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Intermediate Quicksilver tutorial

Dan Dickinson: The Primary Vivid Weblog: Quicksilver: From A Better OS X To Even More

Dan Dickinson wrote the tutorial that inspired me to first try Quicksilver, lo, those eleven epochal months ago (via Todd). It’s now my favorite app on the Mac, partly because of (or in spite of) the fact that it continues to yield the 10,000 secret functions hiding in its many alcoves.

Dan’s new tutorial is an equally swell intermediate lesson that walks you through some of the sexier features in a clear, unintimidating manner.

Here’s an answer to one that’s been confusing me a bit for a while now:

Step #8 - Shift Can Be Better Than Tab

There’s a very small preference stashed away in the Advanced pane, entitled “Capitalized keys modify action in command window”. This lets you effectively type into both halves of the QS window at the same time. I find it much easier to type as one long string than breaking everything up with tabs - “safariKILL” is easier than “safari (tab) kill”. Given how most people are pretty adept at hitting the shift key while they type, this may be faster for you. Give it a try.

Nice work, Dan.

Not sure I’ve ever asked here, so spill: What’s your favorite novel use for Quicksilver? What place has it found in your workflow?

JoshD's picture

@Merlin: I found that one by...


I found that one by accident some months ago. One of those things that you figure everyone else must have found before you, because nobody's said anything about it. :)

The idea of bookmark folders as mini control panels is an appealing one. I've got one for all my LJ tools ("friend groups" controls, the LJ Recent Comments control panel, etc.), but there have to be other things you can do with it... sadly, it doesn't seem to work with bookmarklets. :(


Until a month ago, I was in your boat, but I just changed from cmd-space back to ctrl-space, for two reasons. One, because if you're on a mac with international keyboard stuff set, cmd-space changes you between keyboard layouts. Thus, I would try to invoke QS on my fiancée's iBook and end up typing in romanji. Second, QS has a new feature where you can invoke the interface with the tap of a single key (ctrl by default). Once I got in the habit of doing that (it works in mid-drag-and-drop), ctrl-spacebar just made more sense.

BTW, I suggest playing around with this... it seems to work more naturally when in "mouse mode," i.e. when I have one hand on the mouse, and the other on the keyboard to execute key commands. In comparison, ctrl-spacebar is entirely natural when both hands are in natural typing position. Note also that the new "Primer (built-in)" appearance has controls that respond to the mouse, if you're kinked that way.

I think of QS as its own environment, now. It has its own command-set, using the control key, and its separation from application-environment command keys is entirely natural, once the mental gearshift is well and truly complete.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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