7. Configuration

7.1. Introduction

Keypirinha is file-driven. Its configuration data resides in files, which are human readable and modifiable.

By design, Keypirinha does not offer any graphical interface to modify its settings, neither does it alter your configuration files.

While, at first glance, it might seem like backward design choice for a desktop application, it perfectly makes sense when you realize how powerful and flexible it can be:

  • variables assignment
  • use of system or environment variables anywhere
  • machine-specific and/or user-specific configuration

Nevertheless, Keypirinha offers a convenient way to open and edit its configuration files at runtime.

Search for the “Keypirinha: Configure …” items from the LaunchBox.

The 'Configure' items

Or use the main popup menu by clicking the right mouse button anywhere on the LaunchBox except the text field.

The 'Configure' menu


Any change to the configuration files will be detected automatically at runtime and new/modified settings will immediately be applied.

7.2. First Modification

If you have selected the Configure Application item for the first time, you should now see two text files opened side by side on your screen.

The one on the left is the original configuration file, bundled with the application. It shows the exhaustive list of the available settings. This file is not meant to be modified. Let’s call it Default.

The one on the right side should be blank on a fresh install, which means all the default configuration values defined in the Default file are used. Let’s call this file User.

The 'Configure' menu

Configuration files in Keypirinha are INI files. This format has been chosen because it is easy to read and to edit. But there are some things to keep in mind when editing a configuration file…

Say you want to modify the max_results value for example. In Keypirinha’s INI files, every value belongs to a given section. So if you just add a single line like max_results = 100 to the User file, it will not have the desired effect. The max_results setting is part of the gui section so you must prepend the [gui] line.

The default value of max_results is 100, let’s change it to 90. The User file should now look like this:

max_results = 90

Save the User configuration file by pressing Ctrl+S or by clicking the File ‣ Save menu of the editor. Modifications are now applied, you can close both editor windows.


If the gui section was already declared in your configuration file, you do not need to repeat the [gui] line as long as its settings are all grouped under it. For example:

show_on_taskbar = no
max_results = 90

7.3. Modification at Runtime

When you save a new version of one or several of your configuration files, Keypirinha automatically detects the modifications you have made, if any, and apply them at runtime. The same apply to packages’ configuration.

7.4. The INI Format

The INI file format is not precisely defined and there are plenty of variants out there. The format used by Keypirinha is readable by configparser (ExtendedInterpolation is used), a Python standard module for those who are familiar with it.

7.4.1. Example

# This is a comment line so I can write whatever I want

# Values defined below belong to the 'config' section
boolean_value = yes
editor = ${var:my_editor}
say_hello = ${var:hello} World
multiline_setting =
    This is a multiple line value.
    You can add as much lines as desired.
    As long as they are indented deeper than the first line of the value.

# Reusable values are grouped into the 'var' section
my_editor = D:/Apps/MyEditor/ShinyEditor.exe
hello = Hello


It is possible to add comments to an INI file. Comments are not interpreted by the application and they are skipped at parsing-time.

To add a comment to your configuration file, start a line with a # character.

7.4.3. Multiple Line Values

Keypirinha or its packages may accept multiple line values for some of their settings (it is always specified). When you write mutiple line values, you must take care of indenting each line correctly to ensure the configuration file will be interpreted properly by the application.

See the Example section above for an exampe.

7.4.4. Reusable Values

Keypirinha allows you to declare values that can be used elsewhere in any configuration file (application and plugins).

If you wish your reusable value to be usable in any configuration file, you must declare it in the var dedicated section in the main application’s configuration file Keypirinha.ini. Keypirinha will take care of replicating the var section in every subsequently loaded configuration file.


While it is possible to have a var section in any configuration file, it is usually preferable to have your reusable values all grouped in the same file (i.e.: Keypirinha.ini) to avoid mistakes and unexpected behavior.


The var section does not have to be defined at the beginning of the file.

See the Example section above for an exampe.

7.4.5. Predefined variables

Keypirinha also automatically populates the var section with some predefined values that may come handy.

To use them, use the following syntax in your configuration file:
${var:APP_DIR} or ${var:KNOWNFOLDER_MUSIC}, …

# Example of using a variable predefined by Keypirinha
editor = "%{var:APP_DIR}\..\MyEditor\MyEditor.exe"
    The drive on which the application is installed.

    • C:\

    The path to the root/install directory of the application.

    • C:\Program Files\Keypirinha (installed mode)
    • U:\USBApps\Keypirinha (portable mode)

    The path to application’s executable

    • C:\Program Files\Keypirinha\Keypirinha.exe (installed mode)
    • U:\USBApps\Keypirinha\Keypirinha.exe (portable mode)

    The architecture of the application.
    Possible values:

    • x86 (32-bit)
    • x64 (64-bit)

    The Profile directory, parent of the User, InstalledPackages and Packages directories.

    • C:\Users\Bob\AppData\Roaming\Keypirinha (installed mode)
    • U:\USBApps\Keypirinha\portable\Profile (portable mode)

    The User directory, where user’s configuration files are stored.

    • C:\Users\Bob\AppData\Roaming\Keypirinha\User (installed mode)
    • U:\USBApps\Keypirinha\portable\Profile\User (portable mode)

    The InstalledPackages directory, home of the downloaded packages.

    • C:\Users\Bob\AppData\Roaming\Keypirinha\InstalledPackages in installed mode
    • U:\USBApps\Keypirinha\portable\Profile\InstalledPackages in portable mode

    The Packages directory, where the live packages (modifiable at runtime) are stored.

    • C:\Users\Bob\AppData\Roaming\Keypirinha\Packages (installed mode)
    • U:\USBApps\Keypirinha\portable\Profile\Packages (portable mode)

  • For convenience, some Windows’ Known Folders are also predefined. They may come handy to configure some packages.

    # Example of using a "Known Folder" value
    editor = "%{var:KNOWNFOLDER_LOCALAPPDATA}\MyEditor\MyEditor.exe"
    Name Expands to (example; may differ on your system)
    KNOWNFOLDER_ACCOUNTPICTURES %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\AccountPictures (Win8+)
    KNOWNFOLDER_COMMONSTARTUP %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp
    KNOWNFOLDER_FONTS %windir%\Fonts
    KNOWNFOLDER_PROGRAMFILESCOMMONX86 %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Common Files
    KNOWNFOLDER_PROGRAMS %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
    KNOWNFOLDER_PUBLIC %PUBLIC% (%SystemDrive%\Users\Public)
    KNOWNFOLDER_SENDTO %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo
    KNOWNFOLDER_STARTMENU %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu
    KNOWNFOLDER_STARTUP %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp
    KNOWNFOLDER_SYSTEM %windir%\system32
    KNOWNFOLDER_SYSTEMX86 %windir%\system32
    Name Expands to
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_ACCOUNTPICTURES {008ca0b1-55b4-4c56-b8a8-4de4b299d3be}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_CAMERAROLL {ab5fb87b-7ce2-4f83-915d-550846c9537b}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_COMMONSTARTMENU {a4115719-d62e-491d-aa7c-e74b8be3b067}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_COMMONSTARTUP {82a5ea35-d9cd-47c5-9629-e15d2f714e6e}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_CONTACTS {56784854-c6cb-462b-8169-88e350acb882}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_DESKTOP {b4bfcc3a-db2c-424c-b029-7fe99a87c641}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_DOCUMENTS {fdd39ad0-238f-46af-adb4-6c85480369c7}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_DOWNLOADS {374de290-123f-4565-9164-39c4925e467b}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_FAVORITES {1777f761-68ad-4d8a-87bd-30b759fa33dd}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_FONTS {fd228cb7-ae11-4ae3-864c-16f3910ab8fe}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_LINKS {bfb9d5e0-c6a9-404c-b2b2-ae6db6af4968}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_LOCALAPPDATA {f1b32785-6fba-4fcf-9d55-7b8e7f157091}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_LOCALAPPDATALOW {a520a1a4-1780-4ff6-bd18-167343c5af16}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_MUSIC {4bd8d571-6d19-48d3-be97-422220080e43}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_PICTURES {33e28130-4e1e-4676-835a-98395c3bc3bb}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_PLAYLISTS {de92c1c7-837f-4f69-a3bb-86e631204a23}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_PROFILE {5e6c858f-0e22-4760-9afe-ea3317b67173}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_PROGRAMFILES {905e63b6-c1bf-494e-b29c-65b732d3d21a}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_PROGRAMFILESX64 {6d809377-6af0-444b-8957-a3773f02200e}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_PROGRAMFILESX86 {7c5a40ef-a0fb-4bfc-874a-c0f2e0b9fa8e}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_PROGRAMFILESCOMMON {f7f1ed05-9f6d-47a2-aaae-29d317c6f066}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_PROGRAMFILESCOMMONX64 {6365d5a7-0f0d-45e5-87f6-0da56b6a4f7d}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_PROGRAMFILESCOMMONX86 {de974d24-d9c6-4d3e-bf91-f4455120b917}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_PROGRAMS {a77f5d77-2e2b-44c3-a6a2-aba601054a51}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_PUBLIC {dfdf76a2-c82a-4d63-906a-5644ac457385}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_PUBLICDESKTOP {c4aa340d-f20f-4863-afef-f87ef2e6ba25}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_PUBLICDOCUMENTS {ed4824af-dce4-45a8-81e2-fc7965083634}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_PUBLICDOWNLOADS {3d644c9b-1fb8-4f30-9b45-f670235f79c0}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_PUBLICMUSIC {3214fab5-9757-4298-bb61-92a9deaa44ff}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_PUBLICPICTURES {b6ebfb86-6907-413c-9af7-4fc2abf07cc5}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_PUBLICVIDEOS {2400183a-6185-49fb-a2d8-4a392a602ba3}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_ROAMINGAPPDATA {3eb685db-65f9-4cf6-a03a-e3ef65729f3d}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_SCREENSHOTS {b7bede81-df94-4682-a7d8-57a52620b86f}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_SENDTO {8983036c-27c0-404b-8f08-102d10dcfd74}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_SKYDRIVE {a52bba46-e9e1-435f-b3d9-28daa648c0f6}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_SKYDRIVECAMERAROLL {767e6811-49cb-4273-87c2-20f355e1085b}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_SKYDRIVEDOCUMENTS {24d89e24-2f19-4534-9dde-6a6671fbb8fe}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_SKYDRIVEPICTURES {339719b5-8c47-4894-94c2-d8f77add44a6}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_STARTMENU {625b53c3-ab48-4ec1-ba1f-a1ef4146fc19}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_STARTUP {b97d20bb-f46a-4c97-ba10-5e3608430854}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_SYSTEM {1ac14e77-02e7-4e5d-b744-2eb1ae5198b7}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_SYSTEMX86 {d65231b0-b2f1-4857-a4ce-a8e7c6ea7d27}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_USERPROFILES {0762d272-c50a-4bb0-a382-697dcd729b80}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_USERPROGRAMFILES {5cd7aee2-2219-4a67-b85d-6c9ce15660cb}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_USERPROGRAMFILESCOMMON {bcbd3057-ca5c-4622-b42d-bc56db0ae516}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_VIDEOS {18989b1d-99b5-455b-841c-ab7c74e4ddfc}
    KNOWNFOLDERGUID_WINDOWS {f38bf404-1d43-42f2-9305-67de0b28fc23}

7.4.6. Environment Values

For convenience, Keypirinha automatically defines a section named env, populated with all the environment variables that could be found at the moment the configuration file is read.

The env section is defined (overwritten) in every loaded configuration file.


When possible, it is good practice and recommended to use a KNOWNFOLDER predefined variable instead of environment values. This is especially true if you run Keypirinha on a USB key across multiple machines.

7.5. Machine and User Specific Settings

It is possible to have settings that will be applied only when Keypirinha runs on a specific machine and/or under a specific user session.

To do that, the configuration file must be named according to a predefined pattern.

For example, Keypirinha.ini which is application’s main configuration file. Keypirinha being the name part of the file. Keypirinha will automatically scan for these files each time it has to load its configuration files, in order of precedence, which means a value redefined in a file overrides the previous one(s):

  • Keypirinha.ini: the main file
  • Keypirinha.@MACHINE.ini: machine-specific configuration (any user). Notice the @ prefix.
  • Keypirinha.USER.ini: user-specific configuration (any machine)
  • Keypirinha.USER@MACHINE.ini: configuration specific to a user on a specific machine

Where MACHINE is the NetBIOS name of your computer (enter the echo %COMPUTERNAME% command in a system console to get it) and USER is the name of the currently logged user (echo %USERNAME%).


This also works with the packages configuration files located in your User directory.