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(Guide/Review) Pinpoint is an open source keystroke launcher with many plugins


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Pinpoint is an open source keystroke launcher with many plugins
 

Do you use the Start Menu often to find things? Pinpoint is an open source keystroke launcher that can help you open things faster, and perform advanced tasks without opening another program. It works similarly to programs such as LaunchyQTLaunchbar Commander, or Switch.

 

Pinpoint-is-an-open-source-keystroke-lau

 

The launcher uses Alt + Space as the default shortcut, and this is a pretty common one in many programs. So you may want to define something else, I used Alt + P. The launcher does not remember the hotkey, so you'll need to set a different combo when you start it, or stick to the default one.

 

Pinpoint-find-and-open-program.jpg

 

Type the name of a program you want to open, and Pinpoint will list it with its icon and path. Double-click on a result to open it. Do you prefer keyboard shortcuts? That's cool, because you may open a result using hotkeys such as Ctrl + number, r.g. Ctrl + 1 for the first result, Ctrl + 2 for the second, and so on.

 

The launcher supports the popular Everything desktop search engine, which has to be running in the background for Pinpoint's instant search to work. If that's impressive, you will like this even more, it works with the portable version of Everything. Pinpoint can be used for web-searches too, and supports DuckDuckGo Bangs, read our article about the unique search feature to know more. Want to open a link? Paste it or type it in Pinpoint, and hit Enter.

 

Pinpoint-calculator.jpg

 

The program has a built-in Calculator, which does not take into account spaces. So, instead of 5 + 5, you'll have to type 5+5. That's a little odd when typing, but when you think about it, Windows Calculator doesn't require spaces, so maybe it's not that unusual.

 

Right-click on the tray menu to access the program's settings. The settings page lists every plugin in Pinpoint, you can toggle the ones you don't want to use, and also use it as a reference because it examples for each command.

 

Pinpoint-settings.jpg

 

We'll take a look at some useful ones. The Metric Converter lets you convert imperial units to metric, e.g. try typing 100 yds, and it'll show you the result in meters. Similarly, the Color Converter takes Hex color codes and gives you the output in RGB. Thanks to the Dictionary plugin, you can find the meaning of a word by entering it, followed by one of the following words meaning, def or definition,  e.g. hacks meaning.

 

Pinpoint-dictionary-definition.jpg

 

PinPoint  can be used to access Control Panel options. If you want to open Programs and Features, typing part of the name will bring up the option in the launcher's UI. You may run Command Line tools by using the syntax > command. e.g. >tasklist. You can make your computer restart or shut down by typing those words in the launcher program. The tool has a Color converter and a stock ticker.  The built-in Currency Converter tells you the current value of any currency compared to the US Dollar. To use it, you'll need to input a number followed by the currencies, like this, 1 USD to CAD.

 

Pinpoint-cmd-example.jpg

 

Pinpoint can pull the latest content from Hacker News and Reddit. To use it, type hnews or r/subreddit name. e.g. r/firefox. The program will display the headline of the top 5 recent posts, and you can open them in your default browser.

 

Create notes by using n+ notename. e.g. n+ test. List your notes with the nls command. PinPoint stores the recent contents of the clipboard, to access it press Ctrl + ALt + V. The program also packs a Password Generator that you can use to create secure passwords. The command is password length. e.g. password 8 will generate a passphrase that has 8 characters.

 

Pinpoint-password-generator.jpg

 

Check the Weather by typing weather location name. e.g. weather new york to get the current temperature, and the forecast for the next few days. This feature was particularly slow, and sometimes the app froze up.

 

Pinpoint-weather.jpg

 

Pinpoint is written in C#. The application has an insane amount of features, but it is not flawless. Although I was able to authenticate the Spotify controller plugin, the commands didn't work for me. Likewise, the Text Snippet and OCR Snippet tools were unusable, every time I tried to save a snippet, Pinpoint crashed. The other issue is that you can't really customize a plugin's source, e.g. the weather, currency converter. The program is in alpha stage, and if the bugs and crashes are fixed, this would be an excellent tool.

 

Pinpoint's interface looks similar to Flow Launcher, I'm not sure if it is a fork of the latter, but the GUI certainly feels identical. But there are a lot of new options in Pinpoint, the program is portable, and the executable that ships in the archive is 27MB in size, that's way better than Flow's 258MB folder.

 

 
 
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