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Hain is a search tool, launcher and desktop assistant for x64 Windows

19 April 2016, Mike Williams

HainHain is an open-source keyboard-oriented launcher, desktop search and productivity tool for 64-bit Windows.

The program is convenient to use. Unzip the download, run Hain.exe, it adds an icon to your system tray and pressing Alt+Space (customisable) launches the interface when required.

Hain opens with a simple console including a command bar and a list showing the various actions you can take.

There’s speedy searching for applications. Enter an executable name, new matches appear as you type, and clicking any item launches it.

There’s some tolerance for typos, conveniently: we entered WRD and Microsoft Word still appeared at the top of the list

Hain works with links, too – enter a URL and it opens in the default browser.


Start typing something in the command bar, matches appear immediately, and you select whatever you need

There’s a simple expression evaluator. Enter something like =SIN(45)*2 and the result is displayed.

Most interesting of all, you can extend Hain’s features further with a built-in package manager.

As we write, there are plugins to search popular websites, launch commands with cmd.exe, start Steam games, send PushBullet pushes, translate text, take simple notes, manage tasks and more.

Need more? Plugins are written in pure JavaScript, and there are plenty of examples to check out, so experienced users can add others as required.

Hain is still only at version 0.2.0, so it’s no surprise that there are also plenty of issues.

Once you’ve evaluated some complex expression it’s entirely obvious that you’ll want to copy the result to the clipboard, right? But there doesn’t seem to be any way to do that. (We wondered if the Help might have some clues, but that doesn’t exist, either.)

And the Hain window automatically minimises itself if you switch to another application, so you can’t read the results while typing them elsewhere.

We say, try Hain anyway: it’s a fun program, with already enough power to be useful, and a promising set of plugins. You’ll find issues, but the developer is currently very active (7 releases in the last month) so there’s a good chance they’ll be addressed soon.

Hain is an open-source application for 64-bit Windows 7 and later.

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