Still Life

A Series of Mental Snapshots

Review of Keybreeze – Making your daily life a little easier

Posted by Steve on May 21, 2008

I have not dabbled into writing about products and programs that I use, but this one, Keybreeze, has completely blown me away.

I have always been a big fan of using global hotkeys for as many things as possible, and had started using them pretty extensively over the last couple of months. Since I had gotten used to them on my personal Laptop I decided to set them up on my work computer. I first tried the generic global hotkey program where you have to assign your hotkeys manually, this was getting tedious considering the magnitude of programs that I open at work, so I did some in depth searching, and thats when I ran into keybreeze. Keybreeze is a simple program with incredible power, it gives you access to practically anything with a couple keystrokes.

When keybreeze is installed it goes and automatically assigns a ‘keyword’ to almost everyone of your installed programs and it also comes with a set of useful generic ‘keywords’. The first step after the install is to setup a hotkey that calls up the search bar, its best to pick something that never would be used but is still simple, mine is “ctrl;”. This brings up the search bar seen in the first picture, this is where the magic happens and what makes keybreeze differently. In the search bar you can type in any program you wish to open and keybreeze will give you exact and partial matches of the keywords that match what you have entered. For example I type in the letters ‘se’ and the following options show up:

Service network Utility
Service Manger
Set Window on Top
Configure your server
Close Window

Any of which can be selected. All of the keywords that have been indexed are displayed in an easy to read alphabetically sorted command list. Furthermore it is possible to assign a keyword to practically anything, and anything that you would like auto keyworded that is not done by default can be done automatically.

Now if this wasnt cool enough, there is also a set of features called one letter features. These one letter features can easily start a web search for anything, here are a few defaults (and of course your own custom ones can be setup!)

Google Search: s notepad++
Dictionary Search: d glucose
Wikipedia Search: w Porsche

Also one of the best ones, in my opinion, is the MP3 search. All you have to do is set what media player you use, and the folders to search for MP3s in, and then type ‘p musicfilename’ and that mp3 file will be played. It can also find partial matches really well, for example I have a file called “Sugar Ray – I_Just_Wanna_Fly” all I have to do is type in ‘p fly’ and the file gets played!

There are also a few other interesting features that I haven’t toyed with too much. The first is macros, which are pretty much self explanatory. The second is Text Function which allows you to set a keyword that will paste your specified text into any text box, so for example e-mail signature, date/time etc…

So to sum things up, this may be one of the best Open-Source programs I have ever used. Of course there is room for improvement, but it is pretty amazing as is; I highly recommend that everyone use this program, especially if you are like me and perfer to use the mouse as little as possible! Check it out at http://www.keybreeze.com .

–Steve

The Keybreeze Search Bar

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