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The name of the search bar escapes me right now, but I was wondering if as soon as I started typing with the desktop in focus if the windows search tool (normally opened by pressing the windows key) would automatically open.

I don't use desktop shortcuts anymore, hence I have no use of pressing the windows key before typing the name of the program I want to open every time :).

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jul 13 '10 at 23:44

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Although not windows 7, sounds like you want something similar to gnome-do. –  Chris Sep 20 '10 at 18:52
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4 Answers

The Windows 7 startmenu doesn't index your desktop, if that's what you mean. It indexes the startmenu, System32 and the Users folder by default. If you want to include more folders, say Program Files, go to Indexing Options. (Just type that in the startmenu ;) )

In Indexing Options, click Modify and then in the checked listbox above, you can select additional folders.

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Maybe this is a solution for You

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Launchy

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Thanks, but I don't see why I would need that, right now my only problem is that one extra keystroke, and Launchy still needs a keystroke to open it. While I will agree that Windows probably doesn't have the greatest indexing system, for the types of programs I open with the launcher it works great. –  Dan Miller Jul 13 '10 at 21:23
    
If you map the Windows key to start Launchy, then you don't even need to go to the desktop. Though this should work for any key combination you feel like. –  Ivo Flipse Jul 14 '10 at 6:04
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Maybe you were referring to Enso Launcher.

From the website:

Enso Launcher is designed to give you instant access to your applications and windows. With a few easily remembered keystrokes, you can launch an application, switch to a window by name, and control the state of your windows.

Probably not, but it's cool anyway.

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I'm not sure I understand the question... bringing the desktop to focus requires "one extra action" regardless (either clicking the taskbar or empty space on the desktop itself, or alt tabbing to it), so you're already out of luck.

Macintosh has spotlight, but that requires two keystrokes (propeller+spacebar), Windows cuts it down to just one key (windows key, or CTRL+Esc on a keyboard without a WinKey). If you want to be 'in' firefox, and just start whacking away, there's very few options available, as almost any program will be trying to interpret the keystrokes for its own use (photoshop shortcut keys, jumping to text on a webpage, whatever).

Pinning buttons to the startmenu or taskbar is an option, and then using WinKey+ to launch them (from within any app), but that's as close as you'll get I think.

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That's my problem with the question, too. The only time it actually seems to save keystrokes is when you have no applications open or all of them minimized. Even then, you're only saving one keystroke. Windows 7 moved the search bar from the taskbar to the Start Menu because it's easier to access that way and, essentially, always works because nothing else traps the <kbd>Win</kbd> key. The use-case is very small and advantage is very minimal. –  Bacon Bits Apr 23 '11 at 4:03
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