Shortcut managers, application launchers and context menu editors all have one thing in common: they all simplify and enhance your Windows experience. These applications provide a detour for easily accessing your favorite or frequently used programs, without cluttering up your desktop with shortcuts. We love minimalistic desktops, and believe you people too. In earlier posts, we have covered a lot of applications that allow you to easily access different programs and menus through hotkeys, right click context menus, or the system tray. These are probably the most accessible places to launch your applications. Today, we have another application launcher and hotkey macro utility called FlashTray Pro, which allows you to instantly launch applications, files, folders, URLs and system options from the system tray menu. Moreover, the application has a collection of small utilities, including a Color Picker, Character Map, Screen Magnifier, Calendar Studio and Windows Sizer. The shortcuts can be accessed from both the system tray as well as through user-defined hotkeys. More on FlashTray Pro after the jump.
After installation, the application sits in the system tray and can be accessed by using both right and left mouse clicks on the system tray icon. By default, the system tray menu is divided into 4 sections: Websites and Windows utilities (Color Picker, Character Map, Screen Magnifier, Calender Studio and Window Sizer) Applications and windows (My Computer and Network Neighborhood), System Commands (Empty Recycle Bin, Minimize All Windows and Run Screensaver) and Configure menu.
The Configure menu allows you to setup Launcher (add items), Hotkeys (add user-defined hotkeys to access shortcuts), Highlighter (highlight parts of desktop) and Options (general application behavior). You may also toggle Hotkeys, Triggers and Highlighters from within Configure menu.
The Configuration window has 4 tabs at the top namely Launcher, HotKeys, HighLighter and Options. In the Launcher tab you can add items to the system tray menu including Folders, URLs, Programs, System Options, Documents and Submenus. The HotKeys tab lets you specify custom hotkeys for each shortcut, HighLighter lets you choose the type, size and color of screen highlighter, and you can configure general application behavior from the Options tab.
FlashTray Pro is quite a handy application that provides a quick access to various utilities. Its small, lightweight and performs everything as it should. The application works on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. Testing was carried out on Windows 7.