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How do you describe Quicksilver?

Acting without doing SOUNDS good, but... (Ask MetaFilter)

I really liked this AskMe question about Quicksilver, since it's one that comes up a lot for folks who don't get as enthused about the app as I (and many of you) do:

Everywhere I go on the internet, Mac users rave about Quicksilver. I've downloaded it a couple times, and I sort of get that it COULD be really useful, but I am not sure how...

So what am I missing with Quicksilver? I see so many other people who get a lot of use out of it, and I am sure I can fit it in somewhere, too, but I just can't seem to figure it out....

Here's a portion of how I responded in comments:

Quicksilver provides access to almost any kind of stuff in your Mac's and your world -- contact information, bookmarks, files, Applications, system settings, and pretty much anything else -- and it lets you leap to any of these things by typing a few letters of the name (NB: Spotlight is more about contents and QS is more about names; they're complementary, not competing). So, that's the neato, Day 0 stuff.

But the big sexy comes with how QS understands the potential verbal relationships between any of those objects, then gives you a single keyboard interface for making amazing things happen...

I'll admit that it always makes me realize what a fanboy I am whenever I try to explain Quicksilver, but, truthfully, it is kind of challenging.

How do you describe Quicksilver to folks who don’t get all the fuss? How do you relate the sexiness?

stray's picture

How I describe QS

Here's what I say:

"First: at a very basic level, it's a launcher. If you want to launch Firefox, all you need to do is type Ctrl+Space, F-I- (Oh, hey, it figured out that I probably want to open Firefox!) ENTER.

"However, Quicksilver is far more powerful than that. In addition to indexing the programs you have, it also indexes lots of other things; for example, your Address Book. If I want to write an email to Mary Smith, I invoke Quicksilver (Ctrl+Space), start typing her name (M-A-R-Y) and her name pops up. I hit TAB to get to the other pane, and type C-O-M-P. Before I've even finished typing "compose", Quicksilver has figured out that I want to compose an email to Mary Smith. I press ENTER, Mail opens and a new message to Mary is brought up, ready to go; all I need do is put in a Subject and write the message. All this, without ever having to leave the keyboard!

"What I'm saying is this: Quicksilver is far more than just a program launcher. It's a tool to let you do things, to get to a task quickly and without having to hunt through the Applications folder or your Address Book or your Bookmarks. It does this with simple typing. It's a very, very smart program and it's only for Mac. Once you get used to it, you'll never want to be without it. When you then go and use a Windows computer, you'll find something severely lacking."

I generally stay away from the whole "sentences" metaphor, because an average person will likely have trouble understanding the concept without a lot more explaining.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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