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Top 10 Find and Run Robot Techniques Every User Should Know About

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I will update this post with my top 10 tricks and tips in the next day or so.. if you have any nominations send me a personal message on the forum.

TIP 1: Scroll Through Your Search History With Ctrl+Up and Ctrl+Down

Many FARR users don't realize that the Ctrl+Up and Ctrl+Down hotkeys can be used to scroll through their past search history.

This can be extremely useful in re-running searches that you've run recently.

And most importantly, past search history includes exactly what you typed in the search box which can be quite different from the history of previous launch applications.  As such, it's very useful for recalling previous alias invocations.

Bonus tip for pros: You can actually type: historys in the search box to see a list of your past searches and select from them directly.

TIP 2: Know How to Use Custom Hotkeys

By default, FARR is launched (toggled) with the Pause/Break key found in the upper right of all full-sized keyboards.

Of course it's possible to change this keyboard shortcut, but most people don't know that FARR has a system that allows you to configure multiple keyboard shortcuts that work in different ways.

As the screenshot below shows, you can add multiple hotkeys triggers that invoke FARR but also do additional things.  The two common things you may want to do with a custom keyboard shortcut are to start out with some text in the search box, and to copy the highlighted text under the mouse before invoking FARR.

To see how this works: Select some text with your mouse in any program and then hit Ctrl+Break to invoke the Ctrl+Break hotkey.  FARR will first copy the selected text to the clipboard by simulated a ctrl+C press, and then bring up FARR with text in the search box that says "search CLIPBOARDTEXT" (where CLIPBOARDTEXT is the highlighted text).  This can be extremely useful for conducting quick searches.

Tip: You can't delete the predefined built-in keyboard hotkeys, but if you want to change them just disable (uncheck) the built-in ones and add new ones to overide them.

TIP 3: Using the Item Context Menu

Most of the time when using FARR, all you want to do is launch the first item in the result list, which you can do by simply hitting Enter (or alt+1).

But you should familiarize yourself with the item context menu which offers you additional easy ways to work with specific results.

You can right-click on any result to show it's context menu, but you can also simply hit Ctrl+R to bring up the context menu for the first result.

Once in the item context menu you can:

* Show the normal windows system context menu for the file (you can show this directly with Ctrl+P)
* Add a new alias keyword to invoke this item (or a group of items) by choosing "Add to Group Alias" <-- this is the fastest and easiest way to create a new alias or add items to an existing alias!
* Add the item to the FARR toolbar
* Remove the item from the list of previously launched items (good for removing nuisance items you launched by mistake)
* Change the score of this item in future searches or exclude it entirely
* Open the folder containing the application to browse manually.
* And many more functions..

TIP 4: Make Your Own Aliases

Many people probably happily use FARR without ever creating their own "alias group", but alias groups are actually very easy to work with and are the key to most of FARR's more interesting features.

First let's start with the basic question: "What is a FARR alias group?"

In FARR, the concept of an "alias group" is quite broad -- but in essence an alias group is a keyword or regular expression pattern that you type to show some custom results.

The very simplest example would be an alias group that is just a keyword with one result.  So for example let's say you want to be able to type "ed" to launch your favorite text editor, which is currently "C:\apps\X-Notepad++\Bin\Notepad++\unicode\notepad++.exe".  You can use an alias group for this.

The easiest way to create such a simple alias group is simply to:

* Find the program (notepad++.exe in our example) by searching for it in the FARR window by typing its real name (notepad++)

* Then right-clicking on the notepad++ result and saying "Adding to Group Alias" and then choosing "New Alias Group.." at bottom of menu.

* Then in the dialog that is shown, type in "ed" for the Alias Trigger Text, and leave the rest as is, and hit OK.

* TIP: If you want to give a custom label to the result, go down to the Result area and prefix it with "My Favorite Editor|"

You've now created a new alias group called "ed" which will show the notepad++ result; you can try it by typing "ed" in the main FARR search area.

Now you aren't limited to just one result in an alias -- that's why it's called an alias "group".  You can add multiple items to that "ed" alias group, and make it act like a menu to your favorite text editors.

There are a lot more advanced things you can do with alias group, including regular expression aliases, launching applications with arguments, performing web searches, etc.  You can find more help on the forum or in the help file.

IMPORTANT: You can browse and edit both your custom aliases and the built-in aliases, by going to the options and choosing the "Aliases/Groups" tab; aliases are organized into files that you select at the top; your custom aliases can be found in the "myaliases.alias" file there, and that is the only set of aliases that you can directly edit (though you can uncheck any alias to disable it).  This is a great way to explore the built-in alias selection that comes with farr.

Advanced users can share their alias files with others.  On the forum and in the built-in set of aliases you will find some great aliases to perform all kinds of actions, including a ton of web search functionalities, package tracking, dictionary/music searches, etc.

Thanks to ewemoa for the screenshots!


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