Dec 22


Category: applications,mac,macosx

If you are using a Mac and haven’t heard of Quicksilver then you are missing out in life, especially if you are a person who spends most of their time on the keyboard. Even when I’m not on a Mac, I still miss Quicksilver and the functionality it offers. I’m writing about it because just today I wondered “can it do this?” and funnily enough it could. It does help that I have enough plugins to sink a ship installed in it, however unlike other projects it doesn’t slow down when it gets all of these plugins installed on it, or not to any point that I can notice anyway!

For those of you who have heard of Spotlight, Mac OS X’s search utility, might have heard that it can launch applications as well as finding and indexing the contents of the hard drive. Quicksilver takes that one step further and provides not just the objects but allows you to bind useful actions to those objects, but you aren’t restricted to just one action. For example I launch Quicksilver and type “next song” (its found what I’m looking for by ‘next’) and next to this a whole heap of options appear, with the first preference (configurable of course) being ‘Run’ to execute this object. Its actually a Quicksilver plugin for controlling iTunes that I’ve installed.

Quicksilver for me ends up being the main program from which I launch applications. I’m a developer so that means that I end up typing on the keyboard more often than I end up clicking. Not only this but because Quicksilver uses a search metaphor, it is often quicker to find applications or files via typing than it is to move to the mouse and start pointing around. Remembering back to my GUI theory with KLM where pointing and clicking is far slower than plain typing (the benefit of Quicksilver is that I never move my hands from the keyboard). Again for a new user or one who types slowly, Quicksilver isn’t going to be as useful a tool, however for most users who can type at a reasonable pace, and especially for those who can touch type, Quicksilver is brilliant.

For more information about Quicksilver, check out Blacktree at

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