Appetizer Is Food For Your Application Launching Needs

Appetizer is described by its author as

…a free application launcher, or dock, for Windows

Appetizer is an open source entry in the application launcher list that includes the likes of 8Start, reviewed here previously, LaunchBar Commander from DonationCoder and many others. It is available in an executable and ZIP package portable. It also supports skins and plugins.


Appetizer, as it stands now at version1.3, keeps it simple. The first step in using it can be importing Start Menu and Quick Launch shortcuts using a special importer. Alternatively one can click on the + button (see image, showing Appetizer using the iAppetizer skin) or drag and drop program icons into the dock to create shortcut items manually. By right clicking shortcuts one can change the display name of the shortcut, change its path and icon and add special parameters that control how the application is launched. In addition to the aforementioned shortcuts can be added to ‘multi-launch’ groups. A multi-launch is often useful when one wants to open several portable applications (non-portable ones too) by clicking one single button. Here, using Appetizer, one can add many shortcuts to a group and open several applications simultaneously.

The configuration menu of Appetizer lets the user do the following: choose its language (18 available as of this review), keep the app on top, check for updates, change its skin, its orientation (vertical or horizontal), its icon size, its transparency, auto hide it after an application launch, run multi-launch groups on start up, add a hot key to hide/show the dock and enable/disable plugins. One of the useful included plugins is the one that opens the folder where the application being launched resides in. Once enabled a plugin becomes accessible via a right click on any of the shortcuts.
Appetizer is a very promising relatively new software and runs on Windows 2000, XP and Vista.