain PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) if you download them directly from the developer’s website. I’ve found Ninite a good source for obtaining programs like ImgBurn with the PUPs removed. Ninite has figured out how to strip the PUPs embedded in the installers.

      • #2606082

        ImgBurn and a few others may contain PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) if you download them directly from the developer’s website

        About 6 weeks ago, I downloaded ImgBurn from the ImgBurn official website, installed it, and used it to burn the latest 22H2 iso created by the Media Creation Tool. I used it instead of CDBurnerXP, which was balking at verifying after burning.

        I’ve done a number of anti-virus scans since downloading and installing it. No PUPs in the file have been found.

        BTW, I’ve found the guide for using ImgBurn somewhat lacking, so I made my own set of directions for using it. They are at post #2600534,

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