ControlPad Turns Your Number Pad Into An Application Launcher

ControlPad Turns Your Number Pad Into An Application Launcher

Windows only: ControlPad is a lightweight application launcher that uses the number pad on your keyboard as a quick launcher for applications and system commands.

Once you’ve downloaded the portable version or installed ControlPad you can access the quick launch dialogue box, as seen here, by pressing the * key on your number pad. The box pops up and you key in a string of numbers that have been linked to the effect you want—bonus points for anyone who guesses what we linked 2112 to in our test of the software.

Not so keen on usiing numbers to launch your applications? Not a problem—you can just as easily use words if you want. You can press and hold the * for longer than you would to just call up the launcher and it will enter into editing mode. Enter a new command and hit the / button on the number pad to associate it with a new launch code. You can also bulk add new launch codes by opening up the commands.ini file, and there are several examples in there to show you the syntax.

ControlPad is free, Windows only, and available as a portable application.

ControlPad [via MakeUseOf]


  • executor is the most superior quick-launcher i have seen. I used to use enso, and then launchy until I found executor.

    – free
    – powerful
    – flexible
    – efficient
    – skinnable

    you can get it at executor dot dk

  • For linux users, I would suggest dmenu. It uses normal text rather than numbers (better for laptop users) and filters down program names as you type, therefore no need to set up command names / aliases.

    E.g., for me to start firefox, (after hitting my preferred key combo to bring up dmenu) I only need to type ‘fir’ to narrow it down to firefox, then enter to start. Bingo Bango!

    But I must admit, I like the idea of controlpad using numbers for replicating the feel of some of the old terminal based internal-systems I have used at previous employers. (Does anbody else miss them? They felt much faster and efficient compared to today’s GUI based system that seem to take an age just to load the start screen)

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