A free launch

Add a dock to your desktop with this useful program.

We use a Windows machine for work and a Mac for pleasure, and one thing we love about our Mac is the dock. This strip across the bottom of our screen contains shortcuts to all our favorite applications, documents, and folders, giving us quick access to the things we use the most. LaunchBar Commander is a similar utility for Windows, and although it doesn't have the sleek interface or animations of the Mac dock, it works just as well at keeping our favorite things handy.

LaunchBar Commander has a plain interface, just a skinnable gray strip that can be docked at either the top or the left side of the screen. Adding an application or folder is as easy as dragging and dropping it onto the program's interface, although there's also a customization menu that gives more advanced users plenty of tools for specifying exactly how items on the dock appear and function. Users can create multiple docks with different nodes in them, which is not an entirely intuitive process; there are a lot of menu options, and the built-in Help file isn't as thorough as it could be. Users who aren't particularly computer literate will probably have some difficulty getting the hang of this process, but they'll be fine if they stick to the basic dragging and dropping functions. The dock itself works just fine; it quickly launched the folders and programs we added to it, and we appreciated the autohide feature that kept it out of our way until we needed it. Overall, we liked LaunchBar Commander, although we suspect that there are similar programs that are a little easier to use.

LaunchBar Commander comes as a ZIP file. It installs politely but leaves a folder behind upon removal. We recommend this program to all users.

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