Quicksilver is essentially a fast and free productivity application launcher that provides you the ability to control your Mac solely through keystrokes. You can rapidly launch applications, edit files, send emails and more simply by keying in the first few letters of the application or file on Quicksilver’s main window. Aside from simply launching apps, Quicksilver offers so much more especially to users willing to learn its tricks and hidden features in spite of the relatively steep learning curve it entails to master this application.
Download and Install
After obtaining Quicksilver’s DMG file, click on it to go through the installation wizard. You then get to choose which plug-ins you would like to install in relation to applications you use most frequently. You also get to specify a keyboard shortcut to launch the app with.
To access the preferences pane, launch Quicksilver using your unique keyboard shortcut and click the “Preferences” button on the window’s rightmost portion to open the said pane.
On the left hand side, you will see quite a few choices that you can customize to suit your taste. First up is “Application” from where you may select to start the app upon login, show the icon in dock, specify how often it should check for updates, among others.
Next up is “Appearance.” This where you can set the overall presentation of Quicksilver’s interface. The main window’s theme is represented by the “Command Interface.”
Lastly, the “Command” listing allows you to reset the keyboard shortcut you set initially. As for the “Reset Search After” slider, do set it at 2 seconds or more to allow yourself enough time to acclimate yourself to keying in commands into the interface without it resetting your search ever so often.
Quicksilver takes its usability factor to even greater heights with the help of its plug-in system, most of which can be downloaded and installed right from within the application itself. On the screenshot provided, after having clicked on the “Plug-ins” button on the top right of the window, click the “All Plug-ins” button located on the left most side of the interface. You can then choose the ones you fancy. As you check each one, the application will automatically download and install it.
Installed plug-ins translate themselves individually into a group of actions (as shown on the screenshot provided), with each one equating to a unique function through the use of Quicksilver.
Quicksilver’s Main Window
Upon keying in your designated shortcut, the main window will appear. It is divided into two fields: Subject and Action. Typing in the first few letters of the application or object you wish to launch will appear on the “Subject” field. The “Action” field is where you get to choose which action to perform on the listed application or object shown up top.
Say you would like to launch iTunes. By simply typing “I” that being the first letter into the subject field, you will notice that Quicksilver has already gone ahead and completed the application’s name for you. It is just as clever at recalling which items you call on most often, consequently placing those entries first in the search string.
Quicksilver gives you the ability to find what you need with as little effort as possible and allows you to act upon these items as you would prefer. If you see it’s learning curve as a welcome challenge as opposed to a hindrance, Quicksilver may very well become an indispensable part of your OS X arsenal.