You must be familiar with the concept of running programs from the Windows Run dialog using shortcut commands. For example, you can launch Google Chrome from the Run box by simply typing in
chrome, Microsoft Word with
winword, and so on. Many software create their own custom alias during installation process; if you’d like to create your own Windows Run shortcuts, have a look at the two tools featured in this post.
AddToRun is an open source program that can create run commands for any application you want. It’s portable and is compatible with all Windows versions.
As you can see in the image above, the program has a simple interface and using it is fairly self-explanatory – simply run the program, select desired application, input an alias, and hit the Add button to save the entry to Windows Registry. Now to run the program, press Win + R keys to open the Run dialog, type in your custom alias, and hit OK.
The program is meant for creating aliases for programs, however you can also use it to create command that open any specific file.
Run Shortcuts from Command Prompt
Your custom shortcuts will also work from the Command Prompt. To open a program or file, use
start command followed with the alias. For example this will open Chrome:
Win+R Alias Manager
Win+R Alias Manager works on a similar concept to the earlier program, and it offers additional features that are necessary but were missing from AddToRun.
When you start this program, you will see a list of existing software aliases. You can delete any of those Run commands, or Edit to change alias, application path, and scope – system-wide (accessible by all users on the computer) or per-user (accessible only by creator).
The program supports drag-and-drop, so you can open the Add dialog by simply dragging an executable file inside the program. It also supports keyboard shortcuts to achieve various tasks:
- Insert – Add alias
- Delete – Delete selected alias
- Alt + E – Edit selected alias
- Alt + B – Browse executable file
- Alt + R – Run the selected alias
Win+R Alias Manager works with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. Windows 8 users, run the executable file inside the “Win8Native” folder.
Download: Win+R Alias Manager