Quicksilver

May 04, 2004
Quicksilver (bezel mode)

"Quicksilver is an evolving framework for accessing and manipulating many forms of personal data."

BlackTree's definition sounds great, but it doesn't begin to scratch the surface of Quicksilver's power. I first mentioned this program in the Required OS X Programs post a few weeks ago. At that time I had only been using it for a few days, but had already realized that it was indispensable. After having had the chance to really dig into it these last few weeks I can genuinely say that it is perhaps the single most ingenious program I've ever used on any platform. It just works. Wonderfully.

There are very few people who run Mac OS X and have a weblog who have not commented on Quicksilver with the same excitement as myself. The real breakthrough moment for me came when I was searching for a quick way to pause/play/skip in iTunes using just the keyboard and without taking the focus off of my current window. So, I hit cmd-space (the default key combination for launching Quicksilver), typed "nex," and pressed enter. Sure enough, it had selected "Next Song.scpt" and jumped to the next track in my playlist. I was sold. It's one of those programs that causes you to convince yourself that using it for [insert any task] is much more efficient, even if it's not.

Say you want to e-mail someone in your Address Book. You simply punch cmd-space, type the person's last name, and choose their e-mail address. Done. Speaking of e-mail, you can actually type the entire message up in Quicksilver and then have it launch a new message addressed to whomever you choose. After you hit your hotkey sequence, hit the "." key and begin typing your message. When finished, hit enter and then search for the person to whom you want to send the message.

You can even pipe text to Quicksilver from the command line. *drool*

There really is no limit to what this program can do and it's only going to become more powerful. As I mentioned in an earlier post, your need for the Dock and Finder can be completely obviated if you so choose; it seems as if some have already taken this step. Beyond its functional greatness, I think it looks really good and meshes well with Mac OS X. It's the type of program that further enforces my decision to move from desktop Linux to Apple's OS.

I do recommend checking out the excellent documentation as it contains a lot of really useful tips and information. To that end, you might as well exploit the forum while you're at it.

Something tells me the good folks at BlackTree are going to get us all hooked on this software crack and then start charging for it.

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