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Enso (featured freeware)

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Image: Enso Launcher Enso is another launcher-styler application, similar in concept to countless others, including SkyLight, SlickRun, Launchy, and QuickSilver for the Mac.

While similar in concept, it's not similar in design nor execution. Humanized, the company responsible for creating Enso, is focused towards building what they call “humane” interfaces.

In fact, the interface of Enso isn't really an interface at all. It's a transparent layer of text on top of what you're currently doing. Unlike other such apps, this one is quasimodal. This means that it won't get in your way at all, it won't de-rail your train of thought - like regular dialog boxes.

Enso screenshot

The power of Enso is also not to be scoffed at. Besides being beautifully presented in the lovely Gentium typeface, there's some serious power here. You can use the “open”  command for nearly all your programs (e.g. “open notepad”). You can also teach Enso new commands using the powerful “learn as open” command. Simply highlight the item you want to open (a URL, a local address, or even a file).

Other commands include “google search term” - a facility for a quick Google search. Enso also has pretty handy string-handling tools (“to upper case”, etc), and can even quickly calculate a sum.

I've also installed the Enso Words program, which works in tandem the launcher. It adds some more functionality, especially when handling text, such as a spell checker, and word/character counts.

Enso screenshot

Enso has really changed the way I compute. It's added a “humane” interface, and a fast, flexible way to work with my PC. It's also inspired me to build better programs, based on a more user-friendly interface.

I've used a lot of app launchers in the past, but after a few days I always felt like I was using it for the sake of using it. I felt like they were offering me no usability improvements at all after a while. Not so with Enso!

Further reading

  • Humanized - Enso homepage
  • Comparison of application launchers (Wikipedia)
  • Introduction to application software launchers
  • Possibly Related Articles (automatically generated)


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