Thursday, May 23, 2013

Launch Other Programs in Windows From Firefox

8:26 PM

You cannot deny the fact that your internet browser is almost always open when your computer is switched on. Now, consider an example that you need to launch a program quickly, let’s say Calculator, MS Paint or Notepad in the midst of your browsing activity. Ideally, you would navigate the start menu (or search in Windows 8) and look for the program, right?.

For speedy access to such programs you can actually create shortcuts and/or pin them to the taskbar. Or you can use the Run dialog, like I do. But wouldn’t it be awesome if you could bypass all these techniques and launch the desired program right from your browser and that too with a single click? Well, Firefox users can do it, and that’s exactly what we are going to see today.

Let us begin.

  • There’s a simple little add-on called Easy Access that makes all this possible. Navigate to the add-on’s official page on Firefox and click on Add to Firefox button. It would get installed like all other add-on’s do. Once done, you would need to restart your browser.
  • And, when the browser is back again, you would be able to see a gear like icon on the bottom right of the browser. This appears on the add-ons bar.
  • Cool Tip: If you do not see the add-ons bar you can use Ctrl + / to make it appear.
  • Click on the gear icon to see what programs make it to the list by default. The same is shown in the image below.
  • Two interesting options are Switch Profile (a quick way to launch Firefox on another profile) and Manage Your Own EasyAccess (your gateway to manage add personalized programs to the list).

Manage Your Own EasyAcces

  • This deserves a detailed discussion. As you click on the said option you would be shown a management wizard. Its first tab reads add to addonbar.
  • Now, when you check programs in the list and hit Ok, the checked programs would appear on the add-on bar making it further easier to launch the program.
  • The second tab reads customize your quicklaunch. This is where you can start adding a program or your own.
  • Click on Add Easy Access and you would be set to start. You would be asked to browse to the file and also give the shortcut a name.
  • I added a shortcut to shut down my computer. It is easy to edit or remove and entry that you have already made.
Note: The program that you add need not necessarily be an executable file. General files are also accepted.

Conclusion

This is an interesting add-on if you ask me. We are all in our browsers for most of the time that we spend working on the computer and using it to launch other frequently used programs makes sense. Funny that the thought never struck me before, until I stumbled upon this add-on. If you use Firefox as your primary browser, this one’s worth a shot.

Note: If this Tutorial and News worked for you (and it should work), please leave a comment below. Thanks.

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