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  Colibri - My New Favorite Toy 

I have a new favorite toy. Scott Hanselman mentioned Colibri on his blog so I thought I would give it a try. I can't tell you how much I am loving this cool tool. Colibri Type Ahead (which is free) is a combination of a quick start/launch and search program you use to quickly start up applications installed on your pc.

Hit a predefined hot-key and then just start typing the name of the application you want to launch. You'll be presented with a list of matches that narrow as you type. The best part is that you don't have to type the whole name, or even a part of it. You can type an abbreviation if you want. If I want to start PowerPoint, for example, I can just type “popnt” and it will match to PowerPoint. If more then one application match that name then I'll be presented with the choices. The coolest thing about Colibri is how it learns from you. If I type “vis” to start Visual Studio, and Visual Studio isn't the top of the list so I arrow down to select it. It knows that next time I type “vis” I probably mean Visual Studio so it will list it first.

Also, Colibri has integration with other various things, such as Google. I can hit the hot key to bring up Colibri, type “goo” then tab and enter my search term to perform a quick search. I can type “vol” and then up or down arrow to turn my pc's volume up or down quickly. It can launch control panel applets, and even has some integration coming for iTunes, Winamp, Firefox, etc.

I always seem to have a billion things installed on my pc at any given moment. While I do try to keep my start menu organized, it feels like such a chore sometimes to dig through the start menu looking for some app I hardly use (and can't remember where it is). Colibri sure makes that all easier. Not to mention Michael, the man behind Colibri, was totally willing to make a change that prevented it from working on my machine. That was just cool.


Leave a comment below.


  1. Jason Haley 6/28/2006 10:21 AM
  2. Josh 6/28/2006 8:33 AM
    Sure looks like QuickSilver for a PC. Good find regardless.
  3. Rotem 6/28/2006 8:48 AM
    Hi, I would try a better alternative,
  4. Ryan Farley 6/28/2006 8:56 AM

    I did try Launchy as well. Launchy does look nice, but doesn't do quite as much as Colibri. First of all, I like how colibri displays the list of other possible matches. Launchy just shows a simpler list which isn't as helpful IMO.

    Also, I really like Colibri's integration with Google, it's become my new quick search.

  5. Jon Davis 7/6/2006 10:13 AM
    Vista's new Start Menu does something very similar: It has a little search textbox where you can just start typing in a file name. It will scan the start menu for program shortcuts first, then failing that it will start scanning your hard drive for similarly named files. :)
  6. Ryan Farley 7/6/2006 12:51 PM
    Hi Jon,

    Yeah, I do love that feature in Vista. That's maybe why I love using Colibri on my other machines.

  7. Albert 7/25/2006 2:00 AM
    Just for quick searching the addres toolbar would be enough. Even works in XP, no need to wait for Vista for that feature.

    I installed Colibri but I'm not sure if it lasts. I'm also using autohotkey that saves me a lot of time as well.
  8. baldo 8/19/2009 1:36 AM
    try this:
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