Note: that these tips require you are running the latest version. Also this page is updated often, so come back for more tips.
List and drop down...
Starting multiple keywords/urls/files/programs etc. with one keyword or text input...
Portable (like running from an usb-flash drive)...
- Ctrl+r is a very nice feature. Type something in the text input and press ctrl+r. This will do a wildcard search (*searchtext*) in all your keywords/history/scanned items etc. and show matching items in list. For example type .doc and press ctrl+r to view all .doc documents that might have been launched (history) or indexed by Executor.
- Instead of pressing ctrl+r you can have Executor always do a *wildcard* search by selecting "Contains text" in "settings" - "drop-down / list" - "Search type".
- When Executor doesn't have a valid item in it's input, pressing enter will then launch the first item in list / drop-down (this behavior can be enabled / disabled in settings - misc).
- Annoyed that when editing the start or middle of the text input, Executor suddenly ruins the input by suggesting something ? Enable the "Only auto-complete when cursor is at end of text, or at start of suggestion" option found in "Settings" / "Input, wording & auto completion".
- If your using suggestions (short form detection) there's an option named "Only list suggestions in list" For people that want suggestions in list but not in input field. For example those that like "Contains text" search, and also have suggestions enabled, might prefer to have it launch the first item in list (pressing enter) instead of launching some suggested item matching the "contains" criteria you typed.
- If you have the list visible you might want to enable the option to "Switch tab key behavior" ("Settings" / "Input, wording & auto completion"). Then pressing tab will move the cursor to the next parameter. For example press "g" for google then "tab" to move to the search query part. Normally tab is used to cycle through auto-completion suggestions, but this is mostly handy if list is not visible. Holding shift will also switch tab behavior.
- Hotkeys... every keyword can be assigned a hotkey, which might be even faster if you are using a keyword very often.
- Typing time can give you the time, date and current week number.
- If your music/video player of choice supports global hotkeys you can use the keywords, play, stop, next, previous, media (to open player). Most music players does support global hotkeys, but some (winamp for example) needs it to be enabled in it's options).
- Want to center some window nicely on your monitor or resize a window to a specific size ? Executor has a lot of window manipulation keywords. In the keyword editor you should import the file called windowkeywords.exc. The help section also has a list of all available window manipulation keywords.
- You heard all the talk about saving energy and being good to the planet etc. and your gonna leave your computer for like 30 minutes. You don't want to power down your computer..... but typing ?monitor might clear your conscience as this will send your monitor(s) in standby mode.. Where moving mouse or pressing keyword will bring back the monitor(s).
- So maybe your not that environmental friendly and just want to lock your computer so your nosey colleagues or girlfriend/wife don't tamper with your computer. Type ?lock.
- ?standby, ?shutdown, ?hibernate when your computer needs sleep.
- Want to do some quick math ? Type # and then your calculation... Example: So you and your five buddies hit a stake of 12 times the money back, and you bet a total of 500.. What's your share ? #12*500/5 or #(12*500)/5 ... See help for the the specs of the integrated calculator.
- You want to organize your keywords ? Each can be assigned a group. Then typing the group name in Executor will list all the keywords within that group. There is a keyword named listgroups to view a selectable list of the current groups.
- You want to mute the sound type "mute" and typing "mute" again to unmute.
- You can get a list of running applications by typing "apps" and selecting an application will activate it into focus. Also right-clicking one of the apps in the list will bring up a context-menu where you can close, maximize, center, kill etc. each process. pressing "del" key in application list will try to close application (same as right-clicking it and selecting "Close"). Pressing "shift-del" will kill process. It's really recommended to try close the process (del key) first as killing it might terminate it while it's writing data etc.
- The start-menu has a list of most recent documents, this list can also be accessed in Executor, and Executor lists a lot more than the start-menu. Done by typing "recent".
- You need some text you copied to clipboard, but since then you have copied something else to the clipboard so the old text is gone. Type "clipboard" to get a list of all text you copied to the clipboard since Executor was started. Also right-clicking one of the clipboard items in the list will bring up a context-menu where you can launch, copy to clipboard, select text.
- So you took a screenshot and want to save it to a file, but know you have to open some paint program to paste it into and then save it. Type ?saveclipboard instead.
- Want to restore some window that seems to have been placed outside your desktop (can happen when changing resolutions, moving apps between computers, changing multimonitor setup etc.), type "apps" to get a list of running applications, now in the list right-click the window you want to restore and select "center". This will move that window to the center of the active monitor.
- Tired of listening to the same old music ? Type lastfm with an artist/band name you like as an parameter. Example: lastfm the killers (requires you have the latest default keywords, if not try import standard.exc located in the Executor folder).
- You can delete specific history items by navigating to them in the list/drop-down and press the "del" key. Also in the text input field you can press "shift-del" to delete the current text in the input from history.
- Executor support detection of urls that are not prefixed with "www" or "http://". For example you can type maps.google.com
- Want to start some specific keyword(s) when Executor startup ? Go to Settings/Misc, there you can define keywords/commands/urls etc. that should be executed when Executor startup.
- Explore... Open the keyword editor and explore if there are other handy keywords you didn't know about.. Also try type ? and see in list/drop-down which system commands exist.. See the help section for all the - shortcuts that exists (like -s for opening settings, -add mynewkeywordname to add a keyword etc.). Right-click Executor and notice the hotkeys for these items.. like for example ctrl+k opens keyword editor ctrl+s opens settings etc.
- There's an option to have a keyword run hidden (not just minimized), the option is located in the drop-down where you can also select maximized and minimized.
- So you have an appointment in 15 minutes or someone at work insists you have to rest your eyes 15 minutes once in a while. Type "timer 15". See help section for complete syntax on the timer keyword.
- You're a nasty project leader and hate those damn programmers having a smoke every so often. Use the stopwatch keyword to find out exactly how long the smoking break lasts, and just how long time passes until the next break. The stopwatch keyword will if no parameters start or show elapsed time, depending on if it's already running or not. It wall also take the parameters start and stop.
- You're at work and you're pretty hungry.... You know to achieve pole position in the kitchen/cafeteria you have to be there at 11am (or 11:00 in 24hr format). type "alarm 11am Time for a snack!". If you prefer 24h time format then type "alarm 11 Time for a snack!". See help section for complete syntax of the alarm keyword.
- That by pressing tab (or ctrl+tab if input setting "Switch tab behavior" isn't enabled) will expand the file path of a indexed item in the input field, or in case the indexed item doesn't have a file path (like control panel folders "Printers and faxes", "Administrative tool") it will expand it in the list.
- You want to copy text from a web-page and paste it into a mail, but don't want the formatting (font-size, color etc) of the web-page to be pasted as well. Then first copy text from web-page, then launch the keyword textclean, and then paste the (now clean) text into the mail. If you want a hotkey to do all this see $TEXTCLEANPASTE$ info below.
- There's a option to also have global hotkey hide Executor again if pressing it while Executor has focus. Found in settings - general - "hotkey also hides when focus".
- If your using index there is a keyword to force it to refresh the index called "refreshindex".
- You want to copy the full path of the current item to clipboard, press F8 or right-click Executor and from the context-menu select "Copy full path of input".
- With Ctrl+E you can in Executor expand the current item (folders etc).
- By pressing Ctrl+D you can in windows open a window with the path of the current item.
- Executor can auto import keywords from an url on startup, so you can share keywords between different Executor installations (for example a cooperation have a bunch general handy keywords for all employees). See help section "Adding keywords to Executor" for more details".
- You have a keyword that takes sensible data as parameter that you don't want to have in history or displayed in the input after the keyword has launched. In the keywords properties uncheck "Allow add to history", and in the keywords command field add $CLR$ (anywhere as it will be stripped anyway). $CLR$ indicates that Executor should clear the input after the keyword has launched.
- In case you Executor won't open properly you can try start it with the "-safemode" parameter.
List and drop down...
- Enabling the setting options "Build cache of all scanned icons" and "Build cache of keywords and history" will make the list perform faster, at the cost of Executor using a bit more memory.
- Right-clicking an item in the list will bring up a standard windows context menu for that item. You can also press F9 and the windows context menu will pop-up for the selected item.
- You have the quick-launch item enabled so pressing enter on an item in the list will launch it, but you just want to select the item, and not launch it (so you can add a parameters etc). Move to the item and press the left or right arrow, or ctrl+enter or alt+enter.
- Want to spice up the look of your list ? Go to "Settings" - "Drop down / list" and use click the "Run list appearance wizard" button. This allows you to toggle between small and large row items and set fontsize and fontname for the list.
- Want Executor to display results like other popular launchers such as Launchy, where list is only displayed when there are matching results. in "Settings" - "Drop down / list" enable the options "Hide list when input is empty" and "Auto size to fit number of items".
- Typing -k opens the keyword editor. Typing -k and keywordname as parameter opens that keyword in the keyword editor. Example: -k google
- Pressing ctrl+o opens up the current keyword in the text input in the keyword editor.
- The keyword editor has a function to "scan for dead keywords", just right-click the list in the keyword editor.
- There is a setting to auto sort keywords alphabetical, found in Settings/Misc. So why not always auto sort the keyword editor ? Well being the control freak that I am, I like being able to control the order of which keywords are being suggested first.. for example: i want the keyword "forum" to be suggested before "find", where auto sort would flip them around.
Starting multiple keywords/urls/filesystem/programs etc. with one keyword or text input...
- You can trigger multiple keywords/urls/filesystem/programs/documents etc. from the input field by splitting each with "||" example: "www.deviantart.com||photoshop||google photoshop cs2 update||winamp".
- A keyword can trigger multiple keywords/urls/filesystem/programs etc. In the keywords command field follow the same syntax as mentioned above (using || as separator).
- Parameters for keywords that trigger other keywords are nested as well. So you could for example make a "supersearch" keyword with a command field like "google $U$||wiki $U$||groups $U$" So typing "supersearch my bloody valentine" would open google, wikipedia and google groups with the search string "my bloody valentine". Note some computers might need a $W$ after each command which waits a second before the next command, because some browsers can get confused opening that many links in a split second and might open them in the same window if no $W$ parameter.
- Keywords that trigger other keywords will not have a nested effect, meaning the keyword triggered by the first keyword cannot trigger yet another keyword (else endless trigger loops can quickly become a problem).
- Auto-completion and drop-down also have limited support for multiple commands and will auto-complete the input after the last '||'.
- The command/input separator can be customized should you prefer something else than || (see hidden settings).
- I use the following many times a day. With $CE$ you can make a hotkey that opens text that you select anywhere in Windows. To make the hotkey create a new keyword call it something like textlaunch. The keyword command should be $CE$, also assign it a hotkey, I for example have win+\ (so it's just to the left of win+z which I use to activate Executor). Now you can mark text anywhere on your computer and press the hotkey.. If the text is an url or filepath these will be opened accordingly (in browser or by windows), if it's not either it will be opened in the keyword google. If you want it to be opened with something else than the keyword google, then you can change this in the executor.ini file the setting named fastsearch. So an use case can be that you read an email, highlight some text and press the hotkey to google it, or if it's an url open the url in a browser or if it's a filepath open the filepath.
- Executor replaces $C$ with the content of the clipboard. So you can make a keyword where the keywords parameter is $C$. So you copy something to the clipboard and then execute the keyword (maybe from a hotkey assigned to the keyword). Example: I have a keyword named bcompare. When I press the hotkey that is assigned to that keyword both IE and Firefox opens with the url that I first copied to the clipboard, this is so I can compare if the url renders ok in both browsers. The command of my keyword looks like this: firefox $C$ || ie $C$ As you can see it depends on two other keywords named ie and firefox.
- Another "power" hotkey only keyword tip. Make a hotkey that will paste but also first strip any annoying text formatting the text in the clipboard might contain. Example keyword name: strippaste, keyword command: $TEXTCLEANPASTE$, keyword hotkey: ctrl+alt+v
- Executor have some hidden settings that didn't meet the harsh demands of the executive board to be included in the user interface (*cough*). They can be found -> here <-
- Want to edit executor.ini ? type -edit this will close down Executor and open Executor.ini.
- I found myself often using the "close" keyword to close the last focused window. This require that you import the windows keywords from windowkeywords.exc.
- Check out the forums there are some useful tips on programs (for scripting and other stuff) that works well together with Executor.
- You can have Executor send predefined text to the window currently in focus with $SENDTEXT$, search documentation section for $SENDTEXT$.
- Executor have some info keywords like for example time and showip. If you have programming skills you can look into $GRABTOINPUT$, $GRABTOLIST$ and $GRABTOLISTNOFOCUS$ in the help section. These can launch console applications hidden and grab the output text and display it in Executor, either in input or in list (multi-lined).
- Like other (or another) popular launchers you can have a defined delay before the suggestion list is displayed. If you feel slowdowns while you type you can try set this delay. Some might also find the delayed list more suiting. Found in settings - dropdown / list - "auto open day".
- Index setting "Build cache file (for quick start)". This applies if you are using index items. When closing Executor all index items are saved to a file, and when Executor is started this is loaded and used before new indexing is complete. If using Executor on a usb-drive between different computers this setting should probably not be used. Found in settings - indexing & cache.
- In settings - indexing & cache, the following will speed up the list performance at cost of memory: "Build cache of all index item icons" and "Build cache if keywords and history icons".
- If you're using indexed items they are automatically refreshed when Executor gains focus and have been inactive for more than two minutes, this will cause the index to rebuild. This can require some CPU depending on how many items you got. It is possible by the setting named "Only index on startup" (settings - indexing & cache) to instead only scan on startup (or you can manually rebuild index with the keyword refreshindex).
- For those really worried about memory usage and probably also performance the following are sinners: Index items (and number of indexed items), enabled caching options (mentioned above), fancy skinning, number of history items, number of keywords.
Portable (like running from an usb-flash drive)...
- The Executor folder (something like "c:\Program Files\Executor") can be freely copied anyway, Executor does not use the Windows registry. Also regarding portability see the question below this one, and also take a look at the $D$ parameter description on this page.
- Executor will always look for executer.ini in it's own folder first (where executor.exe is located). So you should just copy (or create an empty) executor.ini file there and it will use this instead of the "...Application Data\Executor". Why use the "Application Data" folder anyway? Because Vista security/Microsoft really prefer this.
- So $D$ is drive that Executor is running from, and $H$ is full path to Executor's home folder.
Finally the help section also provides lots of useful information. The help section probably has all the above, just broken into a more syntax like description.
Have a nice tip not listed here ? mail it to me.