Launch (Mac OS X)

by Lee Hanken

Version 0.2


Quick launcher for applications in Mac OS X. Provides a menu in the status area.

Reads from the 'Aliases' folder in the home directory.

Items can be arranged hierarchically into folders.


Only reads the Aliases folder at Login. In order to refresh the menu, it is necessary to log out and in again.


Minimal interface does not get in the way. Aliases folder can contain any number of programs, documents and sub folders.



Launch - 217 kb

Previous versions - 213 kb


Tutorial - Overview

1. Click on the Finder icon in the Dock (the smiling face) to bring up your home folder. There will be an extra folder called Aliases.

2. Create as many subfolders as you want to organise your stuff.

3. Here is an example folder called Video with aliases to apps that fit into that category.

4. After logging out and in again, these icons will be available from the Launch [>] icon in the status area.

Tutorial - Creating Aliases

1. To create your own aliases, first find the original programs under Applications.

2. Control+click on an app you are interested in.

3. Choose Make Alias.

4. An icon similar to the original is created. It can also be renamed.

5. Now drag it into the appropriate folder under Aliases.

6. Don't forget to log out and in again, for the changes to take effect.


1. Open System Preferences -> Accounts, choose Login Items, highlight 'Launch' and click '-'.

2. Log out and in again.

3. Open Applications -> Utilities, drag Launch icon to the Trash.



This app was written in Applescript using Xcode. It is freeware. If you are interested in the Applescript source code it can be viewed here:


Update: M Hoffman has pointed out that the above code no longer works with the default settings of the latest version of Xcode. This seems to be related to the Garbage Collection setting. A working (as of June 2012) Xcode project file can be downloaded here.


Idea from B Widemann's 'Alias Menu', an App I used back in the old days of Powerbooks, Jaguar and Panther.