FSL Launcher: a tabbed, mouse-activated launcher

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If you need a good launcher for apps, files, folders or URLs and would like the option to organize your files and shortcuts into tabs then check this one out.

FSL Launcher is a free, tabbed launcher activated by clicking on the top left corner of the screen with the mouse. It supports the dragging and dropping of icons into the interface and allows for a range of useability customizations.

Another nice launcher. I’ve been using this one for a few days and am very pleased with it. I like that it can easily be used as an organizing tool; for example, you can easily organize your desktop icons into tabs you create in FSL Launcher and get rid of desktop clutter.

I also like that it automatically reconciles shortcuts you drag to it and links to the original icon (you can, for example, drag a shortcut on the desktop to FSL Launcher and then delete that shortcut, the icon in FSL Launcher will still work). Here are more notes on this one.

  • Adding icons: select the appropriate tab and simply drag and drop icons (shortcuts, files, folders URLs) to the interface.
  • Tabs: users can freely add or edit tabs. Tabs (called “groups” in the program terminology) exist as folders placed inside a specific location within the FSL Launcher installation folder, you can move files in or out of these straight from Explorer if you so choose.
  • Cussomizable: in many ways (optional single click icon launch, optional stay on top, can minimize if user clicks outside the interface or will optionally stay open, icons+text can be displayed or icons only, can tweak icon sizes, etc.)
  • Resides in the system tray: once minimized.
  • Navigating tabs: aside from clicking on tabs with the mouse, I like that you can switch across tabs using the “Tab” button. Or you can use “<” and “>” keys.
  • Free vs. Supporters versions: the “supporters” version seems to be the full version of this program and is made available to users who donate to the author. Has a number of additional features, such as customizing the mouse click location to launch the program, and the ability to launch the app using a keyboard shortcut.
  • Skins: there seems to be (a) skin support, and (b) a skin development contest going on. However, I couldn’t figure out how to change the skin or how to download new skins.

Wish list (or how this program can be even better)

  • The ability to link to any folder to use as a group: it would be great, for example, if I could link to my “D:’data’” folder and use that as a tab in FSL Launcher. I tried placing a folder shortcut in the “groups” folder in the hopes it might work in lieu of an actual folder, but it did not.
  • The ability to customize where the “groups” folder resides: currently it is located in the Windows user folder on the main (c) partition. I would like the ability to move it to another partition and to a specific location.
  • The ability to custom order tabs in the interface: currently it simply uses alphabetical sorting from left to right.
  • Portability: the ability to use this app to launch apps on a USB drive would be great. May be available in the so-called “supporters” version; I am not sure.
  • Launch by keyboard shortcut: a feature which is offered in the supporters version.

The verdict: I like this one very much. As a launcher it works great, and I especially like the fact that you could use the tabs to organize your work; I was recently trying to de-clutter my desktop and FSL Launcher really came in handy, and I was able to simply move a lot of icons out of the desktop and into the appropriate tab on the launcher. And while there is a full “supporters” version as well as the free version reviewed here, I still strongly feel that the free version is excellent and adds a lot of value (and is not crippleware).

Thanks to user Guy for letting me know about this one!

Version Tested: 1.1.4.4 SR1

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7; 32 bit or 64 bit.

Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 3.13 megs).