If you have to work with a large number of programs on a daily basis, launching them each day would be a tedious task. Browsing through folders and looking for their executables is never a good idea and desktop shortcuts can clutter your screen. A better solution is to assign keyboard shortcuts to your applications and it can be done fast and easy with HALauncher. It allows you to define numerous hot keys, which can be used to launch any application, regardless of what you have on your screen.
HALauncher is free and it comes in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Its setup file is only 444 KB and you can install the application almost instantly. It works on Windows 2000 and all later editions and it doesn't ask for any prerequisite tools.
All you have to do is define a keyboard shortcut and specify an installed application in corresponding cells, on the application's compact user interface. It should be fairly obvious that applications can be targeted by selecting their executables on a standard Open dialog. When you are done, you may click a Save button and minimize the interface. While HALauncher is working quietly in the background, you can use your keyboard shortcuts to launch your selected applications.
HALauncher supports a maximum of 100 shortcuts, for different applications. You can switch between different pages on the interface, by selecting the appropriate options in the File menu or by pressing the F5 and F6 keys. If you wish to create a shortcut with the Ctrl and Alt keys and a letter or number, simply typing the letter or number is sufficient. The application will automatically assign the Ctrl and Alt keys. Of course, you may create numerous combinations, with the Shift, Ctrl and Alt keys.