I came across this amazing tool called Listary yesterday and found that it is just an amazing piece of software!

Listary is a tool to facilitate the task of searching files and launching applications on your system and operating on them and more… It is definitely better than Everything, another tools which is also used to search files. In my opinion, Listary is the best among its kind.

Search files and applications

After installing and running Listary, you are ready to search literally everything in your computer and beyond. Listary has two working modes, the first one is called “File Manager Mode” and the second is called “Launcher Mode”. The two modes work differently.

File manager mode

The first mode takes effect once you open the File Explorer window and it is mainly used to search files and folders. If you want to search a file under a particular directory, just type part of the name of that file. Listary will automatically list files matching the given name under that directory using regex. For example, I have a file named css_intro.html in F:\source_code\webpage. If I want to find that file, I just need to open the File Explorer and change to F:\\ disk. Then I type css html, the Listary search bar appear at the lower right of the File Explorer window and the file with that name is shown the at the top of the list.

You can navigate up and down the returned list by pressing CTRL + P or CTRL + N. After a file or folder is selected, press CTRL+O to take actions on it.

Launcher mode

The second mode is the full-featured mode where you can launch an application, open a file, search the web and more… The second mode is activated by pressing the CTRL key twice or press Win+G. Easy and convenient! After you activate this mode, a search bar will appear in the middle your screen and be ready to accept input. You can use Ese to dismiss it.

Launch an application

Launch an application by typing keywords whether or not it is on your system PATH. For example, if I want to launch the Foxmail application on my computer, I just need to type “foxmail” in the Listary search bar. The Foxmail application appears at the top of returned results list. Then I can launch Foxmail with a simple press of Enter.

Search a file and operate on it

This works similarly to search a file in “File manager mode”. After the file is located, you can take action on it by using the shortcut Ctrl+O which will bring up the action menu.

search in the web or in the APP

Listary has built-in command for searching something through the search engine such as Google, Bing. It is located in Keywords -> Web panel (see image below),

For example, if you want to search “cat” using Google, just type “gg cat” in the Listary search bar.

Adding custom search website keywords is also easy. See below for an example,

Or you can search a word using a dictionary in your PC. Here, we use the famous open source software GoldenDict as an example, the settings are shown below:

Filtering the result by path and file type

You can enable advanced search features by indicating file path and file type. In order to indicate a file path, simply append a trailing \ to a character string.

There are six default file type filters (a string followed by a colon):

  • folder: Folder
  • file: File
  • doc: Document
  • pic: Picture
  • audio: Audio
  • video: Video

You can combine file path and file type filtering for quicker location of your files. For example, in order to find images with cat in their names in the f:\ disk, simply use f:\ pic: cat as the search query. The result shows up instantly!

Create a project

If you frequently open up a specific folder and do your work under that folder. You may create a project for it. Go to Options --> Projects and click the plus sign in lower left (see image below) and set up the project folder and keyword for open the project root directory.

After the setting, we can search files or directories under that folder easily: just type the project keyword and give any file or folder names you want to open.

More questions?

If you encounter problems when you are using Listary, you can go to the Listary discussion forum for help. The developer of Listary are willing to answer usage-related questions about Listary.

Support copyright

Listary is free to evaluate indefinitely. But if you can affford it, I think it is better to buy a licence to support the development of this excellent software.