Version: 5.4.1 || Release Date: 2013-01-16 || License: Shareware (€24) Developer: Objective Development Software GmbH | App Owner: pygmalion

open apps, files, URLs & more via abbreviation

LaunchBar is an award winning productivity utility that offers an amazingly intuitive and efficient way to search and access any kind of information stored on your computer or on the web. It provides instant access to your applications, documents, contacts and bookmarks, to your music library, to search engines and more, just by entering short abbreviations of the searched item's name.

You just hit Command-Space to bring LaunchBar's input window to front, enter an arbitrary abbreviation, and as soon as you start typing LaunchBar displays the best matching choices, ready to be opened immediately.

Start applications, open documents, invoke system services, compose emails or navigate the web - LaunchBar will be your essential servant.

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39 Opinions

Hands Down the best and most useful application launcher for OS X. I can't use a Mac without it.

If I could get anything close to the search templates in Spotlight, I would use Spotlight only. I've tried, but my most used feature in Launchbar turned out to be the tons of search templates I have got.

I tried to use Spotlight and the shortcuts in OmniWeb instead. They are almost the same, but it won't cut it. It's Launchbar for now.

Props to Launchbar for starting the instant-search craze on the mac. But now that Spotlight in Leopard is reasonably fast, and Quicksilver is stable, Launchbar is pretty much obsolete. Though I do respect the poor souls who got addicted to Launchbar and refuse to give it up no matter what else comes out, even if it's better. (Myself I can no longer see the need to pay for this functionality.)

QS has recently stopped indexing my new files (Spotlight beats it) so I'm using LaunchBar as well

I've used Quicksilver since I came to the mac in the spring of '06. However, in the recent lifehacker interview by QS's creator, he mentioned that he would quit active development of it, and said that he almost recommends that people looking for stability turn to another app like launchbar (or words to that effect). So, for right now, it doesn't seem to be a future in quicksilver. I should point out that it has gone open-source, so if someone picks up the code, it may have a bright future after all.

So, I tried launchbar, and found I like it. It's a bit more limited than QS, in that QS has so many modules and plug-ins that it can almost make you a cup of coffee. But I'm willing to bet that 98% of QS users were like me and didn't use most of those features.

Quicksilver also had gotten to the point of a crash at least two or three times a week. I've yet to have LB crash. Of course, your mileage may vary.

Yes, QS has the "glamor," but LB feels more like Apple's minimalist style.

Anyway, that's my opinion, take it or leave it.

I have become an avid user of LaunchBar, no longer do I go to the apps in finder or for that matter hardly ever use spotlight for anything. I tried QuickSilver many times before and always found myself not using it, but LaunchBar is a natural for me.

I have used Launchbar for years now, occasionally strayed to Quicksilver, but keep on coming back - could be simply habit, but for me, it just works better.

Why are all the positive LaunchBar reviews getting negative scores? Must be a heated competition between LaunchBar, Quicksilver, and Butler users.

LaunchBar is cool. I started on Quicksilver but only really used it as a launcher once I stopped using Kinkless GTD. LaunchBar seems faster and more accurate to me so I switched. They are both fine apps though and I will keep checking out both of them in the future. Right now it's LaunchBar for the win. Next month may be different with the way I am going through software though.

I was trying some launch app like Butler and Quicksilver, but really I was more confortable with LaunchBar.

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