One of our least favorite things about Windows is the Start menu. It's kind of a pain to get to the application or document you need, especially if it's something that you don't use very often. But who wants a desktop cluttered with shortcuts? Keybreeze is a fantastic program that makes it extremely easy to launch just about everything with a few keystrokes. We have trouble imagining a Windows user who wouldn't benefit from this time-saving utility.
Keybreeze is activated by a hot key; by default it's the semicolon, but this can be changed. Once Keybreeze is active, a small toolbar appears; you simply start typing what you want to access, and the toolbar generates a predictive list of suggestions. There are more than 80 preset actions that Keybreeze can initiate, including launching common applications, Web sites, and menus. You want the calculator, the Display Properties dialog, or MapQuest directions? Just type the keyword into the toolbar and Keybreeze will launch it within a matter of seconds. We found it quite easy to add our own keywords as well, adding often-used documents and Web sites to Keybreeze's repertoire of commands. In addition to these extremely useful features, Keybreeze also has a notes function that lets you create notes and set reminders and a macro editor. An online tutorial and FAQ give you an overview of how the program works. Overall, we were quite impressed with Keybreeze; we loved being able to access everything on our computer so quickly and easily. This is one of the few programs that we've reviewed that we'll actually keep around for personal use.