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The Best Application Launchers and Docks for Organizing Your Desktop

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Is your desktop so cluttered you can’t find anything? Is your Start menu so long you have to scroll to see what programs are there? If so, you probably need an application launcher to organize your desktop and make your life easier.

We’ve created a list of many useful application launchers in different forms. You can choose from dock programs, portable application launchers, Start menu and Taskbar replacements, and keyboard-oriented launchers.

Dock Application Launchers

Docks are graphical application launchers that enhance and organize your desktop. They are generally very customizable and extendable.

RocketDock

RocketDock is an application launcher, or dock, for Windows that sits along one edge of your desktop. It’s modeled after the Mac OS X launch toolbar and contains shortcuts for launching programs and opening files and folders. You can also extend the functionality of the dock using docklets and the look of the dock is customizable.

We’ve previously shown you how to install, use, and extend RocketDock and how to make RocketDock portable.

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ObjectDock

ObjectDock is another dock for Windows that is similar to RocketDock. It allows you to organize your shortcuts, programs, and running tasks on an attractive, animated dock. You can also add extra functionality to your dock as widgets, such as a weather widget, a clock, a calendar, and a battery status widget. Setup your dock quickly by importing your Quick Launch shortcuts and pinned Taskbar items. Your dock can be placed on any edge of your screen.

There is also a paid version ($19.95) of ObjectDock that allows you to create as many docks as you want and to add tabs to your docks. It also provides Aero-Peek-like functionality for improved task switching and allows you to access your system tray icons on your dock.

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RK Launcher

RK Launcher is another free dock utility for Windows that provides a visually pleasing bar on the edge of your screen to which you can easily add shortcuts to programs, files and folders. The dock can be placed on any edge of your screen or in one of the corners. You can completely customize the appearance with themes and custom icons and add functionality with docklets. It’s many features and the ability to minimize programs to the dock makes RK Launcher a great Taskbar replacement.

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XWindows Dock

XWindows Dock is a free dock program for Windows that emulates the Mac launcher toolbar. It’s completely customizable and contains graphics effects like reflections, transparency, shadow, blur, etc. Their site claims that they use only the latest technologies and that “you get the most powerful, stable and fastest dock for Windows platform.” The new plugin manager also provides a new stack container, similar to the Stacks docklet available for RocketDock, with fan/grid views.

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Sliderdock

Sliderdock is a free dock program for Windows that is different from the dock programs we have showed you so far. It allows you to easily add program shortcuts, files, and folders to each circular dock, or ring, by dragging and dropping. You can have multiple rings of icons. Rotating the mouse wheel in each ring rotates the icons providing quick access to the icons. You can also use keyboard shortcuts to access the icons on your dock. Sliderdock is completely customizable, from the appearance of the rings and icons to the behavior of the dock.

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Circle Dock

Circle Dock is another free, circular dock program for Windows, but different from Sliderdock. When you activate Circle Dock, it can display right at your mouse cursor, even if your mouse is at the edge of the screen. Any icons on the dock that are off the screen can be accessed using the mouse wheel or arrow keys. You can add unlimited folders, shortcuts, links, and managements across sub-levels. The background and icons on your dock are fully customizable. Circle Dock supports multiple monitors and virtual desktops and is portable. To run it, simply extract the files and run the .exe file.

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Winstep Nexus Dock

Winstep Nexus Dock is a free, completely customizable dock program for Windows that provides live icon reflections among many other eye candy effects. The drag-and-drop capabilities of Nexus Dock make it easy to manage your applications, files, printers, etc. Use drag-and-drop to move, copy, and rearrange objects on and off the dock. Drop documents onto application objects on your dock to automatically load them in the appropriate programs. Drag items such as Control Panel and My Computer to your dock using Nexus Dock’s virtual file system support. Documents, pictures, and video files dragged onto your dock displays as thumbnails for easy identification. Change the appearance of the icons on your dock by dragging and dropping your favorite .ico, .png, or .tif files onto objects on the dock. Nexus Dock can also act as a Taskbar replacement with its ability to show minimized, running programs and the system tray on your dock.

There is a paid (from $24.95) Ultimate version of Nexus Dock that has additional features, such as multiple docks and the ability to group shortcuts into nested sub-docks, tabbed docks, and the ability to duplicate, delete and disable and enable existing docks.

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WinLaunch

WinLaunch is a free, portable application launcher for Windows taken from Mac OS X Lion. It starts minimized and activates, initially, using the Shift + Tab keyboard shortcut. When activated, the Windows desktop icons are hidden and the Windows background blurred, showing icons on the launcher. Icons can be grouped as you do in iOS; drag and drop one icon onto another one to create a group that can be renamed, as displayed in the following image. You can also move and delete items and create new folders using “Jiggle mode,” which is activated by holding down the mouse on an item. Add icons to the launcher by pressing the “F” key, reducing the launcher to a movable window onto which you can drag shortcuts, files, or folders.

NOTE: WinLaunch requires Microsoft .NET Framework 4, which can be downloaded using one of the following links:

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Portable Application Launchers

The following is a list of applications launchers that are portable. They are useful for launching portable applications on USB flash drives, or if you don’t want to install yet another software program on your PC.

PortableApps.com

PortableApps.com is a very popular, portable software solution for Windows allowing you to take your favorite software with you on any portable storage device (USB flash drive, iPod, memory card, portable hard drive, etc.), as well as on local storage and in the cloud. It’s a fully open source and free platform and provides many useful portable programs. It essentially acts as a portable desktop and you can save all your settings and preferences for all your portable programs. It comes with it’s own application launcher, providing easy access to your programs.

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CodySafe

CodySafe is an alternative to PortableApps.com, providing a free application launcher for Windows and access to portable programs. You can download portable programs from the CodySafe site, but you are also encouraged to obtain programs from sites such as PortableApps.com, PortableFreeware.com, and PenDriveApps.com. You can group and categorize your portable apps and customize CodySafe using skins, themes, and sounds.

CodySafe also is available in paid versions ($19.90, $29.90, and from $89.90) that provide an increasing number of additional features, such as sub-groups and sub-categories, access to an Apps Depot, password protection, and hardware encryption.

See our article about CodySafe for more information.

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Portable Application Launcher

Portable Application Launcher (PAL)is a free Windows launcher that organizes your shortcuts into groups and categories. It’s accessed from the system tray or user-defined hotkeys. You can also customize the menu using styles. Portable programs in the PortableApps.com Format (PAF) can be automatically installed onto PAL. In addition to providing a convenient menu for launching applications, you can also add documents to a special Docs screen and tools and utilities on the Extras screen, such as notes, a calendar, and easy access to the Portable Freeware Collection.

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Appetizer

Appetizer is a free, open source, portable application launcher for Windows that allows you to organize your programs on a customizable, resizable dock that can be displayed horizontally or vertically. Resize the icons to any of three different sizes and add your own custom icons. Organize the icons by dragging and dropping them on the dock and group your icons into menus. Customize the Appetizer dock using skins.

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PStart

PStart is a simple Windows system tray launcher for applications. It’s designed to run portable applications, but can be also used on your local hard drive as an additional Start menu providing a quick program search feature. Use PStart to open important documents and folders, as well as portable programs.

When you install PStart, you can choose to install PStart to your local hard drive or to a removable device. PStart uses relatives paths when installed as a portable application. If a different drive letter is assigned to your USB flash drive when inserted into a different computer, your portable applications, files, folders can still be opened properly.

There is also a Search tab for quickly finding files and a Notes tab for storing information you don’t want to forget.

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ASuite

ASuite is another free, portable application launcher for Windows similar to PStart. It displays your program shortcuts, files, folders, and web page links in a tree structure on the List tab. Just like PStart, it’s also designed to run on removable media, such as USB flash drives. ASuite uses relative paths, like PStart, so your programs, files, and folders can be opened on any Windows computer without issue. The program requires installation, but it can be installed to any drive, local or removable.

NOTE: When using ASuite in Windows 7, we recommend you install the program to a location other than “C:\Program Files.” ASuite needs to write settings as you set it up and you’ll get an error if it’s installed to a location where you don’t have full write permissions.

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SE-TrayMenu

SE-TrayMenu provides a replacement for the missing Quick Launch Toolbar in Windows 7 (it can be used in XP, Vista, and Windows 8, as well). Use SE-TrayMenu to gain quick access to most frequently used applications and system commands using a customizable popup menu from the Windows system tray. Quickly add programs, documents, folders, and internet links to the menu using drag-and-drop. The menu is also completely customizable.

SE-TrayMenu can either be installed or used as a portable program.

See our article about SE-TrayMenu for more information.

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Portable Start Menu

Portable Start Menu is a simple and free application launcher for Windows similar to the Start menu that can be installed on a USB flash drive or a local hard drive. Organize your programs in a simple menu system and launch them using a system tray icon. When you close Portable Start Menu on an USB flash drive, running applications can be closed automatically, too. Portable Start Menu also allows you to automatically mount and dismount TrueCrypt containers.

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Start Menu, Taskbar, and Desktop Windows Application Launchers

The following programs are application launchers that either replace or enhance the Windows Start menu, Taskbar, or Desktop. We also list a launcher that comes in the form of a Gadget for the Windows 7 desktop.

Jumplist-Launcher

Jumplist-Launcher is a free Windows program launcher that allows you to consolidate applications on the Taskbar, combining multiple applications into one jump list. It doesn’t require installation, so you can run it directly on your local hard drive or on a USB flash drive. You can add up to 60 programs in custom groups inside one jump list and drag and drop shortcuts, files, and folders onto the Jumplist-Launcher setup dialog.

For more information, see our article about Jumplist-Launcher.

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7Stacks

7Stacks is a free application launcher for Windows that emulates the stacks functionality from Mac OS X. Once you install 7Stacks, an icon is added to the desktop that allows you to easily create new stacks as shortcuts on the desktop. You can then pin up to 10 different stacks to the Taskbar. If you don’t want to pin your stacks to the Taskbar, you can use menu mode and leave the shortcuts to your stacks on the desktop. You can create stacks from special folders, such as My Documents, or from ordinary folders on your hard drive.

NOTE: In Windows 7, stacks are pinned to the Taskbar. In Windows XP and Vista, stacks are pinned to the Quick Launch Toolbar.

See our article about 7Stacks for information.

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8Start Launcher

8Start Launcher is a free, customizable application launcher for Windows that allows you to easily organize your shortcuts, URL favorites, files, folders, and application links into groups and categories. The launcher can be accessed through the system tray, using a hotkey, or by clicking the middle mouse button. It is portable and can use relative paths, making it useful as an application launcher for portable programs on USB flash drives. The look of the launcher can be customized using skins and you can use custom picture files (.jpg, .png, .ico, .bmp, .gif) as the button icons.

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ViPad

ViPad is a free application launcher and desktop organization tool for Windows that allows you to gather your favorite program shortcuts, website links, system tools shortcuts, files, folders, etc. in one place. You can even categorize the items onto personalized tabs. Use drag-and-drop to put items on the launcher and to rearrange the items.

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Windows 7 App Launcher Gadget

Windows 7 App Launcher Gadget provides a very small application launcher that displays on your desktop as a gadget. You can drag and drop program shortcuts, files, and folders directly onto the gadget. You can also add favorites from Firefox, Opera, and IE to the gadget so you can quickly access websites.

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Linux-Only Application Launchers

If you use Linux, check out the following useful application launchers that are only available for Linux.

Avant Window Navigator

Avant Window Navigator (AWN) is a dock-like navigation bar for Linux that enhances and organizes your Linux desktop. It can also be used to keep track of open windows. AWN is highly customizable and fits perfectly into your Ubuntu theme. Free themes are available to customize the look of your bar, as well as extras to extend the bar’s functionality.

See our article about AWN to find out how to install and customize AWN on your Ubuntu machine.

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Gnome-Do

Gnome-Do is a keyboard-oriented program for Linux that allows you to quickly search for many items in your GNOME desktop environment, such as applications, Firefox bookmarks, files, etc., and perform common actions on those items, such as Run and Open. It is plugin-based, allowing you to easily extend it to handle new items and actions.

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Docky

Docky is a dock application for Linux that makes opening common applications and managing windows quicker and easier. It’s similar to Avant Window Navigator and is fully integrated into the GNOME desktop. Besides being an application launcher, Docky can also manage your running applications and host various docklets, including a CPU monitor, weather report, and clock. Applications can integrate with Docky to add extra items to their context menus or modify their icons to display more information.

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Keyboard Application Launchers

The following application launchers are for those of you who prefer using the keyboard over the mouse. They make launching applications and opening files quick and easy.

Find and Run Robot (FARR)

Find and Run Robot (FARR) is a free application launcher for keyboard maniacs. It uses an adaptive “live search” function to allow you to rapidly find programs and documents on your computer simply by typing. Display the FARR window using a custom hotkey, and then just start typing the first letters of the application, file, or folder you want to find and the results display instantly. You can also use FARR to run web searches, send email, manipulate files, and much more. Plugins, add-ons, and extensions are also available for FARR.

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Launchy

Launchy is a free utility for Windows, Linux, and Mac designed to help you launch your documents, files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. It also indexes the programs in your Start menu in Windows, providing quick access to your favorite programs. Launchy opens as a small window in which you type your search term. The results display below the window as you type. There are skins to customize the look of Launchy and plugins to extend its functionality. Plugins are only available if you’re using Launchy in Windows.

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Windows 7 App Launcher (7APL)

Windows 7 App Launcher (7APL) allows you to launch multiple applications at once in Windows using a hotkey or the Windows 7 jump lists feature. You create profiles containing all the applications you want to start at once and apply a hotkey to each profile. To run profiles from a jump list, pin the 7APL.exe file to the Taskbar.

7APL does not need to be installed. Simply extract the .zip file and double-click the .exe file.

For more information, see our article about Windows 7 App Launcher.

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Blaze

Blaze is an application launcher for Windows that allows you to search your files and folders and the web, as well as launch programs. Also, use Blaze to perform in-place calculations and base conversions. Create emails on-the-fly and perform commands on a specific Explorer window.

Blaze is available in a portable version that supports relative paths. It indexes the folders on your USB flash drive or external hard drive so even if you attach the drive to a different computer and it’s assigned a different drive letter, Blaze will still know where to find your items.

NOTE: In order to run Blaze, .NET Framework 3.5 must be installed in the host computer. Click one of the links below to download it.

See our article about Blaze for more information.

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Executor

Executor is a multi-purpose launcher for Windows that allows you to quickly run programs and search for anything from one central location. It’s like a more advanced and customizable version of the Windows run dialog. It operates using keywords and each keyword can be assigned a hotkey, so Executor can also perform like many popular hotkey managers. The layout, appearance, and behavior of Executor can be customized.

See our article about Executor for more information.

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Key Launch

Key Launch is an application launcher that allows you to ignore your Start menu and desktop shortcuts and launch programs using your keyboard. Define aliases to launch programs using abbreviations. For example, you can define “w” for “Microsoft Word” and that allows you to simply press Ctrl + Space and then “w” to open Word.

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Famulus

Famulus is a simple and portable file and application launcher for Windows. Press and hold the ‘*’ key on the number pad for a fraction of a second to bring up a text prompt. Type pre-defined custom commands into the prompt and hit the Enter key to run an associated file, folder, application or website. The previous 5 commands entered are stored for easy access. Begin your command with the ‘@’ symbol to directly run URLs, file paths, or system commands.

NOTE: If you’re using a laptop without a number pad, you can change the activation key in the settings.

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ControlPad Application Launcher

ControlPad allows you to use your number keypad as a command execution system for Windows. Configure any numeric code (or keyword) to execute programs, open documents, open web pages, or send a series of keystrokes to the operating system. Press the ‘*’ key on the number keypad for about one second to access a window in which you enter a numeric code or keyword. Then, press the ‘/’ key on the number keypad to assign the code or keyword to a program, file, folder, etc.

NOTE: If you’re using a laptop without a number keypad, there’s a special Laptop Mode that uses F12 (press and hold the key) instead of the ‘*’ key as the key that activates ControlPad.

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As if all these options for application launchers is not enough, you can also create a super-powered application launcher in Windows using the Quick Launch Toolbar. To do this in Windows 7, you need to add the Quick Launch Toolbar back to the Taskbar. You can also install a free program that allows you to group shortcuts on the Quick Launch Bar and add titles, separators, and submenus.

Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

  • Published 06/9/12

Comments (34)

  1. r

    Yes, these are all very nice, I guess. I’ve tried most of them and then eventually removed them all.
    I simply use whatever Win 7 OS provides (desktop, menu bar, Explorer, search command , etc..).
    In the end, it’s simply more than enough options for quick and efficient access to my files, links & programs.

  2. bearbottoms

    For a keyboard typist, the best is by and far Executor.

  3. nagelfar

    Thank you very much for your effort in compiling this looong list of launchers.
    Everyone can find something inspiring here.

    Keep up the fine work !

  4. gyffes

    I’ve seen roughly a 1/5th of these and end up back with Launchy for Windows and Gnome-Do for Linux.

    Nothing, unfortunately, matches Quicksilver’s sheer awesomeness, and I’ve only scratched the surface of what that gem offers.

    I’m intrigued by this Executor. Is it in more active development than the ever-languishing Launchy?

  5. Jon

    I use one not listed here: sTabLauncher – http://www.sTabLauncher.com

  6. keltari

    Ive tried many of these, but always ended up removing them. They dont offer any more functionality (and often less) than the windows/linux start menu – other than some brief eye candy. Plus they tend to pop up at annoying times, like when just moving the mouse out of the way when typing. Also, some dont display properly, like displaying under windows rather than over.

    This isnt an uncommon problem with developers today, designing applications with form over function. Id rather have a highly functional app that isnt fancy, than a slightly functional app that “looks cool.”

    The only dock that is useful is the Mac OS X dock, since its the main application launcher. But, I have replaced OS X with Windows or Linux on all my Macs…

  7. underound

    Slickrun

  8. Odoiporos

    What about RunMe????

  9. M

    I use Launchy mainly for one reason. Laziness :D. One of the first sites I go to after reinstall is ninite.com. Launchy is an option there, so I go with it. Besides it is enough for my, ant probably most people’s needs.

  10. Arthur

    I use Bayden SlickRun…works like Executor, but has minimalist interface

  11. Nathan J.

    HTG, are you sure these are THE BEST, and not ALL? IMO, the best are RocketDock for a dock and PortableApps.com Platform for portable app launching.

    Well, I don’t thin PAcP is the BEST, it’s just what the site had and it’s worked well for me. I’m a little annoyed that the devs are ignoring the personal picture bug that basically makes it spout a ton of errors if you try to use it. Yet they still advertise the feature like it doesn’t make the app go nuts. Haha. So I just don’t use that feature. I guess I don’t care that much about my portable app launcher. It does its thing and gets out of my way, I don’t need it to make me a sandwich while it’s at it, y’know?

  12. lar2

    pretty good launchers, but I’d be very impressed if one could make me a sandwich !

  13. Lisa Wang

    I tried different launchers, and settled for RocketDock. Since my organization scheme resulting in a pretty deep hierarchy, I pinned my most used folders with StackFolders Docklet in Rocketdock along with my most used apps. Clean desktop, hidden when unneeded, easy access yet neat folder structure.
    I’m sure not everyone would need it, though.

  14. Amir

    WOW. that is thorough! i used to do a lot of desktop customization with Rainmeter and RocketDock. now i’m just down to Rocket dock and the most basic and frequently used apps and directories.

  15. hellboy1975

    Bins is an excellent Windows 7 Taskbar enhancer that lets you combine several taskbar items into one (or more) bins:

    http://www.1upindustries.com/bins/

  16. Burned

    i still use YzDock, lol

  17. Nilpohc

    Nice compilation ! I already tried some of these, but it’s still hard to find the best launcher that fits your needs an habits (i like docks a lot, but i usually give up using them after a while). As a keyboard addict, i’m still sticking with Launchy but, for portable apps, i use Liberkey which i discovered recently and is very well designed.

  18. Prachyadeep

    Its good but I assure u that the author is a great fan of Mozillan Firefox. Ha! Ha!
    Good article
    WinLaunch, XWindows Dock are best for Windows,
    Avant Window Navigator is the best option for Linux.

  19. Bjarnovikus

    I’m using Launchy for quite a while and it’s working really quick. A tip for everyone. There is only one bug/glitch that sometimes the wrong icon is used. But the right program will launch just fine :)

  20. wil broese

    You’ve missed Cylog Toolbox.
    Easy, compact, swift and pretty!

  21. Emil Dusio

    I have used the launcher from FSL freesoftarelabs for years (supporters). Hides where you want it, very customizable.

  22. cam2644

    A good comprehensive list that’s useful for those who want to try them. Like others here I’ve always removed them soon afterwards because they don’t really serve a purpose.Still each to their own taste

  23. david

    I use a simple dock program called runit and it works just fine

  24. jay

    winlaunch looks interesting hmm

  25. Brian

    Can any of these be saved and used after a fresh install of windows or moved to another pc without changing all the setting up again?

  26. Marshall

    I’ve had fun with several of these and must admit Launchy is on all my systems. OTOH, the Links folder, available as a toolbar on the taskbar works with all versions of Windows, and can be customized with any URLs or Folder/Program shortcuts you like. Since it is “baked in” to Windows it kinda makes the whole “launcher” industry an exercise in eye candy over function.

  27. sam weller

    Thank you again, Lory; many. So useful to me, found precisely what I needed here.

  28. DRoc

    THE BEST: SYNAPTICS | Scrybe

  29. Keith G.

    I use RunIt. Even though it seems to have been abandoned (no new development 1999), I like that I can have multiple docks (one on any screen edge) and that it displays user-definable menu phrases instead of only icons.

  30. acepelon

    Butler for the Mac from Manytricks keeps me on Mac OS whenever I think of leaving for Windows or Ubuntu. It is more powerful and useful than all of the others I have tried- and I have tinkered quite a bit in Windows/ Mac/ and Linux.

  31. FuturePerfect

    You didn’t mention DockbarX, which is an outstanding launcher for Gnome Ubuntu/Debian.

  32. antcient1one

    Never knew about any of these free apps.. My desktop needs to be cleaned up and organized.. I’m going to download RK launcher now.. Another helpful post.. Thanks

  33. PixelOz

    Wonderful, wonderful, many good and nifty applications launchers BUT most of the developers of dock type app launchers make exactly one fundamental mistake, they copy the Mac application launcher together with its fundamental limitations.

    That is not the one to beat, the one to beat is the Stardock’s Object Dock (the commercial one) cause Stardock never played me too, they marched at their own drumbeat and came up with a few important enhancements in Object Dock (the commercial version) ant it has a very important thing that adds a helluva lot more functionality that none of the other free pretty animated dock type app launchers has: TABS.

    This particular feature allows you to add a helluva lot more icons and with that the basic functionality of this type of app launcher expands a lot. How much? Well I use one called Tab Launcher (formerly sTab Launcher) for one particular reason, it has tabs. The difference? It allows you to virtually substitute the Windows Start menu because when you add tabs it allows you to put enough shortcuts in it to do so. I barely use the Start menu of Windows anymore and the tabs are the thing that allow that.

    If this type of application launcher doesn’t has tabs it is very difficult for you to put enough shortcuts in it, without tabs (and its very easy and quick to switch among them) you simply cannot put as many launching shortcuts as you would like cause with only one tab it runs out of desktop space too quickly, even in HD monitors, specially when you use the larger icon size that you usually use with the dock type app launchers. And there are both aesthetic and functional reasons to use larger icons.

    The aesthetics reasons are simple, with larger icons it is much more easier to see the extra detail that modern icon artists put in their icons and there are plenty of very, very beautiful and professionally designed icons out there completely free. One can go out in the net in an icon hunt and fetch quite a collection of terrific icons that look amazing at larger icons sizes. There is whole subculture of pretty talented icon making true artists out there.

    The functional reason its a fundamental things that some people fail to realize about GUI interface design, and listen carefully: The larger area of a graphical user interface element always allows easier clicking of such an element due to the fact that is easier to hit a larger patch of graphics than it is to hit a smaller one. What is easier to click? A system tray 16 pixel icon or a 48 or 64 pixel desktop or app launcher icon? Easy answer, and yet I’ve seen this GUI design fundamental ignored many, many times, too many.

    But Tab launcher is nowhere near as neat as Rocket Dock, XWindows Dock, and of course the one which is the subject of this post: Object Dock. And of course this is the same with other similar ones for Linux like Docky again with this one, they left the tabs out. Tab Launcher doesn’t have the nifty animation features, its kinda buggy, slow in development, they do not respond as well to user suggestions (even if they are good ones) sometimes when you add a .ico image it doesn’t recognize it so you have to add a .png image to circumvent the bug (a bug it has had for too long). If you increase icon size let’s size from the default 32 pixels to 48 it just scales the 32 pixels icons and it does not use the 48 pixel images inside an .ico file (another bug) and of course they look awful because of that scaling so in order to see your icons clearly you have to add one by one 48 pixels .png images cause it is the only way it works right.

    And it still has another problem, if you use larger icons, your icon text tags disappear almost completely below the icons because the skins that it has do not accommodate the larger icon size well enough. Solution? Leave the icons at the default 32 pixels size but of course in modern HD displays they look somewhat tiny which makes them less easier to hit and hides the beauty and detail of the larger icon sizes. And it doesn’t have the nifty icon scaling animation option that many of those others have.

    Another problem that it has that I mentioned to them is that it hides automatically and it doesn’t have an option to leave it visible all the time which I prefer because I want to see my beautiful icons all the time and the skin of the launcher too which can be very neat if it is well designed enough. And also by using this option it cuts one step of the application launching (and the less steps the merrier) which is making it appear and waiting for that at least for those times when you have not launcher any full screen application yet and for those of us who prefer this option.

    Still, it is another program that has been given to the community for free, and that has to be recognized and acknowledged.

    So why do I still use that one instead of the beautiful others that I mentioned here? Because it is the only free dock type app launcher that adds tab functionality that still looks moderately good, yes the Tab Launcher developers got at least that very right, they knew that the tab functionality was important and they based their launcher in that. If Rocket Dock or XDock offered the Object Dock tab functionality I would have switched to one of them in the blink of a young girl’s eye and would have said goodbye to Tab Launcher a long time ago cause overall those are way, way better. But for the moment I will have to stick to it.

    Please developers, add tab functionality to your launchers, it makes them much, much better and powerful for those people that truly want to use them as a complete Start menu substitute and with the tabs this can be done and effectively so.

  34. PixelOz

    I know that Rocket Dock has a plugin like Stack Docket to add more icon launching capacity to Rocket Dock but this is not as fast or as neat as the way tabs work with Tab Launcher cause in Tab Launcher when you hover over a tab it automatically and instantly switches to that tab showing those other icons under that tab instead.

    And with Tab Launcher when you click on its icon in the quick launch area if the program is already running it will bring the launcher on top of other windows but it is very slow to do this compared to how fast Rocket Dock does this when you place the cursor at the bottom of the screen (sometimes it takes several seconds in Tab Launcher!)

    Also with the stack docklet in Rocket Launcher the icons are smaller than with the regular Rocket Dock icons, and they do not grow like regular icons either, you cannot see the whole icon labels under the icons and you cannot arrange the icons in the position that you want, only alphabetically or the like (only algorithmically) not like in Tab Launcher where you can place them in any order that you want by drag and drop and they just align correctly horizontally just like with the regular Rocket Dock icons which also allow this.

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